In the heart of the Eternal City, the family-owned Villa Spaletti Trivelli feels like your own private palazzo.
Built in the early 1900s as the home of the noted suffragist and salonnière Countess Gabriella Rasponi Spalletti, Villa Spalletti Trivelli has hospitality in its bones. Now run as a boutique hotel by her great-great-grandchildren, the stately former residence on Rome’s Quirinal Hill still exudes much of the same old-world elegance and congeniality that the countess’s illustrious guests (who included the likes of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore) would have enjoyed. Its high-ceilinged drawing rooms are decorated with Flemish tapestries, Persian carpets, an original Rubens, and other family heirlooms; in the library (now an elegant reception area), gleaming bookcases sag under an impressive collection of antiquarian tomes. The vibe is hushed and residential—a small brass plaque and door buzzer are all that announce the property’s discreet entrance on a plane tree–lined side street behind the Quirinal Palace. Inside, guests staying in the 12 rooms and suites converge over banquet-style breakfasts in the dining room or talk about the day’s wanderings over drinks from the generously stocked honesty bar below that Rubens.
And what wanderings those are likely to be. Villa Spalletti Trivelli, a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is ideally situated for walkers: an eight-minute stroll will bring you to the Trevi Fountain; twice that gets you to the Pantheon, the Spanish Steps, the Colosseum, or the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore. The funky boutiques of Via del Boschetto are also right on your doorstep, begging for an evening passeggiata.
Back at the hotel, guests can soothe their muscles in the Roman baths–inspired spa; the vaulted basement space occupies the former servants’ quarters and is outfitted with a tepidarium, Turkish bath, gym, and treatment rooms. Equally inviting is the rooftop terrace, with its hot tubs and complimentary pours of prosecco and views over the villa’s garden of gazebos and century-old hedges. The ocher-hued building across the way is also owned by the Spalletti Trivelli family, and adds two garden suites and a pair of two-bedroom apartments to the room offerings. They’re large units with their own kitchens and, in the case of the suites, private terraces, though those looking for more in the way of period charm—mahogany-shuttered windows, parquet floors, antique map prints—will prefer the rooms in the main house, where you can roam the quiet corridors and feel like you’re lord of the manor.
The staff go out of their way to make you feel at home, and when the kitchen’s closed, they have no end of recommendations for neighborhood restaurants, like Matermatuta, where husband-and-wife team Stefano Podera and Valentina Antonin turn out delicious seafood dishes. Like so much that is good about Rome, it’s just a short walk away (Via Piacenza 4; 39-6/4890-7934; doubles from US$380).
More information here.
This article originally appeared in the February/March 2020 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“At Home in Rome”).