As I walk through the glass doors of Hotel Eden in Rome, I catch a glimpse of the curve of the balustrades on the marble staircase and the most wonderful memories come rushing back. Mr S and I spent our first wedding anniversary here just over three years ago, a year after we got married at the sister property, The Dorchester in London. Shortly after our visit, the hotel doors closed for an 18 month restoration programme led by celebrated architect and interior designers Bruno Moinard and Claire Betaille of 4BI & Associés, together with Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku from Jouin Manku.
With the doors reopening, I was excited to return to see the Hotel Eden looking shiny and new whilst keeping a strong sense of the character. This time I left Mr S at home to go on a long awaited girls trip with Laura and the promise of three days of pasta, pizza and prosecco.
Established in 1889, the hotel was first opened by Munich-born hotelier, Francesco Niestelweck to coincide with the development of the train lines and to usher in a new era of hospitality for Rome. It was in 2013 that the Dorchester Collection adopted Hotel Eden into the fold, joining the ranks of hotel royalty such as Le Meurice and Hôtel Plaza Athénée in Paris, and Beverly Hills Hotel in LA. Mr S and I visited the latter on our honeymoon and have stayed in both Paris hotels as well as Principe di Savoia Hotel in Milan for Mr S’s birthday. So you can see why this hotel collection means so much to me!
Now I always think it’s important that a hotel has a good foyer, first impressions count and the foyer sets the tone for the entire hotel. The entrance at Hotel Eden is nothing short of spectacular totally surrounded in marble and a nod to classic Rome with those proud columns. Black, white and gold marble line the floors while gold boxing enhances the ceilings to give an opulent feel that is still subtle. There’s plenty of cosy places to sit, beautiful fresh flowers and two large and dramatic marble steles to house the reception desk and concierge. All this is part of Moinard and Bétaille’s ‘Alive Art’ concept which works with and enhances designs of the past rather than forgoing them.
Those marbles stairs I mentioned in the opening, are much like they were the first time I visited three years ago but there’s an added sparkle provided since the restoration. The overall effect is an utterly classic yet totally modern feeling – the perfect home away from home in the Eternal city.
And up those elegant stairs is La Libreria, a cosy space to grab a cocktail or enjoy the piano music. The mirror above the fireplace creates a spectacular optical illusion so that the stunning gold ceiling seems to continue forever… frescos line the wall and again luxurious marble dominates the space.
With a name like La Libreria, you’d expect a room full of books and you wouldn’t be disappointed as stunning tomes and coffee table books line the shelves and even conceal a secret bar!
There’s also a treats trolley where delicious delicacies appear just at the time you want them (even if you didn’t realise that you did!) with pastries at breakfast and champagne coming out in the afternoon.
The Eden Spa is a new addition to the hotel and can be found adjacent to the foyer. The space is intended as a sanctuary from busy city life offering treatments from skin care specialist Sonya Daka and body treatments by Anmin Cosmetics. Sadly I didn’t have time to try a treatment but I did try the blow dry bar (twice – please can every hotel have a blow dry bar?) which is in partnership with famous celebrity hairstylist Roberto D’Antonio.
Now meeting and events space isn’t something I touch on often (as I know you’re here for reading about lovely holidays) but how beautiful is the room pictured above? The Sala Borghese is a private space with numerous rooms that can be hired for meetings, events and glittering galas!
The restoration saw a reduction of guest rooms from 121 to 98, allowing the remaining rooms to be more spacious and giving a more luxurious stay. I prefer smaller hotels and though this is a full service luxury hotel, Hotel Eden still retains the intimacy and personality of a boutique lodging.
Like the hotel lobby, contemporary mixes with classic as Roman features are subtly blended into the room’s decor. The design is fairly minimalistic but still unmistakably Italian with hints of gold and marble but with the real drama coming from the high ceilings and windows framing views of the Eternal City.
Laura and I felt so utterly welcomed as we were given a cake with an image from my Instagram, as well as a framed photo from the day that The Dorchester had invited me to the Chelsea Flower Show in London. I’ve never seen anything like that before and it was such a thoughtful touch.
Fresh fruit and a bottle of prosecco were also laid on to welcome us to this beautiful hotel.
And keeping things contemporary there’s an iPad to control the lighting and climate plus a Nespresso machine and a fully stocked mini bar!
The bathroom ushers in more opulence with the marble and gold theme again pervading. The room is a dazzling white with a glamorous vanity unit, twin sinks and a bath and shower concealed behind a door. There are touches of gold everywhere, even the taps and the flush on the loo are gold and there’s added luxury from the Bottega Veneto amenities.
Taking one of those slightly awkward mid-morning flights, Laura and I decided to order room service to keep us going for the afternoon and I’m happy to report the room service was excellent and the food quality was fantastic. I love a simple margherita pizza, and this was just perfection!
The Michelin-starred restaurant La Terrazza on the top floor, is one of the hotel’s USPs. Not only is the food from Chef Fabio Ciervo utterly exquisite but the restaurant boasts a panoramic view of the city. We didn’t eat at La Terrazza this time but I’ve eaten there twice before and the refurbishment will certainly add to the overall experience. The new dining room is really rather slick, seating 49 people and a special Chef’s Table for eight diners.
There is just something so incredibly magical about see the domes and ancient building of Rome whilst enjoying dinner. The view is fantastic partly owing to the spectacular location of the hotel – up a secluded hill that allows for privacy but still only about a ten minute walk from some of Rome’s beautiful monuments.
A new addition to the hotel is the more casual restaurant Il Giardino.
We took a seat here in the Secret Garden for a bellini so we could admire the view as well as the terrace’s gorgeous vertical garden, inspired by the neighbouring Villa Borghese gardens. It was actually very warm for November and as a side note, it’s a good time of year to go as it was far less crowded than last time I went. For that reason, I just fell in love with Rome all over again.
It was also here that we had breakfast one morning, taking in views of Il Vittoriano, St Peters, Villa Medici and the Borghese gardens from the large windows of Il Giardino…
Breakfast can be ordered à la carte or selected from an absolutely gorgeous hot and cold buffet. There’s even a whole cake table!
Laura and I had dinner in Il Giardino one night, first of all enjoying cocktails and aperitivo in the bar area.
If you’ve never had aperitivo before, it’s the Italian way of stirring up the appetite before dinner and complimentary nibbles are provided with the drinks. Everything is of the utmost quality and Laura and I enjoyed slices of duck, mozzarella balls and delicate pieces of tuna while I sipped a Rossini.
The menu here is also over seen by Executive Chef Fabio Ciervo and serves the most incredible classic Italian food. I pretty much always over order when I’m in Italy but when in Rome…
I love stuffed courgette flowers and these were stuffed full of creamy ricotta and taleggio and served with cherry tomatoes and olives.
A delicious mixture of cold cuts and cheese served for our other starter.
While we just had to share a portion of spaghetti Cacio e Pepe (cheese and pepper), a truly fabulous version of this classic Roman dish.
When it came to the beef tartare with black pepper cream and the grilled mixed fish, we could barely fit any more food in but felt completely satisfied with such a fabulous meal, I even said no to Tiramisu!
In regards to service, I kept finding myself say the word ‘flawless’ … every member of staff we encountered knew our names and the concierge was fantastic for recommendations and booked a restaurant for us one evening. As I mentioned location couldn’t have been better…I mean how can you beat having Trevi fountain just ten minutes walk away…
And the Spanish Steps…
And the Pantheon…
I will say the word ‘flawless’ again because there is no other that quite adequately describes our stay at Hotel Eden. From the stunning public areas, our beautiful room and the incredible food, but most importantly the special memories that my stay bought back. For Laura, it was her first time in Italy and the hospitality of the Hotel Eden was the perfect introduction to the country.
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Via Ludovisi 49,
+ 39 06 478121
Laura and I were guests of the Hotel Eden for a complimentary two night stay, breakfast and dinner at Il Giardino.