Our first experience at the St. Regis Hotel Rome was close to ten years ago. We had a one night layover in Rome before a flight back to the United States.
It’s no secret that finding good food in Rome is harder than you would think, and we had an awful time that evening finding somewhere that was not packed with tourists and serving mediocre food to the thousands of tourists crowding the streets on a hot summer evening. We just wanted good food in a relaxed atmosphere so we could get to bed before our early flight. And just then we stumbled upon the imposing palazzo that is the St. Regis Hotel Rome.
The lobby is palatial, its bar situated in a giant atrium. It was there we found a quiet table in the lobby bar, a nice glass of wine, and a plate of perfectly fine carbonara. Order had been restored to our last night of vacation.
Fast forward to 2021. The streets are nearly silent but for the purr of a few scooters in the distance. We exit the Roma Termini train station to learn that all of the restaurants at the hotel we had booked are closed – nowhere does it say this on their otherwise nice website.
Across the street is the imposing palazzo. We open our Chase Bank app, book with points, and check in 5 minutes later.
The St. Regis Rome is as stunning today as it must have been when it opened over a century ago. Since our last visit the hotel has undergone an extensive renovation, but all of the things that made it majestic when it opened — towering palms, massive Morano glass chandeliers, gilded ballrooms, and stunning garden — are all still there. The design team has done an amazing job of transforming the space into something opulent yet modern.
Staying at a world-class hotel in the midst of a global pandemic, things are guaranteed to be a little off, but we thoroughly enjoyed our three nights. The hotel made the best of the circumstances, and the cocktail program was clearly unaffected. To our delight, the martinis we earned after walking 7 miles were served the classy way — with a sidecar carafe of extra martini on ice.
The restaurant menu looked as good as we remembered, although to be honest, we were more interested in Chinese takeout from the seedy area around the train station at this point in our trip, as the subsequent days would take us into areas farther removed from the Termini neighborhood. As should be expected from a five-star hotel, the concierge was understanding and ordered us a cab with instructions to wait while we ran in to pick up our order.
We never recommend staying in the vicinity of a train station in Italy, but in this case, we make an exception. The St. Regis Rome is an architectural treasure and an institution, and we can’t wait to return once the garden opens.