Hotel de Russie
This hotel an updated 19th-century palazzo with 122 rooms and phenomenal terraced gardens set between Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps makes sophistication look easy. Open since 2000, it's become a favorite of Hollywood elite, and it's easy to see why: a great location near some of the city's best shopping on Via Condotti; luxe accommodations in a thoughtfully refurbished landmark building; a rare urban oasis of green; and concierges who know the ins and outs of every neighborhood in Rome. Its distinctive modern interiors are an eclectic mix of pastels, handsome dark woods, and walls accented with Mapplethorpe photography; there's even an on-site spa with Turkish bath. The respected on-site restaurant serves classic Italian dishes, but guests wax most poetic about the hotel's tiered hillside garden studded with classical statues; to add to its oasis-like feel, there's even a butterfly sanctuary. The view is especially pleasant in summer, when the lively Stravinskij martini bar offers alfresco sipping under the palms.
Insider Tip: Take a private tour of Rome with an art historian, arranged by the concierge.
Room to Book: Ask for any room overlooking the quiet courtyard.