Gran Melia Rome
Holed up on the grassy knoll between Rome’s Trastevere and Vatican neighbourhoods, the Gran Melia Villa Agrippina is in the happy medium of calm and chaos. To put it differently, its location on the silent Janiculum Hill is just close enough to walk to the Vatican, Piazza Navona, the Pantheon and Ara Pacis, and only a step from the way from the urban grind. For other monuments and sites, such as the Roman Forum, Esquiline, Villa Borghese and Termini Train Station, transport is required.
Style & personality
The Gran Melia Villa Agrippina decorative can best be described as Miami-meets-Renaissance-Rome. Rooms, reception and lounge areas will be the harmonious equilibrium of vintage Italian and Spanish design with modern flair. In general, the feeling of the hotel is light and airy, thanks to the big windows, glass paneling and white color that overlooks all regions, which are highlighted elegant modern Murano chandeliers and contemporary art pieces.
Service & amenities
Relaxation is the overall aim of Villa Agrippina. The gem of the hotel is its outdoor pool, beautifully-landscaped greenery that vies for Rome’s finest urban oasis. The onsite YHI spa is a full-service pampering wellness zone all about rejuvenation, beauty and wellness via a well-thought menu of treatments and facials. Spa rooms include a vitality pool, sensorial showers and saunas, and personal trainers are available for health and fitness guidance. The breakfast buffet is a veritable cornucopia of both Anglo and Italian delicacies from sweet to savory, and an enviable children’s section with cupcakes and other snacks. The hotel also provides shuttle service free of charge downtown transport. Gran Melia exclusive package guests enjoy personal check-in, designated pool cabanas, and an exclusive lounge area.
Light appears to be the main decoration of all of those Villa Agrippina’s 116 rooms and deluxe suites. Each of the 12 room classes are mixes of luminosity and soft colors with big windows, light wood, stone floors (warmed in the baths) and modern decoration with a nod to the past through large scale interpretations of Renaissance and Baroque paintings. Crossing eight degrees, most rooms have a view but if you need to choose, ask for a cityscape room facing Vatican City or Castel Sant’Angelo. My favorite room is the Eternal City Majestic Suite, chiefly for its large terrace, with a sweeping view of this city, and is a great place to see the sun set behind St. Peter’s Dome. Traveling with an entourage? Villa Agrippina’s top floor hosts the Family Kids & Co duplex suites, ensuring privacy for both parents and kids.
Food & beverage
Among Rome’s finest secrets is VivaVoce, Villa Agrippina’s signature restaurant, under the guidance Michelin-starred chef Alfonso Iaccarino (of Amalfi Coast’s Don Alfonso) and executive chef Claudio Favero. Iaccarino, know for jettisoning “Mediterranean cuisine” to hallowed ground, curates a menu of Italian cuisine, both traditional and nouvelle. The ground-floor restaurant is simple, stylish and modern. On rainy days, the martini and champagne bar in the library is a great place to get a break, and the poolside Liquid Garden is an perfect spot to unwind.
Value for cash
Classic double rooms from #210 in low season; rising to #260 at high. Breakfast included. Free Wi-Fi.
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