HO­TEL EDEN, ROME.

Gay Times Magazine - - THE HOTEL - Words Stephen Un­win

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’).

First im­pres­sions?

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 dižing deep. And four of those are ‘sig­na­ture’, if you’re dižing 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.

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