If you are searching for a textbook example of success and panache, you would not have to move one step beyond Roberto Wirth. His hotel (Hassler Roma) is considered one of the best on the planet! Scores of famous and infamous sleep in his beds (consider, for example, Princess Diana, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Jennifer Lopez), drink at his bar, ask for his opinion and guidance. He is movie-star handsome, and dresses so impeccably that everything and everyone pales by comparison. He has met challenges and roadblocks with the determination of a pit bull.
Although Wirth was born deaf, he knew from the age of 5 that he wanted to be in the hotel business. He had to convince his father that this was what he intended to do with his career. Holding tight to his convictions, he graduated with a BS degree from the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration and holds Honorary Doctorates in Humane Letters from Lynn University (Florida), Gallaudet University (Washington, DC) and John Cabot University (Rome). He is one of only 8 deaf recipients of the DeafNation Inspiration Award (for Hotel Hospitality) and received the Leading Legend Award. In 2005, he was awarded Independent Hotelier of the World by HOTELS magazine, the Prize for Economic Achievement by Rome’s City Government (2006), the Marco Aurelio prize for Tourism (2006) from the Vice Mayor of Rome, Mariapia Garavaglia, for his contribution to Rome tourism.
Wirth is very active in organizations that focus on improving opportunities for people with hearing challenges. His non-profit organization, Assistance Center for Deaf and Deafblind Children(CABSS) supports deaf and deafblind children and their families with a focus on children from birth to 6 years of age. His projects promote cognitive, emotional, social, linguistic and communication development, encouraging children to express their personalities. In cooperation with the Italian Fulbright Commission he provides study scholarships for deaf students to attend Gallaudet University.
In addition to the 80 rooms and 13 suites at the 5-star Hassler Roma, Wirth developed a 16th century Roman palazzo (Il Palazzetto), near the Spanish Steps and a few minutes’ stroll from the Hassler. This is a very private and intimate property with terraces, a garden, library room and salone with a fireplace for events. Wirth also manages the Hassler restaurants and is a consultant to international restaurants including Travertino (Oberoi Hotel, New Delhi) and Vetro (Mumbai).
Wirth holds an executive position with the Association of Piazza di Spagna and Trinita deil Monti, an organization that safeguards and represents the interests of retailers and business owners who operate in the area of the Hassler.
The Hassler, a member of Leading Hotels of the World, is strategically located at the top of the Spanish Steps, and near the 16th century Church of Tinita dei Monti. Imago, the hotel’s restaurant, offers a panorama of Rome and a creative Italian menu appreciated by guests with a gourmet palate. The Salone Eva Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and afternoon tea as well as Italian wines by the glass. The Hassler Bar offers aperitivo and after-dinner-drinks while the Palm Court setting in a lovely outdoor garden offers a tranquil retreat from the chaos of Rome.
From the lobby to the suites, the Hassler Roma speaks to elegance from another era
Luxurious Interiors. What is Old is New Again
Palm Court. A Quiet Moment is a Frenetic City
Imago for Drinks and Dinner + View of the City
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As Wirth as created a “one-of-a -kind” hotel, guests at his hotel are looking for one-of-a-kind shopping opportunities:
1. Shoes. Beppino Rampin, Via Quintino Sella, 31-00187. His shoes are considered works of art and can be found on the feet of nobles, politicians and celebrities.
2. Jewelry. Percossi Papi. Via di Sant’Eustachio 16-00186 Roma since 1968 this artist has won global acclaim; won an Oscar for Best Costume Design for Elizabeth: the Golden Age. He has also received the medal of Knight of Merit from the Italian Republic.
2. Tailoring. Sartoria Ripense. Via di Ripetta 38-00186 Roma. Learning the noble art of the needle and thread from his grandfather, he creates quality clothing quality with elegant Italian style; from electing fabrics to taking measurements, cutting and finishing, each stage is handled with great care.
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