Eternally wonderful stay in Italian capital
KATE FIELDER enjoys the sights and sounds of Rome – but also gets some peace and quiet on her break
CITY breaks are something I’ve grown to appreciate in my more grown up years. I want the hustle and bustle of a vibrant city, the energy, the vibe, but I also want a sophisticated hotel, a peaceful haven to recover after a jam-packed day sightseeing and wandering the streets from one tourist hot spot to the next.
I found myself travelling to Rome in early spring, it made perfect sense for a short weekend break due to its two-hour and 50-minute flight time from Manchester.
It is an incredibly easy destination to get to, with regular direct flights from Jet2, and it’s a destination so far removed from my home city that there is a level of adventure unmatched in my other city break travels.
Ticking all the boxes in my quest for a peaceful haven not far from a vibrant city was The Rome Cavalieri Waldorf Astoria Hotel & Resorts. The Rome Cavalieri is nestled on the highest hill in Rome, the magnificent Monte Mario.
Overlooking the stunning eternal city, and due to its more unusual location, space is plentiful - unlike most of Rome’s central hotels.
Arriving at the Rome Cavalieri you soon realise this is so much more than a hotel. It is home to more than 1,000 pieces of art, French period furniture, gigantic tapestries and elegant paintings.
Many people flock to Rome to spend time in a city that doubles up as a living and breathing museum, witnessing some of the greatest artworks in history, like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, or visiting many of the most beautiful sights in the world while casually wandering around the city.
The Rome Cavalieri is a sought-after property, one of the top hotels in Rome, frequented by Hollywood greats, sporting heroes and political leaders, and it’s not difficult to see why.
With decadent styled bedrooms and luxury suites, including a most impressive penthouse apartment, all manner of guests can retreat to their own luxurious haven. Every room has a balcony, so the trip can be made even more special waking to the view of Rome.
Another option is to stay in an Imperial Room – a VIP service is offered with these rooms, located on the Imperial floors of the hotel. They include private check-in and out, and access to the Imperial Lounge - meaning drinks and snacks are available all day long, at no extra charge.
Rome’s only three Michelin-starred restaurant, La Pergola, is situated on the roof terrace of the Rome Cavalieri. It is such a lavish restaurant with the all important views and food consistently made to the highest standard to keep its coveted Michelin stars.
However, even if staying at the hotel, booking is essential and usually needed quite far in advance.
A more accessible in-house all day dining option is L’uliveto Restaurant, which serves a superb buffet breakfast with lots of choice and a world-wide influence.
Dinner is a classy affair in the L’uliveto, with fresh local ingredients with an elegant twist and sophisticated presentation. There is a sommelier on hand to expertly guide guests through the wine list and, when the weather permits, a seating area on the main terrace – with that all important view – to provide almost the perfect dinner setting, without the Michelin price.
But nobody goes to Rome to stay in hotel grounds, no matter how amazing. Peeling myself away from my lush surroundings, I jumped on the hotel’s complimentary shuttle bus into the city ready for a pre-booked three-anda-half hour tour of the magnificent Vatican City and amazing art it holds.
The show stopper was a trip through the magnificent Sistine Chapel – with some of the most famous works of Michelangelo and much more.
The sheer size detail and magnitude of the paintings can be overwhelming.
My favourite part of the Vatican City was the Gallery of the Maps, a huge room decorated with 40 maps of ancient Italian regions all painted between 1580 and 1585 by famous geographer of the time Ignazio Danti.
And after our tour, following our guide with hundreds of other tours going on, it was time to head to the city and meet our friendly shuttle bus driver and wearily head back to The Rome Cavalieri and toast the end of my stay with an ice-cold prosecco on the balcony overlooking the magnificent city of Rome.
The Rome Cavalieri really does prove you can have everything...
The Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts boasts wonderful views across Rome
No trip to Rome is complete without a visit to see the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican