The Art of Exaggeration
Thomas Bernhard once wrote, “The painter who doesn’t exaggerate is a poor painter, the musician who doesn’t exaggerate is a poor musician, and the writer who doesn’t exaggerate is a poor writer.” To this we could add: the hotelier who doesn’t exaggerate is a poor hotelier. After all, what does one desire of hospitality if not an exaggeration of care?
It is no surprise, then, that Bernhard also declared the Hassler “undoubtedly the best hotel in Rome and perhaps one of the three or four best in the world.” Bernhard was writing in 1986, but his assertion rings true today, a testament to the hotel’s timeless luxury and staying power.
The Hassler was the first stop on my honeymoon, and it set a daunting standard for all that followed. The tasting menu at Imàgo was easily our best meal in Rome. Some nights we could barely bring ourselves to leave the Hassler Bar, which, like the hotel, exudes that unmistakable aura of historical consequence. In the garden at the Palm Court, I was intrigued by a plaque reading “Hotel Hassler New York,” and our waiter was more than happy to tell us the tale behind it. The staff, who knew we had recently married, went above and beyond our expectations to congratulate and celebrate with us. And the service, the amenities, the rooms, the location, and the views cannot be more highly endorsed.
It’s been over a year since I visited the Hassler, but the experience persists in my mind. It’s no exaggeration to say that you won’t find a better place to stay in Rome.