The Executive Explorer travels around Rome to discover the very best restaurants and hotels in the Eternal City

One of the most historical capital cities in the world, Rome is a wonderment of architecture and art. As well as being a tourist hotspot, the Eternal City has some of the finest hotels and restaurants in the world, perfectly suited to the discerning executive.
Elizabeth Jenkins-Smalley

Elizabeth Jenkins-Smalley

Editor In Chief at The Executive Magazine

Where to stay

St. Regis

Having recently completed a 4 year, €450m renovation, the St. Regis is the most luxurious hotel in Rome. Once home to the former King of Spain and host to aristocracy from around the world, the new look is certainly fit for a king.

Overlooking Piazza della Repubblica and the Baths of Diocletian, the St.Regis is a supremely luxurious 5 star hotel which has been a flagship of grandeur since 1894. Opened by iconic hotelier César Ritz, royal guests and international icons have been regular visitors throughout the decades. Having recently completed a 4 year renovation which cost almost half a billion euros, the hotel is once again welcoming esteemed guests.

Interior design firm Pierre-Yves Rochon has achieved a spectacular transformation, and with the building’s historical significance, much of the restoration was overseen by the Italian Culture Ministry. The original ballroom which once housed royal weddings and events for banking tycoons has been restored in breathtaking fashion.

With 132 rooms and 29 suites, The St. Regis is a large and recognisable landmark. With a range of room options, each generous in size and all extremely well appointed, the décor is modern, clean and fresh, but still upholding Italian characteristics such as Venetian chandeliers, elegant bevelled mirrors and high ceilings. The colour pallet for the rooms consist of whites, light greys, powder blues and delicate taupe, whist the large Diocletian inspired bathrooms are adorned in either black Maquina or sandy marble, with terrazzo or travertine floors. Every aspect of the room exudes indulgence and luxury, from the Laboratoire Remède products in the bathrooms, to the Bottega Veneta pieces in the suites. The beds are crisp, fresh, and unbelievably comfortable.

The St. Regis is the epitome of grandeur and splendour, and is the most luxurious and revered hotel in all of Rome. With most rooms fully booked, make reservations well in advance to avoid disappointment.

Read the full review here

Westin Excelsior

Rome’s Westin Excelsior is a uniquely lavish and opulent Renaissance style 5 star hotel which exudes grandeur and luxury.

Located close to the heart of Rome’s downtown district, the Westin Excelsior is a grand building, conveniently situated on the Via Veneto, just a short walk from the Spanish Steps and some of the cities most exclusive boutique shops like Armani, Gucci, and Louis Vuitton. An iconic landmark, the large characterful building is over a century old, with stunning architecture, a grand entrance and helpful front of house staff to greet guests in classical uniform, which all adds to the experience. The huge opulent reception and lounge instills a luxurious feel, with both a neutral familiarity for globetrotters and hints of Italian design cues.

Each of the 316 bedrooms are extremely spacious, a rarity in a capital city like Rome, but for the true experience an upgrade to a Junior Suite is essential to any discerning traveller. Rooms are adorned in Imperial style of either emerald green or deep red colour schemes, or more modern Biedermeier décor, giving a sense of individuality every time you stay, yet still providing a familiarity for returning guests. Each room features the exceptionally comfortable Westin Heavenly beds, the hotel’s own brand of bed, mattress and sheets, which leads to one of the comfiest nights sleep you could dream of.

The hotel is home to the largest penthouse suite in Rome, spanning two floors and 7 terraces, suitable for up to 50 guests for an unforgettable event. The extraordinary luxury residence covers over 1100 square meters has recently undergone a breathtaking refurbishment, and features a state of the art media room, spa, a Pompeiian-style Jacuzzi pool, private gym, sauna and steam bath.

Read the full review here

Where to dine

La Pergola

Set against the beautiful backdrop of the eternal city, La Pergola is Rome’s first and only 3 Michelin Star restaurant, located in the 5 star Rome Cavalieri hotel in the hills of Monte Mario. With a panoramic view from the floor to ceiling windows and outdoor terrace, the setting is perfect for a truly magnificent culinary experience.

3 Michelin Stars is the highest accolade a restaurant can receive, honoured not only for the quality of the food, but the service standards, the venue character and a whole host of other factors, and La Pergola exceeds them all in elegant fashion.

With a global reputation as a destination fine-dining restaurant for visitors from all over the world, La Pergola is fully booked for months in advance. The creation of international chef extraordinaire Heinz Back, the restaurant is opulent and glamorous, with a Neoclassic Italian Renaissance feel. Dinner jackets are required for gentlemen as you would expect in such a hi-end establishment.

Read the full review here

The Doney Cafe

Part of the 5 star Westin Excelsior hotel, The Doney is steeped in history, made famous by the La Dolce Vita series from the 60’s, and adored by celebrities and VIPs alike who made Via Veneto their exclusive hangout, once flooded with paparazzi.

The Doney is somewhat of a hidden gem, possibly because by day it’s a breakfast bar, a lunch buffet, and a cafe for the hotel, but by night things change, thanks to the superb A La Carte menu and wine list. At the helm is Executive Chef James Foglieni, who is a master of Mediterranean cuisine and presents a creative menu using the best seasonal and local ingredients.

Set in the magnificent historical building, the decor complements the 150 year old architecture with a modern interior design by Artestudio & Baxter. The service is warm and friendly, and has a more relaxed feeling for less formal dining, but with high-end food and wine. The venue is bright, with white floor to ceiling marble, large mirrors and chandeliers that complement the glass front which looks out onto the street allowing sunlight to billow in through the day.

Read the full review here


Creative, slightly outrageous, and a little bit crazy: Metamorfosi. The most experimental Michelin-starred restaurant in Rome

Headed up by chef Roy Caceres, Metamorfosi is a creative and slightly outrageous Michelin Star fine dining restaurant known for it’s imaginatively curious dishes, relaxed ambiance and impeccable service.

Set in the Parioli district of Rome on Via Giovanni Antonelli, Metamorfosi is right at home in the affluential area, a short taxi ride away from downtown. Once through the unassuming entrance, guests are greeted by the friendly staff, and welcomed in typical warm Roman fashion. Set in a small two storey building, the space has been fully renovated to create a chic, modern dining space.

With influences from South America, Italy and Japan, Columbian owner-chef Caceres has created a truly unique destination venue, with patrons traveling from around the world to sample some of the most inventive and daring food we have ever had the delight of tasting. The taster menu consists of 6 courses and a range of bite-sized hors d’œuvre. This is the best way to sample chef Caceres’ creations, and with the wine pairing option you’ll be fully immersed in the Metamorfosi experience.

Read the full review here

Where to drink


Aimed at the younger crowd, ToyRoom is part of the exclusive brand which represents nightclubs in glamorous locations around the world including Dubai, London and Milan, known for their celebrity hangout status. The Rome branch is much of the same, with a quirky decor, great music, and thematic weekly shows.

Art Cafè Rome

The biggest nightclub in Rome, Art Cafè plays host to parties of 1500 guests, welcoming world-class DJs and weekly events. With VIP packages and a glamorous international crowd, dress to impress and enjoy the commercial house music in style. Located between Via Veneto and Villa Borghese close to the Westin Excelsior hotel.

Live Alcazar

As the name suggests, live music is performed every weekend with live bands, DJs and singers, and jam sessions. The venue regularly hosts international soul, R&B, funk and jazz artists, and parties well into the early hours. Mixology is also a big focus at Live Alcazar, with an enviable cocktail menu to get you in the dancing spirit.

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