Rocco Forte opened the Hotel de Rome in 2006 in a building that was once the Dresdner Bank headquarters. Many of the original bank features have been deliberately left (including the bullet-pocked wood panelling, a legacy from the Second World War, in the directors’ offices – now the Historic Suites) and the building’s history contributes to an overall feeling of total security. From the moment you cross the threshold and are whisked through the vast statement lobby and the checking-in process with consummate ease, you know you’re in safe hands.
It’s the epitome of pulled-together chic, too, and owes its bold contemporary interiors to a combination of Tommaso Ziffer and Rocco Forte designer Olga Polizzi. Four giant curved black velvet sofas dominate a lobby, which with its oversized white baubles and vase of amaryllis suspended as a sculptural centrepiece, certainly has plenty of wow-factor. Upstairs, the 146 rooms are largely similar in style; many with business-like grey walls, red lacquer wardrobe and red leather desk chair and triple-layered curtain to banish morning light.
And if you were to lose your luggage? The hotel has one delightful surprise service: guests can borrow a dress for the night absolutely free of charge from the Schumacher Runway collection; the concierge will send a selection to choose from on a rail to your room. Perfect if you’re headed to the opera or for cocktails on the rooftop terrace.
- The fabulous tiled swimming pool
- The opportunity to borrow a dress from the Dorothee Schumacher Runway collection
- Cocktails on the roof terrace
- Some of the en suite bathrooms could be bigger
Need to Know: Hotel de Rome
Number of rooms: 146
Check-in/check-out times: 2pm and 12noon
Room service: Yes
Swimming pool: Yes
Spa: Yes. The first-class basement spa, with its sleek gold-tiled pool, was once the bank vault with over 400 safety-deposit boxes for jewels, gold and cash, while the safe, with its original heavy door is now stacked with towels and used for manicures. It is also available for candlelit dinners a deux and is often booked for proposals.
Dogs welcome: No
Eating and drinking: Jörg Behrend heads up the restaurant, Parioli, which is definitely worth checking out for a no expense spared feast – particularly in summer when the terrace opens. Afternoon tea is served up in the elegant Opera Court Bar (which was once the bank’s lobby), while the roof terrace bar is perfect for a pre-night out sundowner.
Near to? The hotel is located in the buzzing Mitte district on Bebelplatz Square, one of the most impressive landmarks in Berlin, and is also just a few minutes’ walk from Berlin’s main shopping streets. Sightseeing-wise, Museum Island and the State Opera House are also within easy walking distance.
Getting there: The city has a good railway system, and the main station, Hauptbahnhof is 2km from the hotel. Tegel, Berlin’s international airport, is situated 12km from Hotel de Rome, or a 25 minute taxi ride away. Berlin’s second airport, Schonefeld, is located 20km or 40 minutes away.