The grand stairwell at the St. Regis Rome. Photo by Pavia Rosati.
This post was produced in partnership with American Express, part of Pavia Rosati's role as a Platinum for a Year Ambassador.
ROME – "And this," says Mario, opening the door with an understated flourish, "is the Designer Suite."
He steps aside so I can enter and inspect the surroundings. I'm debating, you see, which hotel room upgrade I, as an American Express Platinum cardholder, would prefer. The suite he had just shown me, all buttery contemporary Italian décor, was gracious and lovely, and this one had to top that. I am at the storied St. Regis in Rome, a town that has more than a little experience pitting competitors against each other in an arena. Well then. Let the games begin.
I start in the foyer, where I notice touches both grand — a modern art canvas — and subtle — a silver tray filled with meticulously arranged artisanal chocolates. The sumptuous living room has an antique wood-carved desk, a long velvet sofa, a giant flat-screen television, and sculptural Bang and Olufson speakers. In the bedroom, books are stacked on floor-to-ceiling shelves and some 400 pillows in starched white linen fill the bed. The bathroom is a sea of marble and piles of thick white towels, Acqua di Parma toiletries standing like yellow ballet dancers ready to perform a pas de beaute. The cherry wood-paneled closet is easily the size of the train car I had just taken to Rome from Naples. French doors from the living room, foyer, and bedroom open onto one ridiculously long balcony overlooking Via Vittorio Orlando and Piazza della Reppublica below.
"Grazie," I tell Mario. "It will do."
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