EXCLUSIVE: Australian-based luxury accommodation representation firm La Collection has expanded its foothold in Italy with the addition of a historic property in Rome. Villa Spalletti Trivelli is an intimate luxury villa hotel, situated on one of the original Seven Hills of Rome, the Quirinale, and is steps from Piazza del Quirinale and a few minutes from the iconic Trevi Fountain.
A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World and global luxury travel network Serandipians (formerly Traveller Made), the property views the COVID-rebounding outbound travel market from Australia and New Zealand as a golden opportunity to lift its presence down under.
The 15-key Villa Spalletti Trivelli is owned by Andrea Spalletti. He and his sister are the fifth generation in the Villa which was built in 1901 by their great, great, grandmother.
Spalletti says that while Rome is blessed with an ever-increasing range of accommodation options, what makes Villa Spalletti stand out is the hotel’s focus to offer “typical hospitality of a Roman aristocrat family – in this case, my family”.
“We wish to share with our guests her hospitality mixed with all the comforts a modern traveller expects when booking a 5-star hotel,” Spalletti tells LATTE. “We want to give our guests the opportunity to sip a cocktail in the same room, sitting in the same chair where 120 years ago my family would have sat down with the King and Queen of Italy to do the same thing.
“We just hope they will call it ‘home’ for as long as they stay with us.”
“We have opened Villa Spalletti trying to make the guest independent as if he owned the place, without being forced to ask for everything and especially pay for everything.”
“Since 2007 our self-serve bars, minibars, Turkish bath and sauna, rooftop terrace (since 2016), wifi and breakfast are all fully complimentary for our guests – exactly like when staying at a friend’s villa (if the friend charges you for a G&T, it is time to probably make new friends),” Spalletti quips.
“The Villa is exclusive for our guests, like a members-only club, as we do not allow public access, making it very tranquil, private and relaxing: a secret safe haven where to return to once you decide you (and probably your feet) deserve a break from Roma without having to leave the city. I dare anyone to come and sit in our gardens and say that they feel like being in the centre of a big and chaotic city like Rome. If they do then dinner is on us!”
Villa Spalletti Trivelli is centrally located, just 250 metres from Trevi Fountain and a 10-15 minute walk from the Spanish Steps in one direction, and the Colosseum and the Roman Forum the other. The property is a neighbour of Quirinale Palace – the residence of the Pope first, the King second and now the President of Italy.
“The beauty of where we are is that despite being so close to the major touristic sites and areas (most of which are within a 20-25 minute walk), our immediate surroundings are very quiet and relaxing, not crowded and very local. This gives our guests the opportunity to play tourist and local at the same time not having to give up their comfort. The Monti district is also down the street and here, within a 5-minute walk, you can find dozens of bars, restaurants, pizzerias, wine bars, artisans and small local designer stores.”
Spalletti said the Australian and New Zealand market is one of its top 4 global sources, alongside the likes of the US, UK and France.
“It is growing for most destinations in Italy and becoming one of the most important and attractive source markets for our country, and specifically for the luxury segment.
“I personally have to say that our Australian guests are by far the nicest, most enthusiastic ones we have. They love the history of the Villa and the family, our surroundings and are always extremely curious, asking lots of questions about the art, the rooms and gardens. It is a pleasure for me and my team to have so many lovely guests coming from my favourite part of the world!” he said.
Quizzed on the Australian luxury market and trends from this source and others, Spalletti says the average length of stay is increasing and there are more family groups.
“It was already the case before the pandemic, but after the reopening, it has increased even more and now they are spending from 5 to 8-9 nights with us. This really makes me happy as I always thought that Rome for less than 3 nights is not worth it!
“You have to give yourself time to properly enjoy the city without simply running from one site to the next,
without giving yourself time to relax and get lost in the streets and Rioni (neighbourhoods in Roman).
“We are seeing also more multi-gen travel and also grandparents travelling with the grandchildren. We find fascinating the energy all of them have as most are now coming to Italy and Europe for one-, two- or three-months at a time.
“We just had a couple from Perth that was in their mid-80’s which I find as an incredible example of liveliness and passion for travel.”
Spalletti, who himself loves travelling to Australia to meet trade partners, told LATTE he is confident of continued growth from the outbound luxury travel market from Australia and New Zealand, and that by partnering with La Collection the property’s philosophy and approach to hospitality can be echoed locally.
“Thanks to La Collection, now VST can be in Australia and New Zealand every day, reaching all those lovely travel professionals and travellers that we would never be able to reach by ourselves.”
“We are very excited about this new partnership and on where it can take the Villa. I am pretty sure you will give me more and more reasons to come back to Australia and New Zealand in the near future, and I simply cannot wait!” he enthused.
In Italy, La Collection also represents Borgo Santandrea on the Amalfi Coast and San Montano, in Ischia.
More details on Villa Spalletti Trivelli at villaspalletti.it/en/