Experience the Many Faces of Rome
Any premium hotel can offer the finest amenities, perfectly outfitted guestrooms and white-glove service. But, only a handful of hotels can complement these services with experiences that tap into the local culture and society to create a truly memorable vacation. Now more than ever luxury travelers are looking to invest their time and their dollars into hotels and resorts with experiential programs second to none. One hotel that continues to impresses guests with their range of unique programs and experiences, whether it’s with fashion, art or history, is the five-star Rome Cavalieri, The Waldorf Astoria Collection.
Located just outside the city center, the Rome Cavalieri is situated in a 15-acre Mediterranean park offering gasp-worthy views of the Eternal City and Vatican City. As one of the city’s leading hotels, the Rome Cavalieri attracts an elite crowd with a mixture of celebrities, diplomats, high-society, and business and luxury travelers. Each room and suite offers private balconies with panoramic views of the city skyline or the property’s lush park and each with a wide range of in-room amenities featuring marble bathrooms, extensive soap and pillow menus, retractable soundproof walls, and electronic black-out shades. But, beyond the luxe amenities that make this hotel an award-winning property that has been heralded time and time again by the Daily Telegraph, Condé Nast Traveler, and Travel + Leisure, among other publications, the Rome Cavalieri offers several unique experiences that are tailored to match the individual interests of its guests.
For history and culture buffs looking for hands-on action to truly grasp the daily life of ancient Rome, you can don crisp white tunics, metal studded leather belts and authentic gladiator sandals to experience the Rome Cavalieri’s Gladiator Training. Working with the Gruppo Stucco Romano, a society devoted to the study and reenactment of gladiator culture, you embark on a two-hour journey into the past and learn ancient combat techniques of the infamous gladiators. In addition to the traditional clothing, instructors provide novice gladiators with protective gloves, shields and weapons for their class. The training, which takes place in the hotel’s private park, begins with a brief contextual history of gladiator culture and then the instructor trains participants in the fundamentals of sword combat, all with weapons meticulously crafted in keeping with historical records. Students begin with a rudis, or wooden training sword, and graduate when ready to a range of iron weapons modeled after the gladius, trident and other traditional swords. Upon completion, students are presented with a medal declaring them a tiro or first level gladiator and then rewarded with a four-handed Gladiator Massage in the hotel’s Grand Spa, designed specifically for new graduates. It’s rumored that this program may have inspired the city of Rome’s recent news on bringing back gladiators to the Coliseum for summer 2009.
While grunting and sword fighting doesn’t suit everyone’s taste, guests can relish in another type of hands-on experience – shopping and styling. Sparked by the international attention on Carla Bruni and the various designers who have called Rome home for some years, the Rome Cavalieri recently launched the “Style By Appointment” service, providing guests with access to top influencers in Italian beauty and style. You are afforded the opportunity for a complete head-to-toe transformation within the comfort of your hotel room, beginning and ending the day with luxurious La Prairie face and body treatments in the Grand Spa.
The Cavalieri’s notoriety among the fashionable elite in Rome has lent itself to aligning with a trio of Italy’s leading celebrity style authorities. Countess Barbara Lessona, who was born into Italian aristocracy and is a direct descendent of Pocahontas, is one of Rome’s most trusted and prestigious personal shoppers. Lessona helps you find your “new look” whether it’s at the Fendi Palace, at an emerging designer’s studio or at the 50-year-old André Laug atelier, where Countess Laura della Croce and her seamstresses receive every guest like an old acquaintance. After a day on the town with Lessona, legendary hair stylist Sergio Valente, who has collaborated with all of the greats – Valentino, Armani, Linda Evangelista, and Claudia Schiffer, consults and works on the color, shape and style of your hair. To round-out the day, you meet with make-up artists Francesco Pina and Valentina Fallerini. Guests are in good hands as this team has worked on numerous top runway shows in Rome, Milan and Paris including Valentino, Mattiolo, and Krizia and they’ve perfected the faces of Lauren Bacall, Catherine Deneuve, Bo Derek, Brooke Shields and Giselle Bundchen. You can regale in delight of your new look by showing off at La Pergola, Rome’s most coveted table and the city’s only three-star Michelin restaurant and only one of five 3-starred Michelin experiences in Italy. Located on the Cavalieri’s rooftop, with St. Peter’s Basilica at your fingertips, Chef Heinz Beck creates an unparalleled gourmet experience that is the ideal ending to a day of fine-tuning the inner and outer you.
If you’re more of the gallery type, then there is one unique experience, indigenous to the Rome Cavalieri that will speak to you. The hotel owner Angelo Guido Terruzi’s 1,100 piece art collection is on display throughout the hotel’s public spaces and guestrooms. A collection that has been said to be insured for 50 million Euros is for you to explore with almost every major school of the 17th and 18th centuries on display. You’ll also find bronze and marble sculptures on exhibit with such gems as Bertel Thorvaldsen’s 19th-century “The Shepherd Boy and His Dog” and S. Franchi’s “Venus and Mars.” Other highlights include “The Audience of the Emperor” tapestry, which is part of a 10-piece collection with other works in the Getty Museum in Los Angeles and the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the crib built for Napoleon’s son, original Andy Warhols and a collection of Karl Lagerfeld sofas.
The triptych cycle of Giovanni Battista Tiepolo’s most important rococo paintings, "Ulysses discovering Achilles among the Daughters of Lycomedes,” was acquired by the hotel’s owner by auction for $8 million in November 2006. Since then the pieces have been the centerpiece of the hotel’s lobby and prompted the creation of the Tiepolo Lounge & Terrace and the afternoon Tea with Tiepolo service. You can tour the art collection with a private guide or opt to tour at your own leisure with a new MP3 tour, which is available on iPods at the Cavalieri’s concierge desk on a complimentary basis. But, if you’re looking for a “no-fuss” option, you are able to preview the art collection before your trip online at the hotel’s website and download the tour to upload on your own MP3 Player. There is also an MP3 tour of the Roman Forum, which you can also download ahead of time.
Interested in these experiences? You can arrange any of these experiences by contacting the hotel’s concierge prior to arrival. Some may say, springtime in Paris, I say springtime at the Rome Cavalieri. For more information or reservations, please visit www.romecavalieri.com or dial +39 06 3509 1.