Unlike any other city in the world, the treasures of Rome will never be locked away in dusty museums. They’re on every street corner and around every curve of the road. Sprinkled everywhere for all to admire, the monuments and artwork of great civilizations are here to be openly seen and enjoyed.
How nice it must have been to live in an era and a place detached from ordinary life with an atmosphere of refined elegance that was both sparkling and frivolous. Well guess what. You can’t go back in time, but you can stay in a hotel that not only re-captures the essence of that whole span of time, but was originally right smack dab in the middle of it all. Called the “magnificent white palace on the Via Veneto,” the Westin Excelsior is of the world’s great classic hotels.
Inaugurated in 1906, it’s always been synonymous with refinement, luxury and comfort. And not long ago the hotel completed a 30 million dollar renovation; mere words can barely describe the elegance and opulence of what many consider to be one of the finest hotels in Europe. All of the rooms are newly renovated and finely appointed. Whether you choose to stay in one of the Imperial Style Rooms with rich emerald green décor or one of the lighter Renaissance style rooms, you’re guaranteed to get a good night’s sleep in one of the Westin’s signature “Heavenly Beds.”
If you can drag yourself from heaven, you’ll find that all rooms are air conditioned, have been equipped with direct dial telephones and the latest technology. Including internet access, satellite TV, and of course, a fully stocked mini-bar. In addition to the 284 guest rooms, the Westin Excelsior boasts 32 extravagant suites including the almost 12 thousand square foot “Villa La Cupola Suite.” This you have to see! Where else would you expect to find what’s been called the world’s most expensive hotel suite? Located under the dome on the 5th and 6th floors of the Hotel, this private villa features original frescoes, marble floors, Murano glass chandeliers and four private terraces with incredible views… and that’s just for starters!
Now if the Villa La Cupola isn’t quite in your price range, fear not, as there are more than 200 other rooms and 32 suites available in varying degrees of elegance and pricing. The “Deluxe” rooms have been designed with luxury fabrics and amenities offering the best of modern technology with the ambience of a bygone era. The extravagant damasks on the walls are new as well as the luxurious carpets and curtains. There are lovely Empiralistic style furnishings, velvet chairs and Bohemian chandeliers. There is a great The Italian marble bathroom with a bath, shower and bidet.
The “Grand Luxe” rooms are the next level up, featuring luxurious velvet chairs and rich damask patterns on the walls. The rich upholstery and bedding offer a luxurious atmosphere and exceptionally comfortable accommodations. All of the rooms show off original style, keeping with the luxurious theme: Bohemian chandeliers, Empire style furniture, plush carpets on the floor and elaborately decorated ceilings stamped with golden designs. The Italian polychrome marble bathroom offers 5-star amenities. The bath and shower include Westin bathroom extras, a scale, a phone in the bathroom, hair dryer and a heater to perfectly warm your bath towels.
Now the “Junior Suites” contain that sumptuous Empire style décor, sensible and comfortable with the same quality plush velvet armchairs, beautiful damask patterns decorating the walls, upholstery and bedding. The living rooms are furnished with a comfortable work area, and living area with a chair and table. Some of the rooms even have a faux chimney. The bathroom is decorated with Italian marble and has a separate bath and shower, a bidet and two separate sinks.
The “Grand Luxe Suites” have large bedrooms with comfortable sofas and armchairs. The rooms are painted in warm tones of beige and the décor is all that glamorous Empire style with wall coverings prized damask in all the bedroom and living room areas, plus luxury carpets throughout. Top of the line all the way.
If you’re like me, a vacation is all about indulgence but if you’re feeling just a little guilty from all the canolies and cocktails, pop into their brand new state of the art health club featuring a roman style pool complete with Jacuzzi, Turkish bath, sauna, special relaxation rooms, plus an exercise room with all of the latest equipment. Don’t worry, if you over do it, they offer a full menu of massage services as well, not to mention a personal trainer to instruct you. Why they even have a wet bar and towels to wrap you in!
Hungry? The Doney Restaurant’s main room is a perfect choice for excellent service and atmosphere while dining. It faces onto the lively and mesmerizing Via Veneto, where it is perfect to watch all the excitement pass by. The light Mediterranean colors, flavors and aromas will tickle your fancy while you sample a choice of pumpkin ravioli with shrimp sauce, Catalan lobster, or beef with Patanegra ham. There is a grand buffet served for lunch and an à la carte menu both for lunch and dinner. Offering tasty Mediterranean cuisine, including fresh, light ingredients such as fresh pasta, vegetables or fish, you’re sure to find something delicious to eat. Try some of the favorites to choose from are: pumpkin ravioli with shrimp sauce, Gragnano’s pasta with asparagus and bottarga (dried fish eggs), tuna with crusted potatoes, Catalan lobster, beef fillet with Patanegra ham, celery and parmesan cheese, crème brulée with berries, and for dessert, crispy millefeuille with chocolate flakes and wild strawberries.
Although, It’s world-class service is a steady reminder of all things good in life leaving its guests wanting for nothing. Except for maybe another 10 minutes in their “Heavenly Bed.”