Palazzo Naiadi’s magnificent neoclassical portico opposite the newly restored Fountain of the Naiads is arguably the grandest hotel entrance in Rome and sets the tone for the refined elegance that informs the interiors, as well. The focal point of the hotel is its soaring lobby, a two-storey confection of white-on-white colonnades and stuccoes topped by an enormous chandelier in Murano glass; its grandeur is tempered by revolving exhibitions of contemporary art and a restrained neutral décor. With ruins of the ancient Baths of Diocletian visible beneath glass floors on the lower level, a wing built by Pope Clement XI in 1705 to store grain for the Vatican, and a rooftop bar and pool that is the epitome of 21st-century cool, the hotel embraces 2,000 years of Roman history with aplomb.
The attention to detail is remarkable at Palazzo Naiadi, more akin to a boutique bolthole than a bustling Grand Dame. The hands-on management style and generous staff-to-guest ratio means that no matter how busy the hotel may get, you’ll find someone who knows you by name and is keen to serve you a drink, book you a taxi, or steer you to the rooftop table with the best view.
The exacting service especially shines through at the hotel’s Fusion Spa, where the staff create massage oils using hand-picked herbs based on ancient Asian and Roman treatments; after your massage, a tray of healthy juices and a freshly drawn bath with perfumed salts await in your room. The hotel also has a small but fully equipped fitness area with a trainer and yoga instructor, a champagne bar and restaurant adjacent the lobby, and chic rooftop pool and bar where footsore guests can cool off with a dip and sip far above the city.
The more than 230 rooms and suites at Palazzo Naiadi are set in the late-19th-century main palace and the storied Clementine Wing; their understated earth-tone palette, stately neoclassical style, high ceilings, thick carpeting, and careful soundproofing create an inviting retreat after a day touring Rome. Extra touches like a welcome pastry, lavender linen scent at turndown, and fresh flowers are indulgent perks in higher category rooms. If great views are a priority, request a Panorama Room or Duplex Junior Suite; lovers of contemporary architecture will appreciate the Executive Suites. Marble bathrooms and Acqua di Parma toiletries come standard in all rooms and suites.
With dark panelling, low lights, and vintage paparazzi photos, the ground-floor Tazio Restaurant and adjacent champagne bar are old-school glam. The menu is heavy on fish and seafood dishes and includes the kitchen’s own fresh pastas and breads; the theatrical presentations (they do love their dry ice) are endearing, if slightly OTT. On warm evenings, you can dine at al fresco tables facing the Naiadi Fountain or head upstairs to the rooftop pool and bar, Posh Terrace, for a drink and light nosh on finger foods.
Breakfast is served in La Frusta, a first-floor space overlooking the portico, and includes a generous spread of sweet and savoury baked goods, healthy juices and yogurts, and international standards like eggs and bacon. There is also an à la carte menu for options like omelettes (try the cheese and asparagus option inspired by a dish popular in ancient Rome) and other made-to-order specialties.