The great César Ritz set a new standard for hospitality in 1894 when he opened Le Grand Hotel, the first deluxe hotel in Rome. Turning the clock forward to 1999, Starwood Hotels & Resorts commenced a $35-million renovation of the historic gem. Today the St. Regis Grand Hotel, Rome once again offers a level of opulence and service that other hotels only hope to imitate.
The public rooms gleam with Corinthian columns, frescoed walls, and oriental rugs illuminated by antique Murano glass chandeliers. Each of the 161 rooms and suites bears the name of its original hand-painted fresco depicting a Roman scene. Other details include French and Italian furnishings, elegant marble baths, and oversize beds draped in the finest silks and damasks—along with complete modern comforts and technology. Two floors cater to guests with butler service, as do all 23 suites.