Rocco Forte’s new Hotel de la Ville, in Rome, with its statues and marble, sarcophagus-like front desk, transports you to an earlier century, perhaps to an English stately home after its aristocratic owner has returned from Europe with trunks full of ancient artifacts.
This was precisely the intention of designer Tommaso Ziffer, who has infused the hotel’s décor with the essence of the Grand Tour undertaken by nobility from the 17th to the 19th centuries. Forte chose Ziffer to be a creative force behind the brand’s Roman hotels because Ziffer had designed Valentino boutiques around Europe. Forte was confident he would contribute flair and a fashion-conscious eye.
With its 104 rooms and suites, Hotel de la Ville represents a move away from the sleek minimalism of its sister, Hotel de Russie, toward a more sumptuous sense of maximalism. The curtains are heavy, the chairs are upholstered with plush padded velvet, the wallpaper imitates antique tapestries, and the bedrooms are lushly appointed. The signature suites carry a hefty price, but there are few better places to enjoy Rome’s beauty than from a sun lounger on one of their enormous private terraces.
Watching the evening sky flush pink from the Cielo Bar with an herb-infused cocktail, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d woken up in Paolo Sorrentino’s film The Great Beauty, so it’s no surprise to learn that Ziffer deliberately designs every space as if it were a movie set.