Hotel Review: Hotel Vilòn, Rome in Italy
They say that first impressions are everything, so when our taxi pulled up outside an unassuming building down a quiet side street in Rome’s historic centre, we weren’t quite sure what to expect. With a small but bustling market just across the street and the occasional local whizzing past on a Vespa on their way to work, it’s easy to forget for a moment that you are on holiday here, but in that lovely way that makes you feel entirely at home and very much part of the furniture.
The entrance to Hotel Vilòn is not immediately obvious, but after a moment or so of to-ing and fro-ing we were able to locate the front door, which was opened enthusiastically by a smiling member of staff to reveal a breath-taking and unexpectedly glamorous hotel within.
Just 750 yards from the historic Pantheon and 200 yards from Via Condotti, from here, guests can walk to Piazza di Spagna in six minutes, yet the hotel’s quiet location gives nothing away at first glance. Perfectly located for exploring the sights and sounds of Rome – from historic sites such as the Trevi Fountain and the iconic Colosseum, to the hidden backstreets where the locals dine on authentic Italain cuisine – at Hotel Vilòn, you get the best of both worlds, and a good night’s sleep after a long day roaming the city is guaranteed.
Having opened in early 2018, we were privileged to be amongst some of the first guests to visit this stunning new boutique hotel, and it is immediately apparent that it’s the kind of place where service is considered just as important as the facilities – if not more so. Priding itself on personalised service grounded in old-fashioned Italian hospitality, the concierge can even arrange tailor-made sightseeing trips and exclusive transport around Rome. Here, you can expect to be treated impeccably, with everything you could possibly need already thought of before you even know quite what it is yourself.
They say the best things come in small packages, and the intimate Hotel Vilòn is testament to just that. Although it is boutique in size, the communal areas are comfortable and spacious, with plenty of room for guests to relax. The décor is modern and minimalistic, with carefully selected pieces of furniture and artwork all coming together to create a chic and modern feel.
Downstairs in the lobby bar, grey, mustard and dark teal accents against fresh white walls are atmospherically lit with well-placed ambient lighting, creating a space that feels cosy yet spacious – and when the lights dim in the evenings, it’s the perfect place to enjoy an aperitif before heading out for the evening, or indeed, a nightcap on your return. During the day, the room is flooded with light thanks to its original mansion-house windows, making for a comfortable space to read, work, or simply take a moment to plan your day over a cappuccino.
Of course, if you want to relax after a long day working or exploring the sites of Rome, then there’s no need to go elsewhere to dine, as the hotel boasts its own chic bistro serving up classic Italian fare. The Adelaide is a chic and atmospheric place to spend an evening with friends or a quiet dinner alone, with soft, ambient music and delicious cuisine to boot.
Hotel Vilòn has a privileged position overlooking the beautiful Borghese Gardens, with some bedrooms even offering views from your own private terrace. Rooms are minimalistic, with rich, dark reds set against bright, white walls and huge pieces of art hung above the comfortable beds – but every piece of furniture has been carefully hand-picked to create an air of opulence that speaks for itself. From comfortable velvet chairs that you can sink into, to the elegant marble bathrooms, all are hallmarks of architect and Production Designer, Paolo Bonfini – who is responsible for transforming this former girls’ finishing school – dating back to the mid sixteenth century, when it was known as the House annexed to Palazzo Borghese – into the beautiful hotel it is today.
Bathrooms deserve a fanfare all of their own, with spacious showers that could easily fit three or four people in them – not that you’d want to, of course, but it’s nice to know that it’s there. Well-equipped with magnifying mirrors, hairdryers, and even a range of the hotel’s own-branded toiletries – everything you need is here for the taking. And if you can think of anything that isn’t, then you need simply call reception to ask.
Breakfast is an event at Hotel Vilòn, and every morning a vast buffet of Italian delicacies, as well as a range of continental and American options, is set our for the taking in the Adelaide restaurant. From a range of cheeses and cured meats to huge platters of fresh fruit, the list of options is endless. It’s a challenge not to go back twice in a bid to try it all. And, if that’s still not enough for you, then you can always order hot food from the a la carte – from Eggs Royale to tuna carpaccio, there is a luxurious treat for everyone. It’s all best washed down with a cappuccino, of course – or a mimosa if you plan to start the day in style.
In a Nutshell:
Hotel Vilòn is a luxurious hidden gem, just a stone’s throw from some of the city’s most famous sights, but strategically located to give guests a quiet and restful stay. Chic, elegant and intimate in equal doses, this is a hotel that oozes charm and glamour. It’s the kind of place you’d happily hang out and relax in all day long – if only there weren’t so many incredible things so see and do in beautiful and historic Rome.
Room rates at Hotel Vilòn vary, starting at £404 per night for an August break. This is based on double occupancy and includes breakfast but not city tax.
Address: Via dell’Arancio, 69, 00186 Roma RM, Italy / +39 06 878187