The Hotel de Russie’s 1,075-square-foot Popolo Suite has a large private terrace overlooking the iconic Piazza del Popolo.
The choice for a luxury suite in Rome these days has never been better. We visited some favorites and some new entries and came back knowing that we could check into them all and quite possibly never leave.
The Hotel de Russie, at Via del Babuino 9 near Piazza del Popolo, has updated two of its best luxury accommodations. The Picasso Suite (No. 601) is named after the artist, who stayed there in 1917. We loved the combination of Italian fabrics and furniture in neutrals, Roman antiques and the striking colors of the artist’s designs. The 850-square-foot suite boasts of a light-filled living room, which opens onto a spacious private terrace overlooking the Valadier-designed gardens of Rome. The dining room has a fully stocked bar, along with a library area. The king bedroom allows a guest to wake up to a view of the sky and garden, while the bathroom, done in Italian Calacatta Oro marble, offers both a double shower and a separate tub. There is also a half bath in the suite.
The Popolo Suite overlooks the iconic Piazza del Popolo and is 1,075 square feet of luxury. The spaces are decorated using luxurious silks and velvets made in the papal colors of orange, purple, burnt amber and yellow. The king bedroom has his and hers walk-in wardrobes and a master bath with double shower. The suite has a sitting room, a dining area with a bar, a half bath for guests and a large private terrace to catch the sunset over the piazza.
The menu at the Le Jardin de Russie Restaurant, created by Executive Chef Nazzareno Menghini, has a wide variety of seafood, meat dishes and vegetarian fare. We especially liked the combination of antipasto platter, with foie gras, fiori di zucca, and other nibbles. Hint: The sabayon dessert is memorable.
The de Russie Spa overlooks the hotel’s secret garden and is a complete wellness center with a variety of treatments available, including the Swiss Perfection anti-aging cellular face and body treatments. These very high-end treatments are so popular that clients from the United States, the Middle East and Russia are repeat customers, planning their visits to Rome around their appointments. All therapists have received extensive training in Swiss Perfection, and they suggest booking the treatment three months in advance. Note: You can also book a personal trainer for a private consultation or a jog around the Eternal City. Spa Manager Christine Fessler ([email protected]) and her staff will provide details and set up private appointments.
The concierge staff is on duty 24 hours a day and a recent event showed the magic they can accomplish. Two guests arrived at the de Russie late at night and realized they had left their passports at a rest stop along the freeway. The concierge jumped into action and located the passports hundreds of miles away at an Autogrill. The passports were delivered to the guests by police escort at 2 a.m. The head concierge at Hotel de Russie is Sebastiano Lombardi (slom [email protected]).
The Fendi Private Suites’ Palazzo Suite 2 is spread over 550 square feet and has two large windows to bring in the Roman light.
What can we say about the Fendi Private Suites, other than to emphasize that couture is couture and style is style. Living over a store has never been so sumptuous. Enter through the silvery elevator doors and come out to find Fendi’s innovative design translated into sleek leather sofas, floor-to-ceiling windows and signature room dividers made from woven metallic wire sandwiched between glass. Palazzo Fendi, at Via della Fontanella di Borghese 48, is right at the end of Via Condotti, Rome’s famous shopping street.
General Manager Alberto Moncada ([email protected]; 011-390-697-798-080, or 011-393-487-674-600), is known for the three charming boutique hotels he operates in Rome’s historic center. Moncada brings a wealth of experience and personal contacts to Fendi Private Suites. He says there will soon be a kitchen in the Suites so that guests may be served light snacks and beverages. Guest Relations Manager Elfriede Schallmeiner ([email protected], or [email protected]; 011-393-371-596-477) has been with Fendi for more than a quarter of a century and is a repository of history and information. She is the one to contact for special requests or reservations. E-mail the hotel’s front desk at [email protected], or call 011-390-697-798-080.
The largest of the seven suites, all of which are located on the third floor, is the Corner Suite No. 7. Six windows flood the 650-square-foot suite with light. Wine-velvet chairs and a colorful Fendi fur-wall mosaic provide contrast to the neutral velvets and taupe leather used throughout the suite. Levanto marble lines the walls of the bathrooms in the suites, with distinctive chocolate and cream swirls. There is a deep tub and a double shower. Note: There are bathtubs in five of the seven suites, along with separate showers.
Suites 4 and 5 have adjacent doors and, though separate, can be taken together for a group stay. Suite 4 is about 550 square feet, with two tall windows overlooking Via Tomacelli. The wide-screen TV swivels to face the bedroom or the living room and there is a walk-in wardrobe.
We also visited Palazzo Suite 2, which is 550 square feet and overlooks a small piazza. There are two large windows to bring in the Roman light. This suite can connect with Palazzo Suite 1, which looks out toward the skyline above the Spanish Steps.
We loved Fendi’s use of iPads in the suites to display clever apps for navigating Rome and providing hotel info to guests, who are also offered private tours of Fendi’s amazing new flagship store. Karl Lagerfeld photos of Rome decorate the walls in every suite, providing inspiration for the visit downstairs to see his couture collection for the design house.
The hip Zuma Ristorante shares the Palazzo Fendi, offering hotel guests breakfast, as well as contemporary Japanese cuisine at lunch and dinner. The rooftop terrace at Zuma (011-390-699-266-622; [email protected]) is a favorite spot for sunset cocktails. Schallmeiner and her staff will arrange bookings for guests.
Piazza di Spagna 9 is an haute-style, intimate space above the bustle of Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps, bringing contemporary Italian art and design into a 16th-century building in the center of the city. In fact, not only was the building a former artist’s studio, but it also has a history as a bordello. Owner Stefania Grippo is the savvy designer who opened the boutique hotel in 2014 and she continues to innovate with more suites on the way.
For the moment, there is one junior suite, the Sunrise, which is modern and sleek, reflecting the ever-changing palette of the art displayed in the gallery hotel. The colors are charcoal gray, gold and browns; there is a Juliet balcony overlooking the inner courtyard of the building, so the noise from the Spanish Steps doesn’t drift up to disturb one’s dreams.
Pictured: The 9, a junior suite at Piazza di Spagna, is above the Spanish Steps and has a step-out balcony and lounge area.
Grippo has designed much of the furniture in the hotel, as well as brought in some of Italy’s most creative artists. The lounges and breakfast room are filled with unusual chairs, tables and sofas, some of which are available by special order. The art lining the walls of the public spaces and rooms is changing regularly, creating a new look for returning guests.
The hotel offers a private driver, along with private tours to exclusive palazzi, underground chambers and private gardens. There is a spa room for couples seeking to soak away the ravages of jet lag. Along with a Jacuzzi for two, there is a Hammam and a treatment table. Abraham is the deep tissue massage guru and Jamile is the therapist for the Moroccan Ritual for couples, a favorite of honeymooners.
To book, contact Reservations Manager Viviana Restuccia ([email protected], or [email protected]; 011-390-669-921-458). You could also ask for Courtney or Eileen. Grippo (011-393-358-285-947) is always available for special requests.
Along the Tiber, just steps from the Piazza del Popolo, is the 30-room Palazzo Dama, which opened in December 2015. The elegant neo-classic villa is light, airy and lovely, making one forget for a moment that the world’s craziest taxi drivers are just yards away on the Lungotevere. The hotel sports a rarity in central Rome: a large swimming pool in its adjacent garden.
Pictured: Palazzo Dama is a 30-room neo-classic villa, which opened in December 2015.
The building is owned and was restored by architect Antonio Girardi and was the home of the old and noble Malaspina family for over a century. The public spaces include the L’Autre Dame restaurant lit by crystal chandeliers and the L’Autre Dame Bar, which reflects the original décor, with dark woods, portraits and cozy corners. There is a fitness center open 24/7 and wellness treatments are available by appointment.
We saw the Presidential Suite, which overlooks the pool from the private terrace. There is a well-furnished living room in navy and white, a king bedroom and a large and dramatic bathroom, with double sinks and an avant-garde metal bathtub in addition to the shower.
The official address is Lungotevere Arnaldo da Brescia 2. To reach out the hotel, e-mail [email protected], or call 011-390-689-565-272. Ask for Dario Sengalini or General Manager Assistant Valerio Taddei ([email protected]).
Palazzo Manfredi offers views of the Colosseum from its Michelin-starred Aroma restaurant.
For those who love all things Roman and want to stay in proximity to the great historic sites, the Palazzo Manfredi offers not only the most sublime and surreal view of the Colosseum, but the Michelin-starred Aroma restaurant from which to enjoy it. The 18th-century townhouse, which is adjacent to the ruins of the old Roman gladiator school, will be enlarged with several additional rooms and suites in a more modern building behind the palazzo. At present there are 14 rooms and two suites in this Relais & Chateaux property.
The Colosseum Suite on the first floor contains a large whirlpool bath and small private gym separated from the bedroom and the living room by glass walls, but the real focal point is the ever-present view of the Colosseum from four windows. There is a living room decorated in tones of silver and black, with parquet floors. The suite is about 650 square feet.
The ground-floor Ludus Magnus Suite is about 550 square feet, and has two full baths with walk-in showers, a large king bedroom and a living room with parquet floors. Again, there is the ever-fascinating view of the Colosseum.