The Hassler — contributes to the current success of luxury hotels — by giving a new energy to the place that will be useful beyond the 2012/13 winter season by having upgrading and replaced just what was needed: gone are the heavy velvet curtains that used to drag on the floor of the stairs. In their place are modern scrims. Gone is any sense that the furniture has collected some dust. Open was the sparkling gem of a gym with its endless windows and views, and an outdoor patio. Yet the charm of the whole place remains intact. That change of climate has affected not just confidence in the service and exceptional management of this great hotel, but also creates a new focus for using the hotel as a way to prepare to get out of it — to enjoy Rome — to attend to meetings, more relaxed, more rested, more well nourished.
So there was a good reason to select staying at the Hassler above all other hotels when in Rome — figuratively speaking — “on the top of the world,” as you might described the inspiration for it being at the top of the "Spanish Steps."
We arrived on New Year's Eve. Other guests walked over shiny-as-ice stone surfaces and clean carpets wearing party hats, noise makers and emblems on the chests of blazers. Some of them carried fur coats, which were promptly put away by the concierge — not least, one (which must have stayed here many times) comfortably showed us the way to the main floor's secret smoking room so we wouldn't have to be outside in the cold if we didn't want to. The hotel made a point of both inviting us to join the many parties, meal service, or to relax and stay out of it. We chose the latter and were perfectly comfortable doing so. In the morning, traditional New Year's treats were left in our room to enjoy-- eat.
This was a fresh and faultless vision, based on their guest's lust for expected tradition, travel, comfort-- thoughtfully, mindfully. And the entire hotel staff, to a person, were the first to be helpful in any way that was asked-- all without ever being overbearing, or unwelcoming to us-- two dudes that had never stayed there together before. Oh, and upon checking in, we were upgraded to a better room that we had booked.
I am not so sure about the giant clam of a bar that was installed in the courtyard. I have to go back and see how that works come summer!