A five-minute walk from Termini station, the hotel stands on what, since its inauguration, has become a traffic-clogged road in an area colonised by offices, ministries and budget hotels. But there are some pretty impressive sights close by – the Baths of Diocletian, the magnificent ancient collection in the Museo Massimo alle Terme – and it’s a quick hop down into more picturesque parts of town.
Many of the richly decorated bedrooms and suites are frescoed, and all have lashings of marble in their bathrooms. At around 35 square metres, even the starter-level superior doubles are large by Italian standards. I’m a big fan of the opulent Junior Suites, but the Imperial rooms are pretty classy too; both come complete with 24-hour butler service. If you want to push the boat out, the hotel’s four special suites include the Bottega Veneta suite, styled by the Italian fashion house’s creative director Tomas Maier and inaugurated in 2007.
Massive burnished mirrors adorn the walls of the opulent receptions room downstairs, and the ballroom needs to be seen to be believed. I come here every year in July for the press conference to announce the line-up of the Venice film festival, and during dull passages am very grateful for the distraction of all those mirrors, chandeliers and ceiling paintings. If you’re a celebrity or head of state, you get to use the hotel’s private ‘diplomatic entrance’. There’s an array of meeting rooms for business events.
Eating and drinking
The St Regis is up there with the [node:167046], the [node:119858] and the [node:164357] as Rome’s best hotel for eating and drinking. Vivendo, its elegant ground-floor restaurant, attracts Roman foodies keen to sample chef Francesco Donatelli’s elaborate modern-Mediterranean cuisine (if you want to try it, make sure you book at least a day in advance). And the barmen at the splendidly theatrical Le Grand Bar do some of Rome’s most perfect cocktails. Breakfast is a huge spread – but unless you get a package that includes it, it’s a pricey extra.
Asian-inflected KamiSpa on the fifth floor is open from 10am to 10pm for massages and beauty treatments, and there’s also a fully-equipped fitness centre, open 7am-10pm.
Very old-school, but of an international level (not always to be taken for granted in Rome). Imperial rooms and above come with a personal butler.
Who stays there
With 161 rooms (including suites), the St Regis is an accommodating luxury church, taking in everyone from ambassadors and film stars to ordinary mortals enjoying a palatial night or two on their Starwood points. The business and conference trade is another big player here.
- Business Centre
- Fitness Centre
- High-Speed Internet
- Pets Allowed
- Room Service
- Swimming Pool
- Business travellers
- Culture vultures
- Mature travellers
- Special occasions
Pros & Cons
- Sumptuous bedrooms
- Good eating and drinking options
- They don’t make Grand Hotels like this any more
- The surrounding area is rather characterless
- Breakfast is an expensive extra