Eva Wiseman Checks In To Rome Cavalieri, A Waldorf Astoria Resort & Spa
It’s possible to get the whole Roman experience from this 1960’s property set high on the hillside in 15 acres of lush Mediterranean park. Sparkling beneath you, below the three swimming pools, the city is laid out like a boardgame; indoors are museum-quality artworks, a gourmet restaurant, and a decadent pool. As we weaved our way up to the hotel, the city felt very far away, and I had the sinking feeling that it was one of those places where you’d feel a little stranded, ending up ordering room service in front of another Italian gameshow as you’d missed the last train to town. But we soon realised two things. First, that a shuttle bus takes visitors down the hill to the centre of Rome every half hour, which means there’s no excuse for missing the Trevi Fountain or Spanish Steps (both recently renovated by luxury brands). And secondly, that even if you were stranded, there must be few places where that would feel like a complete treat.
An ‘Ancient Rome’-themed spa covers over 25,000 square feet, with indoor and outdoor pools, Turkish baths and saunas.
Feeling weighed down by excellent pasta and greying from local smoke, I went for the Cellular Resurfacing Facial to refresh me. Using La Prairie products, the therapist polished and hydrated my skin leaving me with a healthy glow, and feeling infinitely lighter. The most expensive options are the Platinum Rare Facial, using infusions of pure platinum, and the three hour Swiss Bliss Treatment at €290.
When you check in, ask for a Rome view to make the most of the panorama sprawling beneath your window. Each of the 345 bedrooms has its own private balcony, with the Penthouse and Planetarium suites offering private, 2,000-square-foot terraces with hot tubs and views of St. Peter’s Basilica.Not only are there sofas designed by Karl Lagerfeld, but Andy Warhol paintings hang on the wall. This is not your average hotel, and the decor will divide opinion. Personally, I loved the combination of 60’s brutal architecture and opulent Dolce Vita interiors.
Reservations for La Pergola need to be made at least one month in advance, so I found myself in L’Uliveto, their second restaurant, where the service is impeccable, and the food delicious. But where you are always peering over your shoulder wondering what they’re getting at Heinz Beck’s Michelin starred place…
Though it’s tempting to laze in the hotel all day, allow the free shuttle bus to take you into the city. If only so you can return back knackered from walking, and really appreciate the sauna.