Glass stays at Gran Meliá Villa Agrippina hotel in Rome

I WALK in the room and there, on a white, circular table on the foot of the queen-sized bed, I see a bottle of chilled white wine, a fresh arrangement of pink and purple wild flowers, and a hand-written note welcoming me to the Gran Meliá Villa Agrippina in Rome. The note, now in my hands, is written in Spanish, my native language, and I immediately understand that the hotel’s staff has taken the time to find out who I am and where I come from to deliver a unique experience. Smiling, the sunlight catches my eye and I look to my right. The west-facing room’s glass doors reveal a series of views that make my smile even wider – a private terrace with a jacuzzi, a view to the hotel’s outdoor pool and, most surprisingly, a view to the dome of St Peter’s Basilica.


Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina ExteriorThe exterior of the Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina

The Gran Meliá, in-between the Prati and Trastevere neighbourhoods, is a luxury urban resort surrounded by natural Italian foliage and rich Roman history. Situated opposite to Vatican City,  the resort has been open since 2012 – the product of twelve years of renovation work due to archaeological findings which uncovered the ruins of Villa Agrippina: the home of Emperor Nero’s mother in the first and second centuries AD. As I walk through the resort, I spot that Agrippina’s relics are displayed throughout various of its spaces.

Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina PoolThe pool at Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina

As a guest, being inside the resort offers a dual spatial experience. Its architecture is designed to make you feel as if you’re in a solitary oasis away from the rustle and bustle of city life. But its unforgettable views uplift the spirit, reminding you that you’re in the Eternal City, surrounded by tradition, culture and historic legacy. I feel that this is particularly clear in the pool area, one of the only three outdoor pools in all of Rome. There, as the heat and brightness of the Mediterranean sun tingles your skin, and jazz, blues and lounge music play in the background, I suddenly feel like I’m moving in slow motion, walking through the scene of a film in the 1950s.

If inspiring views, history and proximity to the city centre (a shuttle takes guests from the resort right to the Spanish Steps in the heart of Rome) isn’t enough, the Gran Meliá boasts a true 21st century wellness spa, My Blend by Clarins, featuring a sauna, steam room, vitality pool, relaxation area and even a bespoke cream service designed to cater to your skin’s individual type.

Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina Lobby LibraryGran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina lobby library

After a relaxing day at the spa and pool, or a busy day exploring the city, indulge in what Rome arguably does best – food. At Gran Meliá, one can visit Vivavoce, the resort’s Mediterranean-inspired restaurant, run by Chef Alfonso Iaccarino and his son Ernesto, two-time Michelin star chef. But if you fancy going into the city centre and enjoying a feast for the mouth as well as for the eyes, visit Aroma, the stunning rooftop restaurant at Palazzo Manfredi.

Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina The Eternal City SuiteThe Eternal City Suite at the Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina

Aroma offers a breathtaking, unobstructed view of the Roman Colosseum. The city’s most famous architectural landmark, an icon and relic of the spirit of Rome at a global level, rises directly in front of it. To me, it seems that the view itself enhances every bite of potato and broccoli pureed gnocci, whose plate is warmed up, serving as a timer indicating how long it should take you to eat it before the next course arrives at the table.

Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina-Suprem Room Private TerrazaA private terrace at the Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina-Suprem Room

Every item that’s placed in front of you is of the highest, most delectable standard, no matter if it’s the bread with thyme-infused olive oil from the Sicilian Valley (the thyme, along with every herb they use, is grown right there on the terrace) to the pork ribs glazed with orange and apple, served with asparagus, potato and carrots. Chef Giuseppe di Lorio delivers a dining experience as unforgettable as the view itself.

Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina-Suprem RoomA room at the Gran Melia Rome Villa Agrippina

The Gran Meliá has been hailed the newest addition in Leading Hotels of the World. Mixing its site’s history with five-star luxury, it creates a peaceful haven amidst the dynamism and energy that Rome possesses. Guests are offered both, serenity and zest, making it clear that the hotel’s mantra is more than just a slogan: in Rome and at the Gran Meliá “anything is possible”.

by Regner Ramos

Gran Meliá Villa Agrippina, Via del Gianicolo, 3, Rome 00165

Tel: (39) 06 925901