BEST FOR Exceptional service and design that surprises and delights
DON’T MISS Dining al fresco at Le Jardin de Russie
PRICE Internet rates for a Classic room start at $825.
CONTACT Via del Babuino 9, Rome , 00187. Tel 39 06 32 888 830. roccofortehotels.com
Verdict Impeccable attention to guests,delectable food offerings and exquisite design throughout – all within the beating heart of the Eternal City. That’s been the legacy of the Hotel de Russie throughout its proud 200-year history, but Rocco Forte Hotels has elevated this lovely old property to new heights. Dan Booth
Background Rocco Forte Hotels owns luxury 5-star hotels across Europe as well as new ones in Jeddah and Shanghai. All are renowned for high design and exceptional service, and the city center properties are known for their iconic locations. The Hotel de Russie is among these. Just to be clear, Rocco Forte’s Hotel de Rome is the one in Berlin, while Hotel de Russie is in Rome. Their Russian property in St. Petersburg is simply the Hotel Astoria.
Where is it? The Hotel de Russie is situated on the Via del Babuino between the Piazza del Popolo and the Spanish Steps, putting much of Rome within an easy walk, and the rest a reasonable car ride away.
What’s it like? Upon entering, the first thing you notice is the ‘just-rightness’ of the design. The sweeping front desk is substantial, but not intimidating. Throughout the public spaces, subtle colors are interrupted by bright accents and playful art, like the whimsical bust of a gentleman atop a seashell-encrusted table in the parlor. But the décor is so tastefully pulled together that nothing – not even this gentleman – seems out of place.However, the inside is only a prelude. From the understated street entrance, you are drawn visually through the interior toward the stunning inner court. Here you’ll find plenty of umbrella-shaded tables; beyond is the terrace for Le Jardin de Russie and next lies the legendary Secret Garden.
Rooms My spacious 375-square-foot Executive Room was appointed with an ample queen-size bed topped with a sumptuous duvet and throw. The practical separate work desk boasted both international power and convenient USB ports. The roomy bathrooms are clad in marble and feature another design touch, Roman-style mosaics. Bath products are the exclusive Forte Organics.
Food and Drink The aforementioned Le Jardin de Russie is the hotel’s fine dining offering. In a city that knows food, this restaurant is a standout; my traveling companions and I all agreed, the luncheon buffet was among the best meals we’d had anywhere in Rome. (Yes, the words ‘hotel buffet’ and ‘fine dining’ don’t often go together, but this is a stellar exception.) Stravinsky’s Bar is a lively gathering place, where the good times spill out into the open air of the courtyard.
Business and Meeting Facilities The Hotel de Russie offers four meeting rooms, the largest of which can comfortably accommodate up to 90 guests. The rooms have the latest audio-visual technology and WiFi is available throughout the hotel.
Spa and Fitness Facilities The de Russie Spa features a series of Irene Forte rituals along with other spa treatments and products. The wet facilities include a saltwater hydropool, steam room and Finnish sauna. For self-starters, there’s a Technogym equipped fitness room, and for some extra motivation, the hotel can offer a personal trainer.