It’s no secret that Italy is my favourite country, and if you’ve read the Italy Diaries from the blog earlier this year, you’ll understand a little about why I am so obsessed with it.
I first went to Rome almost 3 years ago, just before I went vegan, so it was wonderful to return in 2017 as a fully-fledged vegan, on the hunt for some plant-based Italian goodness. Rome is very vegan-friendly, and I firmly recommend taking some elasticated trousers with you because you will eat a lot.
Even though a location is vegan-friendly, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll find suitable accommodation, and it’s never nice to feel like you’re staying somewhere that you’ll struggle to eat or relax at.
If you’ve read my other hotel reviews, you’ll see that I do enjoy a certain luxury feel, and I’m always excited to find places that offer indulgence combined with a healthy dose of veganism. However, I also want to make sure that I find great places to stay that fit with my readers who wish to look at more budget-friendly hotels (more money for food!).
In Rome, we stayed at vegetarian luxury hostel/budget boutique hotel The Beehive, ran by American expats Linda and Steve. Originally from LA, the couple arrived in Italy to start their new life in 1999 and set up The Beehive to be a hub for like-minded people who wanted to visit Rome and have an eco-friendly experience with a difference.
Mr Green V and I had the pleasure of staying at The Beehive for 2 nights, and whilst we sadly didn’t get chance to meet Linda or Steve, we definitely felt like we got to know them through their Roman haven.
Situated about 10 minute’s walk from Termini Station, you’d be forgiven for thinking there wouldn’t be much in the way of relaxation here, but behind the street wall you’ll suddenly descend into a peaceful oasis. The garden area, as you can see, is lush, very sunny and I found it an enchanting place to work in. I also imagine it would be a very pleasurable location to soak up the sun with a glass of good Italian wine, and some great company!
We stayed in a classic room, which was colourful and vibrant, just like the environment at The Beehive itself. We didn’t have a private bathroom, so if this is important to you, then I recommend booking one of the suites instead. I’ll be honest here, and although I knew this was going to be a challenge for me, I didn’t realise how difficult I found it to not have my own bathroom, this isn’t a criticism of the accommodation, more an observation of my own character! However, the shared bathroom was very clean, and to be honest there was rarely anyone going in at the same time as I was! We had a sink in our bedroom too, with vegan soap. There were also plant-based soaps and shampoos in the bathrooms, which was excellent to see.
The Beehive is more than a place to sleep at, it offers a multitude of social activity for guests and locals too. From Italian classes, to cooking classes, storytelling evenings to yoga, there is a real sense of a proper community here. This combined with the fact that all cleaning products used are ecological and the breakfast menu offers a range of organic produces (with some vegan options available too like tofu scramble and vegetables with toast and jam) makes it an ideal venue for the travelling vegetarian or vegan on a budget. There are also regular vegan dinner nights too!
We were looked after by the lovely Yuli, who ensured we settled in and knew where we were going in the city, and how to get there. She was so friendly and helpful, and I noticed that she made the effort to welcome and speak to us (and everyone) who passed the threshold. It’s always nice to have a warm welcome when you’re in a different environment, and it makes travelling much easier.
There are various communal areas within The Beehive where you can use the wifi and work, read or chat. We were out walking around Rome so much we didn’t really speak to any of the other guests.
Breakfast is not included in the room rates, but is very reasonably priced. As The Beehive is a vegetarian hostel/hotel the menu is predominantly veggie, however there are a couple of vegan options. I would like to see a more vegan-heavy menu, as vegetarians can eat vegan food anyway of course, or perhaps some vegan pastries. Saying that, the breakfast I had there was delicious, and I was happy to have a choice of options.
I was very impressed by The Beehive’s own app, which allows you to see what’s going on that week (Movie Mondays and Wine Thursdays anyone?), view top tips on where to go in Rome for food and sightseeing, find directions to the hotel and see what amenities are nearby. It’s also fantastic to see that Linda and Steve have taken the time to develop their own recommended tourist walking routes, so you can pick your route for the day and see some of the many fabulous things Rome has to offer without getting lost!
The Beehive is an ideal place to visit if you are travelling within a budget, or are simply looking for a laid-back environment that fits in with your eco-friendly and sustainable ideals. There are a range of rooms available and you can see the different things included in each type below (image taken from The Beehive website).
For more information about The Beehive and to book a room for your own Roman adventure, click here.