For the Bettoja Hotel Group, 2018 is the start of a new chapter. With an €18 million (approximately $23 million) renovation underway for its three properties in Rome—Hotel Mediterraneo, Hotel Atlantico, and Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio—the company will bring its storied hotels, which go date to the late 1800s, further into the 21st century with modernized rooms and suites without sacrificing their traditional aesthetic.
“The rooms will be new but the soul of the hotels will remain,” said Ciro Verrocchi, the general manager of Bettoja Hotel Group.
Luxury Travel Advisor spoke with Verrocchi, as well as Maurizio Bettoja, the president and fifth generation of his family to run the hotel group, on how they’ll maintain that balance of old and new, along with what else is new at the hotels, which includes two new vacation packages—one offering a romantic honeymoon getaway and, the other, a chance to experience a night at the opera in the famous Teatro dell’Opera di Roma.
With a history that spans five generations, tradition and a nod to the past are key components for the Bettoja Hotel Group. To note: Historic maps, prints and marble sculptures of Roman Emperors are found throughout Hotel Mediterraneo, and 19th-century paintings cover the walls of the Massimo d’Azeglio. Tradition can even be found in their employees, as some of the staff is multigenerational.
Not only are the hotels historic, they are surrounded by history. The three properties—located within one block of each other on Via Cavour and steps from the Monti district—are all within walking distance of the Colosseum, Opera House, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps.
Each stay at a Bettoja hotel includes 24-hour concierge service, room service, complimentary Wi-Fi, full American breakfast, access to the restaurants in all three properties and luxury accommodations with scenic views of the city.
Throughout the upgrade process, Maurizio Bettoja emphasized that they want to avoid making the hotels “cookie cutter” or devoid of their personality. To do so, they will reserve and restore the old paintings, furniture and other historical objects that have remained in the hotels since their opening. “Keep up, but keep what you have,” said Bettoja of the renovations.
First up will be the 254-room Hotel Mediterraneo, the flagship Bettoja property, designed by the Art Deco architect Mario Loreti in 1938. The 10-story hotel, which sits atop Esquiline Hill, will see its rooms get a complete makeover with new beds (now king-size), new colors and décor, as well as enlarged bathrooms with walk-in showers. Additionally, large connecting rooms will be available, an ideal choice for families or larger groups.
The first 20 renovated rooms at the Mediterraneo will be ready this summer, while a new conference center and restored Art Deco meeting rooms (available for both large events and small workshops) have just been launched. Maurizio hopes to complete all renovations on the Mediterraneo by the second half of 2019 or the beginning of 2020, at the latest.
The smaller, 65-room Hotel Atlantico, which is connected to the Hotel Mediterraneo, will also revamp its rooms. In the renovated rooms, bathrooms will be enlarged, beds will be replaced and outfitted with new linens, duvets and more. All of the Art Deco furniture will be restored but not replaced to keep its traditional aesthetic. Renovations at the Atlantico are on track for completion by the end of 2019.
The last phase will involve the 185-room Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio, the original Bettoja hotel. As the oldest of the three hotels, there is an elevated sense of history. The hotel has a collection of original paintings from the 1860s Risorgimento (Italian unification) period, along with classic wood floors and furniture. To keep this historical atmosphere, all artwork will remain, along with the original furniture and woodwork, though they will be restored. Additionally, the Massimo d’Azeglio’s rooms will receive the same renovations as the Atlantico’s.
The Massimo’s artwork focuses on historical figures such as Massimo d'Azeglio, the hotel’s namesake, who was a statesman, painter and writer. D'Azeglio’s self-portrait and his painting, “The Vendetta,” along with a few other drawings are on display, as are other prints, paintings and portraits of 14th-century events and statesmen.
During their stay at the Massimo, guests can check out another piece of history—the hotel’s 140-year-old wine cellar, which is among the oldest wine cellars in the heart of Rome and houses more than 1,800 bottles, including precious labels such as Chateau Latour 1963, Pouilly Fuisse 1966, Chianti Brolio Riserva Barone Ricasoli 1929, and Barolo Marchesi di Barolo 1945.
Renovations at the Massimo d’Azeglio will be finished by the end of 2020.
In addition to the renovations, the Bettoja Hotel Group announced two new summer packages for the Hotel Mediterraneo, each showcasing Rome’s art, culture and cuisine.
The first is a new honeymoon package, offering a two-night minimum stay in one of the hotel’s new Presidential Suites on the top floor. Upon arrival, couples will receive strawberries, Prosecco and a welcome gift. Also included in the package is daily breakfast, one dinner at the Roof Garden restaurant, a tour of the city and the option for early check-in and late check-out.
From the terrace of the Roof Garden, guests can enjoy a nearly 360-degree view of Rome, from St. Peter’s Basilica to St. Mary Major to the Apennine Mountains.
Hotel Mediterraneo’s tenth-floor Presidential Suites have terraces adorned with shrubs and flowers, luxurious bathrooms with Jacuzzis, and scenic views of the city including St. Peter’s Basilica.
The 2018 honeymoon package, which is valid through December 31, 2018, is priced at €750 (approximately $874).
For the second package, Bettoja has created the “Summer at the Opera” experience in collaboration with the Teatro dell’Opera. The package includes transfer from the Fiumicino or Ciampino airport to the hotel, two nights in a Superior Double room, early check-in and late check-out, and two poltronissima (front-row) tickets for the opera theater according to the calendar availability. In July, guests can see popular operas such as “La Traviata,” “Romeo e Giulietta” and “Carmen.”
The package also includes Prosecco and strawberries as a welcome gift, breakfast at the Roof Garden Restaurant and a 10 percent discount at the Restaurant Massimo d’Azeglio.