Bella Italia – St. Regis / Rome / Italy

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Since 1894 you will find this nice, luxury hotel in the center of the gorgeous city Rome.
Every detail in the hotel lobby glows, it is not unusual in Italy to find a hotel elegant in its public spaces only, but The St. Regis Grand is equally rich in the design of its rooms and suites and Rome’s first deluxe hotel is located in the heart of the city.

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The location is the perfect start for a short stroll to the The Colosseum, my favourite monument of epic proportions. Here you will find the stories of gory battles between gladiators, slaves, prisoners and wild animals. The amphitheatre was a arena with a seating capacity of over 50,000 people. Today its funny, the only gladiators that you will see are the ones parked outside for the tourist shutterbugs. But this is a necessary pilgrimage for history buffs, and another starting point from which to take in the Roman remains of the city nearby the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and Via Veneto.

César Ritz proudly opened “The Grand”, nowadays the Grande Dame of Roman opulence got an extensive restoration and renamed the St. Regis Grand Hotel, it reclaimed its status as the finest hotel in Rome and one of the best in the world with an initial glance.
Rome’s timeless elegance comes not simply from its ancient glory. Historic preservation and modern innovation are both embraced by this city of contrasting charms.
The hotels magnificent lobby with its lovingly restored opulence takes you back to the glories of the golden era of grand hotels.

At the same time, it is a masterpiece of design. The hotel is vitalized by the incorporation of some of the best work of contemporary Roman artists.
The artwork is incorporated throughout the hotel, used as a motif for designating rooms and suites and stimulating the imagination at every turn. The result is a palpable sense of living in the grace of culture moving through time.
The foyer left leads to the restaurant Vivendo, center to the sumptuous lobby and right to the hotel reception.
Ritz built Le Grand Hotel in the style of an aristocratic residence, the first of its kind in Italy.
It became the hotel for aristocrats from everywhere, a kind of landmark in its own right. The hotel overlooks the Piazza della Repubblica in the heart of Rome.
Its success does not simply rest on its legacy, it was a big job, million dollars renovation, included over 10,000 square meters of marble, 80 kilometers of cornices, 2000 plaster decorations and over 1000 doors in 161 rooms and 23 suites.
Most rooms have unique hand-painted frescoes over the bed board.


Furthermore, the great imperial room has a fantastic view over the Piazza della Repubblica when imperial Room was spacious and bright, had a sitting area and a work desk with ethernet hook-up. With the windows open, the view of the Najada fountain brilliant in the sunlight combined with the bustle of the city continued the vibrant Roman experience. When the windows were closed and the golden yellow curtains pulled shut, the sounds of the city faded to a distant memory and I enjoyed the sleep of a queen.

Both bed and bath are held to the standards of the Starwood brand, so the comfort is absolutely wonderful. The baths are marble, spacious with double sinks, fine fixtures and plush robes. Beds have firm mattresses and gleaming white linens.

The most elegant of the suites is the Royal Suite, a collection of rooms that have literally housed royalty. For those who seek the best in privacy as well as luxury, the Grand Hotel Royal Suite is a golden oasis. It has a sleeping wing and an entertainment wing, with options for closing off the whole section of the hotel to include the suite and a corridor of rooms for staff and entourage. It is also possible to rent the public half of the suite for private dinners or events if someone does not need to stay in the sleeping quarters.
My favorite space, however, was the Designer Suite. The moment you walk in, you feel as if you could take up residence and make it your home in Rome. Elegant, sophisticated and inviting, the artwork infuses you with a sense of aliveness that makes everyday living feel extraordinary. To stay there while in Rome is to transform your experience of the entire city. I loved it.
To stay at the St. Regis Grand Hotel is to not simply visit Rome from a hotel, but to be a part of the elegance and glory of Rome every moment you are there at the hotel as well. The golden glow of the hotel’s living history colors your every experience of Rome and your place among the timeless parade of the Eternal City.

Yep, we enjoyed the St. Regis and finally watched out for “The Talented Mr Ripley”. The movie with Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and others was filmed here.
Sumptuously luxurious, the hotel is one of two booked by Tom Ripley in order to maintain one half of his double identity in Anthony Minghella’s film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s “The Talented Mr. Ripley”. Good book and a fantastic hotel.

In general The St. Regis Hotels & Resorts offers its clientele usually an experience beyond expectation. People who desire the finest expressions of service, each moment spent within walls reveals bespoke attention to every desire. The rich heritage dating back to the grand opening of The St. Regis® New York by the esteemed Astor family, is evoked throughout every hotel – from century-old butler service to the tradition of fresh flowers established by Mrs. Astor.
And that was it what we got in Rome.

#1 : Resto tip “Pergola” in Rome:

Pergola is within the impressive Hilton Cavalieri hotel, which is perched at the top of a hill overlooking the city. The dining room in on the 9th floor, has fine views out over the city, and is lavishly decorated. The owner of the hotel has a reputedly vast art collection, and the dining room has several pieces on display, including paintings, glassware and furniture. The room has a blue/gold patterned carpet, picture windows and generously spaced tables.

Pergola is laid out along one side of the hotel in which it is situated, the dining room snaking along the top of a hillside overlooking Rome; this layout means that most tables have at least some part of the view, and a spectacular view it is. All of Rome sprawls beneath you, with St Peter’s Basilica just one of the clearly visible landmarks. The dining room itself is lavishly decorated, with mirrors along the rear wall and lovely pieces of art dotted around the room.

Bread is made in the kitchens, Italian rolls with top class olive oil for dipping, with the flatbread being my favourite of those tried. There was even a salt trolley to complement the olive oil, with a wide array of salts from around the world, from Japan, Hawaii and France amongst others; truly the salt of the earth. Perhaps the most intriguing was a Norwegian salt that tasted slightly of pepper, a sort of all in one condiment. I generally prefer French bread to Italian, but this was certainly well made. The wine cellar here is immense, with 3,000 separate wines available and 60,000 bottles.
Let start to eat:
Salmon with a little fennel salad and tangerine sauce was the introductory taste, and although the combination is perfectly sensible and the fennel was good.
The meal got into its stride with a duck liver terrine with smoked apple, almonds and amaretti. This was spectacularly good dish, the terrine having stunning flavour, the apple providing just enough balancing acidity.

Deep fried zucchini flower with caviar on shellfish and saffron sauce was a pretty dish, the courgette flower arranged in a star, the sauce having clean flavours.

First of a trio of pasta dishes was “Mezza lune” with broccoli, squid and clams. This was extremely delicate, and mix of shellfish and broccoli worked well Fagotelli “La Pergola” is a feature of the menu here, and has remarkably light pasta.

Tangerine risotto with scampi carpaccio and mint was technically skilled and had lovely langoustines.

Following the pasta was a Cannolo of scampi and vegetables, olive sauce and tapioca with Campari.
The langoustines were extremely good, though they are a delicate taste that for us got a little lost amongst the powerful flavour of the olive sauce and the Campari.

Warm emincé of sea bass with vegetables marinated in olive oil was impressive, the fish itself perfectly cooked and with lovely flavour, the excellent vegetables giving a nice light balance to the dish, and a again a sense of the tastes being very clean and pure came through in this dish.

A warm Emincé of hunter’s style rabbit on sweet pepper cream was also successful, the pepper cream superb with intense, pure flavour, the rabbit excellent.
The final savoury course was liquorice-flavoured shoulder of Iberian suckling pig with herbed potatoes. I am not personally that keen on liquorice as a flavour, but it was well controlled here, and the pork itself was of very high quality.
A trolley contained an entirely Italian cheese selection, the cheeses in very good condition. I found a local goat cheese that superficially resembled St Maure was particularly impressive, but the better known cheeses such as Taleggi, Gorgonzola were all delicious.
Thats was more than enough.
Finally orange jelly with bice cream, it was a very pretty dessert.
The wine list is immense, two large tomes, one for Italian wines, one for the rest of the world. A proper 3 star restaurant.

#2 Resto tip in Roma: Vivendo

The resto is an space that feels refined and intimate at the same time. More modern in overall design than the hotel itself with its evocation of the ’30s and ’40s, the restaurant includes artwork, chosen by the same gallery as the rest of the hotel, serves as the unifying element.
The food is equally refined and modern. Traditional recipes are augmented for a modern palate.
The St. Regis, has established a program called the ‘Wines of Italy’ which allows you to order a broad selection of fine Italian wines by the glass instead of by the bottle. This unique innovation lets you taste and experience wines from among a selection of 32 labels from all over Italy. Should you want a bottle, the 600-label wine list is the province of the Restaurant Manager, Federico Galligani, an enthusiastic sommelier. The wine cellar, di Vino, also permits guests to visit and engage in wine tastings and even dine in complete tranquility. Bellissimo.

Bella Italia.

Living in style.

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