• Mirko La Rosa

Hotel de Russie - Rome


It opened in 2000, but constant nips and tucks have kept the city's first true design hotel fresh. Star features include a prime location, suave Ancient-Rome-meets-Art-Deco décor, and a raft of curated experiences – but the headliner will always be the courtyard, home to the hotel’s classy cocktail bar and restaurant. Though it’s fashion-shopping central today, this area of the centro storico, between the Spanish Steps and Piazza del Popolo, still retains some of the bohemian air of centuries past, when it was the city’s artists’ quarter. Today, the De Russie is equally well-placed for coming back with armfuls of bags from Gucci, Fendi and Prada, or going for a run in the Borghese Gardens. Frequented by fashion and film people, well-heeled tourists and style-conscious business travellers, the hotel is the entirely refurbished avatar of an earlier establishment popular with artists like Picasso and Jean Cocteau.

It's a joint venture between US interiors guru Tommaso Ziffer and Rocco Forte Hotels’ in-house designer, Olga Polizzi, who together have ensured the De Russie melds the elegant classicism of Ancient Rome with a more contemporary idiom that nods to the Art Deco-influenced design of the interwar years.

What we liked most


All rooms have been brough in line with Olga Polizzi’s drive to make them feel like homes, not hotel units. Of the 120 rooms (of which 34 are suites) it’s worth angling for one that faces into the courtyard and garden, though if you’re in the long lateral wings of the hotel, top-floor street-facing rooms like Deluxe Suite 532 have lovely views over the Roman rooftops.

Note that there’s an almost seamless progression between the room and suite categories. Signature Suites like Popolo and Picasso are in high demand among big-spenders; a yet-to-be-named fifth Signature Suite, overlooking the garden, will be unveiled in May 2018.

Effortlessly blending classical influences and contemporary design, as envisioned by Olga Polizzi and architect Tommaso Ziffer, the 120 rooms and suites at Hotel de Russie exemplify luxurious Roman living with views out over the historic city streets and the magnificent Piazza del Popolo.

Generous in size and decorated with feature accents inspired by the city’s antique history, the elegant interiors include sculpture, photography and vibrant cushions made with lavish Zimmer + Rohde fabric, plus chic furnishings from Porada and Porta Romana. Bringing the outside in, the stunning botanically-inspired wallpaper from Lewis & Wood echoes the timeless splendour of the Secret Garden.

Food and Drink

The hotel’s lovely, verdant terraced courtyard and garden acts as the al fresco venue for all the De Russie’s food and beverage options, which are overseen by talented Tuscan executive chef Fulvio Pierangelini. Stravinskij Bar serves light lunches (sandwiches, salads, pastas), but is better known for its expertly mixed cocktails.

The Jardin de Russie restaurant is as upmarket as you would expect (men: don’t turn up in shorts), but the menu is grounded in the Italian regional tradition: pasta dishes such as fettucine Bolognese; meat dishes such as veal Milanese; and seafood dishes such as seared octopus or grilled lobster.

Note that things can get a bit hectic at the buffet breakfast when the weather confines guests to the inside rooms, which are too small to meet the demand.

Le Jardin De Russie

From the elegant dining room, replete with stylish classically-inspired accents, to the verdant outdoor terrace at the foot of the Pincio, surrounded by mature pine and flowering citrus, Le Jardin de Russie offers stylish Italian cuisine in sublime surrounds in Rome.

Stravinskij Bar

Your oasis in the historic heart of Rome, the Stravinskij Bar is the gathering place for the city’s bright and beautiful. Crowned by mature trees, fountains, and lush botanicals, our private piazza is at the foot of Hotel de Russie’s Secret Garden, lending it a certain splendour.

Services and facilities

Service is top-notch, and it can be safely said the the De Russie boasts some of the best-informed concierges in the capital.

Facilities include a small but rather lovely spa with six treatment rooms, a fully equipped gym, and a range of bespoke activities. There’s even a Massimo Serini ‘Hair Corner’ salon, open from noon to 9pm. Guests can also go for the hotel's Avenue of Style programme, which offers bespoke experiences in the nearby boutiques of fashion and lifestyle brands, from Armani to Zegna.

Pool The spa has a small salt-water hydro massage pool which improves circulation after a long flight. Its blue mosaic walls are lit under a sparkling crystal-star ceiling.

Spa The intimate De Russie Spa wellness center has an incredible offering of treatments. Highlights include the 'Aux Cinq Fleurs' facial which combines aromatherapy of five tropical flowers with a facial massage that stimulates 62 acupressure points, or the energizing jet-lag treatment, which includes a body scrub, hot stone massage ana aromatic body and face massage. There's also a chromotherapy steam room and a Finnish sauna.

Gym A small gym has the latest Technogym weight and cardio equipment. An on-staff personal trainer, yoga instructor, or pilates teacher can be booked to help you reach any travel fitness goals. They can also arrange running or biking tours through the city.

Our experience

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Key info

Location: Via del Babuino, 9, 00187 Roma RM

Hotel Website: link

Phone number: +06 328881

INSTAGRAM: @hotelderussie