The Beehive Hostel Review Contents:
I think that if Dr. Seuss were writing from his experiences today he would have uttered the words, “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened“ just after checking out of The Beehive Hostel in Rome.
I have been lucky enough to meet Linda & Steve, the owners of the beautiful Beehive, a couple of times each over the last two years and each time I would fall in love with their descriptions of their environmentally friendly hostel. And a little bit more with them too…
There are people you meet on your travels who grab your heart briefly, and just as swiftly you both move on with your own lives. Glad that it happened but being realistic that it was a once and only moment.
Not with these two. Not just because they have a lovely hostel. But because they are kind people with a beautiful family (Steve has not one but four ladies in his life, when you count their three beautiful daughters!).
So now that I have introduced you to the people who dreamt and then built The Beehive, it’s time to show you a little insight into why I think Dr. Seuss would have smiled because it happened…
The Beehive Hostel, Rome
Rome is kind of hectic. Especially if, like me, you are making your very first solo trip to Italy.
Even if I know how to say thank you (grazie), I failed spectacularly at pronouncing it correctly. And despite coming from a land without street blocks (i.e. England – where we have streets with dead ends, and streets that never seem to end and were constructed in an ‘S’ shape) I spent the first four days getting fantastically lost.
Which is where The Beehive Hostel comes in…
The basement lounge and café offer tranquility in the heart of a city that is otherwise not so tranquil.
Soft white lighting, reflected from what seem like hundreds of Steve’s portraits, combine with whatever mellow radio station has been chosen by reception to shape a city haven, rather than a hostel.
Stocked with a traveller’s library, a very cosy sofa, high stools and tables, a free-to-use guest iPad and desk, plus tea, coffee, beer and wine available all day long – the lounge at The Beehive has been perfectly constructed to give guests space to be communal and calm.
Much of the inspiration for such a tranquil atmosphere seems to have come from Linda & Steve’s two years living in Bali with their daughters…
But whilst their time spent in Bali has influenced the calm and socially responsible atmosphere at The Beehive, it has also influenced the design of the beautiful oasis garden out front.
I love this space! Even on the rainy days I was there, the garden bloomed as soon as the sun shone through the canopy of the trees.
It was an incredible contrast to feel surrounded by nature whilst you could still hear the car horns of the crazy Italian drivers just on the other side of the wall.
One of my favourite decorative items in the garden was the family of bamboo sticks – each inscribed with the names of friends who donated to a crowd funding campaign to bring some Bali furnishings back to Italy for the hostel:
I was going to include this in the ‘Atmosphere’ section but then I realised that the concept of The Beehive Café really needs it’s own moment in the spotlight!
An intimate, yet social dining space, The Beehive Café offers home-cooked breakfast every morning from 7:30-10:30. It should be noted that this won’t be your ordinary home-cooked buffet breakfast.
Instead, you choose your meal of choice from the breakfast menu on the blackboard (or take a look here) and the grinning Mario will get to work preparing the dish and serving it up!
For those who prefer a cold breakfast, cereals and muesli are also on offer with either fresh or soy milk…
Which reminds me, The Beehive Hostel Café caters to vegetarians and vegans more than any other hostel I’ve stayed at! And I’m not excited because I’m vegetarian; I’m not.
I’m excited for those of you that are and struggle to find great vegetarian menus whilst on the road.
And whether you eat meat or not this French Toast was absolutely delicious…
And of course, a café wouldn’t be a café without coffee.
As something of a coffee addict, I can tell you now that I couldn’t have started any day in Rome without Mario’s Americano. And for those of you that are ready to do as the Roman’s do – he makes a badass espresso too.
For more great tips on drinking coffee in Italy – check out this guide from Walks of Italy.
And if you’re lucky you will get to stay on a night when The Beehive hosts one of their fantastic guest chefs, menus from whom I’ve seen on Facebook over the years and always look delicious! Some nights they even host cooking classes and I’m definitely going to try and include this in my next Roman itinerary!
Before I can begin to tell you about The Beehive staff, you need to know something. The Beehive was opened on May 11, 1999 and some of their staff members have been with them since then.
In a world where hostels seem to run on volunteers rather than consistency and loyalty, you can already imagine how the longevity of the staff benefits the atmosphere of the hostel.
So meet Yuli.
During my stay I also had the pleasure of meeting receptionist Francesca, who was so friendly! But for the majority it was Yuli behind the desk running the day-to-day hostel life and basically helping me not get lost as soon as I set my foot out the door.
(P.s. For times when you are away from the hostel and away from staff recommendations, The Beehive have a fantastic app & guide that I used throughout my time in Rome to get around and find great restaurants, bars and cafés in the city! Click here to find out more and download it!)
Sweet and kind (she also has the most amazing smile!), if you have any questions or nerves about the city you can definitely approach Yuli to help you out! And Francesca for that matter!
Basically, the reception staff at The Beehive rock. Including Steve!
And then there’s Mario the chef.
Another staff member with a great smile, Mario was such a pleasure to be with in the mornings.
Not only was his food great (I also tried his scrambled eggs which were just as good as the French Toast!), but Mario will chat with you when you’re the only one in the café, or let you be if he can see you’re making great friends with another guest over your morning coffee.
You may have guessed from the name, but The Beehive Ho[s]tel is both hostel and hotel, with room and en-suite options to suite every style of traveller.
Solo travellers on a budget have the option of taking a bunk in their spotlessly clean 8-bed dorm room, known as ‘The Hive’, where price per night starts at just 25 EUR! This is a bargain for their location, which I’lll fill you in on next.
In the same building as ‘The Hive’ you also have the option of the ‘Classic Rooms’, all of which share equally clean showers and toilet facilities with free soap and shampoo.
Price per night for the ‘Classic Rooms’ begin at 70 EUR and I can tell you from experience that these rooms contain the most comfortable beds and linen!
I had two thoughts when I walked in to my room for the first time. Do Linda & Steve offer monthly rental, and how much would that cost?
Because I could live here…
Extra facilities in the ‘Classic Rooms’ include a hairdryer, a safe, a wardrobe with hangers, a set of drawers, a chair and a beauty basin delicately decorated with mosaic!
With a large window that looked out over the beautiful garden I described above, and more than enough room to move around in, my room at The Beehive Hostel couldn’t have complimented the tranquil atmosphere of the hostel and made it feel anymore like a retreat from the madness of long-term travel!
Getting from Rome Fiumicino Airport to The Beehive Hostel couldn’t have been easier than a train ride.
I mean it was literally just one train ride. To Termini Station, one of Rome’s central stations and the closest to The Beehive.
From Fiumicino Airport departures, follow the signs for the train station and you will find that all the ticket machines at the station have an option to run in English.
Tickets to Termini cost 14 EUR and the express train takes half an hour. Once you arrive at Termini, the hostel is just a two minute walk North-East from the station along Via Marghera.
But don’t just take my word for how easy it is. When she was just 11 years old, Linda & Steve’s eldest daughter Giulia filmed the return journey for The Beehive guests to use as guidance! Just press play below:
As I mentioned before, dorm beds at The Beehive Hostel start from 25 EUR, whilst private rooms start from 70 EUR. Both these room types are located in the main hostel building, but if you don’t mind sleeping just around the corner you can get a private room with a shared guest kitchen from 60 EUR.
When you take in the incredible location of The Beehive, plus it’s dedicated and friendly full-time staff and owners, plus it’s commitment to the environment and local social issues, I really couldn’t think why anyone wouldn’t want to spend their money here for a calm base within the city of Rome.
Save 5% off your own Winter In Rome!
The Beehive Hostel are offering a 5% discount off their already budget-friendly rates for readers of this blog who want to stay between November and February!*
All you have to do is use the code: HostelGirlWinterinRome
*not including New Year’s Eve/Day
Final notes on The Beehive Hostel
I’ve mentioned a few times that Linda & Steve have a strong sense of commitment to their local environment and to Rome. This first became obvious when coverage of their annual blogger weekend began to be published under the hashtag: #WinterInRome.
Here’s what I got up to when I took part in Winter in Rome 2017: Highlights of My Winter in Rome with The Beehive !
During this campaign, The Beehive invites bloggers to experience their Rome. And not surprisingly – the bloggers seemed to love it too! Read previous coverage here:
- Discover Rome in Winter – Ciao Tutti
- 5 Tips for Visiting Rome in Winter – Travels Of Adam
- Winter in Rome? Yes, please! – Too Much Tuscany
- Rome for Foodies: Discover the Real Roman Food – Too Much Tuscany
- Weekend in Rome, Explore Eternal City in Unusual Way – Stai Al Borgo
As soon as I arrived, I had the same experience! Watch the space below to see what I got up to during my time at The Beehive:
- Italian Food & Wine Journey with Eating Italy Food Tours
- Taste of Testaccio Walking Tour with Eating Italy Food Tours
- Sistine Chapel & Vatican Museums: The Essential Experience with Through Eternity Tours
But it’s not just bloggers and Rome that Linda & Steve are keen to support. They are currently working on a new property (Now open! Read about my stay at Hotel Urbe here!) for which they have hired refugees from a local refugee artisan group living in Rome – offering them work and a purpose when few others will.
Under the guidance of professional designer, TV presenter and long-term Beehive friend Barbara Gulienetti, refugees from the Joel Nafuma Refugee Center (JNRC) are repurposing the fittings and furnishings of a hotel, rather than throw anything out.
With Barbara’s help the refugees have made new friends and learnt new skills, working on transforming something classic to something beautiful.
The awesome @barbaragulienetti in action! Barbara has been working her magic to transform a small 8 room hotel that we have taken over. I can’t wait to show it to you when all is finished. #diy #renovations #makeover #thebeehiverome #barbaragulienetti #hostel #hostellife #rome
A photo posted by Linda Martinez (@thebeehiverome) on
And I think that is where I should finally stop talking, give you a moment to read what has turned out to be an epically long hostel review, and give you one final thought before you decide whether or not The Beehive should be your home in Rome:
This isn’t a party hostel, and it’s not a place to go wild just because you are on a gap year from your parents. It’s a place to have long thoughtful conversations, understand different cultures, learn about people who lead different lives and ultimately, enjoy your time in Rome from the comforts of a home away from home.
And I miss it dearly. Let’s hope it’s not another two years before I return!
The Beehive… I hope to see you soon!
I would like to thank The Beehive Hostel for organising my stay with them, but as always opinions are honest and entirely my own.
Lots of love,