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Casa Howard, Via Sistina, Rome
The deal: €180 ($227) for double occupancy; €150 for single occupancy
The hood: Close to the Spanish Steps. There's no better—or cheaper—entertainment in town than watching the Romans do as they do here.
What you'll get: The experience of staying at the home of an elegant Roman with fantastic taste. Casa Howard's Via Sistina property (there's another a minute's walk away) has only five rooms, each with its own theme. We love the stripetastic Zebra room, but it nearly outstrips our budget at €230. The tiny, comfy Tommy's Room costs a scant €150 for a single, €180 if you bring along a sweetie; it's a copy of the Paris bedroom of designer Tommaso Ziffer, who did this place as well as the much more expensive Hotel de Russie nearby. We love the breakfasts of fresh cornetti and honey from Tuscany. Book early, as it fills up quickly in summer.
Near and not so dear: Via Condotti is lined with designer shops like Gucci, Prada, and Armani—expect sales in July and August that put U.S. outlet malls to shame.
Casa Howard, Via Sistina
149 Via Sistina
Tel: 39 06 6992 4555
Fax: 39 06 679 4644