Address: Via Alberto Cadlolo, 101, 00136 Roma, Italy
Phone: +39 06 35091
My Rating: 95%
Price Rating: $$$$$
Summary of Stay: I started my Italian vacation at the 5 Star Rome Cavalieri before a 2 week cruise. The hotel looked almost too good to be true from it's’ reviews, photos and ratings. Naturally I was skeptical. However, from the moment I arrived in my chauffeured BMW, I knew that this hotel was deserving of all of its accolades. I also understood why Leonardo DiCaprio called the Rome Cavalieri home for 6 months while he was in town filming. (Check out the YouTube video to get a glimpse of the spectacular penthouse he stayed in!)
Upon exiting the vehicle, the perfumed gardens greet you before the attentive staff have an opportunity. My bags were quickly whisked out of the vehicle and I was welcomed by a door man who showed me to the reception desk. From here, I was escorted to a private area where a cosy chair and drink were offered to me. Check in was quick and simple and the check-in staff were very welcoming. The same check-in agent, took me up to my room and gave a quick tour of the suite and gave me an overview of the property.
The Vista Suite was extremely spacious and had a lovely layout with a view over the city and pool area. Had I been a floor or two higher, I would have seen the Vatican from my balcony. The balcony was furnished with two chairs and a small table. Back indoors, there was a very comfortable sitting area with a sofa, two oversized chairs, a flatscreen television and marble fireplace. There was also a large desk—but luckily I didn't need to use it. The king size bed was extremely comfortable and had 3 different sizes of pillows so you could easily find the one that fit best. The property has a renowned art collection and each suite has historical and original art on it’s walls. Moving towards the entrance, there are 3 closets with very ample storage, safe and plenty of hangers. And of course, the mini bar was perfectly stocked with top shelf liquors and snacks. The marble bathroom was roughly the size of a bowling lane—very long and narrow but well laid out. The walk in shower to your right, then further along sinks and vanity area, and further beyond is the bathtub, bidet and toilet. Another nice touch was the Tuscan toiletries by Italian fashion designer Salvatore Ferragamo (including eye cream, face masks, soaps, etc).
The hotel’s classic European style is everything you’d expect from an iconic 5 star hotel but it doesn’t lack the modern amenities we have grown accustomed to. Rooms are draped in expensive silk fabrics and black-out curtains and the recessed coloured LED lighting accentuates it nicely. The desk is ornate and grandiose, but it also offers both European and North American plug-ins. The wall mirror in the bathroom doubles as a television—while I didn’t watch TV while I got ready, it was useful to update me on the weather and news highlights.
One of the reasons I was so drawn to this hotel was it’s lovely pool areas. The hotel boasts one indoor pool and 3 outdoor pools—set among 15 acres of private gardens. There are several poolside attendants to help set up chairs, get towels and to offer drink service. Beyond the pools, there is a state-of-the-art gym that was just renovated and reopened before I arrived. The gym has everything from personal trainers to a variety of fitness classes. There are also two clay tennis courts and a jogging circuit. If you are looking for something more relaxing, the Grand Spa is the perfect spot to get a massage or a facial.
The hotel also has a few dining options that are worth bragging about. La Pergola is Rome's only 3 Michelin star restaurant and proudly sits atop the hotel. Under the reign of chef Heinz Beck, La Pergola serves the very finest in Italian cuisine while providing panoramic views of Vatican City and Rome. L'Uliveto Restaurant, Cavalieri's less formal option, is open morning, noon and night. The restaurant excels at both local and international dishes. In warmer months, tables spill out over the terraced steps that overlook the pool. I had breakfast here and was amazed by the selection and quality of the foods. Furthermore, the service was incredible and although breakfast was served as a buffet, I received better attention than almost any other restaurant I've been to in ages. The orange juice was delightful and I had the best spring roll of my life. Sunday brunch here is done in a big way and it is a destination in and of itself. Beyond the two restaurants, the Imperial Lounge is a private club-floor lounge open to suite guests. It is the perfect place to grab a drink, have afternoon tea or read the morning paper with danish. The concierge in the Imperial Lounge was especially helpful in making some last minute arrangements and printing off some documents for me.
A few things to note about the hotel is that it is about 15 minutes from the city centre of Rome. Don't let this deter you as the hotel offers a shuttle directly to the Spanish steps and from here you can walk anywhere in central Rome. Also, hotels with incredible pools always attract families but the children I encountered here were quiet, polite and always well behaved.
Finally, my stay at the Rome Cavalieri was near perfect. Looking back there were only 2 strikes against the property. #1 - The telephone operator did not call me back to confirm my late check out, but when I called back she apologized and was able to grant my request. #2 - I got an electrical zap from a poorly grounded lamp on the desk in my room. But beyond those two minor incidents, the hotel and the service exceeded my expectations in every way. It's been a long time since a hotel truly wowed me and it was the perfect way to kick off my European vacation.