Travelling to Rome in style: A luxury guide to the Eternal City
When it comes to cities you just have to visit in your lifetime, Rome should be top of everybody’s list. A heady mix of breath-taking ancient history and rich and inspiring culture, it’s as romantic as it is charismatic – and home to iconic monuments like the Colosseum and the Pantheon, it’s pretty photogenic, too.
If you’re hoping to make a luxurious short-haul getaway in 2019, then there’s simply no better place, and as well as being a dream for history and art enthusiasts alike, its ornate piazzas, grand fountains, bustling streets and world-famous fine-dining eateries make it just as appealing for a more laid-back break, too.
Here’s all you need to know to plan a lavish trip to Rome this year – ensuring you the very best experience from start to finish, when only the finest will do.
Start your trip as you mean to go on with Business Class flights from London Heathrow. British Airways is our top choice, and offering access to comfortable departure lounges, priority boarding and more personal space on board to work on relax, you’ll be glad you splashed out. The complimentary food and drink service and dedicated check-in desks also contribute to a smooth, seamless and stress-free experience.
On board, the Club Europe cabin is situated at the front of the plane, and the great news is, you’re always guaranteed a window or aisle seat to ensure maximum personal space. With Contoured leather seats with fully moveable headrests, plus a mouth-watering menu of specially prepared dishes made from the finest British ingredients, you’re guaranteed a smooth flight.
Once you touch down in Rome, arrive at your hotel in style with a private transfer. Thanks to an abundance of city traffic, it can take a while to reach the centre, pre-booking a private airport transfer from Rome Fiumicino will save you time and hassle, taking you straight to your accommodation without pausing to drop off others along the way.
Where to stay
When it comes to location, it doesn’t get much better than the stunning five-star Palazzo Manfredi. A Relais Chateaux property offering incredible views of the Colosseum from your room, it’s our top pick for a luxury stay in Rome. Don’t miss dinner at the hotel’s Michelin-starred fine dining eatery, Aroma, located on the top floor – where you can see the city’s most famous historic monument lit up by night as you dine on mouth-watering Italian-inspired cuisine.
Meanwhile, the stylish and modern Hotel Vilòn is set in Rome historic centre, 200 yards from Via Condotti and just a 6-minute walk from Piazza di Spagna. With a chic restaurant and bar area, it’s set on a quiet and unassuming street – but the service here is second-to-none and the cocktails are to die for.
Where to eat
The afore-mentioned Aroma is an absolute must, but if you’re planning on dining out in luxury for every night of your stay, then you’re in for a treat. Italy is a nation famed for its incredible fresh ingredients and mouth-watering cuisine, and its capital city is awash with fine-dining restaurants serving up unique menus that will take your breath away.
The three Michelin-starred La Pergola takes fine cuisine to a whole new level, serving up one-of-a-kind cuisine born of a fusion of genius and creativity. With the renowned Heinz Beck at its helm, La Pergola has become a temple of international gastronomy, with breath-taking views over the Eternal City. It’s a memorable dining experience you won’t forget in a hurry.
What to do
Rome is a busy city, and when we say busy – we mean really busy. The best way to see the sights in a stress-free manner is to take a private tour of Rome, which will allow you to take in the likes of the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, Arch of Septimius and much more at your own pace. The best thing about doing so is that you can skip the lengthy queues and dense crowds, too – ideal if you’re visiting in the warmer months, when things can get a bit hot and sticky.
No trip to Rome is complete without a tour of the Vatican — the world’s smallest independent state and the seat of the Catholic Church. Its world-famous museums are filled to the brim with breath-taking artistic treasures, with the iconic Sistine Chapel, the ceiling of which was painted by Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512, is a cornerstone work of High Renaissance art. A night-time tour is an atmospheric experience that you can enjoy without battling the throng of the daytime crowds, with a knowledgeable guide who can tell you all you need to know.
There are lots of companies offering private tours of Rome – ask at your hotel, and they’ll be happy to help you arrange your itinerary.
Once you’re done with the sight-seeing, head to Via Condotti for a spot of high-end shopping. Italy is home to some of the world’s very finest designers, and as a nation that takes its fashion very seriously, it’s no surprise to find that Rome is packed with scores of designer boutiques and stores. Here, you’ll find all the big names – from Gucci and Prada to Giorgio Armani.
It’s not difficult to find a slice of luxury in Rome, and in a place like the Eternal City, hunting it down is part of the fun. Plan some of the bigger things, and the rest will soon fall into place. If it’s your first visit to Rome, we can guarantee it won’t be your last.