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Independent Minds: Giorgia Tozzi, Hotel Vilòn

Upholding the impeccably high standards of its former royal residents, Giorgia Tozzi oversees one of Rome’s most storied properties with the same passion she holds for her beloved Eternal City, where she was born and raised. This Roman local’s advice to seeing the city? Simply start walking…

Just a few cobblestone streets away from some of the capital’s most famous sights, including the Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps, Hotel Vilòn puts the very best of a Roman holiday at your feet. An oasis of calm overlooking the Palazzo Borghese private garden, this historic mansion brings the outdoors in with tranquil terraces, and green, naturally lit spaces made for intimate al fresco experiences.

What does being ‘Independently Minded’ mean to you?

In addition to the greater freedom which comes with being ‘independently minded,’ it gives us the opportunity to express our creativity and personality above all. It allows us to quickly change direction without having to wait for authorisations imposed from above, which usually take more time to implement. A good example is the delivery of a special, unique, service. Each staff member is in fact trained according to the highest standards, having the freedom of interpreting them, which results in a service that not only is in line with the expectations of our guests, but is authentic, more genuine and unconventional.

What was the inspiration behind the hotel, and where do you continue to find sources of inspiration?

Hotel Vilòn was initially designed as a 4-star hotel by the previous management, and was soon discovered by our company which immediately recognised its potential. We took over the project, invested more and made it a 5-star deluxe property in 2018. The historic building, which dates to the 16th-century, was part of the property which originally belonged to the Borghese family, one of the most noble and powerful families in Rome since 1500. The family owns this prestigious building as well as the bigger one next to it (Palazzo Borghese) where they still live. In 1841 the building became an orphanage for girls at the request of Princess Adelaide Borghese de la Roche Facault, and subsequently a school for nuns up to our days.

To me, Hotel Vilòn is a dream come true – the most incredible adventure and challenge of my life. A “treasure” found in one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the world which happens to be my beloved Roma! A real gem that is difficult to describe on paper (or in photographs). In fact, only when visiting and experiencing the hotel in person, can you truly absorb and understand the real essence and the energy that belongs to it. This is the most important thing here.

How do you think your hotel stands apart from other boutique hotels?

Together with the impeccable service, spectacular décor and elegant atmosphere, is the unique energy that belongs to Hotel Vilòn that really makes the difference and introduces all our guests to experience a new meaning of hospitality – allowing them to discover a new, unimaginable magical universe: the Vilòn Universe!

If you only had 24 hours to get a taste for your hotel experience, what would you recommend a guest must do?

Our 18 rooms and suites are all incredibly beautiful and charming. Each of them has something special that makes it “my favourite one” for each different customer. Personally, I would suggest a stay in one of the most fascinating suites which feature a private terrace: the Vilòn Charming Terrace or the Vilòn Garden Terrace Suites. Here, guests can enjoy the exclusive view over Palazzo Borghese’s private garden, and savour breakfast, lunch or dinner sitting al fresco.

The talented Executive Chef Gabriele Muro at our Adelaide Ristorante & Salotto offers the very best Mediterranean food that guarantees an authentic Italian experience. “Scrambled cacio e pepe eggs” or the “Carbonara Omelette” are my favourite for breakfast, and if you come for lunch or dinner at Adelaide, you cannot miss the famous “Spaghetti Ajo, Ojio e Baccalà”, the artichokes and the “Pasta all’Amatriciana”, nominated among others as the best Amatriciana in town!

The hotel is in the city centre, and best positioned to explore the neighbourhood and the magnificent surprises you can find: the Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Spanish Steps, which are always amazing but especially at sunrise. I always suggest to all my guests, “Step out from our magical doors and just start to walk…No maps, no guide, just walk, get lost between the little alleys and cobblestone streets of our Eternal City…the worst thing that can happen is that you find another amazing gelateria or pizzeria!”

How would you describe your own perfect luxury experience?

The absolute best luxury experience to me is not having to think about anything because in reality ‘somebody’ already thought about it, anticipating your every need. To me, luxury is a feeling that can be found in many situations which are not always related to a 5-star deluxe. But when it comes to our business and work, the comfort you can find in a punctual service and a genuine smile is priceless! Needless to say, that comfortable beds and bathrooms, together with a spotless environment, perfumed soft textiles, are the starting point for a really unforgettable experience.

I feel bad when I arrive at a hotel and there is no energy there, or no particular care about the guests and their needs. “Service” is an ancient and noble art, which is not so easy to find nowadays performed as it should be.