If you’re nostalgic for Rome’s romantic past, Aldrovandi Villa Borghese offers a taste of old-worldly Italian charm.
The elegant hotel is hidden away in the leafy, residential heart of one of Rome’s most sought-after addresses. Within walking distance to many of the Eternal City’s main sights, the exclusive hotel is as convenient as it is grand.
Ride a bike through the Borghese Gardens or stroll to the nearby Piazza di Spagna. Whilst you’re in a wistful mood why not channel your inner Audrey Hepburn and star in your own Roman Holiday? Ride a Vespa through the cobbled streets, meander down the enchanting Via Margutta, sit at a sidewalk cafe or enjoy a gelato on the Spanish Steps.
After a day of sightseeing, return to the upscale retreat fit for a movie star. Take a dip in the heated outdoor pool, pamper yourself with a La Mer spa treatment, sip a cocktail at the classy American-style bar and dine that evening at the hotel’s very own Michelin-star restaurant, Assaje. Unsurprisingly, this 5-star hotel is recognised as one of the ‘Leading Hotels of the World’.
The ivy-clad villa is a beautifully restored 19th Century convent that was once attended by the Italian aristocracy. It still attracts an elite clientele with its palatial atmosphere; imagine grand staircases, high ceilings bedecked with chandeliers and walls adorned with tapestries. There’s a heated-outdoor pool and a nicely manicured garden that transforms into a luxe Italian al-fresco dining area in the warmer months.
The entrance of the Aldrovandi Villa Borghese is magnificent – the driveway is flanked with manicured hedges and hydrangeas cascading down colossal urns. A doorman, impeccably dressed in a black tailcoat and hat, greets you upon arrival. He will assist you with your luggage before he whisks you through the rotating doorway. The reception is located in the foyer complete with marble floors and a sparkling chandelier. It’s like walking into a bygone era. The hotel, like many in Italy, has an antiquated ambiance.
The reception staff are professional, helpful and happy to assist with any of your needs. Upon your arrival they provide the details on the courtesy shuttle service. The shuttle is available upon request to all guests throughout the day, with regular trips into central Rome. Complimentary bicycle rental is also offered. The stylish bicycles are perfect for an early morning ride through the nearby Borghese Gardens.
Room: Aldrovandi Signature Suite
The suite is spacious and well appointed. There’s a comfortable king sized bed, separate lounge room and garden views.
The sumptuous Italian marble bathroom has double sinks, a walk-in shower, a bath and a private toilet – it’s the ultimate in luxury. Signature bathrobes and slippers, Bang & Olufsen TV system, Wi-Fi, a writing desk and ample storage space give those extra comforts of home.
Around the hotel
Awarded a Michelin star in 2016, this new restaurant is a worthy pick in a city renowned for incredible food. You don’t even have to leave the comfort of the hotel to enjoy beautiful Italian fare created by the talented resident Chef, Claudio Mengoni. The sophisticated menu has a focus on Mediterranean flavours.
The dining room is small and elegant. An intimate space with immaculate white tablecloths, a quiet ambiance and gold-class service by the attentive wait staff that serve each course with military precision. The sommelier took great care to match each dish with a complimentary wine.
Our tasting began with a glass of Brut champagne, accompanied by creamy buffalo mozzarella and homemade crostini. As well as a selection of fresh bread with primo olive oil that was full bodied and fruity. The tomato soup with water buffalo ricotta cheese and basil pesto sauce was a triumph. The entrée immediately impressed with the bold colours of the Italian flag, but it’s in the tasting that confirmed Assaje is indeed something special. The humble but commanding flavours have been extracted from each of the fresh, simple ingredients. Those components combined made the tomato soup sing.
The homemade lemon tagliolini pasta with Burrata cheese, raw red prawns, seaweed asparagus and oyster leaves was rich, creamy and absolutely delicious. This was perfectly matched with a 2014 Carlotto Pinot. For main, the signature braised veal cheek with artichokes, horseradish, paprika and persil sauce was so tender it simply melted in the mouth.
The tasting menu was far from over with three stages of dessert to come. First the almond panna cotta, red fruit crumble, passionfruit jelly and white chocolate was a light and fruity precursor to the delightfully sweet dishes that followed. Next, there was a petit four selection of white chocolate cannoli, raspberry jelly, tiramisu and chocolate with a crispy puffed-rice filling. Finally, a prettily presented dessert of zabaione (which is a light Italian-style custard) served with almond crust, strawberry and dark chocolate for a modern twist. Tea and coffee was offered to complete the incredible meal.
Price: 5 Courses is 150 Euro / 7 courses is 170 Euro.
The American Bar
This old-fashioned American-style bar has a swanky atmosphere and the bar staff serve up top-notch drinks. This glamorous setting makes a perfect place to meet up with fellow guests for an aperitif before a meal at Assanje or heading out for a romantic evening in the heart of Rome. The American Bar is a cosy winter alternative to the outdoor dining offered in the warmer months. If you want a comfy night-in, sink into one of the leather armchairs with a cocktail in hand and if you get peckish you can always order an item off The Grill menu.
An impressive buffet breakfast is displayed in the splendid ballroom – tables lavishly set with fresh fruit, yoghurt, cereals, pastries and cake, cheese, cured meats, freshly baked bread and an assortment of spreads. There is a hot meal selection of eggs, bacon and even crepes, whilst other dishes such as an omelette can be ordered a la carte. Italian coffee, teas and freshly squeezed juices are offered.
The seating in the sunny patio has pleasant views overlooking the garden. Breakfast at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese is a sophisticated and relaxing way to begin the day.
There’s a brand new spa by exclusive skincare specialists LA MER; featuring massage rooms, sauna, steam baths, a mini pool and a hairdresser’s parlour. Pamper yourself with regenerating facials and body treatments.
Located in Piciano, an upmarket neighbourhood near the Borghese Gardens. Offering a quiet alternative to the chaos of Rome’s piazzas, yet within walking distance to many of the city’s main sights.
Via Ulisse Aldrovandi, 15 – 000197 Roma
The writer was a guest of Aldrovandi Villa Borghese. My opinion is, and will always be, my own. The Portmanteau Press only includes content that aligns with the aesthetic, standard and values of the brand.