Deluxe rooms with residential view start from £265 (fully flexible and room only); Imperial rooms with residential view start from €356 (fully flexible and room only).
Something’s happening over here at UJHQ. Maybe it’s because we’ve had a bad run at recent boutique hotels – annoying quotes everywhere, too trendy for good service, and a millennial undertone to everything – or maybe it’s because we’ve been travelling a lot (and just need things to work, and work right), but we’re starting to crave the consistency of proper, luxury hotels. And Rome Cavalieri is definitely this.
Just 20 minutes from the airport, Rome Cavalieri occupies 15 acres of private grounds, overlooking Roma. You couldn’t ask for a more central location, but you couldn’t feel farther from the city centre: it’s a truly special combo. This is the perfect place to get away from it all, but dip into the action when you want to, easily. And as this was the first Waldorf in Europe (1963), it’s a lauded jewel in their portfolio, and it shows.
Old school glamour is definitely the vibe here. The lobby may feel a bit Vegas (shops! Artwork! Huge check-in!), but pass through and head straight for the pool, where sun loungers are occupied by well-clad (but understated) guests – and relax. The hotel definitely has a hint of Chateau Marmont to it, with a dash of any chic seaside resort on the Med. Think Slim Aarons and you’d be on the right track.
Rooms here are grandiose. Thick gold curtains, beautiful terraces that catch the morning sun and overlook the grounds, marble washrooms with Ferragamo products, and weighty bathrobes. There’s, of course, a pillow menu, and the 1000+ (we’d guess) thread count sheets made it hard to leave. Oh, the Penthouse has Warhol’s too.
Restaurants and bars
The three Michelin starred (since 2005!) restaurant La Pergola, helmed by the acclaimed Heinz Beck was truly stand out. Aperitivos start on the terrace – which has amazing paroramic views – and then for dinner, diners move into a cosy dining room where there aren’t more than a handful of tables; this truly is an intimate, special experience. The menu by Heinz was of course outstanding, but other highlights included the wine pairings by the head sommelier Marco Reitano (they have over 60,000 wines in the cellar; UJ tried to steal the keys), and the water and salt options (there were 8 different salts to choose from). For breakfast, we aren’t normally ones for buffets, but the Sunday brunch buffet is worth staying for alone. There are different stations (so you’re never in a – gasp! – queue) of varying cuisines, and enough cheese, desserts, wine and charcuterie to keep you there all day.
The pool. You may come here with plans to do a touristy Roman run around, but secure a top spot by the pool, sink into the plush sun loungers, push your ‘call’ button to order spritzes, and we’ll bet you too will find it hard to leave. They have live music here on most nights, and the kid’s pool is (still chic but) separate, so it’s easy to relax. They also have an indoor pool and Roman baths, so anytime of year is pool season. UJ also loved the concierges, who were able to organise almost anything: Vespa rides through the city at night, private fashion tours of the best lesser known brands by a Vogue editor, foodie walks, art tours of the hotel (the hotel has a very impressive collection, with pieces displayed throughout) – they can do it all. Just ask. A picnic on the grounds, complete with butler service, cushions and packed gourmet lunch, is also a nice way to spend the day.
There’s a spa, indoor /outdoor pool and a gym with everything you might need, including PTs. Which is good, if you plan on indulging in the restaurants on offer.