Five Upscale Hotels for the Select Traveler to Rome
Aptly named the Eternal City in honor of its ancient heritage, Rome never ceases to enchant. To help make your stay even more memorable, here is our choice of character-filled luxury properties to pamper mind and body on your next visit.
Hotel de Russie (www.roccofortehotels.com/hotels-and-resorts/hotel-de-russie/) | Nudging Piazza del Popolo and a leisurely 10-minute stroll from the Spanish Steps, this historic 5-star property’s previous lives included a noble mansion and the nerve center of Italy’s television and radio operations.
Following comprehensive interior refurbishment by architect Tommaso Ziffer and Rocco Forte Collection designer, Olga Polizzi, Sir Rocco Forte’s sister, it is now part of the Rocco Forte Collection of 13 hotels and resorts. Hotel de Russie now comprises 121 rooms including 33 suites of which four are signature, with a new one to be opened later this year. The refurbished restaurant ‘Le Jardin de Russie’ serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and opens through French doors into an outstanding interior garden, a vertical visual treat of palm and yew trees, orange groves and rose bushes rising high up a slope to the Pincian Hill and extensive Villa Borghese gardens behind it. Furnishings are a mix of classic and modern, marble and bronze busts, mirrors with seashell ornamentation and century-old paintings. Leisure facilities at Hotel de Russie include a spa with six treatment rooms and a fully-equipped gym.
Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria (Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria) | A sumptuous, marble-floored lobby embraces many of the exquisite items from this hotel’s impressive collection of around 1,000 artistic artifacts, making it seem like an alternative Villa Borghese.
Among the 17th and 18th century paintings are a triptych by Giambattista Tiepolo, as well as works by Abraham Brueghel and Giuseppe Bazzani; giant wall Beauvais tapestries from 1725 featuring historic Chinese themes; ornate sculptures; statues holding glittering candelabra aloft; and antique timepieces such as a gorgeous gold-leaf and lacquered wooden grandfather clock.
The 370-room and suite Rome Cavalieri, a member of the 30-strong Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts group, is located atop the hill of Monte Mario off Via Francigena, a former pilgrim’s route from Canterbury in England. Set in a 15-acre private park, five kilometers from downtown Rome, it hosts two restaurants: L’Uliveto, where breakfast and dinner are served, with views to an outdoor swimming pool; and roof-top terrace, La Pergola, under the direction of chef Heinz Beck, which places the hotel in the unique position of being the only one in Italy to boast a Michelin-rated three-star restaurant.
Guests staying in suites here enjoy access to the Imperial Club, offering VIP check-in, complimentary breakfast, afternoon tea and all-day drinks.
Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa (Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa) | Elegant Baroque-style interiors, impressive artwork, antique furnishings, fabric brocades, gilded stuccowork, marble floors and luxurious fabrics welcome guests at Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa.
You can indulge in the Royal suite, the largest hotel suite in Rome, offering 4,000 square feet of space, complete with Jacuzzi, steam room and a private gym, first constructed for American actor-director Woody Allen when he was filming ‘To Rome With Love.’
Located in the quiet, upmarket neighborhood of Parioli inhabited by impressive 17th and 18th century mansions, many of them transformed into embassies, this hotel comprises 179 rooms and suites, many overlooking the verdant gardens of the Villa Borghese. Its 20,000 square feet ‘Prince Spa’ is a three-level complex of Turkish baths, Jacuzzi, 25-meter indoor pool and treatment and workout rooms, making it Rome’s second-largest spa and gym.
‘Pauline Borghese Gourmet Restaurant,’ named after the sister of Napoleon Bonaparte is designed as an 18th century salon with a bright ambience in uplifting colors of yellow and gold and offers traditional and modern Italian menu delights.
Grand Hotel Via Veneto | With Villa Borghese as a backdrop, this 5-star, 116-room property offers some of the ambience once enjoyed by celebrities of the 1950s such as Audrey Hepburn, Gary Cooper, Liz Taylor, Orson Welles and Ava Gardner.
Opened about ten years ago, renovation of the hotel meant combining two 19th century buildings. Decor here is Italian ‘30s art deco glamorous, reminiscent of Frederico Fellini’s classic movie ‘La Dolce Vita,’ with heavily lacquered mahogany woods in shades of brown, some with black borders, and complex grains vividly highlighted.
‘Time Restaurant Wine Bar’ serves Italian specialties and ‘Magnolia’ restaurant under the guidance of Michelin-star chef Franco Madama entices with more refined options. Leisure facilities are also rewarding at Grand Hotel Via Veneto, the highlight being its impressive, 500 sqm Aqva Spa, composed of glittering polychromous marble. One of the largest spas in the historic city center, it comprises treatment rooms, a sauna, Jacuzzi, hammam and an invigorating salted-water Vitality Pool.
Palazzo Manfredi | Few hotels in Rome are so steeped in ancient history as this boutique property overlooking the world’s most famous arena, the Colosseum, as well as Ludus Magnus, a former gladiator training school.
The hotel site is actually linked by a secret underground passage through which gladiators once entered the Colosseum, ready to do battle. Remains of the ancient site can be viewed in the hotel’s basement.
A member of Relais & Chateaux, the hotel began life in the early 17th century and after major renovations taking place in 2009 is now part of the Manfredi Fine Hotel Collection, a group owned by Counts Goffredo and Leonardo Manfredi.
The 36-room hotel’s pride and joy is its rooftop ‘Aroma’ restaurant which received its first Michelin star in November 2014 under chef Giuseppe Di Iorio and grants up-close views over the Colosseum from behind floor-to-ceiling windows. No better place to enjoy a leisurely dinner or sip a cocktail or two and philosophize about life.
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