The next time Rome calls you, be it for business or pleasure, make sure to check in and check out Rome Cavalieri, a one-of-a-kind, five-star resort that opened its doors in 1963.
The resort’s exterior may not be as easy on the eye as some of the architectural and historic gems of the Eternal City – however, as our limousine glided towards the grand front entrance, all I needed to do was remind myself not to judge a book by its cover.
As we checked in, I was pleasantly reassured that Lamborghini were also in residence, hosting a glamour overload event at the resort that evening.
Rome Cavalieri, part of the prestigious Waldorf Astoria Group, is nestled in 15 acres of lush Mediterranean park, sitting on the peak of Monte Mario, known locally as the heart of Rome.
From this extraordinary vantage point, two millennia of history sits at your feet.
The rarity of this view is beyond compare as your eyes and brain grapple to make sense of the key antiquities that sit stretched out before you like some ancient miniature land from Gulliver’s travels. Yet this view belies the fact that Vatican City is a mere 10-minute trip down the hill, and the centre of historic Rome a short 15-minute shuttle ride away.
After a mimosa or two sitting soaking up this magnificent view, we tore ourselves away to explore the rest of the resort to see if it measured up. And in short, the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.
Whilst Rome may be home to some of the most priceless antiquities of all time, Rome Cavalieri boosts a private collection of over 1000 artworks, including three Giovanni Tiepolo masterpieces exhibited around the hotel, as well as other highly-prized paintings, tapestries, sculptures and artefacts.
This is a place where living well meets living art.
And the living well element is also taken great care of in the impressive Cavalieri Grand Spa Club, a luxurious spa and fitness facility, encompassing over 2,500 square metres of pampering, relaxation and wellness space. There are three outdoor pools, a glass domed, indoor pool with cascading waterfall and a hydro pool, not to mention an impressive roman bath complex to ease tired bodies and feet. When in Rome…
Next, the bedrooms. City hotels often have to sacrifice space for location, but not here. Each of the 345 deluxe rooms offer 42 square metres of lavish space, each with a private balcony. Perhaps the city view rooms should come with a warning, as once you feast your eyes on the sight, it’s hard to tear yourself away and enter into the detail of discovering Rome up close and personal.
For those super-special stays, there are 25 exquisite suites offering private terraces, some even with hot tubs and showcasing rare antique paintings and furniture, including Napoleon’s private desk, Karl Lagerfeld sofas, paintings by Andy Warhol, and rare eighteenth-century curiosities.
Rome Cavalieri goes one more level to cherish its suite and imperial club room guests, by offering access to the only executive club in Rome, the Imperial Club. This discreet lounge on the seventh floor offers guests an intimate, peaceful place to enjoy complimentary breakfast and afternoon tea, as well as drinks and canapés. The best mimosas in town are to be had here, watching the sunset over St Peter’s Basilica.
If all that wasn’t sweet enough, the hotel is now offering suite guests the ultimate in bragging rights. The Suite Experiences offer something beyond the ordinary, and a more intimate look at Rome and its rich dolce-vita culture.
How about designing and creating your own pair of Italian shoes, or taking a guided walk in the private gardens of Vatican City, to delve deep into the private life of how centuries of popes have lived within the smallest country in the world. Or perhaps a culinary experience, visiting the very best local markets and tasting over 20 different foods and wines from artisanal gelateria to 30-year-old balsamic vinegar, as well as truffle tasting.
Sadly, our trip didn’t allow for an Italian super car experience, a visit to the rooftop La Pergola (the hotel’s three-star restaurant), or a glimpse of the wine cellars that hosts over 60,000 bottles. But like every good stay, you are often left with a longer list of things to do and see than when you arrived – and all of these are now on my new wanderlist.
Rome Cavalieri is a rare thing in a city that thrives on rarity value. A place that offers historic Italian opulence, elegance and stylish relaxation in bucket loads, but also delivers luxurious hospitality and experiences that are very much aligned to what discerning travellers desire today.
‘Le dolce vita’ is alive and well and resides at Rome Cavalieri. Their strapline is live unforgettably – there is nothing that I will forget about this majestic resort, sitting regally above beautiful Rome.
Via Alberto Cadlolo, 101 – 00136 Rome, Italy
T: +39 06 3509 1