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Small Luxury Hotels: 5 Star Palazzo DamaMonday 4 April 2016
One of Rome’s most exquisite palaces opens its doors to begin a new chapter in its regal history as the Palazzo Dama. Being one of the best small luxury hotels in Italy, a magnificent destination 5 star hotel redefines luxury in the Eternal City, welcoming guests to experience Rome in a majestic, full-service villa.
The legacy of Palazzo Dama is steeped in the history of the Malaspina family, one of the oldest noble families in Europe and the palazzo’s inhabitants for over a century. Constructed near the banks of the Tiber river, the Roman villa was both the Malaspina home and host to high society gatherings where the family entertained diplomats, aristocrats and prominent cultural and social figures.
Palazzo Dama is named to honor the dignified elegance of the aristocratic woman – the dama in Italian – among the Malaspina generations. Today, Palazzo Dama retains its eminent historical beauty, but has been transformed into a luxurious destination that is not just a place to stay but a place to escape, complete with a private club and bar, as well as an outdoor pool that are set to become Rome’s new hotspots for a discerning, international clientele.
Steps from Piazza del Popolo, the hotel offers the unique experience of a grand villa situated at the very heart of Rome, where guests can choose from any number of events and experiences in Italy’s capital city. Designed by architect Antonio Girardi, who oversaw the entire renovation, 30 rooms and suites have been conceived as light-filled sojourns where guests can enjoy their Roman stays in the comfort of exquisitely appointed spaces. An elegant pool invites visitors to relax in the lush, secluded garden surrounded by olive and lemon trees. On the rooftop, a private terrace offers the chance to delight in an evening aperitivo, accompanied by spectacular views that sweeps from the Tiber to the Vatican, across the breathtaking cityscape of Rome’s cupolas and terracotta rooftops.
Inside the hotel, the L’Autre Dame restaurant serves a range of fresh, health-conscious choices, alongside a menu of international and continental fare, with a kitchen open to guests at any hour. The L’Autre Dame cocktail bar welcomes visitors into a deep blue alcove while below, a subterranean nightclub promises to quickly become one of Rome’s go-to evening spots. In addition to the hotel’s curated spaces, its 24-hour concierge is always on hand to provide uncompromised services including bespoke city tours of Rome, as well as exclusive beauty and wellness treatments presented in the comfort of one’s own room.
The hotel unfolds like a private home, stately but intimate, making the Palazzo Dama feel like a guest’s very own villa. Art Nouveau doors and original marble mosaics mark the threshold, opening to the light-filled entrance hall, lobby, and lounges. The restaurant, bar and communal areas of the hotel are illuminated by crystal chandeliers sourced from New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel, along with vintage Venini glass fixtures. A stately original wooden staircase sits proudly at the palazzo’s center, while grand archways link the lounge areas where turn-of-the-century beveled glass mirrors and intricate moldings embellish the light-filled spaces. The authentic elegance of Palazzo Dama has been enhanced with custom-made furniture designed by the hotel’s Architect, Antonio Girardi, and handcrafted by local artisans, with carefully selected Dedar, Loro Piana, and Ralph Lauren fabrics, and a range of modern and contemporary art.
Sophistication and comfort come together in each of the high-ceilinged resplendent guest rooms and suites, where each guest can delight in unique moments of luxury and pleasure. Each room has been specifically conceived to create a contemporary sense of comfort, with vintage design objets d’art sourced from collections throughout the world, glossy coffee table books and a collection of photographs by various renowned artists. The airy rooms are accented in rich, dark blues and marine-inspired greens that echo the principal accents of the hotel and the elegant scents of Diptyque candles and beauty products perfume the spaces and offer indulgence in the handsomely appointed marble bathrooms.
SOCIAL LIFE AT PALAZZO DAMA
Guests can enjoy the very best in food and drink, as well as relaxation, with the hotel’s offerings. L’Autre Dame, an internationally-inspired restaurant offers a curated menu throughout the day, with juices, smoothies and raw food options that reflect the best in healthy living alongside an indulgent menu of cutting-edge cuisine. Tucked neatly around the main staircase, L’Autre Dame bar is lavishly decorated with paintings and works on paper.
Its dark blue walls create an intimate and warm backdrop for indulging in high quality drinks and sophisticated spirits, both classic and custom-created for the hotel. The bar’s proximity to the grand staircase leaves guests feeling safely tucked away from the distractions of daily life and the busy city streets. Just moments from the bar and restaurant, in the unexpected seclusion of the garden, a graceful pool provides a true break from the city right in the center of Rome.
Photos by Oberto Gili