The stunningly beautiful Hotel Eden is located above the fray near the top of the Spanish Steps, which gives it breathtaking views over the whole centro storico to St. Peter’s and beyond – especially from the rooftop bar/restaurants. But at the same time, it’s just a 10-minute walk from the buzz, sights and shops of Piazza di Spagna. Even Termini train station is within walking distance – though few of the Eden’s clients would ever dream of arriving or leaving on foot.
It was closed for a 17-month renovation, the hotel re-opened in April 2017. The design by French architects Bruno Moinard and Claire Betaille is very tasteful – my favorite part is the elegant La Libreria (Library) with its hidden bar, a few steps up from the lobby. The rooftop dining spaces make for a nice contrast with the lush opulence of the rest – they’re done in a more contemporary way by design studio Jouin Manku.
Various rooms of Villa Medici Presidential Suite: Living room/bar area, One of the bedrooms, the spacious marble bathroom, and balcony view
There’s no such thing as a small room at the new Eden. During the renovations, room numbers were cut from 121 to 98 to give more space, with 33 of those being suites (four signature). Designers Moinard and Betaille made the right call in going for a more subdued palette in guest rooms vis à vis the more opulent communal spaces, but all the detailing is top drawer.
The bathrooms are a tad more glamorous with lashings of gold and sparkly white marble and with fabulous views of Rome, if you’re in one of the suites. (It’s the bathroom of my dreams!)
High windows ensure plenty of natural light, with other bonus points including Bottega Veneta amenities, Bang & Olufsen televisions and sound systems and the option of controlling just about everything in the room from an iPad.
We had lunch at the chic rooftop, Il Giardino restaurant and bar for the unobstructed views as well as the food and drink. The Mediterranean-focused menu is simpler and more varied, taking in pasta, pizza, cicchetti (Venetian-style tapas) and plenty of healthy options (like grilled salmon) and even vegan desserts.
Starting off with drinks, my Negroni Speziato made with Beefeater gin, Turin Drapò vermouth Rosso, Campari, and bergamot was a beautifully balanced cocktail. Bitter but not overwhelmingly so with herbal/floral notes from the gin. My friend wanted a non-alcoholic, refreshing drink and opted for the Virgin Eden made of fresh pink grapefruit, elderflower, and cedar soda. They came along with an assortment of classic bar snacks like briny green olives, potato chips, and almonds.
Our selection of cicchetti were fried zucchini blossom stuffed with mozzarella and anchovies (light and cheesy but didn’t taste much of the anchovy that I was hoping for), fried and stuffed arancini (a tasty orb of delicately crisp yet creamy rice), Roman style, crunchy prawn (beautifully fried and wasn’t heavy or greasy), and fried and stuffed rice ball with tomato dip (lighter than the other arancini in terms of the rice ball itself and the tomato sauce was vibrant).
The grilled octopus with Taggiasca black olives, potato and red onion was delicious. Tender octopus with lovely flavors of gently briny olives and red onion for some flavor.
For pasta — mezzi paccheri from Gragnano with seafood and Roman zucchini was a light dish and the pasta was a perfect al dente. The eggplant ravioli topped with mozzarella and cherry tomatoes was a classic tomato and pasta kind of dish. The vibrant flavors of the tomato sauce had overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the eggplant unfortunately but still a good bowl of ravioli.
For dessert, we stuck with the classic tiramisu (decorated almost looking like Mickey Mouse’s head – adorable) and a vegan carrot cake. The latter was my choice and those of you who’ve been reading this site long enough, I don’t normally care for or search for any vegan dessert but it’s my curiosity. The carrot cake tasted good (though looked like a mini muffin) but the vegan coconut ice cream that topped that cake was incredible. Intense coconut flavor and it’s creamy thanks to the coconut milk used as the milk and cream replacement.
Hotel Eden is a fabulous hotel. It’s upscale and luxurious without any pretension. Even if you can’t stay there, have a few drinks or a meal at one of their rooftop restaurants and just enjoy the fantastic views, as well as filling up your stomach well.
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Via Ludovisi, 49
00187 Roma RM, Italy
Phone: +39 06 478121