CPP-LUXURY.COM has recently interviewed Daniele Carta, Cluster General Manager of The First Roma Hotels, a contemporary style luxury brand which recently opened its second hotel in the heart of Rome, First Roma Dolce, after the highly successful The First Roma Arte which boasts a Michelin starred and ranks among the top luxury hotels in Rome.
The latest opening, The First Roma Dolce (located within a 5 minute walk from the other property) is yet a truly luxurious opening with rooms and suites of the highest international standard with a rotating contemporary art collection throughout the entire hotel, as well as a fine pastry shop (‘Vela’ Pasticceria) which aims to establish itself as the finest sweets cafe which will include pastry, cakes, artisanal ice-cream and snacks – all by a top Pastry Chef.
How is The First Roma brand positioned in Rome’s competitive hospitality sector?
The First Roma by The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts is a 5-star boutique experience that currently includes 2 hotels located in the very heart of Rome, The First Roma Arte and The First Roma Dolce.
Both properties are at a 5-min walk from the Spanish Steps and the iconic shopping street Via dei Condotti, an ideal starting point to explore the beauty and charms of the Italian capital.
The First Urban Resort – ROMA experience will be completed with the opening of the third property to be opened early 2020 in Rome, The First Roma Ego. With 27 rooms and suites, The First Roma Ego will be located at 10 min from the two existing properties, offering a well-being oriented offer, with a spa and swimming pools. All properties are connected by courtesy cars that allow guests to enjoy all the available outlets from Michelin Starred restaurant Acquolina to the pastry at Dolce.
You recently opened a second hotel, The First Roma Dolce. What motivated the second opening and which were the key features that led to the successful launch of your first hotel?
The second opening is part of a bigger project called The First Urban Resort – ROMA, born from the hospitality vision of the owners. We believe that travelling goes beyond a hotel and its beautiful rooms: travelling is about the experience and The First Urban Resort – ROMA experience seeks to deliver a 360 degrees journey based on the local culture, gastronomy and art.
The First Roma Dolce seamlessly blends the elegant design of a 19th-century private home with the charms of Via del Corso, one of the most iconic streets of la Dolce Vita in Rome. A boutique and warm residential atmosphere with bespoke 5-star service set the stage for the perfectly crafted stay. The 19th-century building was designed by the Italian architect and urban planner Giuseppe Valadier, who created the elliptical plan of Piazza del Popolo, then connecting it via stairs and terraces to the Pincio and to the Borghese Gardens.
Exquisite and refined 23 suites and guest rooms combine the city’s architectural heritage with state-of-the-art modernity. With interiors by Studio Marincola, the contemporary design, spacious suites, and in-room amenities such as a personal fitness area, encourage guests to feel as though they are residents of the city during a stay, providing a real ‘home-away-from-home’ in the Eternal City. From homemade pastries on arrival, to ‘VELO’, the innovative patisserie-style restaurant, The First Roma Dolce celebrates the Roman passion for pastry. The First Roma Dolce is also the only hotel in the city serving a full English afternoon tea with an Italian twist.
What is the business operations model of the two hotels? (ownership and/or third-party management)
Both hotels are owned and managed by The Pavilions Hotels and Resorts.
Achieving a Michelin star rating for a hotel restaurant is said to be more challenging than for a stand-alone restaurant. Tell us more about Acquolina Restaurant at the The First Roma Arte
Acquolina achieved its Michelin Star while in its historical location in the north of Rome, at the Fleming hills. The only Roman seafood restaurant awarded with a Michelin star, Acquolina moved to The First Roma Arte in 2017. At the ground floor of The First, “Acquolina” features an air-conditioned glass cellar, warm lights, important tables and chairs, design ceramics and mise-en-place. Acquolina now offers a matchless 360 degrees “made in Italy” experience, that includes culture, art, creativity and top-level cuisine.
The young brigade proposes fish-based gourmet dishes with a touch of colour, in a sophisticated environment surrounded by original artworks, paintings and sculptures.
What is the profile of your returning guest? Is the profile any different at the two hotels?
Our returning guests are the top executives of multinationals or local companies, and multi-generational families that reunite in Rome each year. We expect that to be replicated at DOLCE due to the personalized level of service and the extremely intimate size of the property.
How important is the relatively small number of inventory for achieving and maintaining a consistent high quality service standard?
Our decision to keep a small inventory in each property is key to deliver a tailor-made experience. With a limited number of rooms, we can manage guest preferences effectively, balancing expectations and results from the moment of the booking.
To what extent your hotels attract local patrons?
Being a small property has attracted a few niche events held internationally for the various causes. However, since we are not part of a big chain, we are not normally exposed to big patronage events.
The Pavilions Hotels is a relatively lesser known operator and developer in the luxury sector. What are the competitive advantages?
Headquartered in Hong Kong, The Pavilions Hotels & Resorts is one of the fastest growing boutique hotel groups in the region, with over six acquisitions within a twelve-month span and a new headquarter office location since October 2016. With their boutique size and careful design philosophy, The Pavilions offer secluded spaces with mindful service, even in the busiest of cities. The hotels are distinctly individual and unique, yet all are underpinned by the core values of building meaningful connections in unrivalled locations and a mindful respect for privacy.
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