The St. Regis Rome, in the tradition of luxurious 19th-century European grand hotels, is one of Rome’s premier addresses and treats guests to a level of historic grandeur often lost in present-day travel. Its Great Room, arranged around a stellar Belle Epoque-era chandelier, includes Le Grand Bar, a restaurant and lounge area that are the hotel’s gateway to and from ancient and modern Rome. The hallways, marble and gold leaved, are adorned with oil paintings and sculptures, and the ceilings are covered with stunning frescoes. While the price can vary from €300 to €800 for a basic room, it can be a great value for your Starwood points.
Pros: Exquisite rooms and common areas, evening champagne sabering, suites with butler service
Cons: Price depending upon the time of the year
When searching for a hotel in Rome, most from Hilton or Starwood were over €300 per night or an excessive amount of points. The St. Regis Rome did not have any basic rooms available on points, and the rate for their deluxe room was almost €800 per night. I had read that the St. Regis Rome was a category 7 hotel which would mean a redemption of 30,000 points a night. I called to see if there were cash & points availability in an upgraded room since I only had 45,000 points at the time and wanted to stay for two nights.
When I called, the SPG agent told me she could book me into a deluxe room for two nights for 43,000 points. I was confused: how could a category 7 hotel be around 20,000 points a night? Either way I booked it and thanked her. Then, upon returning to my computer, found that the St. Regis Rome had been lowered to a category 6 hotel over a year ago! I know everyone values their points differently and might save their points for lower category hotels, but we were looking forward to staying at a hotel with so much history and grandeur.
Upon arrival we were thrilled to be upgraded to a junior suite which comes with butler service. But since the room wasn’t quite ready (we arrived very early around 9am) we were invited into Le Grand Bar for complimentary coffee. The bar area was beyond our expectation, its ornate splendor ran through the huge center floral arrangement down to the plush and comfortable chairs and sofas. We spent each evening having drinks in Le Grand Bar taking in the atmosphere.
After enjoying the complimentary coffee we took in some of Rome’s famous sights. The Colosseum was a short cab ride away. We had purchased our tickets online ahead of time but the security line to enter the Colosseum was much longer than expected. Once inside, we skipped by others waiting to buy tickets.
After sightseeing we headed back to the St. Regis. We were escorted by one of the friendly staff and shown the turn of the century artwork throughout the old “Le Grand Hotel”. Upon entering our suite we found 15 foot ceilings, chandeliers in each room, and a lavish bedroom. The butler entered and offered us a welcome drink while explaining that he, or one of his colleagues, could be called upon at any time, shoes could be left outside for shining and two items of clothing could be pressed each day.
Each evening at 7pm the St. Regis Rome offered Champagne Sabering. The staff opened the champagne dramatically by sliding a saber along the bottle and forcing the cork out in one swift action. The lounge area was never crowded although a number of hotels guests enjoyed the complimentary champagne.
In the morning, the butler served delicious coffees and small pastries. All three butlers we interacted with were friendly and helpful answering our questions from information about Rome to shopping requests.
After each long day of sightseeing, returning to the St. Regis Rome was an elegant and relaxing affair. All of the staff, from the doorman to the concierge were courteous and always at the ready. Re-entry to our normal life was an unwelcome transition after spending a few days in such opulent luxury.