History of a rebirth The mythical Grand Hotel, now St. Regis RomeDecember 11, 2018
WEEKEND IN ROME – The mythical Grand Hotel, now St. Regis Rome, almost twenty years ago, is revealing new finery. In addition to a brilliant renovation Pierre-Yves Rochon, it offers its guests the opportunity to visit heritage treasures in exclusive conditions.
When inaugurated in 1894, the King of Italy Umberto I, accompanied by Queen Margherita of Savoy, Pope Leo XIII and all the aristocracy, rushed to discover the first modern palace of Rome, designed by the architect Giulio Podesti. Adjoining the fountain of Moses, it is located close to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs and the Baths of Doctetian. Sponsored by César Ritz, the hotel has all the state-of-the-art equipment of the time and inaugurates the first public ballroom in the Italian capital decorated with Mario Spinetti’s Pre-Raphaelite frescoes.
One hundred and twenty-five years later, the St. Regis Rome (renamed in 2000 after its purchase and renovation by the Starwood group) is reborn again from the ashes, under the leadership of interior designer Pierre- Yves Rochon. The flamboyant restoration is worth its weight in gold (40 million euros).
Upon entry, the tone is given. A 5-meter chandelier in hand-blown glass is offered for the visitor, who discovers the Belle Epoque-inspired lobby and the contemporary works chosen by the internationally renowned Galleria Continua.
The Grand Bar, the sapphire blue bookcase, the ballroom renamed Ritz Ballroom, the 161 rooms and suites freely mix styles Empire, Regency or Louis XV. Because this rebirth is orchestrated under the sign of art and light. A theme that St Regis has taken over for the exclusive arty tours it offers to its customers. Designed by IF Unique Art Experiences, the “Exploring Rome under a New Light” package includes four extraordinary appointments.
At Basilica dei Santi XII Apostoli, a curator unveils the private chapel of Cardinal Bessarione and his Renaissance frescoes, a masterpiece normally inaccessible to the public. In the Doria-Pamphili Palace, the doors open onto a sublime washroom, the Bagno di Diana, celebrating the tradition of Roman baths in a neoclassical spirit.
Angels and muses dance on the walls, moldings and gilding festoonent the ceiling … A precious universe which Pierre-Yves Rochon confesses to be impregnated for the bathrooms of the hotel. After the exaltation of the senses, place to knowledge in the arcades of the Casanatense library.
Founded in 1701 by the Dominican Fathers, it has nearly 400,000 volumes, 6,000 manuscripts and 2,200 incunabula. Then, head to the Saint-Louis church of the French to admire the extraordinary triptych of Caravaggio dedicated to St. Matthew. An art historian captivates his audience with anecdotes and exciting explanations that only give one desire: to drag on in the Eternal City!
The St. Regis Rome (00.39.06.47.091; Stregisrome.com). From 400 € the double room, breakfast included. “Exploring Rome under a New Light”, individual excursion only, price on request.
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