A whimsical slice of Rome
Though it’s situated mere minutes from Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and Piazza Barberini, Hotel Majestic Roma doesn’t draw a world of head turns from pedestrians. A modest neoclassical-style building erected in 1889, Hotel Majestic Roma would rather wait until you’re inside its whimsical walls to mesmerize you — only then will you notice all the intrigue that the property has. The lobby’s generous use of marble, hand-carved woods and pops of color on the carpet hint at a place that’s full of energy and has a playful side that an understated exterior hides so well.
Famed architect Gaetano Koch designed Hotel Majestic Roma — the first hotel ever on Via Veneto — to resemble a piano from a distance. So, it makes sense that the 98 rooms would be decked out in traditional whites and royal golds that harmonize splendidly with contemporary elements like flat-screen TVs and reliable Wi-Fi. Another design chord you’ll see consistently struck through the property is one of red tapestries, white crown molding and lots of mirror. The latter avoids playing a tacky tune, though, because it’s balanced with classic crown molding and rich textures.
Though Via Veneto presents a healthy share of dining choices, Hotel Majestic Roma guests’ best option might be not making a decision at all. Onsite eatery Majestic Ristorante Bistrot is the sort of establishment that sets a tone before the maître d’ has even had a chance to sit you at a table with a menu. With a dining room bathing in natural light, gold-trimmed chairs and even more mirrors, you’ll want to dress to impress at lunch or dinner. (Things are a bit more informal during the breakfast buffet, of course.)
You’ll be happy you tucked your shirt in for the occasion because chef Riccioli’s menu is a thorough, well-designed one that excels at pastas (tortellini with porcini mushrooms, spaghetti with lobster and four-tomato sauce) and isn’t afraid to declare its seafood entrées (fried curled octopus, salt-crusted sea bass) as some of the finest in the city. Choose to dine on the terrace to get a full dose of passersby clamoring below and to see tiles that give the slight illusion of piano keys.
The Rome hotel’s approach to the customer is simple yet sublime, and it’s noticed from the moment you enter the building. Doormen don’t merely welcome guests with open arms and help with luggage; they also make sure the property as a whole is well maintained. When we visited, for instance, a deliveryman double parked in front of the luxury hotel to drop off a package while the doorman was away. When the doorman returned to his post, he feverishly searched the lobby for the culprit disrupting the harmony of his front lot. That sort of pride in property and patrons extends to servers at Majestic Ristorante Bistrot, bartenders at R Bar and the personal trainer you request in the fitness room.