Hotel Vilòn, Rome, Italy

Hotel Vilòn, Rome, Italy

A springboard to central Rome, Hotel Vilòn feels at once intimate, modern and sympathetic to its regal heritage. Suites overlook the private Palazzo Borghese gardens, and Adelaide restaurant is award winning. Come summer, negronis on the terrace are a no-brainer.

hidden behind the Ponte Cavour, Hotel Vilòn is an
intimate, boutique bolthole perfect for romantic getaways and
exploring the historical centre of Rome.
Inside, antique furniture, bold colours and modish artwork define
its eclectic style – the vibe is at once intriguing and

Contemporary design is married with a respectful nod to its
building’s storied history. Dating back to the mid-16th century, it
served as an annex of the Palazzo Borghese until 1841, when
Princess Adelaide entrusted the property to French nuns in order to
create the first boarding school for impoverished girls.


Former classrooms were transformed into 18 spacious bedrooms –
some with large terraces overlooking the private gardens of the
Palazzo Borghese, which are not normally open to the public. The
rooms are what you would expect from a Roman hotel of this
standard: beautiful marble bathrooms, large, enveloping beds and
modern interiors punctuated by antique pieces and original
artworks. There are also several suites, each individually styled
and offering that extra level of comfort.

What’s for breakfast?

Served in the art deco-inspired dining room, a large selection
of meals are made to order, supplemented by fresh bread, pastry and
your choice of sweet treats. The breakfast menu is substantial,
featuring continental savoury classics and American-style pancakes.
We opted for the eggs prepared in the style of classic Roman pasta
dishes, such as cacio e pepe and carbonara. Not a light breakfast
choice, but an absolute delight.

How about lunch and dinner?

The hotel is also home to the Adelaide restaurant, named after
the progressive Borghese princess. It’s been recently recognised
with a prestigious award of two forks by Gambero Rosso, Italy’s
answer to the Michelin Guide. Opt for the tasting menu and you’ll
understand why. The largely seafood-based offering is a light
respite from Rome’s often meat-heavy dishes, and is best described
as traditional Italian with Asian influences. Don’t miss the creamy
sea-urchin linguine. And do ask the sommelier for a wine from

Is there a bar?

What a bar! Lovingly called “Adelaide in Salotto” (Adelaide in
the living room), it’s a cosy yet elegant affair. Torn between a
traditional negroni and the bar’s interpretation of a martini? We
say: go for both. Each will arrive accompanied by olives and other
seasonally prepared snacks. Weather-permitting, sip on the charming
outside terrace as the soundtrack of Italian pop classics from the
60s and 70s dances on the evening breeze. Living la dolce


This is a boutique city-centre hotel, so there is no gym or spa
but an excellent concierge service, which will impress you with its
apparent mind-reading skills. The mini bar and snacks are included
in the room price and replenished daily, though we really recommend
exploring the hotel’s bar and surrounding area.

Things you should know

While Hotel Vilòn’s location is perfect for exploring Rome on
foot, it’s tricky to reach by car as the property is located in the
centro storico (historic centre), an area closed to most traffic.
Be aware that your cab driver might not be able to drop you off
right in front of the door, so opt for a small luggage that you can
carry over the old cobblestone streets and swap stiletto heels for
comfy sneakers. The hotel’s pet-friendly policy accommodates furry

Within a short walk you’ll find…

Pretty much everything you want. The nearly restored Ara Pacis
Museum, the ancient fort of Castel Sant’Angelo and Ponte Cavour.
The Spanish steps are less than five minutes’ walk away. If you’ve
overdosed on culture and ancient history, head to the nearby Via
del Babuino for a treat-yourself browse of old Italian luxury
brands. Not quite in your budget? The flagships of Valentino and
Fendi are especially good for window shopping.

Discover More
City Guide: Rome