On a recent visit to Hotel D.O.M’s downstairs lounge, The Deer Club, I noticed that it was rammed with Romans in for after work drinks. And revellers poured in and out through the night until the bar closed. It’s a popular locals hangout spot to say the least. The Deer Club is essentially a long room with big velvet couches, (more) oversized mirrors, stags heads and antlers peppering the walls throughout. This design cue is more symbolic than trendy; a stag’s head and antlers are the emblem of Rome’s Regalo quarter, where DOM is located. There is a chef named Massimiliano Mariola, who whips up really good small plates of Italian nibbles that hew toward simple, savoury and delicious ingredients: no foams or overwrought nonsense on the menu.
During warmer months, The Deer Club moves to D.O.M’s rooftop veranda, which like most Roman rooftops in this amazing city, commands such lovely views of the surrounding bell towers, the Tiber River, the ochre palazzos with their clay tiled roofs, and the sounds and smells of Rome. And DOM’s location is by all means one of it’s largest assets; you can walk to the Vatican, to Campo di Fiori, to the Roman Forum, or simply stroll along the river or sit on the rooftop veranda peering over onto the historical sites like the Stabula Augusti or the green hills of Gianicolo across the way. Whether a guest or a passer by, D.O.M.’s restaurants, lounges and bars seem more accessible, relaxed than anything else on offer in modern day Rome.