2017 Update: I wrote this post years ago, but recently updated it. I’m happy to say that the Beehive just keeps getting better and better. Adding more beds, and few changes in price. This really is the best place to stay in Rome!
Rome is buzzing – can you hear it? It’s near the termini and the buzz is indeed from a Beehive. Don’t fear, it’s not the winged gold and black bees feeding off of the spring flowers in bloom. No, it’s my favorite place to stay in Rome – The Beehive.
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Where to stay in Rome
I’m not really sure how to describe the Beehive. It doesn’t feel like a hotel, it’s not really a true hostel, but it’s the coolest place to stay near the Termini. Even after talking to Linda, the owner, for a few hours hanging out and sharing travel stories, I still didn’t really know how to categorize this unique lodging option; but I do know that it has a mojo that has brought me back multiple times. Their website describes it as a luxury hostel. This was my 3rd stay at the Beehive over the course of 4 years, and it gets better every time! So when I’m faced with answering that question, ‘where to stay in Rome’, I have an easy quick answer now.
Explore the dirty side of Rome, Italy
What made this most recent stay memorable was the fact that I was able to meet Linda, the owner, and her family to hear their story firsthand. Linda is a kindred travel spirit who has a passion for supporting travel in every way possible; her business is travel, but her love of travel goes way beyond the business and the Beehive. Since I was there last in 2007, she and her husband took a sabbatical from the Beehive and left it in the capable hands of their staff to opt for living in Bali for a year.
A year turned into two as they realized the many benefits of raising a family in a foreign environment and the benefits of a sabbatical in general. This short afternoon with Linda opened my eyes and refocused me in many ways. Don’t you just love it when good people rub off on you?
Check out these great videos the Beehive has made about various aspects of getting around and staying in Rome. They are cast with her 3 daughters and are a great example of how easy it is to be ‘local’ in Rome as well as an indication of the overall atmosphere of the Beehive.
They built the BeeHive concept from the ground up and are continuing to expand it into new and unique lodging options for Rome. While I was there I was lucky enough to experience two of their lodging options.
Beehive Hotel – Best Budget Stay Near Termini
Just two blocks from Termini the yellow building with a cute garden patio is a welcome site. But an even better site is the helpful staff – who actually remembered me after 4 years of being away. The central location is perfect to catch metros or buses or simply stroll to sites in the Historic Center. Plus, if you are traveling outside of Rome, it’s a great location near the Termini.
Rooms and Amenities
You have a choice of staying in the cheaper dorm room which houses a few bunk beds in a comfortable airy room, or you can stay in a private room with shared bathrooms. The private rooms are a great bargain if you are traveling as a couple or a family but they still give you the social fun of being in a hostel-like environment with common areas and a little café downstairs open for breakfast and snacks.
The Concierge – There’s an App for That!
They provide a great Rome Recommendation Guide app that is free to download. It covers their favorite ‘local’ restaurants, shopping, activities by neighborhood, and a whole section on Holistic Rome which includes organic food markets, yoga studios, and massage options. This guide is better than anything you’ll get from a guidebook; it’s much more personal. I used the guide to find a place to eat in Termini neighborhood one night and it was a great local place where all of the patrons were speaking Italian!
Bee Hive café serves healthy options for breakfast as well as snacks and drinks throughout the day. They charge for breakfast, but what you get is made to order by a breakfast chef using organic ingredients. They host Tuesday Teatime, Wine & Cheese Wednesday, and Thursday family-style dinners. Cooking classes with Beehive owner Steve or other chefs can also be arranged.
All of the other standards are available – free wifi throughout, towels, hair dryers, safes, an internet-connected computer, books, magazines, and a patio.
They also offer extremely reasonable massage at the Beehive. For 35 to 45 euros you can get a 50-minute massage from a trained masseuse who will come in and work out all of your kinks from carrying luggage!
That’s what keeps me coming back. The staff are extremely helpful even allowing me to send them things to print at the front desk, providing restaurant and transportation recommendations. They simply take good care of the place as if it were their own home. It’s bright and cheerful throughout every room, bathroom, and shared space. The downstairs is filled with family photos which makes you feel like you are staying in someone’s home rather than an impersonal hotel. They often have art exhibitions from friends who are local artists hung through the halls and in the rooms.
Dorm room – € 35 per person
Privates shared bathroom – €80 double room / €105 triple room
Be sure to make reservations – even for the dorm beds as they do fill up.
Would I recommend it?
Yes – else I would have never gone back 3 times. Each time it does seem to get even better. The Beehive is an oasis in the myriad of hotel choices in the Termini area. From the original booking process to the amount of great information they give you when you make your reservation, to your experience at the hotel – it’s the best I’ve found in Rome.
The new project that Linda and family have taken on is the Sweets; a cross between an apartment rental and a private room. Just ¼ block away from the Beehive are the Sweets, private rooms with ensuite bathrooms, and a shared kitchen and living room area in an existing apartment building. I had the opportunity to stay a night at the Sweets in the first few weeks of their opening!
Also 2 blocks from Termini in a local apartment building. Just around the corner from the Beehive lobby. You actually check in at the Beehive Lobby and then they will provide you with keys and information for the Sweets.
Rooms and Amenities
All rooms have private bathrooms, a little desk, and a wardrobe. They have towels and air conditioning. There is no ‘front desk’ in your building, but you can easily go to the Beehive and get any assistance you need.
The kitchen is stocked with cooking necessities and is shared among all of the rooms. There is also a living room and dining table that make the whole place feel cozy. In addition, each room has a little balcony where you can get fresh air or sit out and eat breakfast in the morning. The kitchen area is cleaned daily, but guests are asked to pick up after themselves in the kitchen.
There is wifi throughout and an iPad that is located in the kitchen/living area for people to use to catch up on news, look at maps or research things online.
You still get all of the same access to amenities such as the videos, Rome Recommendation Guide, and the café in the morning.
The rooms are brightly decorated again providing a really cheery atmosphere. However, since this is more like a private apartment the amount of socializing is less typical.
The design is very minimalistic and I love how they have furnished the rooms with cleverly designed furniture.
€60 to €100 – varies during holidays
Would I recommend it?
If you are looking for a bit more private experience, and you want to save money and cook some meals yourself, I would recommend the Sweets. Even though I was there in the first few weeks of opening the place was up and running nicely. It was a more private way to stay if you weren’t really looking for a ton of socialization, but still wanted the ability to have your own kitchen to eat breakfast in and be able to pack lunches for a day or touring.
Strangely though I ended up meeting a great couple out in the kitchen area and we sat and talked most of the night! Basically, the Sweets are as social as you want them to be. They are slightly more expensive, however, you can save money on food by eating breakfast in and storing snacks in the fridge or cooking dinner for yourself one evening.
And through the years the Beehive has just continued to add to their great offerings in the neighborhood. They now have a few guest houses as well as a little hotel. When you have a good thing going, you keep it going!
Beehive Hotel Website – www.the-beehive.com
The Beehive hosted my 2 nights of lodging in Rome. However, all of the opinions expressed here are my own – as you know how I love to speak my mind!
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