One of Rome’s most luxurious hotels is the Rome Cavalieri A Waldorf Astoria Resort. Perched on top of the Monte Mario with uninterrupted views across the whole of the city and surrounded by 15 acres of lush Mediterranean parklands, this isn’t just a hotel, but a 5-star resort in the middle of the capital of Italy. On a recent city break to Rome we were kindly asked to experience the Rome Cavalieri and here is what we thought!
Background and Concept
The Rome Cavalieri opened its doors to the world in 1963 and has built a reputation as being one of Rome’s finest luxury hotels. Part of the Waldorf Astoria Group, the hotel is member of a portfolio of nearly 30 iconic Waldorf Astoria properties, with each hotel being located in the world’s most sought after destinations.
The opening of the Rome Cavalieri in 1963 coincided with a period of unprecedented development in Rome and marked the heyday of the ‘Dolce Vita’. The property has been the home to many visiting VIPs over the years with everyone from Royalty to Heads of state and movie stars having graced the hotel. 50 years on from its opening the Rome Cavalieri continues to be a leader and innovator exceeding the expectations of the modern luxury traveller and remains an ‘oasis’ of true luxury and relaxation in the Eternal City.
The hotel is situated in an area of great historical interest. Perched atop of the Monte Mario, the mountain that dominates Rome’s skyline. The Rome Cavalieri lies alongside one of the most important paths in the history of mankind the Via Francigena. This road was travelled by thousands of pilgrims to the Eternal City over the centuries and was once teeming with merchants as well as armies who used the Monto Mario as a resting place “the riders rest”. As a tribute to the travellers of the past the hotel had the word ‘Cavalieri’ incorporated into its name.
Today the Rome Cavalieri offers one of the best views of Rome from any hotel in the city. Its elevated position on top of Monte Mario means it is not one of the closest hotels to the main attractions in Rome, but what it lacks in closeness to the centre it more that delivers on in service and facilities.
It’s a 20/30 minute taxi ride to the hotel from the centre of Rome and a 10 minute taxi to Vatican City which is 3km away. The hotel offers an hourly pickup and drop off minibus which will whisk you into and back from Rome free of charge. Rome’s Leonardo Da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) is 35km away while Pastine-Ciampino Airport (CIA) is 44km away and the hotel can organise luxury limousine services to both airports, choosing from a Rolls Royce Phantom as well as S and E class Mercedes.
Arriving at the Rome Cavalieri feels like stepping back into an age of glamour and indulgence (the Dolce Vita is very much alive at the Rome Cavalieri), as your taxi drives up to the main gates and you are greeted promptly by one of the waiting doormen you immediately know you are in good hands. Opt for a suite or Imperial Floor room and you have a separate VIP check in where you can sit with a glass of champagne while you check in.
Spa and Pools
The hotel’s Cavalieri Grand Spa Club is considered one of the best in Rome. It is split into different zones across 2500m2 and its size means there is plenty of space for everyone. Relax outside at the main pool area and call a pool boy from the remote control next to your sun lounger to order your next cocktail! And for families there is a separate children’s outdoor pool area.
Inside the spa there are ten treatment rooms offering a large range of spa services from La Prairie and a wide range of aromatherapy treatments and ayurvedic massages. There are two saunas, a large whirlpool and amethyst Turkish bath. Head inside to the glass covered indoor pool to get out of the sun and if you are feeling energetic do some exercise in their well equipped fitness centre with Artis by Technogym machines as well as a comprehensive programme of classes.
A Living Art Gallery
One of the most striking elements to the hotel is the vast collection of museum worthy art ranging from painting by old masters, French period furniture, rare tapestries, sculptures and artefacts as well as contemporary artworks. Three of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s most important masterpieces take pride of place in the main lobby while suites are decorated with artworks and furnishings including original Karl Lagerfeld sofas, 18th century antiques and paintings by Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana paintings.
Experiences At The Hotel
The Waldorf Group continue to be innovators in the luxury travel sector and the hotel offers a number of luxury experiences, one such experience is their Italian Supercar Experience, which offers guests the chance to experience a four hour driving tour on the Mille Miglia route taking guests through hilltop villages and winding roads that made the Gran Turismo sports car famous. The experience is priced a 850 Euros and you can opt to drive a Ferrari, Lamborghini or Maserati.
Guests staying in suites or Imperial Rooms have access to the Imperial Club, which offers VIP check in/out, complimentary breakfast, finger food and alcohol throughout the day and evening.
The Imperial Club floor has also received a complete top to bottom refurbishment elevating the spaces to a new level of luxury. The renovated club room is a place to relax and indulge in, the buffet corner is packed with treats to feast on from breakfast through to light afternoon snacks, early evening hors d’oeuvres, pre dinner cocktails and after dinner drinks. Guest can also indulge in an artistically lavish afternoon tea, featuring an Imperial tea tasting, cakes and homemade gelato. The Imperial Club’s private balcony offers a unique vantage point above Rome allowing guests to soak up breathtaking views.
The Imperial Club’s private balcony offers a unique vantage point above Rome allowing guests to soak up breathtaking views and the perfect spot for post dinner drinks.
Rooms and Suites
The resort offers 345 spacious deluxe rooms which all include 8m balconies. They also have 25 suites which range from 80m2 to 450m2 in size.
During our stay we were on the Imperial Floor. In our Imperial Room there was a welcome bottle of champagne and macaroons waiting for us on arrival.
The room had plenty of space at 50m2, and our king floating feather bed and pillow menu meant we were guaranteed to have the perfect nights sleep.
The 8m2 balcony offered incredible views and the marble topped writing desk included a range of changing points as well as a UK plug point.
The bathroom was finished in white Italian marble, included a separate bath and walk in shower and bath amenities were by Salvatore Ferragamo.
Located on the top floor the Petronius Suite’s ornate bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, wine cellar, and dining room and living space are adorned with antique furniture, brass, wooden parquet and rare seventeenth century paintings depicting Santa Caterina and Santa Cecilia. From mosaic tables to a sofa by Karl Lagerfeldm, this suite doubles as a museum in it’s own right.
Classic meets contemporary with the suites slick technology system which allows guests to control audio, visual and lighting at the touch of a button, while the state of the art Valcucine kitchen from the ‘Artematica’ line is fully equipped to cook a decadent private dinner all served in the eight seater dining room.
To increase the flexibility of the suite further can connect with an additional three Imperial Rooms and Vista Suite, to further increase the space for additional guests and families.
Where the Petronius Suite has a touch of the classic to it’s look the Penthouse Suite is all about contemporary complete with four Andy Warhol dollar sign paintings, interiors detailed with Swarovski and Karl Lagerfeld, such as crystal taps and an artistically large sofa.
Behind the bedroom you have your own private jacuzzi, and flick a switch next to the jacuzzi and the roof rolls back to present a set of stairs which lead up to your private rooftop terrace, complete with open air jacuzzi.
Food and Drink
The property offers a wide range of restaurants and bars to indulge in during your stay from Michelin Star to Al Fresco dining.
Starting with the jewel in the crown La Pergola Restaurant & Bar. Under the direction of chef Heinz Beck this if the only hotel in Rome to have been awarded a Michelin rated three stars. The restaurant is set on the top floor of the hotel, the interiors are finished in warm cherry wood accents and topped with 18th and 19th century artworks. On summer evenings La Pergola’s terrace opens up for candle lit dinners and inside each of the tables are set in order to take full advantage of this spectacular view and with 70,000 bottles of wine to choose from this is the perfect place to sample a glass or two as the sun sets over the city. Guests can start their meal with freshly baked bread served with olive oil before moving onto a starter such as the signature scallops marinated in lime and ginger. Fish lovers will really be in their element here and there are plenty of imaginative dishes to try such as amberjack carpaccio marinated in a white balsamic mint infusion and coated with pomegranate powder and black cod mash served with a celery crust and infusion. This is one restaurant where diners will want to linger and delicious desserts such as green apple with caramel ice cream and the delicate caramel foam with white chocolate and peanut nets provide the perfect excuse.
On the lower ground floor L’Uliveto Restaurant is overseen by Executive Chef Fabio Boschero. L’Uliveto is a showcase for the region’s finest small producers, who are proud to bring their culinary craftsmanship to the kitchen door, and be part of the event. The Chef Fabio sources beef from the white herds of Chianina, turbot from the Mediterranean, Piedmont truffles and the creamiest mozzarella from the Appian Way, in the summer months head outside to the terrace next to the restaurant for Al Fresco dining.
L’Uliveto presents a glorious start to the day, breakfast is presented with artistic beauty beneath magnificent paintings, or in golden sunshine by the pool. Be healthy and opt for fresh fruits, yoghurt and cereals, or go for something more indulgent from the comprehensive selection of hot buffet items, breads, cheeses, cold meats and fish.
Tiepolo Lounge and Terrace
The Tieopolo Lounge is a gallery of Venetian art, the ‘Centro Historico’ of the Rome Cavalieri. Tear your eyes away from the cascade of savoury and sweet tea temptations to spot Achilles disguised as a maiden. The handsome warrior appears in the imposing Venetian masterpiece by Tiepolo in female garb hiding on the island of Scyros.
Pool Bar & Chalet
A languid morning bronzing, segues into light lunch at the Chalet, take your spot next to the pool for a day of relaxation in the sun.
The Rome Cavalieri really is a jewel in Rome’s crown, the hotel is lavish and luxurious and turns a city break to Rome into a 5 star resort experience, which is much needed after a day exploring this vast metropolis. This hotel will satisfy the most picky of luxury travellers and the whole experience is faultless, make sure you stay in the hotel in your next trip to the capital of Italy.
We have included the hotel in our guide to the best luxury hotels in Rome.
Address: Via Alberto Cadlolo, 101, 00136 Roma RM, Italy