Waldorf Astoria Rome Cavalieri – Review

Old school elegance is the only way to describe this hotel. I wouldn’t call it modern in any way. It’s got big, bold colors in the rooms with deep, dark blue carpet, furniture, and artwork to match. It isn’t like Liberace puked all over the place but it certainly isn’t modern. However the service and the serene setting provide a quiet oasis just on the outskirts from the Rome city center.

Booking

I booked this room basically because I had 2 free night certificates that I didn’t know I had in my Hilton account that were set to expire in a couple of months. The way the certificates work is that as long as standard room is available for points, you can book that room, regardless of the cost. So, I asked about the Conrad hotel since it’s located closer to the city center but was told that since they don’t have “standard” rooms (since they’re all unique I guess) I wouldn’t be able to use the certificates there. However, the customer service agent was quick to point out that the Waldorf was available and happily made my reservation. Also, since I’m a diamond member, I would be eligible to for an upgrade if available (I didn’t get one). But since the rooms were going for 500 Euros/night, I was’t going to complain.

From the airport, it’s about a 45 minute drive and was 55Euros with an Uber. I typically would have taken a train and then used the metro and bus to get here but after a long travel day, I just desperately needed to shower and pull the contacts out of my eyes and I was willing to pay the cost to just get me here.

Side note on the Uber in Rome. Uber Black is used here so the prices are a bit higher considering you’ll be driven around in a luxury vehicle. From Terminal 1 at the airport, you’ll need to walk outside from the arrivals hall and then walk across the street toward parking garage B. If you enter the garage, you’ll see Uber parking signage located on the right side along the wall just past the gate. That said, you can also just wait outside underneath the Parking B sign and you’ll see your driver come to pick you up.

The one thing that really concerned me was how everything was a bit far (at least on paper) since the location is a bit away from the Rome city center. It’s actually about a 10min taxi ride to the Vatican however, so if you want to get up early to check out the Vatican, it wouldn’t be the worst place to stay. What is nice is that the hotel does provide a free shuttle that leave every hour on the half hour from the hotel and picks you up in the city center every hour at the top of the hour. The shuttle is a clearly marked silver minibus so you can’t miss it. So, if you wanted, you could get an early start to your siteseeing (before the shuttle takes you into town) and then just take the shuttle back when you’re done. The dop off/pick up point will be the same place and it’s about a block away from the St. Regis Hotel or the US Embassy (depending on which way you’re coming).

Check in was a breeze but unfortunately I didn’t qualify for an upgrade even as a Diamond member. However, it did look like the hotel was fairly booked over my two days there so there may not have been availability. I was hopeful I would get bumped to an Imperial room or something overlooking the gardens but alas, no luck.

The overall impression you get as you walk into the lobby is that of an elegant hotel or palace that would house very expensive artwork. Judging by the way the artwork is presented, I’m guessing it’s original pieces but I’m not an art guy. But it’s all over the walls and you can’t help but notice it. I’m sure if you’re an art lover, you’ll have a field day just having all these paintings to yourself since many didn’t seem to notice.

The Room

As I walked toward room 528, I was kind of expecting it to be fairly small, just by the layout of the doors and how they had a very average feel. However, walking in, I was pleasantly surprised. As you walk in, there are 2 closets where you can request laundry, shoe shine, and even an umbrella. The safe was there as well. Next was the minibar which was fully stocked and on top were 2 smaller bottles of water and 2 larger bottles of water (which I think was an amenity for my Diamond status). The only bummer was that the larger bottles weren’t replaced so I’ not sure if the smaller bottles would have been replaced if I had started with them. I also wished they were plastic so I could take them with me as I walked around town vs. a heavy glass bottle.

One thing to note is that there wasn’t a coffee maker in the room. I’m not the biggest coffee maker but I do like to drink tea so I like to see that provided. I’m sure one would have been provided if I asked but then again there wasn’t an outlet to plug it in above the minibar so maybe not.

The bed was a very comfortable king and next to it was a couch and coffee table which served as a nice place sit if you don’t want to sit on the bed. Across from that was a built in desk with all the necessary outlets to charge your electronics. Make sure you have an adapter cuz there is nothing more annoying than not having one (you’ve read my 10 things that never leave my bag post right? If not, you can read it HERE).

As you walk out on the balcony, there was seating for two and my impression was it was much larger than normal balconies. Unfortunately I didn’t have much of a view (or need to use it) so I used it to dry some clothes but I can see it being a good place for glass of wine at the end of the day if you had a view of the gardens. Also, there was an amenity in the room that I’ve never seen before…a noise cancelling door. This was a paneled door that was hidden flush with the wall and looked like an ordinary hall miror. But if you pulled it out, it would pull out the pane and sit flush with the closet so it would act as an extra buffer from any noise coming from the hallway.

Amenities

I didn’t have time to check out all the amenities here but they are substantial. The property had 3 pools (including an indoor pool), gym, spa, 2 clay tennis courts, a 3 star Michellin restaurant, free shuttle service to the city center and back, and seemingly substantial garden grounds. Also, all the concierges I saw throughout the day had the golden keys pin on their lapels so that’s always a good sign. I was only here for 2 nights but I imagine you can spend quite a bit of time at all the amenities and never really get tired of any of them. Understandably, almost all the amenities were in use every time I walked by (even the gym!) people were certainly using them.

Adding to all this is the artwork which is ALL OVER the hotel. I didn’t bother going to the different floors but I imagine you can really dig around to find some stuff. Again, I’m not a art person so I have no idea if these are all original works or if they’re replicas but it just seemed like they were going through an awful lot if they were replicas. And it isn’t just artwork but also pieces like tapestries, clocks, dressers, etc that look like they belong in a musem.

Restaurants

Breakfast is served on the -1 floor (below the 0 floor which is the lobby) and taking the staircase down from the lobby just feels like you’re making a grand entrance to a high society ball with a massive chandelier the goes down the middle of the two circular staircases with a understated yet fitting water feature at the bottom. L’Uliveto served a great buffet breakfast but I was only able to eat there once since I didn’t have the time. However, the selection was massive. I feel like many Europeans don’t eat a full American style breakfast so the selection tends to be a few pastries, yogurt, fruit, and maybe some eggs. This had that and more so it certainly didn’t disappoint. The dinner menu looked like classic Italian food but I try not to eat meals (other than breakfast) in the hotel so I didn’t go. The other main restaurant is La Pergola, Italy’s only 3 star Michellin Restaurant It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go, but rather I couldn’t get a reservation (and it was Easter weekend which meant demand was high). It’s located on the 9th floor of the hotel with prices that seem to justify its 3 stars.

Overall

I enjoyed my stay here. The service was great, the staff were always helpful, and the setting couldn’t be more calming. The location being a bit outside of the city center is a little offputting but the free shuttle service more than makes up for it. Also, there are different (and local) eateries if you’re willing to walk about 10 mins. From fantastic pizza at Moma Pizza (where you order by the slice and there was a constant stream of locals while I was there) to a gellato store about 2 doors down. There is also a small grocery store nearby so you can stock up on snacks if you want. If you’re willing to try something a little out of the hustle and bustle of the Rome city center, this might be your perfect little oasis.


Leave a Reply