What is this Place?

It was pretty late when we landed in Rome.  After about a 15-20 minute ride the car pulled up to this mysterious gate off a long dark road.  It was close to midnight.  The gate swung open, and the gravel crunched under the tires as we pulled into the compound.

"Where the heck are we?  What is this place?" I was so confused.  It didn't look like a hotel, so what was it?
The driver helped us up the stairs with our bags and a young man with long dark curly hair came out of one of the doors, introduced himself as Alessandro, and had a hushed chat with the driver.  It was dark.  Quiet.  The area seemed deserted.  Were we being set up for an international abduction?  The driver left and Alessandro opened the door two doors down from the one he came out of.  I had checked it out on Trip Advisor, but still, I was a little nervous about what was inside.  The minute we walked in, I had a serious are you kidding me moment.  Is this really where we are staying? All I could see was a long hallway, but it was like the prettiest hallway I had ever seen.  The place was huge!  Alessandro said they were putting us in the first room on the right as it was the best one, and that since it was late we could come next door in the morning to talk about what we wanted to do while we were there.
Door on the right is our bedroom
Our bedroom
Our bathroom

Well how many rooms are in this place?

The hallway was lined with doors, and behind each one was an artfully decorated bedroom.  I was really tired, but I tramped in and out of four bedrooms and three bathrooms with my mouth hanging open.  We opened door after door until we finally got to the rear of the house where we found one more small bedroom with an attached bath off the kitchen.  The kitchen was amazing.  The living room and dining room were amazing.  This place was simply amazing!  We toured the whole place in awe before settling down to unpack and get to bed.

I peaked out the windows.  All I saw was darkness, and I still couldn't figure it out where we were.
Cozy living room.  All the windows in the apartment were automated.

Appia Antica Resort is not your typical hotel.  It is tucked away in Appia Antica, which is the largest green space in Rome.  It's quaint and unassuming on the outside, but inside the decor is impeccable.  Every detail from the poured concrete floors to the soft overhead lighting was so well done.  It feels like an apartment because there are only four units, but it feels like a hotel because of the complimentary basket of toiletries and house slippers in the bathroom.  There was even a hair dryer.  Not a big deal, but it had a diffuser! Maybe I've been living under a rock or something, but I've never seen such a thing!  It feels like an apartment because it's in a quiet neighborhood where people actually live, but it also feels like a hotel because it is so fancy, and they clean your room when you leave.  It feels like a boutique hotel because the personalized hospitality was unlike anything I've experienced anywhere else, and yet it feels like an apartment because of the fully stocked kitchen that has everything and anything you could possibly need.  Tea cups, mugs, cooking utensils, adorable flatware.  The wine glasses were stored in this wonderful old curio cabinet in the living room and there was a pretty nice selection of wines to choose from.  The refrigerator was filled with bottled water, sparkling water, cold cuts, eggs, and milk.  There was coffee and this cute little basket with snack cookies we couldn't stop eating, bread, and cereal.  When you stay there you really feel like you are experiencing what it is like to live in an Italian neighborhood, and yet there is staff on hand taking excellent care to make sure that all of your needs are met.
Eat In Kitchen:  heart eyes emoji.  And there was a washer/dryer and dishwasher tucked behind those cabinets
The smaller bedroom with attached bath is just off the kitchen to the right
I woke up the next morning and still couldn't believe I was staying in this amazing place.  The equivalent of the hotel lobby is run out of the foyer of one of the apartments.  I didn't see much more than the foyer but it had a huge set of marble stairs leading upstairs and I can only imagine that it was just as fabulous as the place we were in.  When we opened our door Alessandro was right there to invite us in and help us plan our day.  He provided maps and bus numbers, and alerted us about the upcoming strike on Friday.  He showed us how to use the gate and pointed us in the direction of the bus stop right across the street.  Our first stop was the Colosseum and it only took us about 15 minutes on the bus.  After a wonderful day exploring the city, it felt even more like home that night when we had our private cooking lesson.  This is something that they can arrange for guests, in addition to special anniversary in room surprises, massages, and day tours.  They want to help you create your own unique experience.
One of three bathrooms
One of four bedrooms
The next day we were stranded by a transportation strike.  One of the other Appia Antica Resort staff members tried to call us a cab, and there wasn't one to be found, but Alessandro saved the day taking us into the city himself.  The trains were to be up and running after five so we were able to make our way back on our own.  We headed into the office for local restaurant recommendations and they even made the reservation for us.  All we had to do was walk down the street and show up.

These 3 doors are the three apartments, with the 4th located down the stairs on the path to the right

cobblestones are amazing and all, but on a walk this long sometimes it was easier to stick to the path
One of the neighborhood homes
The previous day on the drive into town, I saw the sign for Catacombs of St. Callixtus, and decided on the spot I wanted to go.  It was within walking distance, but Alessandro was available to drop us off.  He walked us to the ticket counter where we bought our tickets and that would be the last time we saw him because it was our last day.  Can you tell, I really liked Alessandro?  He was so friendly, so helpful, and so quintessentially Italian.  Surely, he was just being himself, but I found it so charming the way he pointed things out and here, came out 'ere with his Italian accent.  After touring the catacombs we had the opportunity to walk through the surrounding area and get a look at the neighborhood.   We spent the other two days in the city, which is very populated, and has a lot of traffic, and it was really nice to have a chance to see this side of Rome.

They arranged private transportation to and from the airport for our arrival and departure.   The arrival transport was arranged at the time of booking, and they set up our ride back the day before we left.  One less thing that we had to worry about.  When we left, we were given this adorable little travel notebook as a parting gift.

We missed out on nothing by not staying right inside Rome.  Appia Antica Resort is a very special place and getting to stay there only enhanced our entire experience in Rome.


mmarinaa said...

That sounds fantastic. I've always been wary of going to Rome because it's so touristy in my head, but if I could stay at that place, it would totally be worth it.

Carly Blogs Here said...

What a cool place to stay! I love how spacious everything looks and it sounds like the customer service bit of it was even better!

Rachel ¦¦ A Nesting Nomad said...

You had all those rooms to yourself? That's brilliant! And the kitchen and everything. I love AirBnB for this reason, nothing like all that space, but sometimes you do miss out on the hotel type elements. Sounds like you got the best of both worlds :)

I'd love to go to Rome. It's so close and yet I've never been!