From Buenos Aires to Zurich, this month’s hottest hotels
BACKSTORY: The 120-year-old Hassler served as the high-style U.S. Air Command headquarters during World War II. The property reopened to the public in 1947 and became the preferred holiday stop for showbiz royalty and actual royalty (Princess Diana, Audrey Hepburn, Plácido Domingo, Tony Curtis, Tom Cruise).
WHAT YOU’LL FIND OUTSIDE: Situated at the top of the Spanish Steps, the Hassler shares Piazza della Trinità dei Monti with a clutter of Renaissance architecture. The sculpted gardens of Villa Borghese are nearby, and it’s an easy walk to the ruins of Palatine Hill, Vatican City and most of the Eternal City’s key attractions.
DESIGN NOTES: Hotel president Roberto Wirth and his designer wife Astrid Schiller-Wirth combine tradition with Art Deco and postmodernist touches. The attention to detail borders on compulsive (see the Swarovski crystal ceiling lights in the Trinità dei Monti suite), but the aesthetics don’t come at the expense of comfort.
IDEAL GUEST: Anyone looking to launch a tactical assault on Via Condotti, the heart of Rome’s high-end retail district. The hotel’s lobby contains display cases filled with the wares of some of Italy’s most famous designers, as well as emerging talents like René Caovilla, who designs whimsical women’s shoes, with prices to match.
SIGNATURE COCKTAIL: Princess Diana was a big fan of the hotel’s Bellini. Enjoy one in the Palm Court, the open-air bar and restaurant just off the main lobby. Perhaps it’s the essence of peach, the champagne or the peaceful walled courtyard strewn with Roman relics, but we’re with Lady Di on this one.