HOTEL EDEN, ROME.
Where is it?
Perched regally above the Spanish Steps – and we’re talking top-tier royal, none of your Beatrices or Eugenies – and with views all over Centro Storico (that’s ‘historic centre’ in old money) that will have you scraping jaws off floors even before you’ve downed your first aperitivo.
Why so lovely?
Already an icon in the hotel world, then they went and splurged millions on it, turning Eden into a palace that glistens in all the right nooks, crannies and world-class bars. It’s like Caligula has had his merry way with it, with flourishes of marble and gold here, there, and right in front of you in the gobsmacker of a lobby. Though there’s understated luxe, too, like up on the roof, where design studio Jouin Manku has created La Terrazza, whose floor-to-ceiling windows pull back to reveal nought but Eternal views (big or little ‘e’).
How many adjectives have you got? Everything here is meant to impress, from the personable service through to those views we keep harping on about via the rooms, designed with panache by Moinard and Betaille who know a thing or three about beautiful spaces.
And the accommodations?
Pre the re-do, Eden had 121 rooms – it now has 98, which just goes to show how much emphasis they put on guest experience. And 33 of these are suites, if you’re diing deep. And four of those are ‘signature’, if you’re diing even deeper than that. Ceilings are high and windows are big, so the light is the stuff that masterpieces are made on. Your bathroom also comes with all the right bling – marble-on-marble and Bottega Veneta products – with sound and vision courtesy of Bang & Olufsen.
And the food?
Up at La Terrazza, executive chef Fabio Ciervo has created one of Rome’s great tasting menus, guided by his principles of ‘innovation, wellbeing, ingredients, taste and art’. And so beautiful you’ll be slipping off your designer chair. He’s also responsible for the less formal all-day Il Giardino next door.
What is there to do?
La Libreria – one of those gorgeous cocktail lounges you’d rather keep to yourself – is hosting the ‘Fragrance Bar’ until December, where olfactions (listen, there aren’t many decent synonyms for ‘fragrance’) by Campomarzio7 are paired with seasonal tipples. Then there’s the
Eden shopping card, which gets you VIP access to Rome’s luxury boutiques and showrooms. They had us at ‘shopping’.
And the gay bit?
Rome’s a bit ropey with the gay stuff, right? The strip – if we’re being generous – is Via di San Giovanni, just by the Colosseum, and then it’s only really Coming Out and My Bar next door, but street spillage in summer makes for a jumpier vibe. But things are getting better, mostly thanks to the increasing regularity of circuit-style parties – with GIAM at Planet Roma retaining its slot as the big Saturday LGBTQ night. But let’s face it, history + art x shopping = lots of gays, so the streets are healthily peppered, as are the swishiest of hotel bars.