If there is one hotel in Rome that defines la dolce vita, it is Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star The St. Regis Rome, a beautiful Belle Époque building centrally located near many Roman landmarks, including the majestic Piazza della Repubblica and the ancient Baths of Diocletian.
Built in 1894 by legendary hotelier Cèsar Ritz as the Grand Hotel, The St. Regis Rome (as it is known today) is one of the city’s original luxury properties and lays claim to an illustrious list of accolades — it was the first hotel in Italy to be lit throughout by electricity, first hotel with en suite bathrooms and one of the first hotels to have a modern elevator, a beautifully detailed, wrought-iron lift that the St. Regis proudly maintains to this day.
And its 122-year history has a guest list that includes a who’s who of international monarchy (reigning and deposed), politicians, writers, actors, directors, musicians and entrepreneurs. Its Le Grand Bar has hosted Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, and more recently Mick Jagger.
Every one of the hotel’s 138 rooms and 23 suites is a masterpiece of tailored design and style, but it is the Bottega Veneta Suite that is the address’ most requested. Neither the largest nor the most lavish (that title belongs to the Royal Suite), the 1,700-square-foot suite is still by far the most stylish and relaxed. Designed by Bottega Veneta’s creative director Tomas Maier, the unit is a playful celebration of the design firm’s sensibilities and an inspired homage to the hotel’s 19th-century past.
Guests enter into a large living room that is decorated in a refreshing palette of light neutrals and accented with gilded mirrors, dark divan sofas, a marble fireplace and natural-hued limestone floors. Crown moulding and wainscoting flow through each room as a reminder of its Belle Epoque history, while its 21st-century presence is boldly proclaimed through the contemporary Italian paintings that decorate the walls.
To the right is the bedroom, a masterpiece of soft lines, relaxing taupes and Bottega Veneta’s signature intrecciato hand-weaving leather technique on accents throughout the room. The en-suite marble bathroom has a rain shower and separate deep soaking tub. The suite can be expanded to include connecting rooms, each with separate sitting areas and baths.
“The Bottega Veneta Suite is appreciated from our best international connoisseurs for the fine-quality materials, extraordinary craftsmanship, timeless design and for the view”, says The St. Regis Rome’s hotel manager Vincenzo Falcone.
And the view is indeed epic. The Bottega Veneta Suite overlooks many of Rome’s beautiful landmarks: the Piazza della Repubblica, a semi-circular piazza with sweeping marble colonnades; the Fountain of the Naiads, featuring disrobing nymphs spouting water; and the Basilica of Saint Mary of the Angels, a 16th-century church built into the remains of the ancient bath house structure thanks to a little architectural help from Michelangelo. You can easily say you’re sleeping with both history and style.