Parco dei Principi Grand Hotel & Spa
It may be a 20-minute walk to the Spanish Steps, but the Parco dei Principi setting, tucked away beside Rome’s biggest park, Villa Borghese, means fewer tourists and less traffic for arriving travelers who prefer quieter hotels in residential neighborhoods to the city’s more typical hotel clusters in the city. Here, baroque interiors feature gilded stucco, inlaid woodwork, and antique furnishings. But why stay inside when the views are stellar? Each of the hotel’s 179 rooms and suites have views of the park, where in the summer months, rhododendron flowers bloom and smartly dressed locals out for their evening passeggiata meander among the sculpture, fountains, and temples. The most recent news? In October 2010, a 21,000-square-foot spa opened for weary travelers tired after a day of sightseeing; unexpected amenities include an indoor lap pool complete with the illuminated ceiling of Rome’s night sky. Though nearby trattorias are known for the city’s signature spaghetti carbonara, the hotel’s food bar serves fresh, contemporary Italian cooking instead of pasta classics. For guests, the wellness focus is just another trump card that sets this lovely property apart.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.