For months now, I’ve been longing for nothing more than a chic, cosmopolitan break to a bustling place with much more to offer than just good weather. Top of my list? The beautiful city of Rome, known as the Eternal City.
I’ve had my own Lizzie McGuire Italian fantasy playing in my head on repeat during this pandemic, and on this trip, that fantasy was fulfilled in its entirety.
I stayed in the exquisite Villa Agrippina Gran Melia, which is the luxury brand of the celebrated Spanish Melia Hotels International. Famed for its personalised RedLevel service, Gran Melia’s aim is to immerse guests in heritage and culture. Upon arrival, the first thing I noticed was the serene setting of the hotel, which made it difficult to believe that I was standing in the centre of one of the most vibrant cities in the world.
In fact, Villa Agrippina Gran Melia is Rome’s only luxury urban resort. It is a hidden oasis with outstanding historical sites, piazzas and dining right at its doorstep. It’s also worth mentioning that the family-run Melia Hotels International was voted the world’s most sustainable hotel brand by The Wall Street Journal in October 2020. Quite an achievement.
Villa Agrippina combines luxury with functionality so perfectly. Whether you intend to spend the day lounging by the gorgeous pool, or exploring the ancient cobbled streets of the city centre, the options are endless. And the hotel has the perfect facilities to focus on wellness, including an impressive spa by Clarins, gym facilities and a bubble bath offering complete with salts, shower gels and scrubs, all by Clarins too.
After a busy day exploring the sites and eating way too much gelato, I took full advantage of this and also enjoyed *the* most relaxing massage to reset me for a new day of activities. The Villa Agrippina’s attention to service and hospitality was unlike any other hotel I have stayed in, and my room (which had a view of the Vatican in the distance) would always have a little surprise waiting for me every time I returned.
If the perfectly Instagrammable city pool pics aren’t quite enough to tempt you, Villa Agrippina has just launched a range of new luxury suites, some of which include their own private gyms, jacuzzis and panoramic views of the city. The private pool suite in particular makes you feel like a celebrity with its own private swimming pool, jet plunge pool and private gardens. It also includes a huge patio by the pool where you can enjoy al-fresco dining. It’s no surprise then, that the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills girls stayed and filmed the Rome episode in this hotel. I am living for the glamour.
It goes without saying that Italy is heaven for any foodie, and the offering at the hotel includes three restaurants featuring mouth-watering Italian food with a unique Spanish twist. Using local produce and fresh ingredients, every dish has a zing to it that I can only describe as spettacolare. There are also private dining experiences available, and exceptional room service (which I took full advantage of, having breakfast in bed complete with an energising affogato).