Why we love it: 18 light-drenched rooms overlooking aristocratic gardens in the central Campo Marzio neighborhood
- almost like a secret hideaway within the elegant grounds of the Palazzo Borghese
- design blending Art Deco elements with la dolce vita grace notes
- steps away from the Piazza di Spagna, Villa Medici and Castel Sant’Angelo
The review: Slip through a non-descript door on the grounds of the 16th-century Palazzo Borghese and enter a design wonderland. The Hotel Vilòn inhabits the former mansion of Princess Anna Maria de Ferrari Borghese, built around the ruins of an ancient Roman home and most recently inhabited by French nuns. Opened in 2018, the boutique hotel draws on Art Deco design, as well as the mid-century cinematic chic of the Eternal City itself. The talent behind the transformation: set designer Paolo Bonfini and celebrated Florentine photographer Massimo Listri, who curated the artwork, including a few of his own dramatic pieces. The collection spotlights large pieces by the English botanical artist Robert John Thornton, evoking the exquisite private gardens outside.
A member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, this 18-room property blends pastels and neutrals with boldly graphic black accents. All have king-sized beds and marble bathrooms with walk-in rain showers. Feeling decadent? Opt for the Borghese Suite, which has windows opening from the master bedroom onto a private terrace. Expect discrete, gracious service with flourishes like dog sitting and packing help (on request).
Don’t miss the Hotel Vilòn’s bar and restaurant, formally known as “Adelaide” after the Princess Borghese, but nicknamed “il salotto” (the living room). Sip a Negroni or a Cynar and soda at the striking black-and-gold bar or grab a table for dishes like potato gnocchi with cod and grilled-red-pepper cream or a lume di candele, pasta with an infusion of chicory coffee, sea onion and smoked burrata.