With such storied neighbours, there were standards to meet with this hotel’s makeover. Forget the Joneses; try keeping up with the Medici.
It’s easy to be intimidated when Villa Medici, the incredible pile across the road, was once Rome HQ for Italy’s most powerful and moneyed arts patrons but Hotel Eden has risen to the challenge. Its stunning marble and gilt makeover, completed in April, would have had those showy Renaissance influencers jealously hatching a counter commission. From the sculpted white reception desk, past the cathedral-quiet La Libreria with its walls of books and secret bar, up through the handful of floors (where the makeover saw room numbers whittled from 121 to 98) to its rooftop bars and restaurants, Hotel Eden is a showcase of craft and elegance in soft Roman light. Legendary filmmaker Federico Fellini knew how to capture the essence of Italy. No wonder the La Dolce Vita director chose the Eden rooftop with its panoramic views westward for his press engagements.
The fourth-floor Prestige room feels twice its generous size thanks to mirrored wardrobe doors amplifying the light that spills through tall sash windows. You can pitch yourself into darkness with a sweep of the heavy Rubelli Venezia drapes but that view over the Medici’s wall and beyond is hard to resist. The hotel was aiming for an ‘elegant private home’ feel in the ground-up renovation and with its lofted ceiling, stenciled detail, spacious marble bathroom and plump king bed, Room 411 is that. Lights, climate settings, B&O TV and wi-fi are pod-controlled so relax and focus on your one dilemma: when you step outside, will you turn that way and amble down the gentle slope to the Spanish Steps or head in the other direction to the urban oasis that is the Borghese Gardens?
Number of guestrooms 98, including Junior Suites (47 to 60 square metres) right through to the 94-square-metre Villa Malta Suite, which includes a living room and study area. The Aurora Terrace Suite has a vast outdoor living and dining area but if you’re running a country book the Villa Medici Presidential Suite (125 square metres) with balconies at every window
Check in/out 2pm/12noon
Food and drink La Terrazza is the Eden’s gourmet showcase. You’ll be torn between what’s on your plate and what’s outside the floor-to-ceiling windows. Il Giardino Ristorante & Bar is a more informal space. Snacks, drinks and afternoon tea are served downstairs at La Libreria. See if you can figure out where they hide the bar
Wellness The gym is open 24 hours (the steam bath is only available between 4pm and 9pm). Small but well equipped. You’ll need to book ahead for the The Eden Spa (8am to 9pm daily), its two spa suites and couple’s suite are in hot demand
Business facilities Three meeting rooms (from conference-scale down) with AV equipment, sound system and high-speed wi-fi
Minibar Ruinart (€87/$136) & Laurent Perrier (€55/$86) Champagne, Grey Goose Vodka (€15/$23) and a parade of high-end spirits, mixers, organic juices (€9/$14), nuts, chips
Water Free. 300ml bottles of Dorchester Collection spring water
Pillow menu Memory foam, anallergic, lavender-filled, organic spelt, camomile and breastfeeding pillows
Bath Deep, with gilt tap ware and trimmings
Bathrobe Fluffy Pedersoli 100 per cent cotton
The housekeeping test An iron (in box that could be from Net-a-porter) and ironing board delivered in six minutes 45 seconds
The concierge test Asked to recommend a non-touristy restaurant, concierge directed us to a warm, family-run restaurant with nonna in charge a 10-minute stroll away
Amenities Bottega Veneta and plenty of them
Room service A delicious, crust-trimmed, wheat-toast club sandwich surrounded by crisps, olives and a bottle – yes, a bottle – of extra virgin olive oil arrived in 10 minutes
TV and movies Apple TV and Google Chromecast, 150 TV channels
Wi-fi Free up to 1.5 Mbps
Parking Ludovisi parking (opposite to the hotel) for a fee
Price Classic rooms start at €690 (about $1079) plus 10%VAT (room only)
Ask for Prestige room with a view
Verdict More than Medici-worthy
SEE MORE: 5 Tips for Booking Rome Accommodation