Rome Cavalieri Isn't Just A Hotel... It's An Art Gallery

03 September 2019
Rome, Travel & Eats, Holiday, Vacation
Image: Antonio Saba

A short ride out of the city but with views to make a grown man weep. Welcome to your home away from Rome

You have to admit that there’s a very strong argument to make for Rome being crowned the world’s finest city. Seriously, just think about it. Iconic food, a storied history, myth, legend, streets where it feels like you can’t walk 100 metres without stumbling upon a work of art. Oh, and the people. So many beautiful people.

But this is a busy city, too. A crazy city. Sometimes you just need to take one foot out of the madness and watch proceedings from a safe distance. For such moments of serene contemplation you should consider Rome Cavalieri.

A mainstay of the city since 1963, it’s the grounds of this Waldorf Astoria property that will get you first. Fifteen acres of lush greenery set above street-level and found 5km out of the city centre. It would absolutely be the crowning glory of most resorts, but we’ll leave such easy wins to the hotels that don’t also have achingly beautiful views of the Colosseum, Castel Sant’Angelo, and Vatican City, if it’s all the same to you.

Once inside you’ll realise quickly that this is no ultra-modern hipster hotel. Rome Cavalieri ditches the complicated design smarts (15-minute search for the light switch, anyone?) in favour of a firmly classic aesthetic. This hotel is art. Literally.

With three of Giovanni Battista Tieplolo’s most important masterpieces in the main lobby, Andy Warhol’s Dollar Sign paintings in the penthouse and a whole range of tapestries and period furniture in-between, you need an actual tour to get a handle on the hotel’s collection in its entirety. Which is handy, as they do one.

Whether it’s Napoleon’s writing desk or original Karl Lagerfeld sofas, the gallery-effect continues behind most doors of the hotel’s 25 suites. And while the retractable roof of the Penthouse Suite – leading to a roof-top terrace and plunge pool – may not be considered art in the classic sense, we certainly appreciate its true value.

In a city that loves food to its very core, options here are plentiful. But unlike many properties, the standard rarely falters wherever you eat.  Whether at the Uliveto Restaurant by the pool, or at Heinz Beck’s three-Michelin Star place, La Pergola, on the roof, the food is worth re-addressing your entire belief system for.

Days here are best spent lounging by the pool – with indoor and outdoor options – replete with Roman columns and ancient swag. Our advice? Take the private elevator down from your suite for a pre-breakfast visit to the Grand Spa. Aim for 30 minutes of solid rotation between the plunge pool, sauna and Turkish bath, and if you want to dial things up a notch there are 10 treatment rooms ready to serve.

Looking for a more active relaxation? Then opt for the well-equipped and rather massive gym or the workout spots dotted around the grounds, should you prefer the outdoor effect. But all the while know this, the madness of Rome is just a regular shuttle bus away. Just say the word.