Situated in the heart of Rome, the imposing villa of the Gran Melia Rome sits in beautiful grounds just a few steps away from the entrance to Vatican City, and just a short stroll away from the Piazza Navona, Castel Sant'Angello and all of the restaurants and amenities of historic Trastevere.
We were greeted with the warm welcome we had been expecting from the Gran Melia brand, which puts hospitality and guest comfort above all else, and were immediately ushered outside to the terrace bar for a glass of prosecco while our bags were taken to our room for us.
I always experience a feeling of awe when I return to Rome, for the history and vibrancy of the city and it's breathtaking views, but I will always remember that moment in particular, sitting with my new husband, glass in hand, looking out over the hotel's expansive pool, with its modern, LA-like vibe with an ancient backdrop, and how I felt somehow complete. We'd done it! We were married, and now we were in the most romantic city in the world, at one of the most elegant hotels I have ever stayed in. I couldn't think of a more fitting way to begin our honeymoon.
All tiredness had seeped away with the last of the bubbles, and I was ready to check out what the hotel had to offer.
First, our room. The hotel had kindly upgraded us from a deluxe to a premium room, which meant that we had ample floorspace. Big, heavily draped floor to ceiling windows looked out over the grounds and flooded the room with colour and light.
I loved the exposed wooden floors and Roman artwork on the walls; a little reminder that we were in a grand and ancient building which was once owned by the mother of the Emporer Nero.
The bathroom was separated from the main room by another drape, and featured a huge bath, with rain shower, and my favourite clarins products.
Rich got distracted by the Nespresso machine in the corner, while I marvelled at the dressing room, and excitedly discovered the bottle of prosecco and chocolate-covered strawberries which had been left for us.
Is there anything better than enjoying a panoramic view of Rome with a glass of prosecco in hand?
Needless to say, it didn't take us long to get stuck in.
The treats that were left out for us became a bit of a feature throughout our three night stay, and I remember pondering each time we entered our room what special surprise would be awaiting us on the other side.
As we walked through the bright and breezy corridors, we marvelled at how the interior designers had retained the character of the villa, while giving it a modern edge with plenty of colour and light.
Get my look. Dress: Ted Baker (last season) - similar here; Bag: Mulberry Bayswater Double Zip Tote in Regal Blue; Sandals: Accessorize Lara Leaf Sandals (last season) - similar here; Sunglasses: Tiffany Cat Eye Sunglasses (last season) - similar here.
On our last morning, the General Manager, Franceso Ascani and Head of Public Relations, Valentina Marucco sat with us to tell us all about the hotel and its history, as well as the Gran Melia brand, and its prestigious 'Red Level Service' which has been making ripples in luxury travel the world over. It was a very kind gesture of them to give up their time, and one of many considerate acts of hospitality which we experienced throughout our stay.
Regrets? That we hadn't checked out the world class VivaVoce restaurant due to mealtimes being full to the brim with various pre-bookings and appointments prior to our arrival. That we hadn't had a chance to visit the Clarins Spa. That we were having to leave already!
We reluctantly packed our bags. The next destination on our tour of Italy was calling...
Richard and I were not guests of the Gran Melia Rome, but we were offered a room upgrade for our stay. As always, I only write honest reviews, regardless.