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A luxe home in the heart of Rome? A place to put your feet up and enjoy the bustle of the city below your window? A central stop to dump your shopping bags before heading a few metres onwards to the spectacular Borghese Gardens? Nisha Jhangiani suggests a stay at 181 Babuino to answer all of the above...
Alberto Moncada, owner of the collection of Rome Luxury Suites, has graciously invited me for an evening round of cocktails. He takes me through the fascinating history of the hotels’ lineage; Via Margutta 54 (a smaller boutique concept from the same chain) was originally conceived as an artist’s studio by his great grandfather in 1855; the building played host to names like Pablo Picasso, Igor Stravinsky and opera composer Giacomo Puccini. Moncada has tried to retain that feel of a creatively inspiring, yet homely space with all the hotels today.
Babuino’s upcoming addition is to be a terrace lounge cum bar where hotel guests will get a chance to mingle with Moncada’s eclectic circle – an intimate way to get to know the real Rome. For now, the lucky few staying in the deluxe suite or the Babuino suite (which spans a bedroom, separate dining area and two bathrooms) can enjoy an outdoorsy experience in their splendid individual balconies.
The bedroom’s Ipod dock is churning out my favourite music; the bath is running in an aromatic stream; a cappuccino by my side completes the set-up. The art galleries just outside of the hotel can wait until tomorrow, as will the imposing Colosseum; for now, it’s me with myself in my home away from home.