Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, Italy
Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria was the first Waldorf Astoria to open outside the USA following the iconic Waldorf Astoria in New York. Originally opened in 1963, Rome’s ‘Grand Dame’ has had some of its rooms and public areas refurbished. Tonje Odegard from SPACE visited to see the result…
Opening its doors to international travellers more than 50 years ago, The Rome Cavalieri has gained an enviable reputation as one of the Eternal City’s leading hotels. Although the hotel is inspired by the legendary Waldorf Astoria in New York, the Rome Cavalieri still has its own distinct character – the timeless architecture and special history makes the hotel luxurious, elegant and very Italian. But a refurbishment was needed in some of the areas, which it has now been granted, giving the hotel a fantastic facelift to make it more appealing to the modern traveller.
The hotel is situated in a 15-acre private manicured Mediterranean park overlooking Rome and the Vatican City. Located in one of Rome’s most exclusive and prestigious residential areas, the resort offers a secluded sanctuary with easy access to the beautiful city. Perched high above the city on verdant Monte Mario, the resort offers several dining outlets, a celebrated spa, Europe’s largest art collection, four indoor and outdoor swimming pools and Davis Cup standard tennis courts.
The Rome Cavalieri houses one of the country’s, and indeed one of Europe’s, most impressive private art collections with a number of truly unique pieces on display either in public areas or in themed suites (there’s a Napoleon-themed suite and a Andy Warhol-themed suite). Worthy of a museum, the pieces are sourced largely from the 18th century and acquired at auctions worldwide. With a wide selection of paintings, tapestries, sculptures, vases and period furniture, the historic collection showcases the best in Italian art.
The main lobby features several incredible pieces, including three of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s most important masterpieces. Just to the right off the lobby one can view the hotel’s gallery with some stunning and historically significant pieces on display.
The grand lobby really sets the mark for what’s to come when you enter the hotel. The iconic spiral staircase with the tremendous chandelier hanging in the middle, leads you down to the ground floor restaurant and pool area. Encasing the staircase is an impressive lighting formation with lit glass globes and a beautiful brass bar hovering over it. Looking down the staircase, a funky and immersive pattern in marble draws you in.
The rest of the lobby is dressed in marble travertine floor, the walls are adorned with iconic art, the furniture is elegant and soft and the concierge desks are strong and beautiful. The walls behind the desks are clad in a glossy travertine cover, which makes the intricate arts pieces stand out.
With such a large space to use, the designers have had the freedom to be bold in the design and their selection of furniture, art and colours. The adjacent gallery has a stunning metal ceiling, which creates an interesting effect when lit up.
The Imperial Club has been spruced up as part of the larger enhancement project, and now looks sleeker than ever. The extensive renovation includes opulent new furniture, curtains and carpets with a vibrant yellow theme, which reflects the luxurious décor for which the hotel is renowned. In addition to the enhancements, a new culinary corner has been put in place. The outdoor terrace of the Club offers magnificent views of the city and the gardens.
The tremendous property comprises 345 spacious deluxe rooms, all with private balconies, 25 luxurious suites in a range of different sizes, a Penthouse and Planetarium Suites. The suites are individually decorated and styled to showcase valuable antique furniture and paintings. The views from the rooms are truly impressive, giving a panorama outlook of Rome.
The suites are decorated with unique pieces of artwork and furnishings, including original Karl Lagerfeld sofas, and rare 18th century antiques. The regal feel is completed with golden touches everywhere, grand curtains and subtle colours. The Renaissance style works so well for a Roman hotel as the interiors truly reflect the grandness and history of the Italian capital.
The patterns, textures and fabrics in the rooms are heavy and immersive. Examples include velvet sofas, tassels and silk cushions. All of it contributes to the ultimate luxury experience.
The bathrooms are also equally as luxurious with marble tiles, gold fittings and heavily framed mirrors.
The iconic Petronious Suite has recently had a set of enhancements, making it even more luxurious than before. Combining Rome’s sense of history and traditions with Waldorf Astoria’s signature style, the new enrichments have made the suite the epitome of elegance and fine taste. Located on the top floor, the suite commands spectacular views of the city below. It has an ornate bedroom, marble bathroom, a kitchen, a wine cellar, a dining room with space for up to eight people, and living spaces adorned with Venetian antique furniture, precious brass, wooden parquet and rare 17th century paintings depicting Santa Caterina and Santa Cecilia. From mosaic tables to the Lagerfeld sofa, this suite doubles as an exhibition and museum in its own right.
Classic meets contemporary with the Petronius Suite’s subtle, yet slick technology system, which allows guests to control audio, visual and lighting from the same control. The suite provides modern technology without losing the long-standing traditions and charm.
Stand-out elements include the heavily adorned headboard, the golden embossed wallpaper, the intricate ceiling finishes and beautiful furniture.
In addition to the relaunch of the Petronius Suite, enhancements to the Corner and Vista Suites are also completed.
Drinking and dining
The Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria offers six different drinking and dining outlets, most notably the city’s only three-star Michelin restaurant, La Pergola, headed up by renowned and celebrated chef Heinz Beck. Situated on the top floor, the restaurant and its terrace offers breathtaking views of the city with both the Colosseum and the dome of St. Peter’s church. The restaurant is very much in the same style as the rest of the hotel – regal, elegant and inviting.
The ground-floor restaurant serving breakfast and the hotel’s famous Sunday Brunch, L’Uliveto, overlooks the landscaped park and outdoor pool. The Tiepolo Lounge and Terrace is surrounded by famous artwork, including the Tiepolo’s masterpieces. The Tiepolo Lounge has the same ceiling effect as the art gallery, funky and colourful furniture and a grand piano. The Pool Bar, Grand Spa Café and the Chalet Grill all serve light dishes throughout the day in beautiful surroundings.
The Cavalieri Grand Spa Club is potentially the city’s most luxurious spa and fitness facility encompassing ten treatment rooms. Being a more modern addition to the hotel, the interior of the treatment rooms differs to that of the rest of the hotel. The more contemporary feel is welcomed with a more Asian-inspired design. The elegant and minimal lines are a stark contrast to the extravagant interior of the rest of the hotel.
The indoor swimming pool, located in the imperial winter garden, resembles a Roman thermal bath with limestone floors and walls, strong tiled pillars and intricate details in the stone. The marble tiling of the Jacuzzi is an unusual and refreshing touch that adds to the Roman experience.
Waldorf Astoria now has a portfolio of more than 25 iconic properties in the world’s most sought-after destinations. However, Rome Cavalieri stands out as not one of the most iconic, but also as one of the most luxurious and well-designed hotels.
This old-fashioned all-rounder of a hotel has had a real breath of fresh air poured into it, making it more suitable for a wider audience, without losing its tradition, history and position as one of the world’s most prestigious places to stay.
Citalia the leading Italian specialist, has a three night trip to the five deluxe star Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts, on a B&B basis from £793 per person. The package includes return private resort transfers and return flights from London Gatwick with Iberia (01293 765 066, www.citalia.com).