Ori Kafri has done it again. With the brilliant JK Place in Florence and JK Capri already under his belt, we have now fallen hook, line and sinker for his latest project, JK Roma.
As with his previous hotels, he has created a home away from home – the hotel is tucked discreetly back from the main buzz of the Via del Corso just a stone’s throw from Parliament. Intentionally or not, this gives a more masculine feel to the hotel with heavy brass art deco door handles and light fittings, solid orange stone fireplaces and rich dark emerald green sofas. All of this is topped off with brilliant staff, including the delightful Camilla who, unprompted, produced a plate of chocolate brownies and a cup of Earl Grey which were just the ticket after a hard day’s sightseeing.
The main atrium is wonderfully light and airy – contemporary paintings sit comfortably with fabulously kitsch Roman statues making it a fun meeting place for locals including the new Prime Minister who was staying during our first visit. This bright cheery space contrasts with the club-like feel of the restaurant and library next door where dark panelled floors, low leather ‘Harry’s Bar’ chairs and comfy velvet banquettes make it the perfect place for a winter supper.
Upstairs the bedrooms are surprisingly spacious with showers large enough to fit one of Nero’s elephants. Everything works; big comfy beds, clever lighting and amazing soundproofing (not even a whizz of a Vespa can disturb your night’s sleep – surely a first in Rome). We particularly love the smallest room in the hotel, no 29, which has a little terrace just large enough to enjoy a capuccino, fresh brioche and a glass of blood orange juice while overlooking the little food market in Piazza Monte d’Oro. The larger junior suites are perfectly configured for families.
No, there aren’t the mega views of the Eternal City which you’d find down the road at the glitzier and much much bigger five star hotels (although there are plans afoot to develop the roof terrace.) And with only 30 rooms this may not appeal to lovers of pomp and paparazzi but we think it’s perfect.