La Posta Vecchia’s history is richer than Roman ragù: the hotel is built on the site of an ancient villa and 17th-century castle, served as the region’s stately post station and provided a palatial home to billionaire Paul Getty. The Daddy-Warbucks’-holiday-home feel has lasted longer than the villa’s famous owner; a swish new spa, charming Mediterranean restaurant and dazzling indoor pool count among the indulgent modern additions. Additional Etruscan flavour comes courtesy of the artefact-stuffed private museum, which showcases Roman ruins and statuary discovered onsite by confused builders and keen-eyed archaeologists.
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£50 to spend at the restaurant (for exclusive-use stays, use of the steam bath, tennis court and six bikes, and prosecco and fruit in each room)
Noon. Earliest check-in, 3pm. Guests arriving before 3pm can get a sneak preview of the hotel’s communal areas.
Double rooms from $265.42 (€241), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
Rates usually include buffet breakfast (a munificent spread that includes eggs, bacon, sausages, cereals, breads, cold cuts, pastries and other sweet treats), plus WiFi and minibar soft drinks.
A bedroom on the ground floor is a more accessible option, but may not be suited to all guests with mobility issues. La Posta Vecchia is available for exclusive use bookings only in the winter months (from 23 October to 28 March).
La Posta Vecchia closes its doors from 22 October until 30 December when it opens for the night; it then closes again till 29 March, from when it's open until 3 November.
Two words: sea view. Follow that advice and you really can’t go wrong. If you want to bed down like a billionaire, opt for the Getty Suite, where Mr Paul G once counted sheep/coins.
Aren’t Roman ruins pesky? Initially La Posta Vecchia wanted an outdoor pool, but the builders kept unearthing urns and pots and other Etruscan bits and bobs, meaning they’d have to pause what they were doing and let the archaeologists in. Eventually, the hotel admitted defeat – and built a very lovely indoor pool with huge arched windows, a lofty vaulted ceiling and magnificent glass doors that open onto the (beautiful) terrace.
The LPV Health & Beauty Club is a spoiling space where nimble-knuckled masseuses dish out massages, scrubs and rubs starring fragrant Santa Maria Novella products made in Florence. This beauty brand was founded by Dominican monks, around 400 years ago, so you can expect celestial results. They also also offers manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing and other glamming ’n’ grooming services.
Channel the most unutterably glamorous version of yourself, then pack accordingly.
Extra beds (€120 a night) and cots (free for under-4s) can be added to some rooms.
Pets of all sizes are welcome; the hotel has a stash of on-loan bowls and baskets for visiting Fidos and felines. Just let the hotel know when booking. See more pet-friendly hotels in Rome.
Little Smiths can come too (pray they stay on their best behaviour). Babysitting can be arranged with two hours’ notice; the pool is supervised by a lifeguard; the hotel can lend guests cots, bedlinen, mats and highchairs.
Earth-kind cleaning products are used, as are energy-efficient light bulbs. The hotel conscientiously composts and recycles; guests concerned about petrol consumption can hop here by train from Rome.
They all face the sea; they’re all knee-weakeningly lovely. Request a candlelit private table in the basement museum, if you’re hungry for Etruscan va-va-voom by the urn-load.
Something Sophia Loren or Frank Sinatra might have modelled.
Cesar restaurant's charms include – but are by no means limited to – a serene terrace dotted with sea-spying tables. Dishes are preceded by intricate little nibbles and gulps, including a punchy liquid Caprese, served in a shot glass, that hums with basil, tomato, mozzarella and olive-oil notes. Sensibly, given the setting, seafood takes a starring role; as much produce as possible is plucked from La Posta’s organic gardens. Piano music wafts through the open windows of the drawing room while guests eat; service is formal and informed. It’s a pretty swish experience, all in all.
Instead of a formal bar, La Posta Vecchia has a dreamy drawing room, where faultless classic cocktails are served up by impeccable barmen and tasteful piano music tinkles harmoniously in the background.
Dinner is served in the Cesar restaurant until 10.30pm; drinks can be requested whenever you’re thirsty.
Order items from the restaurant menu to your room around the clock.
La Posta Vecchia is just a 35-minute drive west of Rome, on Lazio’s scenic coast.
Rome Fiumicino Airport is 20 kilometres away (a 30-minute drive). Most national carriers fly here, including Alitalia and British Airways (from London Gatwick and Heathrow); EasyJet also offers regular direct flights from the UK. Hotel transfers are €135 each way; alternatively, flag a taxi outside the airport.
Ladispoli Station is a five-minute drive from the hotel, with regular services to Rome (a single ticket costs around €4).
It takes roughly 35 minutes to drive to La Posta Vecchia from Rome. From Fiumicino, follow the Roma-Fiumicino highway until the A12 intersection. Take the exit and follow signs for Civitavecchia. Look out for the sign for Cerveteri-Ladispoli and take the exit. Turn right and keep going until you reach a big roundabout, then follow the directions for Ladispoli. At the next big roundabout, ignore the first entrance to Ladispoli and take the second exit to Rome. After a few minutes, follow the signs for Ladispoli-Palo Laziale on your right. Drive onto the overpass and keep going; La Posta Vecchia is at the end of the street, on your left-hand side. You can’t turn left here, so head towards the roundabout and make a U-turn, then take the exit, which will now be on your right. Continue on this road and you will reach La Posta Vecchia. The hotel has an on-site car park and valet parking.
Should you wish to arrive by chopper, there’s a helipad on the lawn.
Worth getting out of bed for
Potter around the hotel’s private museum, set in the basement, stuffed with Roman ruins, colorful mosaics and an array of plates and vases that were dug up onsite by builders and archaeologists. Continue the Roman-history theme at the hotel’s Unesco-listed neighbour, Cerveteri, the largest Etruscan necropolis in the world. A bounty of ye olde luxury goods – jewellery, gem-encrusted tableware, elaborate vases, gold and so on – were discovered in these tombs, left behind by their aristocratic owners. Spend a day at the local seaside, munching fritto misto and admiring bathing Italians. Set off for watery thrills at Lake Bracciano, a 50-minute drive north, where you can try scuba-diving, sailing, canoeing and more. Admire the lake’s castle – Castello Orsini-Odescalchi, formerly home to papal families – while you’re there. Back at boutique basecamp, have a cookery demo with the hotel’s chef (€130 a person, ecluding drinks), try a wine tasting in the restaurant and unwind in the LPV Health & Beauty Club.
The hotel doesn’t have any near neighbours that rival its own dishes; in Rome, stick to the trendy Trastevere area on the city’s west side (this is where you’ll enter Rome if you’re coming from La Posta Vecchia). Try Open Colonna on Via Milano for a high-end dining experience, or Checco er Carettiere on Via Benedetta for authentic, old-school Italian feasts served in a picturesque outdoor dining space.
Every hotel featured is visited personally by members of our team, given the Smith seal of approval, and then anonymously reviewed. As soon as our reviewers have returned from this luxury hotel in Italy and unpacked their diamonds and deck shoes, a full account of their coastal break will be with you. In the meantime, to whet your wanderlust, here's a quick peek inside La Posta Vecchia in Lazio…
Set up your own oil company in Oklahoma, turn it into a meteoric success, and you too could own an Etruscan villa like La Posta Vecchia, which was once where Paul Getty called ‘home’. Getty was notoriously hard to part with his cash (it took a human ear in the post to persuade him to shell out ransom money to his grandson’s kidnappers), but it’s easy to see why he considered La Posta Vecchia a sound investment. This former post office (yes, really) occupies a dazzlingly pretty patch of Lazio’s coast, just a half-hour drive from Rome and a shell’s throw from the glittering Tyrrhenian Sea. Getty stuffed it with precious artefacts, Flemish tapestries and busts of emperors and transformed it into a palatial private residence; the hotel retains that feel today. A stash of 16th-, 17th- and 18th-century antiques decorate rooms; there’s also a basement museum that showcases statuary and artefacts (the hotel is built on the site of an ancient Roman villa and a 17th-century castle). Modern additions include the magnificent swimming pool and mouth-wowing Michelin-starred restaurant. Note to self: make millions; bring them here.
Whenever you book a stay at a Smith hotel or villa, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in La Posta Vecchia’s Guestbook below.
Everything! The location is 30 minutes from Rome airport, which makes it perfect for an overnight stay before or after a long flight. The hotel is right on the water with brilliant views, the design and atmosphere are sublime. And the buffet breakfast is fantastic!
Easy access to great nearby restaurants or a stunning coastline. It's best to stay on the hotel grounds. The food felt fussy after coming from Sicily. Be prepared for dark sand.