Old World vs What’s New – Do Rome Your Way

Are you for old grandeur or tomorrow’s trends? Because the most famous old city in the world has new hotels and modern vibes. So how do you experience Rome your way?

Our project Director Stepan Borovec recently returned from a long weekend in the Italian capital where he tried the best from both worlds – old-world grandeur and new-world smart luxury. Can you do contemporary Rome as well as ancient Rome?

The Old World – Rome Cavalieri

Do you like the old-world opulence of this Waldorf Astoria hotel?

Rome Cavalieri is one of the most famous old hotels in Rome, located on a hillside overlooking the city. It feels like a resort within the city – with two pools, gardens, shops, rooftop bar and over 350 rooms and suites.

To be honest, my first impression was like wtf – a huge apartment building which looks quite dated from the outside.

Entering the lobby the design was clear – it’s beyond opulent, going big on golden statues, painting and grand art. I don’t like this super opulent design, but in that location, in Rome, it somehow plays out.

To get the most from your experience, I recommend an Imperial club level room on the 7th floor. It’s not really expensive and well worth it. You enjoy exclusive access to the club, with snacks and drinks throughout the day – what a place for an aperitivo! These rooms on higher floors have the best views as well.

The view from my 7th floor Imperial club room.

The views are amazing, the breakfast is spectacular, but the location is outside the city centre. You’ll be walking a lot, or taking transfers on crowded Rome streets (not best for getting to nightlife).

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The New World – W Rome

This is the W Rome lobby. Do you prefer this modern style?

After Cavalieri I stayed two nights at the completely new W Rome. It couldn’t be more different – modern design, fresh vibe, quite small, in the city centre.

W is the first lifestyle luxury hotel in Rome and judging by how busy the bar is, the people of Rome are welcoming it.

W is a Marriott brand focused on young travellers and its main motto is music, design, fashion. Their Rome hotel doesn’t disappoint – they have a resident DJ so no boring radio music.

My room. Main element of every room and suite is the famous Carrara marble.

W Rome is so new it’s not fully finished when I visited in March 2022. They’re still constructing some suites and a rooftop bar with plunge pool. Also under construction is a new Rome EDITION hotel, showing how W Rome is at the start of a trend towards lifestyle hotels.

In the old world the staff are very formal. I prefer W Rome, where the staff are friendly, young and laid-back. But skip the entry level rooms as they are very small. Overall I especially recommended it to young adults or those who feel young.

This is the W Rome reception. Maybe not something you expect in Rome?

Old Meets New – St. Regis Rome

We went for dinner and a hotel tour at the St. Regis Rome, a grand hotel in the city centre. Located in an impressive palazzo, it opened in 1894, but the design is actually quite modern. It underwent a massive refurbishment in 2018.

Check out the incredible heritage ceiling inside the St Regis!

The rooms are very bright, combining old world grandeur with modernity and I personally really liked it. It doesn’t feel that heavy or old. The con is you won’t have a Rome view here, but the service, design and amenities are truly superb.

Me in the Royal Suite bathroom. They went all in on the marble.

There’s also a private elevator for vvip guests like royal families and celebrities. And you? 🙂 Btw, skip the entry level rooms as they are too small, but that’s the case with almost all city centre hotels.

Do Rome Your Way

Rome offers a great range of luxury hotels and each is suitable for different type of traveller. The addition of modern, lifestyle hotels is great, because the Eternal City is finally getting a dose of freshness. And if you like new world, you will also have a great experience in Rome.

  • Cavalieri – great for families who want to entertain kids in the hotel itself, not only in the city. And if you like true old world glamour
  • W Rome – perfect for young adults who like to go out, party and prefer modern design
  • St. Regis Rome – a safe bet in the city centre for families and couples, with outstanding service and refurbished interiors

There are other amazing properties our clients love as well.

  • J.K. Place – very boutique, original and calm, central location
  • Rocco Forte De La Ville – amazing location on top of the Spanish Steps, a classic for its service and glamour
  • Rocco Forte De Russie – another Rome classic by Rocco Forte hotels, small and peaceful with beautiful gardens
  • Eden Hotel – a legend of Rome hospitality, 130 years old, but owned by Dorchester and the Sultan of Brunei, who is not the world’s biggest democrat to say the least.

There’s a huge variety of Rome hotels (we certainly didn’t mention all that are worth it!) and finally there’s the new world. So if you want hip and fresh, you can do that, as well as ancient Rome. We’ve visited the Rome hotels and we’ll advise you based on your preferences.

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