Review: Hotel de la Ville, Rome, Italy
Hotel de la Ville is a luxurious five-star hotel that offers guests elegance and escapism. Part of the family-owned Rocco Forte Hotels, walking through the doors of this impressive 18th century Roman palazzo is like stepping back in time. Design stalwart Tommaso Ziffer is behind the hotel’s transformation, following his appointment by Olga Polizzi, Sir Rocco Forte’s sister and director of design at Rocco Forte Hotels.
Reimagining a Grand Tour theme that blends classical Roman touches with modern design twists, Ziffer wanted to celebrate the journeys made by wealthy young Italians in the 18thcentury – and he’s done a great job. Expect to see Renaissance-inspired busts and statues dotted around the hotel, object d’art, opulent over-the-top communal spaces and digital prints of landscapes, people and micro-mosaic jewellery on the walls, a typical souvenir brought home by Grand Tourists.
In terms of location, the hotel couldn’t be better placed to explore Rome. Boasting an enviable location at the top of Rome’s Spanish Steps, the super chic Via dei Condotti is minutes away and is lined with exclusive boutiques and luxury fashion brands for guests in search of high fashion. The Trevi Fountain and Piazza Navona are a 15-minute walk from the hotel. After dark the Spanish Steps come alive with crowds converging to get the perfect shot against one of Rome’s most romantic backdrops.
Most of the bedrooms have street views of Via Sistina or views of the hotel’s inner courtyard, which really comes into its own in the summer months. Some of the 104 bedrooms have rooftop views of the city, check which ones when booking. Beyond the red embossed leather doors guest bedrooms are tranquil and well appointed with opulent textiles, bold artwork, heavy curtains, smart TVs and some of the softest sheets I’ve ever slept on. The bedroom design of my Deluxe room aligned perfectly with the rest of the hotel and the marble bathrooms – some with separate bath tubs and double wash basins – have walk-in rainfall showers, luxurious bathrobes and Irene Forte Skincare products, a nod to the creator of the hotel’s in-house spa.
The Irene Forte Spa is an oasis of peace and tranquillity where guests can enjoy indulgent treatments and therapies, a sauna and steam room, salt room, a small pool that’s more suited to relaxing than swimming, Kneipp foot baths, a relaxation area with infrared loungers and a state-of-the-art Technogym and fitness studio.
Foodies are well catered for here. Breakfast is served in the spacious Mosaico restaurant; in the warmer months guests can eat outside in the Roman courtyard with its candy-striped parasols and terracotta-coloured surroundings. There’s a generous buffet breakfast on offer with all the usual items and guests can also order a la carte. But take note, portions are huge. If the hotel wanted to reduce food waste, this would be a good place to start. Staff are attentive and friendly and genuinely seem to care about their guests.
Street side restaurant Da Sistina is modeled on a traditional Roman trattoria and serves classic Roman dishes with a modern twist. Chef Fulvio Pierangelini uses Roman ingredients sourced from local producers to take diners on a gastronomic journey. Whilst the service and food is excellent – I ate the off-menu prized white truffle pasta amongst other dishes, which was absolutely delicious – the restaurant lacked a little atmosphere and I think it would be better placed in a different part of the hotel.
The Julep Herbal & Vermouth Bar and connecting lounge area is dressed with luxurious velvets, ornate wallpaper and palatial furnishings or there’s the small but perfectly formed Cielo Bar on the top floor of the hotel where guests can enjoy panoramic views of the city and freshly prepared cocktails curated by the hotel’s creative mixologists. The bar was closed when I stayed but I can imagine sipping a cocktail up there watching the sun go down on the Eternal City.
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Thank you to PRCO for hosting my two-night press stay and TTG Luxury for the commission.