Cloaked in stalactites of ivy, the Raphael stands back from the bustle of Piazza Navona and belongs, instead, to the quiet refinement of the antiques and antiquarian bookshops and local tratttorias of Via dei Coronari which runs beside it. The discreet facade conceals one of the most evocative and theatrical lobbies in the city. The dazzling white marble floor provides a dramatic contrast with the Byzantine icons, Old Master paintings, prints by the Italian Futurists and cermaics by Picasso displayed in baroque furniture; modern sofas add comfort. The dining room is equally immaculate, with an impressive breakfast buffet. Nothing disappoints here.
Bedrooms are constantly being updated, and some of the smaller ones have been combined to make fewer, more spacious rooms. Older bedrooms drip in paisley fabrics, with coordinated padded headboards and bedspreads, and parquet floors. Newer ones are modern and minmal, but not so beautiful, with bedcovers and sofas in Fendi's deep purple and black stripes and well-lit pale walls. Bathrooms, new and old, in white marble, are all stunning. Its final incomparable asset is the roof terrace, which offers magnificent views over almost the entire city. Book early to dine up here in the summer months.