Aldrovandi Villa Borghese
What We Love
- Free shuttle to Via Veneto and the Spanish Steps every 30 minutes (from 10 a.m. to 10:45 p.m.); drivers will personalize drop-offs on request
- Two-Michelin-star restaurant
- Generous snacks served with drinks at the bar
- Upscale location surrounded by green space, but within easy reach of the main attractions
- The La Mer spa has a sauna, steam room, thalasso pool and offers Crème de La Mer treatments
What To Know
- A city tax of approximately $9 (€7) per person, per night will be collected by the hotel at checkout
- Room service prices are sky high ($20 for a packet of peanuts)
- Oliver Glowig is closed on Sundays and Mondays, but the less formal Grill Room is open seven days a week
- Free WiFi
- Free use of the fitness room and outdoor pool (from May to September, weather permitting)
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
In the Eternal City’s exclusive Parioli neighborhood, Aldrovandi Villa Borghese is a palatial retreat that feels a world apart from the crowd-packed piazzas of the Italian capital. Originally a convent, built in the late 19th century, and later a school for wealthy girls, this grand four-story villa is packed full of fancy furnishings and Italian bling. The marble-clad lobby showcases a shimmering chandelier, giant wall tapestries, antique chairs and an intimate piano bar. The secluded garden with outdoor pool (open May to September) is a rare find in Rome and is perfect for a spot of luxurious lounging after a day exploring ancient ruins and world-class galleries.
Bed and Bath
Guestrooms are elegantly done in soothing pastel blues and creams with splashes of deep purple. Huge windows (which, for once, open fully) overlook the Borghese Gardens, the outdoor pool or the quiet residential streets. Deluxe Doubles appear larger than life thanks to mirrored walls and dressing rooms. Bang & Olufsen provides the in-room and in-bathroom entertainment, including the nifty TV screens hidden behind mirrors above the sink. Most bathrooms have tubs and are decked out in either marble or tiny mosaic tiles.
In the dramatic breakfast room, chandeliers hang above an impressive spread that includes champagne, fresh juices, Italian hams and cheeses and homemade pastries. Grab a seat by the window for views over the garden and pool. Oliver Glowig is at the helm of the restaurant, which picked up two Michelin stars just eight months after opening in 2011. Quirky menu highlights — eaten either inside or on the terrace — include tortelli with spiced oxtail and licorice sauce. It’s a pretty 25-minute stroll to the city’s main sights. A winding route cuts through the Villa Borghese gardens to Piazza del Popolo; on the way back (when you’ll be going uphill), hop on the free hotel shuttle and you’ll be in the lobby in 10 minutes. Then you can cool off poolside or indulge in a Crème de La Mer treatment at the spa while you absorb your culture shot.
In the Area
Stroll the green expanse of Villa Borghese Gardens. Once a private vineyard and party pad built for Pope Paul V’s nephew, this manicured park is now home to one of the best galleries in Rome, as well as a boating lake, zoo, puppet theater and museums. On the edge of the gardens lies the Pincian Hill. Head to the Piazzale Napoleone I terrace for one of Rome’s best panorama photo ops, with views that stretch to the Pantheon and over the Piazza del Popolo to Vatican City. Auditorium Parco della Musica is an impressive music venue made up three spaceship-like concert halls and an amphitheater that holds 3,000 people. Events cater to all musical tastes, from pop to Puccini. Designed by Zaha Hadid on the site of a former military barracks, the Maxxi is a striking modern art gallery housing contemporary pieces by the likes of Anish Kapoor and Gerhard Richter.
How to Get There
We stayed here some years ago and thought we would return ;we were welcomed back like family. Arriving early from Australia room was not ready but no worries - luggage held/complimentary breakfast provided/change room made available for shower and a room upgrade. Lovely gifts then arrived including champers and nibblies. As usual the twice hourly shuttle to/from hotel to Spanish steps made travelling easy. Every member of staff without fail makes you feel welcome and cannot do enough for you.
Once again highly recommended.
This hotel is somewhat at a distance from the the main sites of Rome and we had to taxi it in and out of the city but it’s also a tranquil oasis from the city and a great value. The staff is lovely, the breakfast buffet just right and the room was cozy, clean and comfortable.
We booked quite late on and were very pleased with our room (we were upgraded). We wanted to stay a bit outside the main tourist area, and this is an excellent option (although outside the fixed price taxi fare from the airport, it seems). In some ways it feels quite old fashioned, but in a rather grand style. Our room was lovely in that high-ceiling, dark curtains style. Bathroom a bit cramped, and lift a bit creaky. The service is just wonderful, though: friendly and effective. The food was superb. We ate in the grill as we arrived late, and had one of the best grill/bar meals we've had. We also ate in the Michelin starred restaurant. Fabulous meal (that piselli ravioli was one of the best things ever). We enjoy walking, so we loved being able to walk through the Borghese gardens into the centre, and also around Parioli (which is a bit like Holland Park, or the Upper East Side - Embassy territory). It wasn't warm enough for the pool/outside bar, but the garden looked lovely. Breakfast pretty expansive, too. Good newspapers!
It was an incredibly difficult time in my life. I sat alone and cried after losing my sister. The staff in this hotel were professional, appropriately attentive and comforting. I was a woman on my own processing life and it was the perfect spot to reflect, heal and feel cared for.
Wiser people would have steered clear of such plush surroundings with a toddler, but in a last minute panic booking, my wife, 18 month old daughter Matilda and I found ourselves checked in at the Aldrovandi Villa Borghese for 5 nights. We needn't have feared. Whilst we've learned our lesson about staying in hotels with young children the hard way, it didn't detract from a fantastic stay with our Italian hosts.
Despite some issues with booking.com, the staff at the hotel were attentive, thoughtful (baby toiletries - hello!) and charming throughout. The food at the hotel is magnificent, and we didn't even get to sample the revered Michelin starred restaurant contained within.
The pool/ garden area is beautiful but as it was January didn't get much of look in. Would return in a heartbeat in warmer months to dive in to the pool and grab a Campari Spritz under the trees. My wife says she had one of the best massages of all time in the Spa so whilst I can't comment with authority I can pass on the message.
Rooms may be a little dated for some people's taste and the early evenings were a bit short on vibes (it was quiet) but this is an elegant and quirky/ fun place to stay. I loved the bar and wish I could have enjoyed a proper drink there into the evening.
Special thanks to Mario for offering to send back our lost jewellery, and hope to see you all again soon! The courtesy car into Central Rome is a nice touch too.