Rome is home to many magnificent palaces built for the city’s aristocratic families. Some, like Palazzo Colonna and Palazzo Doria Pamphilj, have been turned into museums, while others have remained in private hands. But now, with the May opening of Palazzo Vilòn — an extension of the chic Hotel Vilòn, a Travel + Leisure It List honoree near the Spanish Steps — you can live like the aristocracy, if only for a few nights.
Occupying one wing of Palazzo Borghese, built between 1600 and 1800 for the noble Borghese family (the same family that created the Villa Borghese and Galleria Borghese), the apartment was, until recently, the private residence of a prominent film producer. And Prince Scipione Borghese and his family still inhabit part of the palace. When the producer moved out, the apartment was entrusted to the Shedir Collection, which runs Hotel Vilòn and a few other hotels, including Hotel Maalot in Rome and the Capri Tiberio Palace, a member of the Leading Hotels of the World in Capri, Italy.
Palazzo Vilòn: A truly unique luxury apartment in Rome
Spread over more than 10,000 square feet and three floors, Palazzo Vilòn is truly unique in Rome. To outfit the space for VIP guests, the Shedir Collection called on frequent collaborator Giampiero Panepinto to design the interiors. The original 17th-century frescoes were restored, gilded mouldings and antique mirrors were polished, and modern furniture was brought in to give the apartment a residential vibe.
Upon entering Via di Ripetta, you find yourself in front of a grand staircase that ascends to a lounge replete with resplendent frescoes. Sunlight streams in through the windows of an alcove on a mezzanine where you can sit and sip coffee surrounded by potted plants. A hallway lined with busts leads to the rest of the apartment.
The wonders continue, starting with a beautifully decorated sitting room, which opens onto an opulent dining room featuring gilded ceiling decorations and antique mirrors that rival the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, France. The floors are made with several types of marble in inlaid mosaics, including Carrara marble, Siena yellow marble, and Medicean breccia marble, which was also used at the Vatican. A second sitting room is decorated with plush furnishings, art, and books.
The apartment has four bedrooms, including a bedroom inside a former chapel with an ornate domed ceiling, a ground-floor bedroom with a window overlooking the garden, and a spacious master suite with a free-standing glass bathtub in the en-suite bathroom. There’s a smaller bedroom upstairs that would be ideal for a nanny or other staff.
There’s also a private gym; a spa with a plunge pool, Finnish sauna, and steam room; and a screening room with a bar. But perhaps the most magical thing about the apartment is that it grants you exclusive access to the private courtyard garden that’s visible but inaccessible to guests staying at Hotel Vilòn. There, the scent of orange blossoms wafts through the air and three beautifully sculpted fountains create a rarefied atmosphere. It’s so peaceful you could almost forget you’re in the middle of the city.
A chance to experience Rome in a very different way
“Palazzo Vilòn will give its guests the possibility to experience Rome in a totally different way, setting the bar for another standard in the luxury hospitality panorama,” says Martina Avitabile, the general manager of Hotel Vilòn and Palazzo Vilòn. “Embracing the real life of a noble palace, Palazzo Vilòn will allow its guests to magically and unexpectedly enter into an incredible world of wonders, stepping back in time to live like the princes and princesses of the Borghese family, one of the most important families in the Roman aristocracy.”
Needless to say, guests staying at Palazzo Vilòn get round-the-clock butler service and have access to the amenities — including the concierge and restaurant — at the attached Hotel Vilòn. Palazzo Vilòn is available exclusively for buy-outs starting at EUR 25,000 (USD 27,230) or USD 27,290 per night.
(Hero and feature image credit: Mattia Aquila Photography)
This story first appeared on travelandleisure.com
Related: 7 Restaurants In Rome Locals Love