In an interview with Roberto E. Wirth, President and Managing Director of the Hassler Roma and the 5th generation of a famous dynasty of Swiss hoteliers, we discussed the origins of the hotel, their most exclusive luxury suites, spa treatments and more.
Tell me a little bit about the history and location of The Hassler Roma.
Ever since the Hassler opened its doors in 1893, it has held the coveted position as the most prestigious hotel in Rome, commanding one of the most exclusive views in the world over the churches, domes and rooftops of the Eternal City. Set theatrically at the top of the Spanish Steps, next to the magnificent 16th-century Trinità dei Monti church, it is within walking distance of the abundant greenery of Villa Borghese gardens, Via Veneto, Via Condotti, and the city’s most fashionable boutiques.
After its opening the Hassler’s success and prestige progressively increased. In 1925 with the awakening of European tourism and the first consistent numbers of American tourists, the Hassler became the undisputed leader in the Italian hotel industry. In 1939, Oscar Wirth demolished the building almost entirely in order to rebuild it. In the 1940s he opened its world-famous Rooftop Restaurant (now called Imàgo), the first panoramic restaurant ever built in Rome. Thereafter the hotel was requisitioned by the U.S. Air Force to serve as their Rome headquarters during World War II. In 1947, the Hotel Hassler reopened to travelers from around the world and took up its traditional position as a temple of hospitality with few equals in terms of both position and service.
Today, I, Oscar’s son, own and manage the hotel, considering it my home and family heritage.
With regard to accommodations, what makes the Penthouse Villa Medici and the Hassler Penthouse so unique and luxurious?
Both of them of course are very exclusive but they have something that other hotel suites have not: a one-of-a-kind and incomparable view. The Penthouse Suite Villa Medici, located on the 7th floor, has in fact a unique 150 sqm terrace, a magical space where to relax and enjoy the view of the city with a late afternoon cocktail, a private dinner or for private events. The Hassler Penthouse has two “points of view”: two panoramic terraces for the guest’s maximum enjoyment of the amazing view, which includes the Spanish Steps, Villa Borghese gardens and Villa Medici, the Church of Trinità dei Monti, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon. A magical location for a one-of-a-kind sojourn with all of Rome at their feet.
What signature and speciality treatments would you recommend guests experience at the hotel's Amorvero SPA?
Amorvero Spa offers a wide range of beauty treatments and massages but I would recommend the Three-gold treatment, and face and body cinetic lift. In addition, do not miss some relaxation time on its panoramic terrace with a unique view of the Eternal City. Here our guests can also have a light lunch. And, if they want, they can choose to have a spa treatment outdoor.
How would you describe the cuisine at Michelin-starred Imàgo, and what are some of their most unique and interesting dishes?
At Imàgo, our historic panoramic Michelin starred restaurant the chef Francesco Apreda proposes an Italian cuisine translated with cosmopolitan style thanks to his experiences in London, India and Japan. Some signature dishes include risotto with “cacio” cheese, pepper and sesame blend, chicken “two cultures” sweet peppers and teriyaki; breaded scallops filled with buffalo milk mozzarella, celery leaves and black truffle; sweet buffalo mozzarella fruit and balsamic vinegar shared ice.
What other luxury and exclusive experiences might guests be able to organize while staying at the Hassler to enjoy all Rome has to offer?
At the Hassler, we can grant every wish but let me say that the very “exclusive” experience is being in the heart of Rome, it is enough to get out for viewing and discovering the Spanish Steps, Trinità dei Monti Church, the shopping area, and Villa Borghese. What more can you want?