Maria Shollenbarger | June 25, 2013
From a vantage point at the top of the Quirinal Hill, the venerable St. Regis Rome, built in 1894, has witnessed its fair share of the eternal city’s history—sartorial, cinematic, and otherwise. Valentino Garavani presented one of his
first couture collections in the hotel in the 1960’s. Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor, Federico Fellini muse Anita Ekberg, and Maria Callas have all signed the guest book.
When the time came to redesign one of the three-bedroom suites, the commission went to HBA/Hirsch Bedner Associates’s boutique hospitality division, the Gallery. Principal Inge Moore drew on the luxury connotations of the St. Regis brand, now part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, for couture-caliber details. Throughout the 1,600-square-foot high-ceilinged space, she played bold colors and opulent finishes against an understated background of taupe linen-covered walls.
Rooms are awash in extravagant fabrics. Hugging the curves of the chaise lounge at the foot of each bed is silk velvet in rich saffron, cerulean blue, or raspberry. Hand-stitched embroidery adorns throw pillows.
These feminine touches contrast vibrantly—and slightly sensually—with the nailhead trim on the doors and paneling and the burnished brown leather set into the oval mahogany tops of writing desks. “The desks were inspired by Gio Ponti, another icon of Italian style,” Moore notes. Pulled up to the desks, side chairs have tufted upholstery in a creamy white leather.
Furnishings dovetail especially nicely with the vibrant art. Photography ranges from vintage shots of marquee-name Hollywood and continental St. Regis guests to large-format abstract compositions. And elegant fashion sketches join the quintessentially Roman mix.
Moore has finessed a take on glamour that’s sleekly contemporary. With the right amount of dolce vita nostalgia thrown in.