Is there somewhere you would rather be? I rarely make a repeat visit to a city unless it is Paris; however, a recent visit to Barcelona and Mallorca left me besotted and I am already plotting a return. Having the VV best guides and land team managers in Italy, I had nearly forgotten how much I adore all that is Italia. A few days in Rome at Hotel de Russie renewed my lost love. They say all roads lead to Rome, all roads should lead directly to Hotel de Russie!
Understated elegance combined with the most discreet and gracious staff, a sojourn at Hotel de Russie is incomparable. In a sense, the small size makes one feel you are cocooned at a private Villa estate with the grandest garden tucked against the terraced hillside. Step inside the inconspicuous entrance and leave the flurry of Rome behind till tomorrow.
Between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, with its own 18th Century terraced garden, Hotel de Russie once hosted the poet Jean Cocteau, who wrote that he could pick oranges from his balcony, and described the hotel as “paradise on Earth.” This paradise was later turned into an office building before Sir Rocco Forte fashioned it into one of Rome’s most stylish luxury hotels.
Built in 1818, the locals, in describing the early visitors, the Russian personalities who used to hide out here – the Romanoff’s, Stravinsky, the Ballet de Russie, a long list, probably invented the name Hotel de Russie.
The finer details: superb styling in the 32 classic suites, executive to full blown Italian penthouse luxe. The ultra special Vaselli suite offers views of the secret blossoming garden, and has a small terrace for breakfast or afternoon Proseco. Popoli suite and Picasso suite all have amazing roof terraces and a long list of appealing amenities. Your private apartment in Paris with full services: the Nijinsky Suite at the top of the hotel has the largest terrace with outside dining room, overlooking the gardens, the Villa Borghese, the Pincio and the rest of the Eternal City. It also has a fantastic mosaic steam room.
Off the main lobby, the library is decorated in subtle tranquil tones; oversize sofas and comfy wing back chairs, linger with your morning papers and a double espresso. After a day of Roma retail therapy, plop down for a spot of tea and people watching. De Russie is a celebrity magnet and the ultimate location to indulge in indiscreet glances at the ultra chic visitors. Afterwards, slip downstairs to the spa and indulge in a traditional Roman soak in the salt water marine hydro pool. Glamor abounds in and about the hotel.
Fabled restaurant Le Jardin de Russie, where two-Michelin-star chef Fulvio Pierangelini creates rustic Mediterranean dishes; the garden restaurant is one of the most romantic places to dine in Rome. Amid beautiful old roses and fragrant orange and cedar trees, the secret garden restaurant is the perfect oasis after a day of walking the cobblestone streets. Don’t miss the Beef “Tagliata” with wild mushrooms, prepared on the Himalayan Pink Salt grill, nothing compares.
Linger for hours in the garden, be spoiled and delight in the flirtatious banter of the ever-hovering waiters – one never forgets the charms of Italian men. Nor will you ever want to depart from the elegant Hotel de Russie. A month feels just right!