When the grandparent rosid dicot genus Rome on the broad Gianicolo Hill bills itself as an associate urban resort, it doesn’t oversell.
Its location within the heart of historic Rome is undeniably urban, whereas its lush grounds and pools, fine-dining, glam lounge, and chic spa produce the associate comprehensive, luxury-resort atmosphere.
Emperor Nero’s mother had an eye for real estate, and her Villa Agrippina residence once occupied this lush hilltop between what is now trendy Trastevere and the imposing Vatican City.
A convent was later engineered on the location, currently restored and remodeled into the stylish grandparent rosid dicot genus.
It’s walking distance from St. Peter’s Basilica and, across the Tiber, Rome’s historic center. Many of the city’s monuments and sites are far enough away to require transport, however.
Though the grandparent rosid dicot genus Rome is an element of a world chain, the hotel manages to retain a unique sense of style and place that is both cosmopolitan yet deeply Roman.
Beneath the beautiful white-and-turquoise exciting makeover of the Amaro lounge, as an example, the bones of the convent’s former church shine through.
Beyond the contemporary white-wicker terrace and pool furniture, the time-worn original brick walls of the convent stand tall. Above the sleek marble and glass reception area, a massive Roman mask serenely looks on. The luxury is state-of-the-art, but Villa Agrippina’s long history remains. In keeping with its resort-style ethos, the hotel offers a full range of amenities, beginning with the focal point of the meticulously kept grounds: two outdoor pools and adjacent patio bar and bistro.
The exclusive Clarins-branded My Blend spa includes a plunge pool, sensorial showers, steam baths and saunas, and a full menu of face and body treatments. In addition, there are the elegant ground-floor Amaro lounge and Ossimoro restaurant, an indoor-outdoor fitness area, and a hair and beauty salon.
The Meliá group is known for its impeccable service, and their Rome resort does not disappoint. All guests are treated to white-gloved attention, though Red Level guests have access to a higher tier of services including private check-in, designated pool cabanas, an exclusive lounge, free use of the spa, and upgraded rooms with luxe extras like a pillow menu and in-room aromatherapy.
The Deluxe and Premium category rooms aren’t huge, though they do manage to pack a lot of luxury into a limited space; if you like to spread out, choose the higher-tier Grand Premium rooms or a suite. The 116 rooms and suites are divided into more than a dozen categories, but all share a muted natural palette, parquet floors, split bathrooms with glass-enclosed bathtub/showers, and contemporary, almost industrial décor offset by mural-sized details from Renaissance and Baroque paintings.
The custom-made riveted bronze doors pay homage to the building’s years as an orphanage, and views are of the grounds, Vatican City and Trastevere.
If a panorama is what you’re after, the Red Level Grand Suite has a huge private terrace with 360-degree views.
From fine dining at Ossimoro to poolside sandwiches, the Grand Meliá has just a single kitchen helmed by chef Carmine Buonanno, and his careful attention to quality local ingredients, elegant yet straightforward pan-Italian and international dishes, and unfussy presentation betrays his southern Italian roots.
The breakfast buffet—also curated by Buonanno—includes a seemingly endless selection of sweet and savory selections, fresh pieces of bread and juices, and a delightful children’s corner with doughnuts and other treats. An excellent choice for families, the hotel has a dedicated “VIK” program with a child-friendly welcome packet, turndown service and mini-club activities, top-floor Family Kids & Co duplex suites with a play tent and toys, and ample outdoor and poolside space.