Hotel Vilòn: A Palazzo-Turned-Boutique in the Eternal City

Hotel Vilòn has a lounge bar and a restaurant, Adelaide. // Photography: Stefano Scata

Hot news from the Eternal City: Hotel Vilòn opened earlier this year, just one block from the River Tiber in the heart of Rome. The hotel, which is a member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, is a historic 16th-century palazzo that once belonged to the Borghese family. 

Designed by three top Italian architects and designers, and with a strong focus on art, Hotel Vilòn is a mix between old luxury and contemporary eclectic design. General manager Giorgia Tozzi ([email protected]) tells us that it is more like a luxury apartment than a hotel, as it functioned as one for most of its history. There are only 18 rooms and views over a courtyard. 

Tozzi also tells us that the hotel makes for a great base to exploring Rome: The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and shopping district are all within walking distance. She says the best way to experience Rome is simply to get lost, ending up in a piazza or at a gelateria — and with this hotel’s location, we agree. 

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Tozzi or the concierge can also arrange tailor-made sightseeing trips and exclusive transport for guests. 

Of all the rooms, the Borghese Suite is the top option. It’s located on the second floor, has a king bed, Art Deco furniture, a marble bathroom with a walk-in double rain shower, double sink and free-standing bathtub, as well as a private terrace over the gardens below. All rooms have king beds, but connecting rooms allow for families to easily be accommodated. Top Tip: Be sure to ask for a room facing the courtyard. 

The restaurant, Adelaide, has a menu of Mediterranean cuisine, which changes according to the seasons, highlighting Roman classics with modern twists. There are nine tables inside, but — if weather allows — ask for a table on the outdoor patio, which is filled with plant life. 

The revived residence in the Campo Marzio neighborhood was originally “the house annexed to the Borghese Palace.” Its first use was for rent by princes, but in 1841, at the request of Princess Adelaide, the building was entrusted to the French nuns Daughters of the Cross, who opened the First School for Poor Girls. In 1938, the annex was donated to the nuns, who remained sole owners until it was purchased by the current owners five years ago; restorations to convert it into a hotel began three years ago. Hotel Vilòn is the sister property of Capri Tiberio Palace

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