W Hotels Opens New Outpost in Rome

Traditional Italian architecture meets bold 21st-century style at this property amid the city’s UNESCO-listed historic center.

All images courtesy of W Hotels Worldwide

Marking the brand’s Italian debut, W Hotels has just welcomed the first guests to its 162-room bolt-hole in the heart of the Eternal City. W Rome provides ample ways for travelers to immerse themselves in la dolce vita behind a classic heritage facade. Spanning two adjacent 19th-century palazzos on Via Liguria, a short walk from the Spanish Steps, the hotel channels the Italian zest for life with its inviting social spaces, eye-catching interiors, and collaborations with top chefs and prominent figures in the world of fitness and fashion.

Here are five things to know about W Rome:

 

1. The design mixes historic charm with W’s playfulness and love of colors.

New York–based studio Meyer Davis sought to develop a modern interpretation of Roman design that juxtaposed ultramodern elements with the city’s traditional architecture. Sturdy stone walls find their counterpoint in reflective surfaces and an eclectic mix of colorful leather furniture; in the skylighted W Lounge, which doubles as a lobby and cocktail bar, the hand-painted mural by Italian artist Costanza Alvarez de Castro makes for a stark contrast to the stainless-steel pods at the Welcome Desk. The interiors also feature striking color blocks and graphic prints in burnt orange, red, and green.

Upstairs, most of the 147 guestrooms and 15 suites come with private balconies and terraces; all feature marble bathrooms, large windows with velvet curtains, and herringbone-patterned wood floors. The 101-square-meter Extreme WOW (Presidential) suite mixes original architectural elements with custom-designed modern furniture and the latest in-room technology.

A corner of the ground-floor Living Room, part of the hotel’s W Lounge.

2. This hotel has a trove of outdoor spaces (and even a secret garden).

Festooned with orange bushes and wall-climbing plants, paved with colored stones in mosaic-like patterns, and featuring a marble bar, an open-air courtyard named Giardino Clandestino acts as the social heart of W Rome, where guests can socialize and enjoy live music while sipping an aperitivo.

Guests will find surprises at every turn, as Meyer Davis deliberately blurred the boundary between public and private spaces. A hidden door in the ground-floor bathroom leads to the intimate Parlapiano, a secret garden inspired by one of Borromini’s churches, complete with kissing benches, lush foliage, topiary, and water fountains. Up on the rooftop terrace, the WET Deck comes with a plunge pool; set to open in March 2022, Otto Rooftop Bar promises to be a go-to alfresco spot for cocktails, crudo, and pizzas, not least because of the panoramic views over the city.

An artist’s impression of Otto Rooftop, which will open next March.

3. Contemporary Sicilian food and decadent pastries are on the menu.

Ciccio Sultano, the acclaimed chef of Duomo, a two-Michelin-starred restaurant in Ragusa on his home island of Sicily, is known for reimagining traditional Sicilian dishes and cooking methods in unique ways. Sultano has conceptualized the menu at W Rome’s signature Giano Restaurant, whose patrons can enjoy sharing plates and homemade pasta dishes that harness indigenous Sicilian ingredients.

Meanwhile, celebrated Rome-born pâtissier Fabrizio Fiorani, who was named Asia’s Best Pastry Chef in 2019 while working at Tokyo’s Bulgari Il Restorante Luca Fantin, is the brains behind Zucchero x Fabrizio Fiorani, which serves up creative, next-level pastries with complex flavors and unexpected textures as well as homemade gelato. Those dining at Giano will receive a coin for the sweet machine in Zucchero filled with handmade chocolates.

A guest room at W Rome.

4. The wellness offerings have been curated by a celebrity fitness athlete and model.

While pursuing an engineering PhD and teaching math at University College London, Italian-born Pietro Boselli took the internet by storm in 2015 after his students revealed on Facebook that he was also a successful model. W guests and local residents alike can whip their bodies into shape at FUEL x Petra Studio Gym, the fruit of a collaboration stemming from Boselli’s long-standing interest in triathlons and strength training. Offerings here include high-intensity workouts, boxing, and guided yoga sessions.

 

5. A locally inspired capsule collection awaits at W The Store.

The hotel has teamed up with French-Italian fashion maven and designer Daria Reina to create a special clothing collection in W Rome’s signature “Live Eternal” color palette. Travelers will have the chance to bring home some local flair in the form of wearable souvenirs, and Reina has developed a soon-to-be-released bag “inspired by all that W Hotels brings to Italy” that will be exclusive to the store at W Rome.

 

Doubles from US$508; w-rome.com

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