Thursday, September 6, 2012

HOTEL CHECK ITALY, part 11, Hotel Hassler





Hassler lies at the top of the Spanish Steps with some of the best views in Rome. Most people who visit the eternal city climb the 136 worn steps at least once and stare out over the magic of Rome's domes and spires, shimmering in haze and history.

Up on the hotel terraces the view is even more mesmerizing. So much so that people talk in hushed tones while tinkling the ice in their night drinks.

Zooming in on one of many famous sights
seen from Hassler terraces


The terrace by the gym - views as far as the Vatican and more

Because of the view, the corner table at the panoramic Michelin starred Imago restuarant may have witnessed more marriage proposals than any other spot in Europe. There is another contender for romance in two deep red velvet seats in Imago.


Red velvet romance. The second favourite spot for
wedding proposals in Imago

Roberto Wirth is a hands-on owner who loves to linger around reception. Mr Wirth is deaf and immediately explains: I lipread… A philanthropist who does a lot for deaf children, Wirth is a distinguished man with beautiful white hair and noble look, so we were honoured when he came up and shook our hands, explaining about his lack of hearing and conversing, showing he knew Select.

Wirth’s independence as hotelier is one of the charms of the hotel. With the help of his wife’s designer eye, it is totally original through and through with a quirky charm, personality and glamour that brings people back. “We have many customers that come because their parents loved it,” said sales manager Barbara Anklin. “It is a generational hotel.” Many are from the USA.

A glam anteroom
 
Once called Hassler New York, the hotel is an eclectic mix of styles and tastes. There are zooty touches that go back to the jazz age. Glittery glam lounges. Refined velvety lounges. And the simply staggering terraces...

Endless celebrities have stayed at Hassler, among which Grace Kelly (honeymoon), Tom Cruise (wedding) and Woody Allen (an enthusiastic repeater).

Accommodation

The rooms are all different with many different styles. Our deluxe room was renovated two years ago, plenty of wood, all white and bright. Pale marble bathroom. Delightful and fresh in feel. Another room (Junior Suite) we were shown was mostly black with black furniture and black marble bathroom – but had the advantage of one of the rare terraces. Another (Classic Suite) was newly attired in pale muted colours.

Classic suite
Others newly refurbished were in red, black and white with waves and checks, a kind of new art deco. The Presidential has been newly decorated with this playful flamboyance (by the owner’s wife).

Presidential deco



The Penthouse suite also flashes with vivid red. The main feature about this suite is its totally amazing unbeatable terrace. Huge…and with views to mesmerize. All the magic of Rome is there with domes and spires rising from the haze. What is more it has a roofed area on the terrace with a TV and grilling place. The Penthouse suites size, charm and status invites high society and celebrity weddings. Up to a hundred guests have been present at weddings here.


One corner of the gigantic terrace of the Penthouse suite -
many a society or celebrity wedding has taken place here

There is a shortage of terraces among deluxe rooms – only two – but if you book really far ahead and have a good reason for asking for a balcony, you just might be lucky. You have to take a suite to be guaranteed a terrace.

Deluxe balcony - with luck or persistance
Our Deluxe room had a view of Iglesia Trinita de Monte seen though a gap between two wings of the building. We had the best possible changing room, as there is plenty of place for two suitcases on a built in platform at convenient height (no bending over) plenty of drawers and hanging spaces. Marble bathroom. Nice amenities.


Our view


Our fresh and bright grand deluxe room with a
peep through to the excellent dressing room
Our marble bath room

Altogether there are 95 rooms of which 13 are suites. Plenty of connecting rooms, deluxe to grand deluxe, grand deluxe to grand deluxe.

Facilities
Spa, gym, 3 bars and restaurants.

Shopping and other activities
Top activity might be window shopping in Via Condotti which starts only 136 steps down from Hassler and perhaps 50 more.


Burberry



Valentino



Just to name a few brands that jostle side by side on a short stretch: Bally, Burberry, Bvlgari, Cartier, Damiani, Dolce & Gabbana, Ferragamo, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Hermes, Prada, Trussardi, Valentino, Vuitton. Boring for kids? An exception: The Ferrari store has appeal for boys of all ages and is quite an exciting red.

Hassler weclomes kids and has a children's programme.  There CAN be fun and exciting learning for kids in Rome. Barbara Ankin mentioned a museum that taught the history of Rome to kids – Museum of the Roman Civilization. Of course kids can enjoy seeing the Colosseum, the Catacombs too and driving fun bike/car things in the Villa Borghese park. The place where all of Rome goes to hang on a Sunday...

Boat hire on the parks little lake with turtles


Everyone in the park with their kids, their dogs..
or even their parrots

How to get to Hotel Hassler

45 minutes by car from Rome Fiumicino Airport 

Note: Informal images by Select team and PO Broddeson

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