Gran Melia Rome
What We Love
- Location in the hilly Gianicolo neighborhood is quiet but central?
- Breathtaking views (especially at dusk)?
- Free WiFi?
- Serene YHI Spa is perfect after a day of sightseeing
What To Know
- A city tax of $9 per person, per night will be collected by the hotel at check out
- Spa vitality pool is on the small side and can fill up quickly in good weather?
- The hotel is a short walk from the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica
- Outdoor facilities are open weather permitting?
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Kids Club
- Parking On Site
It may have only opened in spring 2012, but the roots of the Gran Meliá Rome go back centuries. In the 1st and 2nd centuries AD, this sprawling site, near the banks of the Tiber River, was home to Villa Agrippina, residence of Emperor Nero’s mother. During the Meliá’s extensive excavation, numerous relics and archeological remains were discovered, many of which are displayed today throughout the hotel. Despite the unique historical ties, the flagship property is at its heart thoroughly modern; from its state-of-the-art spa and outdoor pool to its upscale restaurant helmed by a two-Michelin-star chef.
Bed & Bath
The 116 guestrooms are streamlined and stylish with Nespresso coffee machines, personalized pillow menus and iPod docking stations. Playful splashes of signature red add color to an otherwise muted palette of soft browns and creams, and headboards feature oversize artwork inspired by famous Italian paintings from the city’s museums. Bathrooms are crafted from marble and natural stone and have powerful cascade showers and Clarins products. For a room with a view, go for the Premium City View, which looks out over the Vatican dome and the castle of Sant’ Angelo.
A bust of Agrippina greets guests in the sleek lobby, off of which sits a contemporary library stocked with art books. Beyond this you’ll find a whimsical bar serving creative cocktails and the gourmet Vivavoce restaurant, helmed by two-Michelin-star chef Alfonso Iaccarino. Other dining options include Liquid Garden, a pool lounge bar in a grove of sweet smelling orange trees and chic rooftop lounge, the Lunae Terrace. For total relaxation, take a stroll through the hotel’s fragrant botanical gardens or head to the YHI Spa with its open-air vitality pool, sauna and steam rooms, a gym, and four treatment rooms.
In the Area
This city is made for strolling. Walks along the river, through the buzzy Trastevere neighborhood and to the Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel are all within easy reach of the hotel (ask the concierge for suggestions). Located in the Flaminia neighborhood, the MAXXI museum houses contemporary art in a stunning building designed by Zaha Hadid. Nearby Trastevere is a hotbed of bars, nightlife and restaurants. Splurge at the gourmet Glass Hosteria helmed by noted chef Cristina Bowerman. If you want to venture a little further, head an hour northeast from Rome to explore Tivoli’s UNESCO-approved Villa d’ Este gardens.
How to Get There
Pros: easy check-in; attentive concierge; location - long walk from Trastevere restaurants. Very close to Vatican. Easy walk to all main central Rome sights.
Cons: Not a luxury 5-star experience as it was advertised. Upon check-in, we were shown our room, which was very small for what we were paying, not much room for more than the bed. My husband and I were immediately bumping into each other. The staff member began presenting upgrade options the moment we got into the room, for more $. It felt like that is their standard process, present a room that is obviously uncomfortable and push their guests to upgrade for a higher fee. I don’t expect that kind of shady business from any luxury 5 star hotel.
My husband went to take a shower, and realized that the shower was in the bathtub and there was no place to set toiletries. Not the end of the world, but either you’re dealing with bottles rolling around at your feet on the bathtub or you have to lean over the side to grab them. Just uncomfortable/inconvenient. Like the rest of the room.
Luckily, after I denied the upgrade, about an hour later they took pity on us and put us in a more standard sized room, which is their “Junior Suite.” It was basement level but we didn’t mind as we just appreciated not bumping into each other. But immediately we realized the hallway was full of cigarette smoke, which was leaking into our room. The hotel is non-smoking, but the staff member explained it away that someone must just be smoking on their balcony. Being that they gave us the room upgrade (although it’s what we should have had to begin with based on what we paid), I didn’t want to ask to be moved again and hoped it would stop. The next two days, our room filled with cigarette smoke again, only it was coming through the wall behind our bed. The second day, I alerted the staff, and it seemed to stop by the evening.
We left the next morning. Wasn’t the worst hotel experience we’ve had, but not 5 star either. I’d call it more of a 3.5-4 star for people who have experienced a true 5 star luxury experience.
For Americans, please be aware this hotel is marketed TO Americans. Charging prices much higher than the rest of the area for the same or better quality rooms/food/service because they know we’ll pay that. All guests there were American. The vibe is more of a Hilton that has been recently renovated than a luxury Italian hotel experience. Definitely not worth what they’re charging.
I was here for a Salesmanship Club. This trip was a reward from the company and we were impressed. The staff here is amazing. The hotel is in immaculate condition, looks completely new unlike other hotels in Rome which can look in need of an update.
Location is fantastic and very quiet at night. Close to Rome but over near the Vatican. You cannot go wrong here. I travel a lot and it takes something to impress me, I would stay again, and again.
Lovely fresh decor. Courteous staff went out of their way, even noticed I was having a birthday during the stay and delivered a treat to our room. Later I mentioned to the housekeeper that it was my birthday and while we were savoring the treat in our private garden, she placed rose petals on our bed spelling AUGURI--congratulations. Delicious cuisine in the cafe overlooking the swimming pool. Short walk to spectacular Gianocolo Park with stunning views over the domed skyline.
The attention to detail started via email with the guest experience department helping us schedule a car service to meet us at the airport and to help us with tours for our first visit to Rome and we were not disappointed. Our greeter met us at the airport and walked us through baggage claim and customs and handed us to our driver for a nice ride the hotel. Upon our early arrival in the morning, knowing our room would not be ready, we were escorted to the pool area where we relaxed waiting for our room. Our room was ready within an hour of our arrival and the RedLevel service is a must! The entire staff is at your disposal should you need anything and each and every person makes you feel welcomed to their Urban Oasis! What a fabulous experience!!!
The Gran Melia in Rome is a beautiful facility, located near the Vatican and close enough to Rome's historic center to make it easily reached--yet separated enough to make the accommodations quiet and even secluded. The staff is wonderful and very helpful--the grounds are lovely and the rooms comfortable. I have one caveat, however: the bathrooms--and in particular--the bath. Like most European hotels I've been in, the Melia features a large tub--with the shower in the middle of the tub (and not separate from it). Once you are 'in the shower' and everything is wet and slippery--the problem becomes clear. How do you get out? The bath is very deep (therefore--very high)--and there is nothing to hold on to if you--like me-- are past the age of being athletic. There is not even a soap dish--much less those 'handicapped' bars which I used to deride and now depend on. Even my younger and more athletic nephew agreed that the sleek porcelain tub, once wet, was very slippery. The staff happily found a special suite that was unoccupied and available--for which they charged nothing extra. But the problem remains. And the problem is far larger than this one beautiful hotel, Older folks (like me) need to be careful about these facilities which we i take for granted when traveling the USA--and are never highlighted in brochures or websites.