|The Sky Bar & Grill is a spot for sunbathing or grabbing a quick nosh.|
In homage to La Dolce Vita, another five-star hotel has opened on Rome’s celestial Via Veneto, where a constellation of grande dames lines the road between Piazza Barberini and Porta Pinciana. Carlo Acampora’s Grand Hotel Via Veneto is the Art Deco result of 10 years of reconstruction and permit-gathering, which, in Rome, can be an “eternal” process. The hotel opened on Rome’s 2,762nd birthday in April, 2009; the AQVA Spa (using the fashionable old Latin V) was opened in time for the city’s 2,764th, in April 2011.
The GHVV monogram marks amenities equal to the grande dames, but where it really shines is in its intimate public spaces, designed to invite guests to use the comfortable lobby sitting areas as an extension of their own rooms, rather than a no man’s land to pass through on the way upstairs. This atmosphere reminds us of Milan’s Bulgari Hotel, where guests hang out in the lobby, and, in fact, Bulgari products are the signature amenities in the Grand Hotel Via Veneto’s rooms and spa.
Tip: Since this hotel opened in 2009, there have been stories of cab drivers taking guests to the venerable Grand Hotel St. Regis, rather than the newer Grand Hotel Via Veneto. Here’s what you need to know: In the Italian vernacular, the term “grand hotel” means a type of hotel property, (for example, another type would be “boutique hotel”), rather than the name of a property. There are about eight hotels in central Rome that designate themselves “Grand Hotel.” Guests should refer to the Grand Hotel Via Veneto by its full name and have the address handy, as there are also other properties that include the street name, Via Veneto.
|A Corner Suite booking comes with a complimentary transfer from the airport.|
GHVV is actually two elegant 19th-century villas joined together, resulting in 122 rooms, two ristoranti and the new spa, AQVA. Art Deco is the theme and if there is any marble left on the hillsides of Carrara, we’d be surprised. Softening the hard surfaces of the chrome sconces and marble are taupe fabric-padded walls in the bedrooms, fine wood-paneling in the bathrooms and the curving woods of Deco tables and cabinets.
Though Italy recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of becoming a republic, it’s the Royal Suite that’s the best at GHVV and kings of countries, industries and movies have already stayed there, as well as some heavy hitters visiting the nearby American Embassy. The 5,400-square-foot suite has two bedrooms, living room, dining room and two-and-a-half bathrooms, all accented with chrome fixtures, along with Morano chandeliers and Baccarat vases, and original art on the walls. The 2,200-square-foot terrace can be combined with the adjacent Jacuzzi for a private relaxing space.
The Presidential Suite is smaller, but with décor on par with the Royal Suite. There are two large bathrooms and the suite can be enlarged by including an adjoining Junior Suite. Like all the rooms, there are spacious closets, plenty of places to sit and relax and large wall-mounted flat-screens for TV or Internet.
Junior Suite No. 307 is an open suite overlooking Via Veneto, with two large windows from which to survey the scene. The room has a king-sized bed at one end, a sitting area at the other and a round table for working and dining in the middle. The marbled bathroom comes with a long, deep bathtub with separate controls for the shower. There’s a walk-in closet with room for suitcases, as well as shopping bags.
The Deluxe rooms, such as No. 306, are nice-sized spaces for Rome and are decorated in the same high-quality, soothing neutrals and many can be joined for families.
|A Treatment Room At Aqva, which includes a marble Hammam and vitality pool.|
There is an array of room and suite types and rates, so ask Marketing Manager Claudia Montresor (firstname.lastname@example.org; 011-39-648-7881) if you prefer a traditional closed Junior Suite or a certain configuration of rooms. Marketing Executive Licia del Greco is ready to assist with special plans or requests. Note: Since the property is the combination of two old villas, all the rooms are different in some way.
A fabulous massage banished the jet lag during our visit to AQVA. Guests may also opt for chromotherapy, and there are six treatment rooms, plus a Vichy shower, Hamman and a saltwater Vitality pool. At the moment, the spa is open only to hotel guests and will accept only six in the serene lounge at one time. Contact Patrizia Maione (011-39-648-7881, ext. 710), spa coordinator, to set up special appointments, such as a couples’ massage. The spa uses a variety of products, include Bulgari Skin Care Treatment and ES, an Italian line for men and women.
The rooftop of the GHVV is private and has a relaxing ambiance. There, guests may either sun in private or move to the other side for drinks and nibbles. The rooftop is a great place for a private party—Gucci and Novartis have sojourned here, as well as the 700 Roman guests who attended the opening of AQVA recently.
The hotel’s seafood restaurant, Time, has already become a favored spot for Italian businesspeople and politicians, who come for the fresh oysters and the adjacent bar. Magnolia, the hotel’s keystone restaurant, will open by summer and have a street entrance leading into it through a dramatic atrium. The restaurant is a series of small dining rooms, painted white and hung with original art.