Can you do a Valentines Day weekend with a baby? Well, if you have a baby you don’t have much choice. Our Product & Marketing Director Stephen Bailey just returned from a romantic weekend in Rome for three.
His choice – Baglioni Hotel Regina in Rome. Here are his travel memories.
Choosing a Romantic Rome Hotel
This hotel was on my radar after I discovered the new Baglioni Resort Sardinia in Sardinia. I don’t typically go for bigger hotel brands with a house style. I like originality and surprise.
Did you know Lady Gaga spent three months in the Baglioni Hotel Regina penthouse, while filming House of Gucci? Or that the hotel’s palazzo was at the heart of la dolce vita movement?
I didn’t. I wanted something comfortable for my six-month-old daughter Leia with a wow and exclusivity factor for my wife Christa. Italy was an obvious choice for comfort and St Valentine died in Rome. And the hotel certainly surprised me.
A Style and Character
Seeing the hotel’s front facade covered in scaffolding was actually a relief (I’m told it will be gone before Easter). I’m the least fashionable person in our team and sometimes feel overawed when hotels have too much old-world grandeur like, George V in Paris, or too much tomorrow’s trendy, like Fendi. I prefer it when it’s understated.
The lobby immediately made an impression though. It’s not bling bling but quietly impressive like the entire hotel. It seems there is marble everywhere, from floors to bathrooms to walls. While this suggests polished grandeur, any ostentation is tempered by the art and design.
Black and white photos from la dolce vita period cover the walls. We had Louis Armstrong playing the trumpet inside the Colosseum, in my deluxe room. Art deco furniture adds to the style. It’s not boastful or flashy, probably not a style that would instantly wow Instagrammers.
There’s a calm and serenity here, a sense of knowing rather than showing, believing rather than making it up for the cameras.
Comfort and Service
I have a wonderful baby daughter Leia who loves to scream wildly and loudly a few times every day. Would we feel welcomed or bothersome? She was doted over everywhere.
The reception staff almost felt like surrogate aunties by the end of our stay.
Receiving a handwritten note and Roma teddy bear in our room can seem like a gimmick. But when it’s your first ever trip with your baby, small gestures and points of service make all the difference. I loved Baglioni Hotel Regina for this. Like the hotel design, the service was modern and to the point, without going overboard.
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A Serene Location
Baglioni Hotel Regina is located on Via Veneto, home of la dolce vita and Federico Fellini’s 1960 film. This is north and up the bill from Rome’s best known attractions. It’s a five-minute walk to the top of the Spanish Steps and from there you can walk down into central Rome.
The advantage is a quiet neighbourhood away from the main tourist bustle. I couldn’t imagine staying next to the Trevi Fountain and walking out into these crowds all the time (and this is during the off season!).
However, there’s not too much la dolce vita going on anymore. The hotel’s neighbourhood is quiet and it’s a walk or taxi ride to do anything. This suited us as we wanted quiet. But if you want a purely sightseeing first-time-in-Rome trip then you might be better off being more central.
Rooms and Suites
We stayed in a recently renovated wing of the hotel and I definitely recommend getting a room in one of the newly refurbished areas. The walk-in closet was large enough to store our baby stroller (bonus!), then along a marble corridor we had a dazzling marble bathroom and a comfortable bathroom. I missed a bath and a small balcony. Leia had a huge bed to play in and a cot to sleep in.
Taking a tour I was shown a variety of rooms and suites. All are individually shaped and designed. What impressed me most was the variety. Like a signature suite that can be combined with two deluxe rooms to create a private apartment, complete with a vintage bar. Or a suite with a large terrace overlooking Rome. Plus bathrooms and walk-in closets that become more showstopping with higher room categories.
The penthouse was occupied and I wondered who was enjoying its 550+ square metres.
Baglioni Hotel Regina has over 100 rooms and suites which was a surprise to me because it feels a lot smaller and more intimate than this. Breakfast was buffet style (good, not over the top), and I loved the lounge-style seating area – such a relaxing place to start the day.
The spa is very small, just a small sauna and jacuzzi plus the massage options. If a spa is a deal breaker when picking a hotel, I’d recommend going elsewhere. However, the spa must be reserved, so it is private use as standard, just maybe not available when you want (other people book it). I didn’t try the Brunello Restaurant, because fine dining is not easy with a six-month-old who wants to eat the spoon, the table, the napkin, and everything else except the food. But it has a good reputation.
Overall Baglioni Hotel Regina really surprised me. It is extremely stylish yet I still felt comfortable, even when my clothes were splattered with baby sick after a Vatican Museums incident. The vibe is informal and understated, where I think anybody can feel at home. Still, with the location I wouldn’t recommend it for families with walking children.
It’s perfect for couples or traveling with your baby. It’s perfect if you want to have all your own space in a very stylish place.