Everything old is new again in Rome — at least when it comes to legendary hotels that have received face-lifts. The historic Eden, now under new management with Dorchester Collection, has expanded the size of its rooms and added a 2,000-square-foot penthouse suite, three new restaurants, and a spa. What remains unchanged at this 1889 building is its ideal location atop the Spanish Steps.
Also overlooking the famed steps is the Hassler Roma, which has its fervent fans thanks to its elegance, reflected in the intimate bar and expansive rooftop restaurant that seems to overlook the entire city. The property has a fresh look thanks to renovated rooms, but it still retains the romance that drew Grace Kelly and Prince Rainier of Monaco for their honeymoon. As one reader wrote, “This is the best location in Rome for vista viewing and imbibing, for superb food and general old-style class.”
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Hotels were rated on their facilities, location, service, food, and overall value. Properties were classified as City or Resort based on their locations and amenities.
This year, our readers also chose two relatively new Roman hotel properties — this is an ancient city, after all — the First Luxury Art Hotel Roma and J.K. Place Roma. (The latter won the No. 1 spot last year.) Both hotels are located in renovated historic buildings within easy walking distance of the Spanish Steps, yet feel like chic oases in this noisy city. At the Art Hotel, the public spaces feature contemporary works by Italian artists, and rooms are outfitted with permanent and temporary “exhibits.”
As for this year’s winner, the Hotel de Russie also combines the best of modernity with the impressive architecture of a historic building. “A luxurious spot with all the excitement of Rome at your door. I loved the garden, where it was easy to relax and sip Prosecco all day,” said one fan. One thing these five-star lodgings all attest to: in the Eternal City, visitors need not sacrifice a sense of history for the lap of luxury.
Although nearby sites like Piazza del Popolo and the Borghese Gardens await discovery, you’d be forgiven for staying put at the de Russie. The courtyard — which some argue is the most beautiful in the city, with its roses and orange trees — lures with its verdant calm and award-winning Italian fare. The 121 contemporary rooms and suites, which were designed by Olga Polizzi, are silent, and the small spa is the definition of serenity. Readers explained choosing this as the best spot in Rome using descriptions such as, “gorgeous,” “private,” “best location,” “luxury,” and “bellissima!” One fan summed it up with two words that say it all: “Pure perfection.”