Family-Run Hotels in Europe: Rome, Italy

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Presidential Suite San Pietro.

Location, Location

Hotel Hassler in Rome, Italy.

Hotel Hassler atop the Spanish Steps.
Panoramic view of Rome from Michelin-starred Imàgo.

By Larry Olmsted
With an unrivalled location atop the Spanish Steps, the 96-room Hassler has been in the Wirth family since 1921, through two generations. Like his father before him, managing director Roberto E. Wirth can often be seen strolling through the hotel, making sure everything is just so.
Family Tree
Heinrich Gottlob Wirth came to London from Germany as a butler and never left the hospitality industry. After traveling through Europe, he took a job as a waiter at Rome’s Hotel Quirinale and rose to become its manager. Following in his footsteps, Wirth’s son, Oscar, became manager and, later, owner of the Hassler. Determined it would be Rome’s grandest hotel, he tore it down in 1939 and rebuilt it, a process that took eight years. Today the hotel is owned by Oscar’s son, Roberto, whose current projects include preparing the next generation of Wirths – his twin children – to take the helm.
Don’t Miss
A meal with a view. The Michelin-starred sixth-floor Imàgo boasts the best restaurant vista in the city, with panoramic views of the Borghese gardens, Piazza Navona, and the Pantheon. Order the chef’s seasonal tasting menu.

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Originally appeared in Virtuoso Life magazine, May 2014.