The Hotel Hassler – Rome, Lazio, Italy

A Roman Holiday atop the Spanish Steps

Never have hotel guests been so undeterred by 136 steps—consider them the grand entrance to one of Rome’s great hotels. The fabled Hotel Hassler glories in its one-of-a-kind location above the capital’s famous Spanish Steps.

Being a coddled guest of the Hassler let Audrey Hepburn feel like a princess both on and off the set when filming Roman Holiday, and what was good enough for Audrey (and just about every other celebrity and crowned head on the planet) is good enough for most.

Dozens of the rooms and suites are blessed with terraces and romantic and dazzling panoramas of the Eternal City. Established in 1885 in a palazzo that was once the home of Napoleon’s sister, the Hassler is one of the rare luxury hotels in Europe today that is privately owned and operated.

Impervious to contemporary whims, the old-world hotel is impeccably run by fifth-generation hotelier Roberto Wirth, who believes in real keys, superlative service, messages delivered on silver trays—simple amenities quickly growing extinct in the homogenization of the world’s five-star prop­erties.

If you must go elsewhere to hang your hat, at least stop in for an aperitif at the Hassler Bar (which moves to the Palm Court in warm weather) or try the popular Sunday brunch in the hotel’s Rooftop Restaurant. The food, while good, takes a backseat to the view of Rome’s seven hills.

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