Dating back to 1894, the St. Regis Rome is one of the oldest and most historical hotel properties still standing in all of Rome.
It’s located steps from the Piazza della Repubblica, a semi-circular piazza at the summit of the Viminal Hill – a walkable distance to the famed Trevi Fountain and Colosseum.
Many Romans still refer to the St. Regis Rome as what it simply is and what you can read on top of the building: Le Grand Hotel.
When the hotel first opened as Grand Hotel, it was considered Italy’s most elegant hotel and the only Italian project of the London-based Savoy Group.
The opening was no minor affair: guests included the Italian King Umberto I, Emperor Wilhelm II of Germany and Pope Leo XIII.
The hotel set new standards, including becoming Italy’s first hotel to be lit throughout by electricity and the first where every single guest room had its own private bathroom.
The hotel was an instant success, becoming a place where kings and queens, princes and princesses, dukes and duchesses stayed, dined and socialized. Princess Victoria of Sweden spent year after year her spring time at the hotel, following medical advice from her doctor to profit from the mild climate of Rome.
Much history has been made at the hotel. In 1914 the German statesman and former chancellor Prince Bernhard von Bülow stayed at the Grand Hotel while unsuccessfully negotiating Italy’s entry into the war (In 1915, Italy indeed enter the war, but on the side of the Entente powers Britain, France and Russia).
In the 1930s, the Italian royal family held their plain-clothes court at the Grand Hotel, sending the bill to the Quirinale. Some ladies in waiting even lived at the hotel in order to be close to Queen Helena.
In 1943, German soldiers marched into Rome and left only in mid-1944. The Allied command set up its headquarters at the Excelsior, the Grand’s sister hotel. On July 4, 1944 four days after the liberation of Rome, in a suite of the Grand Hotel, the leaders of the anti-Fascist resistance movement CLN, including Iavanoe Bonomi and Alcide De Gasperi, met with Prime Minister Badoglio.
This was the first non-clandestine meeting of the CLN. The seeds of modern Italy were sown at the Grand Hotel since a new government materialized from the talks. It lasted only until November 1944, but the Bonomi cabinet started the process of the economic and administrative reconstruction of Italy.
Since the Second World War, the hotel has attracted many Hollywood stars from Liz Taylor and Richard Burton to Meg Ryan, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Richard Gere and Hugh Grant, to name just a few.
Today, the hotel is as glorious as ever after having undergone many multi-million dollar restorations in the past few decades.
Its Superior Rooms feature large marble-tiled bathrooms with elegant marble vanities. Each room is appointed with custom cabinets, carved and gilded Empire-style furnishings echo rich red-and-gold or subtle blue-and-gold color schemes.
Anyone lucky to stay in select Junior Suites can enjoy soft velvet armchairs, sofas, and curtains in warm tones of red, gold, and beige—complete with views of Bernini’s church of St. Maria della Vittoria on Via XX Settembre.
Stunning platinum and gold colors characterize the Designer Suite. The golden tones of the entrance hall are extended into the living room which blends Belle Époque detailing with modernist furnishings.
The accent furniture is largely in the style of 1940’s France. Coffered ceilings, richly detailed wood, and marble floors, sumptuous yet decidedly contemporary architecture, furnishings and fabrics lend a unique style.
For guests seeking unique design elements, consider the captivating Couture and Bottega Veneta Suites that afford ample space to allow for a guest’s every need and desire.
Thoughtful design is evident in the artwork and furnishing choices made throughout. Contrasts in colors and moods distinguish these accommodations: While the Bottega Veneta Suite is more ethereal and tranquil, the Ambassador Couture Suite features seductive dashes of red.
If money’s not a problem, then look no further than the Royal Suite. The powerful and famous—from Richard Burton to Juan Peron and Princess Grace to Richard Gere—have enjoyed the hotel’s crown jewel.
The best of the hotel’s 18th- and 19th-century antique furnishings are found here, some purchased by the Aga Khan when he owned the hotel. The covered ceiling of the dining room is decorated with a mural inspired by Pompeii, a detail in keeping with the suite’s many other fine appointments.
No matter the room, there’s plenty of perks to enjoy in the hotel lobby.
One ritual that lives on daily is the art of sabrage, which has an illustrious history that stretches back more than 200 years. The practice is most commonly associated with Napoleon Bonaparte, who famously opened champagne with his saber, savoring it in victory and defeat.
The tradition continued in Europe, eventually becoming popular around the world.
The St. Regis Rome continues to saber champagne in lieu of the traditional uncorking to bring guests together at sunset.
St. Regis Rome is located at Via Vittorio E. Orlando, 3, 00185 Rome, Italy. For more information, visit www.stregisrome.com.