Luxury Hotels

ROME – 4

Interestingly, in their quest to make the historic Hotel Hassler Roma  even more renowned, its owners, the Wirth family, benchmark overseas. In London it’s Claridges. In Paris it’s Four Seasons George V and Ritz Paris. Their goal is to make what they already have better rather than seek expansion. As well as the Hassler, the names of the operators, twins Roberto and Veruschka Wirth, have their names, VERO, on the hotel’s  toiletries. VE for Veruschka Wirth, RO for her twin.

The Hassler’s spa  is going underground, says one twin. That gives another suite overlooking the Spanish Steps, says the twin. All the suites are exquisite – see above, corner of #712, the Villa Medici Penthouse, with an enormous terrace that is a favourite for weddings. And below is a room tour of #610, where Audrey Hepburn stayed.

The seven-floor hotel opened 1947 after its predecessor had done admirable US Air Force hosting during WWII. It was Oscar Wirth, a scion of this hospitality heritage, who masterminded this ‘new’ hotel – Oscar, like Carmen and Roberto, is a traditional Wirth name. This is, after all, a traditional 87-room hotel.

We are traditional but we are not old, stresses Veruschka Wirth firmly. She and her brother never fight and disagreements are quickly settled. Their mother is the design queen (when they were younger they listened to me, she says, but now I listen to them). She, like her kids, is pretty savvy. She created a perfume, Amorvero, that is used in the spa products. It is she, Dr Astrid Schiller Wirth, who also thought of the super house olive oil, No 2 VERO (get it?), from Siena. Honestly, The Hassler is, indeed, a one-off.