The Art of Spa

While the city of Rome is a treasure trove of incomparable art, there is one place where guests can get up-close-and-personal with priceless paintings, drawings, sculptures, tapestries, and more. Thanks to owners who are longtime art aficionados, the Rome Cavalieri is not only a decadent hotel that is part of the prestigious Waldorf Astoria Collection but it’s also a living art gallery. Situated in a 15-acre park that overlooks the Vatican and the city of Rome, the luxe hotel is home to an invaluable collection of work, including furniture by Karl Lagerfeld, rare 18th-century antiques, paintings by Pop artists Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana, and three masterworks by acclaimed Italian Renaissance painter Giovanni Battista Tiepolo. Another masterpiece in the hotel’s collection is the Grand Spa Club.

The 25,000-square-foot, 10-treatment-room retreat is an ideal place for guests to achieve some R&R after a day enjoying the sights of the Eternal City. For those who are inspired by the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, the ancient public baths found near the Colosseum, the spa offers an extensive public bathing experience, complete with an amethyst Turkish bath with marble platforms and Roman mosaics. It includes hot and cold plunge pools with hydromassage elements, a caldarium and frigidarium, and more. Separate saunas for men and women are available, and the spa also features a glass-domed indoor pool with a massaging waterfall, an upstream swimming section, a Japanese stone walk, and a fireplace. In addition, there are three outdoor pools on property where spa-goers can take a dip prior to their services. Post-treatment, guests can retire to the ancient Roman-style Relaxation Lounge, a rotunda filled with locally inspired fabrics, mosaics, and classically styled loungers.

Though the Roman bathing theme doesn’t continue into the treatment rooms, each is equally inspired. A 2007 renovation added chromatherapy, and several of the rooms feature specific sensory themes thanks to unique design, colors, lighting, and more. Sahara offers an arid desert theme; Amazonia reproduces the atmosphere of the tropical jungle; Sky features heavenly blue shades; Ayurvedic presents an Asian-inspired atmosphere; and Balinesian highlights the colors of the Indonesian isle. Three other rooms feature ceilings covered in lights that remind guests of a sky full of stars.

No matter where clients receive services, spa director Carlotta Zampilloni says it is the treatments, which use La Prairie and Ligne St. Barth, that truly set the spa apart from others in the area. “We are the only spa in Rome to use these products,” she says. Among the most popular services are the globally inspired massages, including Ayurvedic ($140, 50 minutes; $210, 80 minutes), Thai ($140, 50 minutes; $210, 80 minutes), Shiatsu ($140, 50 minutes; $210, 80 minutes), and more. Well-heeled guests also flock to try the luxe La Prairie facials, including the newly launched Platinum Facial ($368, 90 minutes), a head-to-toe anti-aging treatment performed by two therapists.

Post-treatment, spa-goers can stop at the Grand Spa Café for spa-inspired teas and cuisine, with a menu that lists the fat, calorie, protein, and carb counts for those concerned about healthy eating. Still, like any true Italian eatery, enjoying a glass of wine with the wholesome meal is encouraged.

Because the spa has been open since 1995, it is on the radar of hotel guests and locals, many of whom are members. Both have access to yoga and Pilates rooms, daily fitness classes, Technogym equipment, tennis courts, a rock-climbing wall, and an on-site jogging path. Members receive discounts on spa services, while hotel guests are informed about the spa through in-room promotions. But Zampilloni says it is powerful word-of-mouth referrals from those who have experienced the spa that are most appealing to her clients. She also credits the experience of her 15-member team, all of whom have had at least four years of training, to the high number of repeat guests.

Zampilloni says her discerning guests will always expect the best. As such, there are plans in the works to increase the size of the spa and create an exclusive private training room for VIP guests—just two more strokes of genius that will add to this spa’s already colorful wellness canvas.

Grand Spa Club (Rome)
OWNER: Rome Cavalieri Hotel, The Waldorf Astoria Collection
SPA DIRECTOR: Carlotta Zampilloni
OPENED: 1995

50% female, 50% male


25,000 square feet; 10 treatment rooms

aromatherapy, Ayurveda, body treatments, chromatherapy, couples’ treatments, energy work, eyelash and brow tinting, eyelash extensions, facials, fitness, hammam, hand and foot treatments, hydrotherapy, makeup application, massage, microdermabrasion, nailcare, nutrition consultation, outdoor treatments, Pilates, prenatal services, reflexology, salon services, scalp treatments, sound therapy, sunless tanning, waxing, yoga

Caviar Firming Facial ($215, 90 minutes) and the La Prairie Platinum Facial ($368, 90 minutes)

Platinum Facial ($368, 90 minutes)

La Prairie, Ligne St. Barth, Marlier Moller


Giammetta & Giammetta (Rome)


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