It’s not entirely accurate to say that Waldorf Astoria’s Rome Cavalieri is one of the best hotels in Rome, because it isn’t really in Rome. Not in the busy centre at least. Nestled on a slope high above the city on the far side of the River Tiber, the grand dame of a building commands a panoramic view, allowing guests to observe the Eternal City from above.
The focal point of the hotel is the 40-metre outdoor pool and glass conservatory of the Grand Spa Club. In the summer, the poolside is the place to see and be seen for Romans, countrymen and visitors alike, in an eye-pleasing display of flesh and designer poolwear that could come straight from the pages of a glossy fashion magazine.
Corner Suite 467 on the fourth floor has a bird’s eye view of the entire affair, backed by breathtaking vistas of the city. Marble-framed mirrors at either end of the double balcony reflect light and sky, making the space appear to stretch to infinity.
Inside, the suite is fitted with antique furniture, marble obelisks, lavish ornaments and an impressive collection of authentic artwork. The centrepiece of the living area is a french antique desk with gilded trim, accompanied by a glass table lamp and potted orchid.
A curved bookshelf is stocked with Italian literature and a collection of English language classics by Mark Twain, Daniel Defoe and Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as a stack of fine art catalogues and coffee table books. There’s even a pair of binoculars for close-up views of the city (and the pool, one would imagine).
Heavy drapes frame the windows, and a luxurious throw adorns a black leather Keyton Verona massage chair. An extensive pillow menu features 13 different types of pillow that can be used during your stay or taken home for EUR 150 (US$184) each. Above the king-sized bed, a fisheye-style porthole mirror adds a playful dimension to the room.
The bathroom is decorated in white marble, with amenities by Salvatore Ferragamo, and a bath menu offers four soaking options. Try the ‘Carezzevole’ bath with Crabtree and Evelyn Aloe Vera, served with caviar and champagne for an indulgent EUR 300 ($368). Fourteen different soaps offer a scent for every mood.
Suite guests have access to the Imperial Club, an exclusive lounge on the seventh floor. There isn’t a better way to enjoy panoramic views of Rome than sitting on the breezy terrace with a glass of prosecco as the sun begins its descent, illuminating the dome of the Basilica di San Pietro in Vatican City below.
A fireworks display lights up the sky one night just after 10pm, and the popping of corks and clinking of glasses marks the beginning of another glamorous night out for Rome’s rich and famous. Is that Jay Gatsby I can see on the lawn below my terrace? Or just another impeccably dressed guest mooching off into the shadows?
Suite: Corner Suite 467
What: Rome Cavalieri – Waldorf Astoria
Where: Via Alberto Cadlolo 101, 00136 Rome, Italy
Price: from EUR 1,200 (US$1,473) per night