After an aborted attempt last summer to find a decent B&B in Rome (see our other reviews on the subject), we decided to go in the complete opposite direction this time and stay in a 5-star hotel. The Hassler, by and large, lived up to its reputation and our expectations, with a few caveats.
As usual, we had a car, so that presented an issue, as it always does in Rome. Finding anything in Rome is pretty much always a hassle with a vehicle. GPS’s rarely work perfectly and roads are a crazy mess of one-way streets and alleys that just end (even when your GPS says you should be able to drive through). We spent our normal “find the hotel” quest weaving around the busy streets and finally figured out where the hotel was. The doormen were great and they helped us clear out the car and then put the car in valet parking. We entered the hotel and encountered our first bit of oddness.
We should point out here that just prior to coming up to the hotel, we had spent a good portion of the day hiking around the ruins in Pompeii. In hiking clothes. In the rain. And then made the 3 hour drive north to Rome. So, we were not exactly looking our Sunday best at this point. We stood around in the lobby for a bit (with all our belongings piled up in a corner) and tried to figure out what to do next. There were two people at the front desk who took one look at us and must have decided we were in the wrong place (also, to be fair, we drove up in a rental Fiat, which was now parked outside next to the Ferraris, Lamborghinis, Mercedes, etc.). It was fairly clear that no one was going to help us voluntarily, so I finally asked one of the desk clerks whether we could check in. She kind of looked at me with a raised eyebrow and agreed to look up our names. We should also note that we had not booked a cheap room – we enjoy our luxury accommodations and had chosen one of their higher end suites. Despite that, as she was describing the hotel amenities, she continually made it a point to tell us that “a certain dress code is expected”. Now, we understand that a higher end establishment likes to keep up good appearances, and we do bring nice clothing along for these occasions, but there are many people who can afford nice accommodations AND like to adventure, so we were disappointed in them treating us like vagabonds as they escorted us to an extremely expensive room.
The room itself was exquisite. Amazingly appointed with tasteful art, a beautiful bed, excellent amenities, a balcony overlooking the square, a large, luxurious bathroom – the reputation the Hassler has for excellence is well deserved. Our escort showed us all the amenities of the room, how to use the services, and the bellhop brought up all our bags and belongings. We enjoyed getting cleaned up after a day of adventure and struck out on foot to explore Rome from this area. It should be noted that the Hassler does have bicycles available and can arrange virtually any mode of transit inside the city, but we prefer walking and cabs in Rome, since it is always difficult to do anything with a bike or car when you reach your destination. Thankfully, the Hassler also provides umbrellas and the doorman graciously provided us with a couple as we strode into the rainy evening.
The Hassler is situated above the Spanish Steps and the Piazza Trinità dei Monti – it is truly a gorgeous setting! We walked down the steps and looked around the area and found a nice place to eat (we were kind of put off from eating in the hotel, since they told us so many times that their dining room required a certain dress code, as they looked scornfully at our hiking clothes from the day). The hotel nicely located in the center of the city and most of the major attractions are within a 15 minute walk of the hotel. There are a couple notable exceptions, such as the Colosseum, but there are so many things you can walk to from the Hassler, you won’t tire of things to do. The second day, we spent mostly at the Vatican, enjoying our favorite gelaterias, and strolling through the area around Trevi Fountain. On our last day, we visited the Colosseum before we left for the airport. We have been to Rome many times and, while there is always some curve ball that Rome will throw your way, it is a city we never get bored with and always find new things to explore. It is so rich with history and legend, you can’t help to dig into something that interests you with each visit.
The breakfast at the hotel was very good. We enjoyed it and were able to get everything we could have wanted. It was a pleasant surprise in a big hotel to see attention to detail with the courses and that everything was appropriately made on the premises.
In all, the Hassler is a superb hotel. We enjoyed it thoroughly, with our only real issue being their condescending attitude. When you are spending that kind of money on a hotel room you should be able to walk in the door wearing either a 3-piece suit and shorts and a t-shirt and expect the same, professional level of service. In this day and age, they should know that you cannot judge a person by the clothes on their back.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Hassler Roma is the legendary five star Rome luxury hotel at the top of the Spanish Steps, residence of choice for a memorable experience in the Eternal City. In the heart of the city's historic center, the Hassler is one of the best hotels in Rome, minutes from Via Condotti as well as important monuments and landmarks, including the Pantheon, St. Peter's Basilica, the Coliseum, the Villa Borghese gardens and The Trevi Fountain. Owned by President and Managing Director Roberto E. Wirth, fifth generation of a famous Swiss dynasty of hoteliers, the Hassler Roma hotel offers 93 unique rooms and suites. Magnificent dining options within the hotel include the Michelin-starred Imàgo, the Salone Eva and Palm Court Restaurants and Hassler Bar, and Il Palazzetto Restaurant & Wine Bar nearby. Elegance, style, the highest quality service and discretion have made the Hassler Roma the very symbol of international hospitality. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hassler Hotel Rome