In Europe, the name “Baglioni” is immediately connected to elegance, style, service and beauty when it comes to hotels. There are Baglioni properties in France, England and Marrakesh and more to come in the Middle East and New York, but the Baglioni in Rome is the only one that connects its name with royalty. That’s because the Hotel Baglioni Regina once hosted Queen Margherita, mother of Vittorio Emmanuele III, for six years while she waited for her own palazzo to be built across the street on Via Veneto.
Queen Margherita was so pleased with her stay in one of the first Grand Hotels, from 1900 to 1906, that she gave permission for what was to become the Baglioni, to call it “Baglioni Regina,” and that it remains to this day, relishing its location in the hub of La Dolce Vita, where the 1960 film was made nearby and where the international jet set now congregates.
The Italian Deco and classic style building was erected in 1892 and completely restored in 1987, but the precious marble, antique woodwork, brass and bronze touches remain, with numerous stunning contemporary fabrics and art works and furnishings added so that some of the public rooms probably resemble the way they looked when the queen lived here, while others, touched by Milanese architects Rebosio+Spagnulo, could have been added last week. Pastoral scenes hanging on the walls join photographs of movie stars from “La Dolce Vita,” “Roman Holiday” and James Bond thrillers. The breakfast room and bar and Brunello dining room, for example, are furnished with zebra striped and leopard print chairs and bold colorful contemporary paintings. Jacuzzi pools in the spa were built with the latest “chromotherapy” by Kos and the gym is fitted with “Technogym” equipment.
Guest rooms are decorated with heavy draperies in the same silk damask as the wall coverings, and the enormous bathrooms have the same precious black and amber marble floors as in the lobby. A delicate, subtle fragrance perfumes the guest rooms, many which have walk-in closets.
The Baglioni Regina is on Via Veneto, where much of the 1960 movie “La Dolce Vita” was filmed. It is just a mile from the upscale shopping on Via Condotti and a short walk from the Colosseum and the Villa Borghese gardens. Views from anywhere in the hotel stretch over the Eternal City, but the best 360-degree panoramic sight comes at the 8th floor Roman Penthouse, completed in 2013 and considered the most exclusive apartment in Rome. With floor-to-ceiling glass walls, private outdoor terraces, three bedrooms and a living room and dining room and private gym, in addition to every sort of high tech visual and audio equipment, plus contemporary Murano glass chandeliers, a private butler (who will, among other things, unpack your bags for you) and chef, and limousine service, the 183-square-foot penthouse attracts the same sort of royalty as the beautiful stone building did for Queen Margherita more than 100 years ago. One Arab prince stayed here for a year, at $15,570 per night.
Poor Margherita missed out on the Netflix on the gigantic walled television screens, though, and the excellent Roman cuisine of chef Sarzi Sartori down in the Brunello Restaurant on the first floor. Her loss; in 2016, dinner was excellent.