Federico Fellini referred to Rome as a living film set. The Rome Cavalieri proves it. No, this is not a part of Cinecitta studios however the opulence, grandeur and sheer over the top magnificence of the place may make you think twice. Once you’re done uncovering modern day Rome and the history that is so ever present, it’s time to drive out 30 minutes from the centre. As you go up the spiralling streets to a hilltop in Montemario, overlooking The Vatican and with amazing views of the city, you will uncover 15 acres of breathtaking splendour. A visit during the festive period is highly recommended as it ensures the hotel is decorated to the nines (I shudder to think what their monthly lighting bill is) and at night gives you that extra va-va-voom that makes you feel like you’re in the middle of a celebratory event or party ALL THE TIME. Well I was there at New Year’s so it kind of was also.
Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria is not for the shy, retiring, under the radar guest. This hotel says, I love everything Roman and am going to flaunt it in true toga-wearing-gilded-throne-sitting-gladiator-loving-in-your-face style. The interiors are jaw-droppingly outrageous and the place is home to one of the biggest private art collections in the world. One minute you’re having breakfast, the next you’re staring at a Beauvais tapestry, a Tiepolo or a sculpture on your way to the glam and glossy lifts. It’s best to arrive here once you’re done with the sightseeing as it is a bit of a trip going back and forth. However the hotel runs a free shuttle service for guests to take them to the centre and back. That’s about the only downer. And lots of American tourists wearing casual clothes. Don’t get me wrong but come on…there’s a time and place. Small matters. Anyway I opted for a taxi at all times as the last service of the shuttle bus leaves at 10pm. And who can bother to wait for an hourly shuttle bus (albeit free) when you’re exhausted from eating/shopping and you want an evening snooze. The rooms are so comfortable you will really struggle to get out of bed every morning. It’s best to come to Rome just to stay at the hotel. It’s essentially a holiday resort, more than a hotel. There are rooftop views, the luxury grand spa, outdoor pools and…now…time to pause. La Pergola. This merits an entire blog post of its own. In short it’s the 3 star Michelin restaurant and arguably one of the best Italy has to offer. A soup costs €40 so just be aware you’re looking at €200 per head….roughly. If you drink wine…there’s no saying what the bill may come to! Am tee-total. I’ll leave that to you to explore
The service. Don’t forget you’re in an American Hotel in Rome. It’s an outstandingly courteous and downright shockingly good (remember I’m a Londoner) level of service. A short story then. The piano is being played in the lounge, it’s pretty busy and I order dinner. The waiter – imagine a very close relative of Tony Soprano – brings me the wrong order. He apologises profusely and hurries into the kitchen. The Manager comes and apologises. The waiter brings back the correct order and continues to apologise and asks if there is anything else that could be done to improve my mood. I wasn’t displeased in any way but after a quick wink…the waiter said I will ask the pianist to play something especially for you. Two seconds later Michael Buble’s Home (one of my top songs of all time) was being dedicated to me by the pianist. Lovely, doesn’t quite cover it. The atmosphere of that evening will stay with me for a long time. And that’s what Rome Cavalieri is all about. Unforgettable memories. Just like La dolce vita is something that can’t be explained, it needs to be lived. Rome Cavalieri is a hotel that can’t be reviewed easily. It needs to be experienced.