What better way to experience the majestic city of Rome than staying in a luxury villa, formerly the residence of an empress and mother of the Emperor Nero? Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina is a 5-star resort in the heart of the city and the perfect hotel to turn your Roman dream holiday into reality.
Gran Melia Rome
Part of Leading Hotels of The World, the Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina is a stunning urban resort in the historical district of Gianicolo, which sets new standards for Rome’s most luxurious hotels. I had the pleasure of staying at Villa Agrippina in the summer for a day of pampering with my mum. It’s a fantastic place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre!
The hotel location is hard to beat: set at the border of Vatican City, Villa Agrippina is just a short walk to St Peter’s Square and Basilica. Also minutes away from the hotel is the river Tiber and the majestic Castel Sant’Angelo. Rome’s most beautiful squares such as Piazza Navona, Piazza del Popolo, Campo de’ Fiori and Piazza di Spagna are approximately 15-20 minutes away.
A breathtaking view of Rome is not everything that the Gran Melia Rome has to offer. What you will also discover inside the resort is a haven of luxury and tranquillity. There are the magnificent Orti Domiziani gardens, an outdoor swimming pool, a poolside cafe, a fine dining restaurant, a gym, a Clarins Spa and a boutique hotel within the main hotel (RedLevel).
Villa Agrippina is so beautiful, I wonder if guests ever leave the premises! If I was a tourist in Rome, I would certainly be tempted to trade the sight-seeing for a day by the pool!
The hotel occupies the site of archaeological remains belonging to the original Villa Agrippina, owned by a famous Roman empress, Giulia Agrippina Augusta. The warm salmon colours of the building seamlessly match the surrounding properties in this neighbourhood of Rome, ensuring the villa fits within the landscape.
The stylish interiors and sophisticated avant-garde flair complement the ancient architecture of the building.
The Gran Melia Rome lobby and RedLevel private lounge are decorated with contemporary art and Murano chandeliers.
Gran Melia Rome hotel has 116 rooms, including 29 suites. My mum and I stayed in one of the Premium Rooms facing the gardens, with a view of St Peter’s Basilica.
The Premium rooms measure 28sqm and feature a King Size bed, Nespresso machine, iPod Dock station, free WIFI, Flat HD TV, Clarins amenities, bathrobe and slippers. Italian and international press is available on request.
There is 24-hour room service, which we used a couple of times when we needed assistance to switch on the TV or wanted more Nespresso coffee pods.
Premium Room guests have access to all the hotel facilities including the 24-hour fully equipped fitness area and the spa.
The SPA My Blend by Clarins
The wellness area at Gran Meliá Hotel features a SPA My Blend by Clarins, an exclusive club which delivers the ultimate spa experience. Guests can book a wide range of beauty and relaxation treatments as well as use the sauna, steam room, sensorial showers, relax lounge with Balinese beds and the vitality pool.
Villa Agrippina offers several dining and drinking options. Viva Voce is a sophisticated gourmet restaurant; the menu is curated by acclaimed Michelin-starred Chef Alfonso Iaccarino.
Nectar Bar offers fine Italian wines and exquisite cocktails. Liquid Garden is the poolside Bar & Restaurant of the Gran Melia Rome. Surrounded by aromatic orange trees, it is a great spot to enjoy a light lunch, an evening aperitivo or a night-cap.
Villa Agrippina is a wonderful and magical place to stay in Rome. The location is fantastic: right in the centre, but at the same time hidden away from the chaos, traffic and noise of the city. You feel like being in a villa in the countryside and you can even see the stars in the sky at night.
The Premium Room was spacious and comfortable, and I particularly loved the Clarins amenities. The bathtub is in full sight through a transparent glass wall; there is a pull-down curtain, however this leaves some gaps on the sides. Not a problem for me and my mum, but some guests might find this uncomfortable. The bathroom’s sliding door was a bit tricky and noisy to use, especially if you need to go to the bathroom at night.
I am a big fan of Clarins and the spa experience was flawless, relaxing and pampering. I would highly recommend visiting the spa facilities when staying at Villa Agrippina.
The breakfast at Gran Melia Rome unfortunately did not fulfil my expectations. The buffet comprised of Italian food (bread and cakes) and English/American style breakfast (eggs, sausages, bacon, etc.), but I would have liked to see more options for International food as well as a Chef on site to cook eggs to order. There was a kids’ corner with sweet treats such as muffins and donuts.
The service during breakfast was slow: my mum and I stood in line outside the restaurant waiting for a table for about 10 minutes. Once seated, we waiting around 15-20 minutes for our coffees to be served. In the buffet, some of the hot food plates were empty and it took more a while for them to be replaced by a member of staff. Hopefully all of these were just temporary issues.
Overall, I was happy with my stay at Gran Melia in Rome and I would love to visit the hotel again in the future.
Want to read more reviews of Leading Hotels of The World? Grand Hotel Barriere in Dinard, France and Gainsborough Hotel & Spa in Bath, England.
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the Gran Melia Rome hotel and spa on a complimentary basis. All opinions are my own.