When we arrive at a hotel with more than a century of existence its history immediately captures our attention, mostly when we know names like Vittorio Emanuelle III and Pablo Picasso were once guests there. I speak of the Grand Palazzo Della Fonte in Fiuggi.
The famous Italian land of thermal springs, which water has the fame of treating the illnesses of Michelangelo, has a sumptuous and elegant hotel, with a century of stories to tell and a very peculiar charm that quickly transports us to Wes Anderson’s scenarios.
By the time it opened, in 1913, it intended to be the most elegant and modern hotel of its time, being even the first to have a private pool in all of Europe. Obviously, it easily became the meeting point of the most important personalities of that time and of the European upper society.
It survived two World Wars, and nowadays keeps much of that charm and magnificence of the charming 20’s!
Arriving at the Grand Palazzo Della Fonte gives us the feeling of being part of a movie, with the greatness and elegance of other times, like in a Great Gatsby style!
As soon as entering the complex the hotel arises in its haughtiness in a palace shape. A huge building, white, Art Nouveau.
We entered and the charm of the decoration overwhelmed us, transporting us to the beauty of the Belle Époque, with richness in every detail, highlighting immediately the shiny wood of the furniture, the chandeliers and the elegance of the employees.
After the check in we were forwarded to our bedroom by a nice employee directly taken from the cast of the Grand Hotel Budapest movie!
It has 153, of which 145 are bedrooms, 7 are suites and one royal suite, all of them with a decoration inspired by the British country houses. The contact with nature is constant, in the floral motifs in the walls, curtains or beds, and in the views from the tall windows.
We stayed in a bedroom that despite being generously big was also able to transmit coziness. On its turn, the bathroom had a luxurious aspect, given by the marbles, but a bit outdated.
The only flaw? Maybe the absence of a robe. It’s just that I don’t survive without those huge and fluffy robes! However, after a request to the reception, a comfy robe quickly arrived just for me!
The hotel has four options, Il Portico and Il Portico Bar, Fonte Bar, La Terrazza, and Savoia.
The first is the restaurant and bar next to the exterior pool and serves different meals/snacks throughout the day. It’s open only from May to September, as well as the pool.
The Fonte Bar is one of the most elegant and bohemian places at Grand Palazzo Della Fonte. Enjoying a cocktail at the balcony in a party environment from the 20’s is an incredible moment.
The La Terrazza, in its turn, is the Summer restaurant, more informal and where some lighter meals are served.
Lastly, the Savoia is the main restaurant of the hotel. A huge room, with finesse in each detail, and serves traditional Italian cuisine, leaving no one indifferent. Here we had the chance to taste a great lunch, that surprised us and conquered us, especially after the breakfast (served in another beautiful pavilion of the Hotel) being a bit far from what expected.
We started with an excellent Bresaola with chestnut cream (chestnuts produced in the Hotel!), a delicious dish of baby octopus with polenta, and then a risotto with black truffle and a ravioli with Porcini mushrooms.
Despite the presentation of the dishes being a bit outdated, it just follows the palace image of the dining room. On its turn, the flavor and cooking technique were flawless.
The Grand Palazzo is the perfect hotel for personal or professional events, with a total capacity of 11 rooms offering all the necessary features, both for celebrating a special occasion or for team building events, conferences, congresses or entertainment events.
It’s not a hotel with a business environment but serves that purpose very well, with even more charm, with some of the rooms being true works of art with frescoes around the ceilings and walls. Not to mention the immense region of the natural park that allows several outdoor activities, as well as the golf course and two tennis courts.
Fiuggi is known as the thermal water springs that helped an infinity of people along the centuries, and the Grand Palazzo Della Fonte was able to combine the best of two worlds, luxury, and benefits of these waters.
The Luxury Fonte Spa is constituted by two pools, an exterior and a warm interior one, a jacuzzi, a sauna, a Turkish bath, 10 treatment rooms and a relaxation room. The treatments are signed by the famous brand Carita-Paris.
As I referred from the beginning of the article what fascinated me the most in this member of the Leading Hotels of the World was the Belle Époque environment, the crazy 20’s are present in each corner of the hotel, and during our stay, we felt constantly a part of the Grand Hotel Budapest cast!
However, and maybe because of the time we went (November – low season) I got the impression of there being less staff, mainly in the spa that was filled with guests but just with an employee in the reception (besides the therapists). Super nice, I must say, as well as the remaining staff, but in a hotel this big the team must be extensive as well.
This detail aside, the team that accompanied us was careful, caring and with true smiles during all the stay.
Special thanks to Daniel Barr, one of the nicest and helpful hotel directors we ever met, who guided us and showed us the history of that hotel, one of the most important in Italy!
As to the hotel, it is the best destination to those visiting that region of the Country!
I hope that one day there is a “small” investment that refunds all the glory of the past of this Grand Palazzo!
Grand Hotel Palazzo Della Fonte
Bedrooms from 180€
Via Dei Villini, 7 – Fiuggi
+39 07 75 50 81
Text: Cíntia Oliveira | Photos: Flavors & Senses
We were at the Grand Hotel Palazzo Della Fonte by invitation, whereas this does not alter our work, being the opinion and the text of the exclusive responsibility of the author.