Historic Elegance at The Hassler Roma
It has been said that the city of Rome is a place that stands at the point where ancient history lives and breathes right alongside modern innovation. Given this unique and harmonious juxtaposition between the old and new, The Hassler Roma may be seen as the quintessential Roman hotel – one that combines the elegance and refinement of a storied past with all the luxurious convenience offered by the 21st century.
Founded in 1893 by Swiss hotelier Albert Hassler, The Hassler Roma is strategically located at the top of the city’s famed Spanish Steps, and is right next to the church of the Trinità dei Monti, famed for its allegedly miraculous fresco of the Mater Admirabilis. The hotel’s location puts it but a stone’s throw away from some of Rome’s most prominent attractions and landmarks.
Though the hotel has always been in this location, the building that currently stands on it is not the original one built by Albert Hassler. In 1939, as a way of meeting the needs of a growing number of tourists making their way to Italy and other parts of Europe, hotelier Oscar Wirth – whose family owns and operates The Hassler to this day – demolished the original structure to build one befitting the hotel’s position as the undisputed leader in the Italian hotel industry.
The Hassler Roma’s reputation for elegance and comfort has grown throughout the decades. While it was requisitioned as the Italian headquarters of the US Armed Forces during World War II, it has nevertheless retained and adhered to its standards for comfortable accommodations in tasteful surroundings. Indeed, since it reverted to the hands of the Wirth family in 1947, The Hassler Roma has become one of the world’s finest hotels in terms of both service and amenities.
Today, the hotel offers 66 well-appointed rooms and 21 luxe suites. Each of these is filled with stunning pieces of art, as well as fine antiques. All rooms boast of a commanding view of the city below, and one can enjoy seeing the Spanish Steps just outside, the naturalistic gardens of the nearby Villa Borghese, and – on particularly fine days – the fabled dome of St Peter’s Basilica.
Classic style meets contemporary comfort here, as the décor has a distinctively Baroque appeal as seen in the use of French crystal and porcelain, as well as the beautifully done trompe l’oeil paintings that adorn the ceilings and walls. Yet, the comforts here are certainly modern: the beds are made with fine linens; the marble bathrooms are equipped with hot and cold taps; tubs and showers, and bespoke toiletries; and workstations have high-speed internet connections for the modern business traveller.
The crown jewel among these rooms is the distinctively contemporary Hassler Penthouse Suite. With an expansive floor area of 330 square metres, this eighth-floor suite was born of the vision of the hotel’s current president and general manager Roberto Wirth. It is a study in modern luxury: the floors are tiled with Botticino marble, while the sitting room furniture is upholstered with rich fabrics from Hermès. The three-bedroom suite features a bar area fully stocked with champagne and other refreshments; two panoramic terraces; a spacious living room that can easily accommodate eight; its own fully-functional kitchen; a grand piano for entertaining; as well as Chroma-therapy showers to refresh and reenergise guests.
The Hassler Roma also has a reputation for being one of the finest places to dine in the city. Imàgo, on the sixth floor, is a Michelin-starred establishment where chef Andrea Antonini holds sway, offering a modern interpretation of classic Italian cuisine while playing up the best produce of the season. The Hassler Bistrot is also a popular choice, particularly for the theatre-going crowd who head there for Rome’s best cocktails and excellent après-performance snacks. But for those who want to experience the hotel at its Old World finest, a Veruschka – a vivid scarlet cocktail made with fresh pomegranate juice and champagne – sipped at The Hassler Bar would be just the thing.
With a guest list that ranges from Prince Rainier and Grace Kelly (who famously honeymooned there), The Beatles, and the Kennedys; to Francis Ford Coppola, Bill Gates, and various European monarchs, it is not surprising that The Hassler Roma is the hotel of choice for those who seek only the very best and most timeless comforts.