The St. Regis Rome was once The Grand Hotel and it does indeed have a storied history. However, I suspect its best days are behind it.
I should state right from that start that on my last two trips to Rome I stayed at the Hotel de Russie. To compare the two properties is unfair; the de Russie exists in a completely different universe. Of course, the de Russie can also be far more expensive and, frankly, this was one of the reasons we gave the St. Regis a try. In the end I decided that 'you get what you pay for'.
The St Regis is 'old school'. It is, quite literally, from a different era. The stately facade is impressive, as are the enormous lobby and restaurant areas. But somehow the scale and decoration just seem, well, old.
The St. Regis website notes that the hotel underwent a major renovation. After visiting, however, you soon realize that this was not a 'complete' renovation. And while I am not sure that there is a cleanliness issue, there certainly is deferred maintenance.
The room was an example of this. A leaky shower, scuffed paint and dinged furniture were disappointing (and the carpet throughout the hotel is just, plain out, an eye sore). When they did 'update' , it was odd. For example, B&O AV equipment was feature throughout....but the television sat awkwardly on top of the cabinet that originally housed tube televisions...and at an angle that made for poor viewing. Even the phones in the room failed to work...prompting two calls to engineering. All this said, the beds are very, very comfortable.
The fabled butler service was a let down. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to when they showed up, what they did, or how they handled a request.
The concierge service was mixed. One person seemed great, his colleagues, not so much. Beware of the private tour guides organized by the concierge. Our guide seemed either (1) unaware of the agreed upon prices or (2) intent on 'taking' money.
My favorite part of the hotel is Le Grand Bar. The fresh decor and 'on it' service was truly a pleasure. But here again, when our favorite bartender had the night off, her replacement was not operating at the same level.
The location of the hotel is good and many of the sites in Rome are within walking distance. Overall though, I think the location of the de Russie or Hassler are better from a tourist perspective. The neighborhood around the St. Regis can feel a little 'on the fringe'.
I'd stay at the St. Regis again depending on the room rate. Overall we had a pleasant stay although it was not memorable.