The Jason Bourne star tells us about his favourite hotels
OT: Which is your favourite hotel in the world and why?
Matt Damon: I love the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai and the Viceroy Sugar Beach Resort in St Lucia, but Hotel de Russie in Rome (from €550 per night room only, excluding taxes; roccofortehotels.com/hotels-and-resorts/hotel-de-russie) has a special place in my heart. It is hard to tell whether it is more welcoming or beautiful. It is vintage and yet so modern—and the design does not cock a snook at the classical architectureof the historic building. In fact, the whole location is just so steeped in history. Hotel de Russie lies at the centre of the city, directly overlooking the famous Piazza del Popolo and a short walk from the Spanish Steps. Other leading attractions such as the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona, the famous fashion boutiques of Via Condotti, the art galleries of Via Margutta and museums like the MAXXIare also within easy reach.
OT: What about the service?
Matt Damon: Oh it is just so discreet! Everyone at de Russie seems to pre-empt what you may want. Like they know I like oily fish—so they make it a point to cook or serve like that!
OT: What culinary experiences do you recommend here?
Matt Damon: Le Jardin de Russie is the best alfresco dining and the place is surrounded by delicate roses and orange blossoms—that fragrance is just so calming. Fulvio Pierangelini creates culinary magic with this Amberjack Filet served raw on iced salt and also his Tagliolini with Calamari. But what really is the most incredible dish here is the ‘Wagyu’—a beef entrecote cooked on a Himalayan pink salt grill. It is incredible and does not compare to anything you may have had. I am not a dessert person but the Sabayon with Wild Berries makes me think of my childhood. The Stravinskij Bar is great for meetings. Must try the Cotoletta alla Milanese and Lobster salad with orange sauce. Gosh! I need to go back soon!