A word-of-mouth type place, G-Rough is under the radar in the truest of senses (despite the whispering statues standing guard outside). "satis ampla qvae secvritate rideat" meaning "big enough to give a feeling of security" is inscribed on the facade of this Roman retreat on Via di Pasquino and sets the tone of a stay here. Unannounced and overstated in equal parts, G-Rough reiterates its exterior's storied sentiments inside with a propensity for the unique, filled with all the things its owners most cherish - namely retro "Made in Italy" furnishings. The hotel's design scheme, curated by Giorgia Cerulli, is whimsical with a sense of history. Fusing Roman baroque and Cinecittà's retro glamour, expect classic 1950s furniture - think octagonal coffee tables and retro floor lamps. Tempered with painterly walls and weathered furnishings, the result is a pastiche of styles synonymous with the faded grandeur of la dolce vita.
Marrying its rough-luxe aesthetic with an offbeat approach to hospitality, check-in is conducted over the golden, mirror-tiled bar (far more stylish than it reads). Enjoy your first cup of coffee standing by the counter - ask for your espresso "al vetro" (in a little glass).
Original wooden ceilings, patina walls and meandering floor plans typical of Roman apartments are at the core of G-Rough's 10 suites. Each has its own style featuring original pieces of furniture by iconic Italian designers from the 1930s to 1950s. Murano-glass vases by Seuguso and mid-century statement pieces by Ico Parisi stand alongside more storied items such as lounge-able settees and shuttered windows, while jarring floor tiles and crayon-scrawled ceilings offset the predictability.
Annexed living rooms in earthen shades are partitioned by curtains but these subtle divisions do not extend to bathroom doors - and with a large glass window from the corridor peering into your washroom, it's best to book with someone you're pretty comfortable with. In the bedroom, gilded frames substitute headboards, complementing the mottled walls and the overall done/undone vibe. Linen sheets certainly speak to that aesthetic.
What's for breakfast?
Positioned at the back corner of the hotel is the Seletti mirror tiled, shabby-chic breakfast room. Sample an organic continental spread of pastries - both savoury and sweet - fresh fruits and meat cuts, displayed on a monochrome Fornasetti breakfast cabinet. The kitchen - complete with duck-egg-blue Smeg fridge and a cactus in every corner - is like you'd find at home (if you live in SW1) and meals from the à la carte menu are cooked in the same space as you are seated.
How about lunch and dinner?
With no official dining room (bar the one used for breakfast) guests are encouraged to try out local cafés and mom and pop joints. Seek out the traditions of a weekly Roman menu - Thursday gnocchi, Sunday fettuccine and so on… If you're staying in one of the larger suites, put your in-room kitchenette to good use.
Is there a bar?
Open from 7am until midnight, the bar serves tea and coffee alongside a curated menu of wines from Italian producers, plus a selection of cocktails. Nibbles are available for the peckish.
G-Rough's shared spaces are on the smaller side, meaning amenities don't stretch beyond the necessities. Most things you will need - from a toothbrush to a laundrette - are within a 10-minute walking radius, and the laid-back but helpful staff are sure to steer you in the right direction.
Things you should know
G-Rough offers unique itineraries and experiences, which take you off the beaten track and promise to "fully immerse you in the vibrant local culture of the Eternal City". They're costly, but some of the most comprehensive around, so if designing your own handbag at the world-famous Academia di Costume e Moda or following in the footsteps of the genius painter Caravaggio sounds like your definition of time (and money) well spent, now's the time to act.
Within a short walk you will find…
Located near the Piazza Navona, The Pantheon, the Vatican and Pont St Angelo, G-Rough has a monopoly on feeling local while also being centrally located. Strolling back from the city's main sights, stop for gelato at Gelateria Del Teatro on Via dei Coronari.
It's a short walk from Trastevere, an area been dubbed the "Shoreditch of Rome" - but we think it's a little less narcissistic than that. Equally near to Piazza di Pasquino (an area with lots of bars) - head to Jerry Thomas for an evening tipple before dinner at Piperno's, a family-run restaurant in the Jewish ghetto (be sure you book ahead).