Housed in an apricot-pink 19th-century palazzo near the top end of Via Veneto, the hotel is well placed for visits to the Villa Borghese park and [node:168821], but also handy for the [node:169860] and the fashion shopping streets beyond. There are dozens of upscale bars and restaurants nearby.
Even the smallest doubles are large at 28 square metres, and all are attractively done out in warm earth tones, enlivened with bold stripes, huge black and white photos of Roman scenes, and specially-designed Deco-style furnishings in palisander and mahogany. Bathrooms are covered in lashings of Carrara marble. I really like the roomy corner suites such as 404, with its double views across Via Veneto and a quieter side street. The huge rooftop Royal Suite is perfect for those of you travelling with your entourage and bodyguards.
From the hall with its skylight illumination to the intimate ‘De Chirico’ reading room, everything is molto elegante – and the Picassos and Miros you see on the wall are originals.
Eating and drinking
The hotel’s contempo-classic Magnolia restaurant offers a big breakfast spread and an Italian and international menu for lunch and dinner. But I was more taken by the more informal ‘Time’ seafood café and winebar, which is open to the street and attracts a good deal of local custom, especially at lunchtime. Oysters, caviar and Russian Balik salmon are their specialities – but there are plenty of more democratic options, from Club sandwiches to gourmet cheeseburgers.
An elegantly minimalist spa and fitness centre had yet to open at the time of writing: watch this space. The rooftop solarium, with hydromassage tub, is a great place to work on your tan in the heart of the city.
Maybe it’s because it’s still new and the staff’s enthusiasm hasn’t worn off yet, but I found the level of service to be excellent, from the top-hatted doorman to the knowledgeable concierge.
Who stays there
Roger Federer was one of the hotel’s first guests, and it looks set to catch more celebrities with its combination of opulence, central location and easy road access. So far, guests tend to be evenly balanced between leisure and business travellers – the latter catered to by a small business centre and a pair of hi-tech meeting rooms.
Breakfast, though excellent, is a pricey extra at 40 euros a head: if you want to avoid this, there are plenty of cafés on the Via Veneto where you can get a perfectly good breakfast of croissants, cappuccino and orange juice for a fraction of this price.
- Business Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Helpful and courteous service
- It’s smart, young and keen in a city dominated by tired grande dame hotels
- The Art Deco design packs a real wow! factor
- It still has a secret, insider buzz
- Pricey breakfast not included in room rate
- As an independent, it doesn’t offer loyalty scheme reductions