Gran Meliá Roma
What it is
A centuries-old villa transformed into a lush Roman resort, with an outdoor pool, Clarins spa and exquisite service.
What it isn't
Urban feeling. Yes, you’re in downtown Rome, but the hotel’s vast Mediterranean manicured gardens will make you feel like you’re on a Tuscan getaway.
What we think
It’s not easy to drop jaws in Rome, land of everything from the 18th-century Trevi Fountain to the Colosseum—still wowing after all these years. And yet this resort has garnered five star accolades from travel writers and guest reviewers alike. What “starter” room categories lack in space they make up for in style, thanks to abundant flowing gray draperies, iPod docking stations, Clarins toiletries and luxury finishes and fixtures (marble, Trani stone, and even showers that massage as they cleanse). Although service is top notch for every guest—expect 24-hour room service, bellboys, shoe shines and even a pillow menu—insiders request to stay on RedLevel, a boutique hotel tucked within the resort where VIP amenities include aromatherapy in your room and hush-hush private check-in.
You're here because
Pools are rare in Roman hotels—ironic, given the town’s ancient devotion to public baths. And the Clarins spa has conjured every pampering treatment you could imagine, including a jasmine fruit and salt scrub with plant powders.
Nobody eats at their hotel in Rome, not when one of the world’s greatest food cities is just outside your door. And yet here, you’ve found, you can’t get enough. You’ll be dreaming of all three restaurants long after you return home, but especially Ossimoro, where Instagrammy dishes include tortelli stuffed with oxtail, mozzarella, and celery served in a wine reduction.
Restaurants & Bars
Ossimoro - International, Mediterranean and Italian cuisine
Amaro - Exquisite cocktails and the finest wines in a bold cosmopolitan environment
Liquid Garden - Snacks, light meals and cocktails
Set right on the Tiber River within two blocks of Vatican City, the hotel’s locale puts any lauded Roman sight you could imagine in walking distance, including the interactive Museum Leonardo da Vinci Experience.