A hidden paradise away from the tourist buzz of Rome, the Hotel de Russie is a mythical marriage of the ancient and modern. Built around a classical Roman courtyard, its multi-level garden, which ascends to the slopes of the Pincio, hums to the sound of birdsong, while 17th-century architecture houses sensitively-conceived contemporary interior design by Rocco Forte Hotels design director Olga Polizzi, Sir Rocco Forte’s sister.
Bazaar checking into Rome's most glamurous address
Calming putty-coloured walls mirror the classic bas-reliefs depicting Roman life that line corridors, while the chalky green doorways are a relaxing reflection of the hotel’s magical exterior. The 86 bedrooms and 34 suites offer enchanting views of the hotel’s Secret Garden, Piazza del Popolo or neighbouring rooftops. Bazaar was welcomed to our suite with green tea served in a lavish Versace tea set, accompanied by a Bacchanalian selection of figs, dates and berries, perfect for enjoying on the balcony overlooking the hotel’s piazzetta Valadier. From the centennial trees and rose bushes in the Secret Garden, which dates back to the 17th century, to the Forte Organics in-room amenities, created with ingredients harvested from the group’s Sicilian resort, to the super foods-loaded ‘Nourish’ breakfast, Hotel de Russie immerses guests in Italy’s natural beauty.
To further cultivate body and soul, the hotel’s in-house personal trainer Danilo Palmucci will take you on a jogging or cycling art tour of Rome, taking in architectural milestones such as Fontana di Trevi, the Pantheon and Via del Corso. There will be plenty of Instagram stops along the way in the city’s picturesque side streets and artisanal food markets. Back at the hotel, you can opt to continue to sweat it out in the state-of-the-art gym or make use of the saltwater hydrotherapy pool in the spa, which is housed in a magically mosaicked haven of Mediterranean blue with a twinkling ceiling under which to blissfully drift away.
Bazaar's Louise Nichol at The Hotel de Russie
Come evening, you’ll want to relish the stylish of the Stravinskij Bar, a magnet for Rome’s most chic clientele. Drinks and abundant canapés (the honeyed pecans are everything) on the terrace by twilight are unforgettable .Be sure to try the signature ‘Secret Garden’ mocktail, a blend of Seedlip Gin – the world’s first non-alcoholic spirit – rhubarb and thyme shrub and soda water, or the ‘Mirtillo Estasi’, which mixes banana with almond butter, oat milk and vegan protein (ideal after the art run). As night falls, ascend the mythical steps to Le Jardin de Russie restaurant where tables are set amid the Secret Garden’s fragrant rose bushes. The freshest of ingredients are served with the lightest touch in a celebration of the region’s seafood, fish and vegetable specialities. Finish with the dark chocolate vegan mousse, orange sorbet and linger over the best coffee in Italy.
Photographer Stefania Paparelli captures cover star Taleedah Tamer
Retire to a suite which, following last year’s interior renovation, blends modern pieces with more traditional elements inspired by Roman history. So rich papal oranges and purples highlight muted Fornasetti wallpaper, or sylvan scenes give a mythological aspect to the high-tech surrounds. In the knowledge that Picasso once stayed for three months at the hotel during 1917, the Hotel de Russie really is a cradle of creativity, couture and comfort.
From Harper's Bazaar July/August Magazine 2018