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The Westin Excelsior, Rome 5.0

Via Veneto and Piazza Barberini, Rome, Italy

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Review Summary

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  • Historic hotel with striking single cupola made famous by Fellini’s “La Dolce Vita”
  • On upscale Via Veneto, and close to many attractions
  • Restaurant with sidewalk patio
  • Two modern bars
  • Large, elegant rooms and suites with vibrant colors and comfortable beds
  • Spa with small pool and fitness room


  • Street-facing rooms get noise from overnight garbage pickup
  • Some rooms can use an update
  • Fee for Wi-Fi

Bottom Line

This Beaux Arts property has occupied prime space on the celebrated Via Veneto since 1906, and was made famous by Federico Fellini’s 1960 movie “La Dolce Vita.” The elegant hotel, rebranded by Westin several years ago, has hosted celebrities and statesmen, and also has the distinction of having the largest suite in Europe, the nearly 12,000-square-foot Villa La Cupola. Some guests say the property is beginning to show its age, but that it offers good value for a five-pearl hotel. Rooms are nicer than at the nearby (and often similarly priced) Rome Marriott Grand Flora, though those looking for a more boutique experience may want to consider The First Luxury Art Hotel.

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Understated elegance with modern bars

The Excelsior’s single cupola is a Via Veneto landmark, and a covered stone driveway leads to red-carpeted steps that bring guests to the lobby. The property is grand and elegant, but in an understated way. The lobby has arched ceilings and chandeliers, but the cream-and-gray color scheme, with dark wood, makes it a bit less over the top than its sister property, the St. Regis. The Orum Bar, with its herringbone wood floors and panes of yellow stained glass behind the sleek bar, and the H Club Bar, with its vibrant greens, look much more modern than the rest of the hotel. The Doney Restaurant is also more stylishly modern than the rest of the hotel.


On the famous Via Veneto, convenient to many of Rome's attractions

The hotel occupies prime real estate on Via Veneto, one of Rome’s most famous and highbrow streets, full of upscale shops and restaurants. It’s a 10-minute walk to the Villa Borghese, the Piazza Barberini, and the Spanish Steps, and a 15-minute walk to the Trevi Fountain. The hotel is convenient to public transportation for trips to other sites, including Vatican City, which is 30 to 45 minutes by bus or subway.


Elegant, some with modern touches

The 281 rooms and 35 suites have an elegant and chic look, particularly the Grand Deluxe Suite 461, with gray walls, black-and-white striped curtains, and modern dark wood furniture. The Deluxe Rooms have a more classic style, with a white-and-gold ceiling, and sumptuous red wall coverings. All rooms have comfortable pillow-top beds, flat-screen TVs with pay-per-view movies, minibars, and safes, as well as robes and slippers. Only one free bottle of water, replenished daily, is provided to each room, with two bottles for the suites. There are large marble bathrooms with tubs and handheld showers, with stall showers in the suites.


Restaurant with sidewalk seating, bars, and spa with pool

The Doney Restaurant, with a sidewalk patio right on Via Veneto, serves Italian food, and offers a Mediterranean buffet at lunch. The hotel has two bars, one inside and one outside the lobby. There’s a spa with a small indoor pool, as well as a sauna, Turkish bath and whirlpool, and a large fitness center with personal trainers available. There are 10 meeting rooms and a 24-hour business center that offers secretarial services. Aside from a concierge, the hotel offers car service for an extra fee.

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125, Via Vittorio Veneto, Rome, Lazio 00187, Italy

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