This summer, I began contributing hotels reviews for the Telegraph's Travel section. For me, it is the fun fusion of getting in depth with the Rome's hospitality service and enjoying my extraordinarily picky self. Each hotel comes from a selection chosen by both me and my editor and is based on my personal experience. My method is a regime of open-mindedness, questions of the "ask as much as you can", experience and attention to detail. Over the next few months, I will share my Telegraph reviews with you, and you can find them as well on The Telegraph. The Hotel Hassler review was first published on August 1, 2015 in The Telegraph.
Hotel Hassler is a Rome hotel offering Belle Époque grandeur, impeccable service, a wonderful 1940s bar, Michelin-starred restaurant, stylish bedrooms and a central Rome location, near Piazza di Spagna, Trevi Fountain, Ara Pacis and Piazza Navona.
Expert Rating 9/10 Rooms from £265
With its more than 120-year history as one of Rome's original hotels, Hotel Hassler maintains its title as the city’s Grand Dame with impeccable service and unforgettable style. Centrally-located, the Hassler is classic Rome - a larger than life personality in its 96 rooms, looming presence above Piazza di Spagna neighbourhood and Michelin-starred panoramic restaurant. What brings the Hassler charmingly down to earth is its very personalised service, time-capsule 1940s bar, bespoke concierge-curated activities and very stylised modern rooms.
Above Rome’s historic high-end shopping district Piazza di Spagna, the Hotel Hassler is within walking distance to several historic sites including the Trevi Fountain, Ara Pacis, Piazza Navona, Villa Borghese and, of course, the famed Via dei Condotti.
The Hassler style is a mercurial mix of original Belle Époque grandeur and a contemporary revisit of Art Deco, as curated by Astrid Schiller Wirth. Classic rooms are accented with vintage wooden furniture and antiquities (the hotel is built on the Republican era Horti Lucullani), while the bold contemporary counterparts have brightly coloured bolted furniture, linear dark panels and Swarovski accents, including recessed ceiling lights.
The hotel’s original 19th-century concierge desk in the hotel lobby sets the stage for the Hassler “grand hotel” service–focus, which is formal and precise. The Hassler’s key amenities include the Rossano Ferretti Hair Salon, an in-house salon under the watchful eye of Italy’s top colourist and style maker, and is located in the alcove above the concierge station. On the third floor, there is the small Amovero spa and gym - best with reservations for time in the hot sauna or on the treadmill. On site trainers are available by request.
You should be picky when choosing one of the Hassler’s 82 rooms and 14 suites. Room décor lends to either traditional classic, hearkening on the 120-year Hassler history, or contemporary Art Deco, as per the precise eye of Schiller Worth. Classic suites like the Grand Deluxe Double Forum are time-pieces with 18th- and 19th-century wooden and marble furniture, while the modern interpretations are styled in a minimal Art Deco with black, white and red accents. My personal favourite is the Grand Deluxe Trinità dei Monti Suite on the fifth floor, with its sweeping view of Rome’s cityscape and five balconies. If the view is your main requirement, and it should be, the best can be found from street-facing rooms on the fourth floor and above. It’s worth noting that every Hassler bathroom is unique, whether classic or modern, with lavish marbles and mosaics.
Food & drink 9/10
For the nearly a decade, the Michelin-starred restaurant Imagò has reigned on the Hassler’s sixth floor with its spectacular panoramic view and equally spell-binding Italian-fusion cuisine. Helmed by chef Francesco Apreda who collaborates with Hassler general director Roberto Wirth on consultancy restaurants in India and Tokyo as well, the seasonal Imagò menu is Apreda’s emotional take on contemporary nouvelle Italian cuisine inspired by his experiences in hometowns Naples and Rome, and travels throughout New York, Tokyo, London and Mumbai. Marble and mirrors play off the contemporary Rococo design. The cocktail set loves to primp over a light lunch or aperitivo at the Palm Court – a quaint garden bar with a mindboggling, oversized oyster cascading the bar. My secret spot, rain or shine, is the Hassler Bar, a time-capsule annex of red leather bar stools and curved banquettes. A bountiful buffet breakfast, offering the very best of continental desires as well as savory Italian style treats is served in the reception room of the Sala Vietri bar and garden bar Palm Court, in summer months.
Value for money 8/10
Double rooms from £265 in low season; rising to £450 in high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
Access for guests with disabilities?
The Concierge service focuses on little and not-so-little ones with bespoke tours to showcase the Eternal City for your child, as well in-room pampering with small-size robes, and handpicked snacks and treats.