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Hotel Hassler Villa Medici - luxury Rome Hotels
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Rome Italy Hotel Review - Hotel Hassler Villa Medici, Rome

by Wade Rowland - Part 2

The family history is important, because it is reflected in the experience of guests. No chain hotel, however well managed, is likely to be able to match the personal service and attention to detail that distinguish a family-owned property.

For one thing, corporations have no memory and no emotions - properties are swapped around on a regular basis; key staff migrate from job to job. High-end hotel ownership is being consolidated under fewer and bigger corporate umbrellas: for example Sheraton, recently swallowed by Starwood, owns the Excelsior and the Grand hotels in Rome, and in Venice the Excelsior and the Hotel des Bains on the Lido and the Danieli, the Gritti Palace, the Europa and the Regina in the city proper. All are now members of the Sheraton Luxury Collection. Sadly, fewer and fewer family-run luxury hotels remain in the world; the Hassler is the only one left in Rome.

Today's Hassler is on just about everybody's list of top European hotels, and it is by broad consensus the best luxury hotel in Rome. At 85 rooms and fifteen suites (two of them presidential suites complete with armoured doors), it is small enough to be able to cultivate an atmosphere of warmth and congeniality.

The Hassler's location on the Pinician Hill just at the top of the Spanish Steps and on the edge of the Borghese Villa parklands places it in the heart of prime tourist territory. (If you want to ride in the vast Borghese Gardens, the concierge will supply free bikes.) The views from the front-facing rooms are fabulous, and from the rooftop restaurant (where breakfast is served, as well), spectacular.

Hotel Hassler Rome Italy hotel review Hassler Hotel, Rome
Outdoor Terrace of Penthouse Suite

If you can afford the more than $3,000 a night tariff, the Penthouse Suite (renovated in 2001), situated on the 7th floor of the hotel, has a walk-out terrace where all of Rome is at your feet.

The antique pieces in the suite's sitting and dining areas include a 1780 desk, original paintings from the schools of Tintoretto and Caravaggio, Venetian mirrors, hand-cut crystal chandeliers, and Louis XV chairs. The large outdoor terrace overlooks the city and is ideal for private sunbathing, cocktails at sunset or an intimate romantic dinner.

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Rome Italy Hotel Review - Hotel Hassler Villa Medici, Rome

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