The First Luxury Art Hotel in Rome is a brand new concept in five-star luxury. A boutique hotel situated in a 19th Century upperclass residence, walls have been knocked down to make giant-sized rooms and suites – especially by European standards. It has been completely renovated with the most up-to-date amenities in a luxury hotel and also with the added dimension of serving its guests as an art gallery.
The walls, doors and windows are thick with extra insulation so that inside any of the 29 deluxe rooms and suites you cannot hear one iota of the busy surroundings. You would not know that outside is Rome’s most upscale and popular area. The Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, Borghese Villa and Gardens and the Tiber River are only a few feet away, as are the busy high-end shopping streets Via del Corso and Via Condotti, as well as many quaint and beautiful medieval churches and galleries.
Inside the common areas as well as the private quarters, the latest in modern eclectic art is displayed everywhere at The First Luxury Art Hotel. And if you were to fall in love with a piece, no worries - it is available for discussion and purchase with an expert Roman curator.
Besides the design and the artwork, The First Luxury Art Hotel strives to break down the old traditions of five-star hotels with their formal stuffiness. The staff is all extremely personable and professional, eager to help for a guest’s every whim. Special mention could be made of Daniele, the very outgoing Resident manager, always ready with a greeting. The concierge on duty, whether it be Antonio or Manolo, is bright and quick with suggestions and recommendations for your every need. At the cozy bar, be sure and have a chat with Veronica who, among her other duties at the hotel, is a wonderful conversationalist and interested in your every word.
With its doors open for merely a year-and-a-half at this writing, The First Luxury Art Hotel is already named on the “Hot List” of new hotels put out by the prestigious Conde Nast. Already it has become a quiet haven for superstars who want to bask in their privacy away from the paparazzi. Well-known European soccer stars have stayed there already, as well as jazz great Al Jarreau and some of the top fashion designers from the firm of Fendi.
The hotel mascot, the first piece of art you see inside the front door is a huge white ox. Several antique telephones are strapped on his back. The animal looks content, and the phones on its back are giving the feeling that even in the midst of business there is an earthy, relaxed, happy place to do business.
The hotel becomes very busy during “Alta Roma” fashion week in January and during other big fashion shows in July. A special Christmas dinner was being planned during our visit, which I’m sure turned into something sumptuous. Already the classy “All'Oro” Restaurant has become a favorite with local business people.
In warm weather, service is available on the ground floor as well as on the spectacular rooftop terrace.
Recently there has been an exciting new addition to The First Luxury Art Hotel family, Chef Riccardo di Giancinto, a Michelin-starred chef. He is already attracting high-end travelers from across the globe.
The terrace was a spark of genius in the renovation. It gives a birdseye view of 360 degrees around the Eternal City. It's lovely to relax there day or night and take in all the ambiance of this wonderful town. The Jacuzzi suites on the upper floors also have wonderful views as well as spacious outdoor hot tubs.
More spa amenities are also in the works. Next year will see the creation of a huge spa area with swimming pool, hot tubs, Turkish baths, massages and facials. The large Jacuzzi tub we enjoyed in our huge marble bathroom - complete with provided olive oil bath salts - was sublime.
I didn’t even mind getting out of the tub with a warmed-up towel, luxury robe and slippers waiting for me, as well as a wonderful milky body lotion. The bathroom is also equipped with a bidet, double marble sinks and a large salon-size hair dryer. The bathroom is way down the hall from the bedroom so your partner does not have to hear toilet flushing and other bathroom sounds. I think the bathroom was my favorite part.
The huge flatscreen televisions were convenient in both the bedroom and the small living room in our suite. The king-size bed was luscious as was the walk-in closet, which lights up when you open the doors. Of course, original artwork is displayed throughout.
The 19th Century atrium is lovely and updated with a large modern sculpture at the bottom, visible from all the floors, with a lovely skylight at the top. The colors of walls and carpets are neutral and understated so much the more to highlight the original artwork. About twice a year the hotel becomes an exhibition place for a chosen artist.
Musicians entertain in one of the small alcoves of the lobby nightly. There are fabulous art books strewn throughout reading areas and suites as well.
The First Luxury Art Hotel is a luxurious home base from which to discover all the delights of the city. Rome is wonderful in November - low tourist season. You feel uncrowded and easy in your appreciation of the city. You feel that the park musicians are playing just for you...
29 elegant and stylish rooms including 6 Deluxe Rooms and 23 Suites start at about 300 euros, with the suites at 450 euros, all the way up to 1,450 euros. Pricey, but if you are going to splurge, The First Luxury Art Hotel Roma is definitely worth looking into. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay. All in all, this is one of the classiest places you will probably ever find.
Georja Umano is an actor and animal advocate.
The First Luxury Art Hotel Roma
Via del Vantaggio 14,
Tel: +39 06 4561 7070 Fax: +39 06 4561 7079