The Spanish Steps in Piazza di Spagna in Rome. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
By Alexander Brey
What do you look for in a luxury hotel? Location is important, along with value for money. It is not the cost which matters, but whether you feel you got what you paid for. Chandeliers in the foyer and original wall art not may not be enough to enhance your vacation, but thoughtful additional services, a comfortable room which is sound-proofed, drinks and snacks immediately to hand and an unpacking and pressing service may be exactly what you are looking for. Rome has hundreds of hotels, from budget B&Bs to well located business hotels. We help you narrow down the choice, and spell out exactly the pros and cons of 5 of the most popular luxury hotels in the Eternal City.
Il Palazzetto, International Wine Academy of Rome
If location is important, Il Palazzetto wins, hands down. It is right inside the famous International Wine Academy, close to the Spanish Steps and within easy reach of all the main attractions of Rome - if you can tear yourself away from your room, that is. This luxury boutique accommodation offers just 4 deluxe rooms in this 16th century palazzetto. Once the home of an aristocratic family it has the intimacy of the home of a friend with a roaring log fire in the library during the winter, luxury linens in the sumptuous Astrid Wirth designed bedrooms and a mini-bar packed with fine wines. Enroll on a wine course or join a private wine tour before dining in the Michelin starred restaurant, one of the best in Rome. The only downside is that the Spa and restaurant are both located at the nearby sister Hotel Hassler, but it is a small price to pay to stay in this unique setting.
This delightful boutique luxury hotel in Rome's Via Sistina is the creation of owner Jenifer Foneris-Howard, daughter of famous textile designer Luiano Forneris, and her husband Count Masimiliano Leonardi di Casalino. This posh hideaway is frequently featured on the pages of glossy magazines and exudes luxury and comfort at every step. The finest fabrics and furnishings are enhanced by the unique collectibles scattered around the Casa. Prestigious gifts exclusively packaged for this luxury hotel include home-pressed olive oil from Tuscany and custom-designed shopping bags. If you book the Chinese room you get your own steam bath sunk in the floor. Less acceptable may be the rooms that lack en-suite facilities. Reasonably priced, the Casa Howard has a unique pricing policy. You pay a dollar less each time you return to the hotel!
For those who want to be treated like royalty, the Bernini Bristol is the place for you. The guest book boasts such names as Catherine the Great, Frederick II of Prussia, the Princess of Wales and Queen Elizabeth II as well as world-renowned guests from the business and diplomatic world. This luxury hotel is named after the world famous artist, Bernini, who in 1642 sculpted the magnificent Triton Fountain which stands right outside the hotel. The Bernini Bristol has the highest viewpoint in Rome which can be enjoyed from the L'Olimpo rooftop restaurant or the Terrace, for those not fortunate enough to be enjoying a private suite.
Hotel Capo d'Africa
An unusual name for a luxury hotel which is closer to the Colosseum than the Cape of Africa, but this luxury Rome hotel does offer an unpretentious style from its Art Deco lobby to the bohemian guestrooms. Quirky features include a potted cactus and animal print accents in the well appointed rooms. Younger guests get special treatment with a welcome gift, kiddie-size bathrobes and bedtime milk and cookies. Older guests can enjoy a nightcap beneath the stars at the rooftop terrace restaurant.
Westin Excelsior Rome
There is no such thing as an ordinary room at this opulent luxury hotel in Rome's Via Veneto. Rooms are exquisitely decorated and lavishly furnished, making this truly one of the leading hotels of the world. Close to the Spanish Steps and the Piazza di Spagna, it is also conveniently close to the business and banking district of Rome. With several conference rooms and fully tech'd for business, it is a favourite for those with a generous business expense account. Named on the Condé Nast Traveler Gold List 2008, the Excelsior's Villa Cupola Suite is the largest luxury hotel suite in Europe.
Alex Brey co-founded Luxique, and has had a passion for travel for more than 20 years. So much so, he convinced others to join him in his pursuit to create a travel documentary highlighting some of the globe's finest destinations. During an almost three year process, he got to stay in some outstanding luxury hotels, soak up some vibrant cultures and enjoy some of the world's finest cuisines. He realized that the decision-making process for planning the perfect trip - from choosing the destination to getting the right hotel room - was something that could be improved. And so came the birth of Luxique, the website that caters for the discerning traveler.
More information available at Luxique
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