When the A-list are in Rome, the Rome Cavalieri is their home. Julia Roberts, George Clooney, Tom Hanks - the sparkling guestlist of the Penthouse Suite (which features Warhols, Karl Lagerfeld's sofa and a whirlpool bath with views of the Vatican) reads like the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Even if you don't check into the Penthouse, the classic grandeur of the Cavalieri is all about superlatives: the most expensive spa treatment (involving a £500 pot of platinum); the most impressive views (it's on one of Rome's seven hills); and the best restaurant in the city (there is a five-week waiting list, so book before you go).

Like Rome, where you can see artefacts as you walk down the street, the Cavalieri's lobby and corridors are dripping in history and stuffed with works of Italian masters and Louis XV furniture. (The hotel even has its own curator!) You might need to remind yourself to venture out to see the rest of the city.

Wow factor: Dinner at La Pergola - Rome's only three-Michelin-starred restaurant.

Flight time: Two hours 30 minutes.

Go: Citalia (0871 200 2005; citalia.com) offers seven nights B&B from £1,385 per person, including flights.