WHERE TO STAY: HOTEL DE RUSSIE
Run by the Rocco Forte Group, the Hotel de Russie has an excellent location between the Spanish Steps and the Piazza del Popolo. It’s contemporary and glamorous enough for the film and fashion crowd, but the staff—warm, sincere and eager to help—makes every guest feel like a VIP. I loved entering my room to find the fixings for an Aperol spritz—the quintessential Roman aperitif. I also appreciated the real keys and the great-smelling bath products. But the hotel’s crown jewel is, without question, its interior courtyard, as picturesquely landscaped as the Borghese Gardens next door and the perfect spot for a post-sightseeing drink or dinner.
The cobblestone streets in Rome are achingly beautiful—or if you’re in heels, just plain aching. Bring walking shoes.
WHERE TO EAT
I had the best pizza of my life at Antico Forno Roscioli—that's saying something, because I’m a New York pizza snob.
WHERE TO STAY: J.K. PLACE ROMA
J.K. Place Roma feels like a very sophisticated but comfortable home, with rooms of all different shapes and sizes and a skylit lobby lounge made inviting with coffee table books and interesting artwork. The staff are incredibly knowledgeable and efficient (ask for a restaurant reservation and it’ll be done in five minutes). Rooms are tastefully done in bright grays and beautiful teals with teak wood accents, and the bathrooms are huge. I loved the dark, sexy bar and the velvet bench in the elevator (why stand when you can sit?!). The best detail: The portable Wi-Fi device given to all guests, so you can save on data roaming charges.
Skylark can get clients an exclusive glimpse inside the Oratorio del Gonfalone, a stunningly frescoed private chapel that’s like a mini Sistine Chapel.
Romans like to say the city has only 5 or 6 good restaurants. We can arrange a home-cooked dinner with locals—my truffle risotto was divine.