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Octagonal pavilion set in a gorgeous garden

Hot hotels: inner-city gardens

When a hotel claims a city-centre postcode, tranquillity is often the first compromise. And while a multi-million-pound spa might certainly do the trick, there’s an altogether simpler way to create calm in the city: the humble hotel garden. Care to agree? Hannah Ralph seeks out the green…

Italianate grotto-style garden at night.
High Life Highlight

Hotel de Russie, a Rocco Forte Hotel, Rome

Welcome to Rome’s greenest, grandest hotel. Beyond the sage chairs and clinking mojitos of Hotel de Russie’s ‘paradise on earth’ courtyard (poet Jean Cocteau’s words, though we’re inclined to agree), ever more verdancy unravels, ascending into an all-out amphitheatre of citrus trees, waterfalls and white climbing roses. And it wasn’t as if the hotel needed any further green credentials. After all, it sits directly opposite the Villa Borghese Gardens, the third largest public park in all of Rome. Its secret garden – surprising no one – attracts local fine society and many a clued-up tourist, which is why guests of the hotel (who get the gardens at their quietest and most magical moments) are the most enviable group of all.

In Rome, you simply won’t find better, placed as you are within walking distance of just about every major attraction: the Colosseum, Vatican City, the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain.  

Sunsets are to be enjoyed at the hotel’s Le Jardin de Russie restaurant but, if you crave secret garden views come sunrise, an Executive Room is the most affordable room category to deliver the goods.   

Rocco Forte is hot on ‘experiences’, so do take advantage. Here, guests can plump for a VIP nosy around one of Italy’s most iconic film studios, a walking tour-cum-private photoshoot with a professional photographer, plus helicopter and horseback excursions.

Take off to Hotel de Russie