The benchmark for elegance and sophisticated design, St. Regis hotels are jewels in the crown of the Italian cities of Rome, Florence and Venice.
Combining striking interiors, an impeccable reception and signature butler service with experiences that immerse their guests in the history and culture of the destination, these are the best addresses in town.
All roads lead to The St. Regis Rome. Occupying one of the Eternal City’s most impressive palazzi, located right next to the Baths of Diocletian and within a short stroll of the Trevi Fountain, the hotel has been Rome’s address of choice for discerning travellers since 1894. The interior presents an elegant balance of marble columns, frescoes and Murano chandeliers, while the rooms mix classical Roman design with Belle Époque style and enjoy superb views over Piazza della Repubblica and Piazza San Bernardo. The hotel blends classic and contemporary art, enriched by the Galleria Continua space, which offer exhibitions signed by international renowned artists.
You might choose to taste the dolce vita in Piazza Navona and spend your days exploring the city’s wealth of historical sights – or you could see another side to Rome in the backstreets of artsy Monti, an area of independent boutiques just a 10-minute walk from the hotel, and in the trattorias of Trastevere, a web of cobbled alleys just across the Tiber. The St. Regis Rome also offers access to several private palazzi, affording firsthand experience of some of the finest buildings in the city and a privileged insight into aristocratic Roman life. If the weather is fine – your personal butler will be happy to deliver you the day’s forecast each morning – head to the San Sebastián Gate and the start of the Appia Antica, or the Appian Way. This 2,000-year-old road, which stretched out from Rome across much of Italy, is lined with churches and catacombs, and still etched with the grooves of chariots. It is especially atmospheric on Sundays, when the road is closed to traffic, affording an intimate experience of Rome's ancient ruins.
Returning to The St. Regis Rome, enjoy the brand's signature Afternoon Tea Ritual with an Italian twist. Savour an extensive collection of Dammann Frères teas, paired with Italian merenda (such as pizza bianca and other interpretations of Italy's regional street food) and a glass of Ruinart from France’s oldest champagne house.
Birthplace of the Renaissance and a treasure trove of iconic art, Florence is a city that stirs the senses. Housed in a 15th-century palazzo on the banks of the Arno River, The St. Regis Florence makes the perfect base. The property is every bit as historic as the grand palaces and art-draped churches that have compelled UNESCO to declare the entire city centre a World Heritage site.
When in Florence, you can’t miss the Uffizi, the Bargello or the Duomo, of course, but for a flavour of authentic Florentine life, cross the Ponte Vecchio to Oltrarno to explore the quieter neighbourhoods of San Frediano, San Niccolò and Santo Spirito, whose narrow back streets are full of artisans and specialty stores. The home of Gucci and Salvatore Ferragamo, contemporary Florence is as much about fashion as it is about art museums; your personal butler can arrange a behind-the-scenes tour of the city’s most prestigious ateliers or pick out the latest labels if you needed help with your shopping. Venture into the Tuscan countryside for winding lanes shielded by cypress trees, monastery-topped hills and historic wineries. All three come together at the Badia di Passignano, 30km south of Florence, where hotel guests can enjoy a private tour of the abbey.
The St. Regis Florence's Art Deco-style Winter Garden provides a sophisticated setting for a Bloody Brunello, the hotel’s innovative interpretation of the original St. Regis Bloody Mary. The use of grappa from Tuscany’s Brunello di Montalcino winery gives this signature drink a unique, slightly earthy flavour with a hint of sweetness. The Winter Garden is also where Executive Chef Gentian Shehi expresses his creative flair. Showcasing the finest local ingredients, Chef Shehi's dishes – such as stuffed squid in black-ink sauce with a shellfish bisque – give a contemporary twist to traditional Tuscan cooking.
Romantic. Enchanting. Unique. There is nowhere else in Italy, or the world for that matter, quite like Venice. Embrace the serene feeling of “La Serenissima” at The St. Regis Venice, flanked by the Grand Canal and sitting directly opposite the striking domed Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute.
With such stunning views, you may be tempted not to leave the hotel. But there is a secret Venice that compels you to step out and explore. You might, for instance, book a bespoke after-hours visit that afford a truly intimate experience of the Doge’s Palace. Rather than opting for a typical gondola, take to Venice's iconic waterways by traditional trabaccolo, which is a charming alternative. You could make your way to Torcello, one of the most remote islands in the Venetian archipelago, to savour its atmospheric churches. If you'd like to make a day of it, your personal butler can pack you a gourmet hamper to take along. On Murano, an island famed for its long tradition of glassmaking, the Berengo Studio runs insightful masterclasses at its old glass factory-cum-contemporary art gallery; guests at The St. Regis Venice are privy to a private tour with the owner.
There is so much world-class art in Venice’s churches that it’s easy enough to have some of the city’s finest Renaissance paintings to yourself – if you know where to look. Seek out Tintoretto’s work at the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and the Madonna dell’Orto. The first, in San Polo, is covered almost entirely in Tintoretto’s paintings; the second, in residential Cannaregio, is simply overflowing with them. Cannaregio, off the beaten track in the north of the city, is also home to tiny Santa Maria dei Miracoli, clad entirely in marble.
The St. Regis Evening Ritual is performed in the hotel’s elegant Italianate Garden, a rarity for Venice, or out on the lagoon, for an exclusive experience against a heady backdrop of Venetian islands. Replicating a tradition that dates back to the Napoleonic Wars, the Evening Ritual includes sabrage, which sees the bartenders expertly remove the head of a bottle with a single theatrical swipe. Guests are encouraged to participate, which offers the opportunity to appreciate the exquisite workmanship of the sabre itself, handcrafted in Christofle’s Haute Orfèvrerie workshop in Yainville, Normandy.
Published: March 17, 2023
Article Tags: Florence , Italy , Rome , Venice
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