If you want to be in the centre, it’s not. The only way they get to have all the space and gardens they do is by being some distance from the centro storico, on the Monte Mario hill to the north-west, overlooking the Vatican. But there’s a free shuttle service (except for Sundays and public holidays) that takes you into central Piazza Barberini every hour on the half-hour between 8.30am and 7.30pm (journey time 30 minutes; return journey every hour on the hour between 9am and 8pm). And the best thing about being up here – I’ll say it again – are the breathtaking views over the city.
Each of the Cavalieri’s generously sized bedrooms has a private balcony and is replete with polished wood furniture and fittings, while bathrooms have lashings of travertine marble. Rooms and suites on the seventh and eighth Imperial Club floors come with a dedicated express lift and a luxurious communal living space with complimentary all-day bar and buffet. The 246-square-metre Petronius suite is furnished with stunning 18th-century antiques; the Penthouse suite – a ‘mere’ 200 square metres – has the same area again of private roof terrace, complete with whirlpool bath and view across to the dome of St Peter’s.
There are lounges and libraries, ballrooms, shops and piano bars. The owner is one of the world’s leading private art collectors, and his collection adorns the walls of spaces like the Tiepolo Lounge, where Afternoon Tea is served. The hotel also has a large number of meeting rooms and a congress centre hall – the Sala dei Cavalieri – that can accommodate up to 2100 people.
Eating and drinking
The hotel’s flagship restaurant, [node:168208], is way up in the starry echelons of gastronomic excellence, with prices to match. I’ve eaten here three times now, and each has been more memorable than the last. You may find the service a little too attentive, but that’s better than not enough; and Heinz Beck’s light, seasonal, inventive and technically perfect cuisine – predominantly Italian, despite his German origins – is a revelation. Note that if you are set on eating here, you should try to book at least two weeks in advance. They do their best to fit in hotel guests, but the restaurant has a large outside clientele. If your wallet or waistline aren’t up to the challenge, there’s a more modest but still perfectly good poolside restaurant, L’Uliveto, and a summer Chalet Grill in the garden. You can also order light lunches at the Tiepolo Lounge and Terrace.
The Cavalieri Grand Spa Club is huge and offers a dizzying range of massages and beauty treatments; there’s also a vast gym, which is always full of globetrotting business types working out.
As attentive and professional as you would expect in an establishment of this level.
Who stays there
You don’t get many backpackers, but otherwise the clientele is as varied as they come, from business travellers to high-end tourists. It’s popular with families too; there’s a children’s pool, and kids are well looked after with special menus, colouring books and in-house babysitting facilities.
Advance booking and special offer rates can start at a low rate for a King Deluxe – which at 50 square metres is twice the size of starter-level rooms in many other Roman hotels.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Families with younger children
Pros & Cons
- A huge range of leisure facilities, from spa to gym to large outside pool
- One of Italy’s top restaurants
- Child-friendly services like special menus
- Unmatched views over Rome
- Internet access is expensive
- It’s quite a way from the centre
- There are times when the number of conference delegates can be distracting for individual leisure travellers