Hotel Art is located in the quiet and exclusive Rome backstreet of Via Margutta, yet only a five-minute walk from Rome’s Spanish steps.
What’s special about it?
Nestled among the antiquarian shops, Hotel Art is a work of contemporary architecture.
Imagine converting an old college into a very contemporary residence using an artful combination of light and colour.
Yes, it stands out among the host of traditionally restored historical hotels.
There are four floors housing 46 rooms; each corridor is decorated in a vivid colour: blue, orange, yellow and green.
The wall facings are made of bright, translucent glass and resin; verses from poets like Garcia Lorca and Octavio Paz are artfully scrawled along the corridors.
What about the atmosphere?
It’s busy and futuristic with a blend of both sacred and profane. The old college chapel has been restored to reflect both ancient and modern.
Golden stars twinkle against the original cobalt blue background of the cross vaulted roof. Modern art and sculptures occupy space next to original pillars and floor tiles.
It has a vast lobby with vaulted frescoed ceiling and cathedral-like stained glass windows. In the centre of the lobby, two large white egg domes rise from the ancient floor to house the reception desk.
The reception area, lounges, bars and breakfast room all share the space creating a hectic modern feel. In the centre of the hotel there is an open courtyard that serves drinks and light meals.
How about the rooms at Hotel Art Roma?
Rooms are sophisticated wood and leather, the floors are parquet and the headboards are a hand-stitched patchwork of Florentine leather.
The corridor theme is picked up again in the bathrooms with glass, metal and mosaic tiles that reflect the bright corridor colours.
They’re on the small side but comfortable and luxurious.
What do we do there?
You could spend days wandering through the galleries of Via Margutta. The Art Academy Gallery is a school for budding Dalis and Picassos.
The Galleria d’Arte Marchetti features contemporary Italian painters. Authentic 19th and 20th century antiques, Art Nouveau and Deco styles line the windows.
Tell us more about Hotel Art Roma
The renowned Spanish Steps is a five-minute walk from Hotel Art.
Opposite the fountain, you’ll find Via Condotti, the very exclusive and expensive shopping area and home to Cafe Greco (frequented from the 18th century by famous artists and personalities such as Byron, Goethe, Liszt, Wagner and Hans Christian Andersen).
What’s on the menu?
There is a wide choice of eating places around the area. At 53b Via Margutta, there is a 100-year-old marble decorators shop called the Bottega del Marmoraro.
At 1pm, each day, five luncheon seats become available. It has become such a popular tradition that people are willing to sit on the hoods of parked cars or the steps of the building opposite to be part of this ritual.
Politicians, actresses, kings and queens have dined here by invitation of the host and owner Enrico.
The menu is simple: fish on Tuesdays, salted cod on Fridays, lamb or grilled scamorza cheese on other days.
The bottom line
Hotel Art via Margutta 56, Rome .Tel: +3906 328711 is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World.
What else to do in Europe? For a change of scenery take the Interlaken to Jungfrau train for an experience you’ll always remember.