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Hotel de Russie, Rome

$400 or more
Editor's Pick
Ostia, Italy, Europe: Hotel de Russie
9 Via del Babuino
Tel: 39 06 328 881's insider take:

When the historic De Russie reopened in 2000 after extensive renovations, it was the first in a new generation of Roman hotels, a neoclassical landmark with refreshing, Deco-tinged contemporary design, courtesy of Rocco Forte's sister Olga Polizzi and Italian architect Tommaso Ziffer. Rooms mix Robert Mapplethorpe flower photos with crisp white chaise longues; the best have long, thin terraces that overlook the rooftops of nearby Via Margutta. Right off Piazza del Popolo, the 125-room property's real trump card is its magnificent garden, which rises up the slopes of the Pincio hill on a series of palm-shaded and statue-strewn terraces, home to a butterfly sanctuary. The elegant Stravinskij Bar (martinis are a specialty) moves outside in summer, complete with cheesy pianist. Owen Wilson, George Clooney, and Julia Roberts are among the stars who have chosen the De Russie, but be warned: Rates are punishing, rooms for mere mortals are often on the small side, and service can go into meltdown at peak times.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.