photo by Hotel de Russie

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Hotel description

Once upon a time, on a sunny day at the Hotel de Russie, you might have spotted Pablo Picasso or Jean Cocteau peeling and eating the oranges that they picked in the hotel garden. After a sixty-year hiatus, the Russie has re-emerged and is still a languid spot. While you won't catch today's Picassos and Cocteaus (or models and film stars, more likely) behaving with quite the same hedonism, you might catch them loafing in the lobby library flipping through the International Herald Tribune.

Rome is known as a lively, sometimes frantic place — bumper to bumper traffic and hot, salty scents. But though the Russie is in the city center—across the street from the Spanish Steps and overlooking the Piazza del Popolo—the hotel itself is tranquil. The screeches of mopeds are curiously absent. Service is discreet. Even the furniture is quiet — modern, but unpretentious. Order your wine from room service and sip it slowly from a gigantic glass the size of a fish bowl, or book a treatment at the spa — the only luxury spa in all of Italy. Of course, the best time to stay at the Russie is when the weather is at its nicest — from late spring to early fall. Then, you can breakfast on cornettos and milky espresso on the patio. And in the evenings, drink Prosecco on your terrace (providing you're flush enough to score one) while listening to music drift up from the Piazza below.

The hotel probably got its name, by the way, from Russian luminaries who hid out here — everyone from Igor Stravinsky to the Ballet de Russie and the Romanoffs. Maybe that's also why they designed such an inconspicuous facade when they built it in 1818 (be warned that the Russie is easy to miss). But what's inside the front gate will stun you: 30,000 feet of landscape, as opulent and manicured as a theatrical backdrop with palm trees, yews, climbing roses, Roman ruins, and, in the distance, the Villa Borghese gardens. Good weather providing, it's easy to linger here forever — especially considering that there's a bar serving cocktails and sandwiches. Just try to refrain from picking the oranges.

Contact & location

Via del Babuino, 9, Rome


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Hotel de Russie

This travel guide also includes text from Wikitravel articles, all available at WikitravelView full credits

This travel guide also includes text from Wikipedia articles, all available at WikipediaView full credits

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