Rome is steeped in thousands of years of history, and the city is built upon a passion for perfection in its architecture and stunning artwork. And if Rome sets the bar in its standards, the Hassler de Roma raises that bar. Perched on the top of the world famous Spanish Steps, on one of the three highest points in all of Rome, the 5-Star hotel is a must-stay destination for the wealthy and famous from all over the world. The Hassler befits royalty, and consistently ranks in numerous “best of” lists. But what many may never realize, the sole owner of the Hassler is none other than the profoundly Deaf Roberto Wirth.
Roberto Wirth is the 5th in his family of 5 generations of luxury hoteliers. Following in their footsteps, Wirth says that, “my aim is always to reach perfection in satisfying my guests and this is what I strive for everyday.” That relentless pursuit of perfection won him the Independent Hotelier of the World 2005 Award by HOTELS magazine, the Prize for Economic Achievement by Rome’s city government, and the title of the Knight of the Order of Merit at the Qurinale by the Republic of Italy.
While Wirth was born to luxury hoteliers, being born Deaf thrust him on a path that forced him to continuously have to prove his worth to become the sole manager and owner of the Hassler. His parents did not simply give him the rights to the Hassler; he earned every bit of it himself and proved that he was best suited to not just carry on the tradition, but to build on his family’s proud legacy.
“Every single one of my work experiences gained in my past, has contributed to what I pride myself on, to my success today,” reminisced Wirth. “It is with satisfaction and honor that I recall my working experiences at McDonald’s as well as many other global brands such as Holiday Inn, Sheraton, Intercontinental, Hyatt, Hilton… and the list goes on.” The very idea that working at a fast food restaurant or budget hotels can contribute to the creation of a luxury brand might fly in the face of conventional wisdom. But these experiences instilled the value of hard work and a sincere respect for the quality that results with an intimate attention to detail.
Since taking over ownership of the hotel and its building, Wirth has carefully crafted and expanded the Hassler brand as one that exudes luxury. Wirth has undertaken numerous business ventures including founding the International Wine Academy and opening and consulting prestigious restaurants in Tokyo, Taiwan, and India. His restaurant at the Hassler, Imàgo has gained a much-coveted Michelin Star, and his team of Italian Chefs contributes to offering authentic Italian cuisine around the world. For all the work that Wirth puts in creating a true luxury brand, he remains a leader and role model in the Deaf community.
While many would say that perfection is impossible to achieve, Roberto Wirth thinks differently, and he has a Michelin-rated restaurant and a 5-star hotel to show for it. He finds his drive and inspiration in attaining what is seemingly impossible. “My life long inspiration has been my goal in life- a constant search for perfection.”
Roberto Wirth is the winner of the DeafNation Inspiration Award for Hotel Hospitality in 2012.
By Anthony Mowl