There are two things we can ask of a good hotel: take us very far or make us feel at home. George Bernard Show was definitely for the first option, when he wrote his famous notice for those who think of hotel advertisements: “I hate feeling at home when I'm away”.
Who knows what the English writer would have said about open-house hotels, an increasingly recurring formula in international hospitality, interpreted by structures conceived as a view of the city that hosts them, an entrance conceived to give back to the traveler, also through architecture and design, the breath of a local community, with an outline of experiences and offers, from food and wine to cultural events (which will return after the pandemic emergency) to the works and gadgets (illustrations, fashion, books) available for guests or for sale.
The Hoxton, Rome, the tenth hotel in the world of a chain founded in 2006 in London, is the answer to this concept, transforming an East End car park into a hotel, precisely to interpret “open” hospitality and changing the traditional, formal approach , to the hotel industry.
In fact, the Hoxton della Capitale, in the Parioli district, can be accessed without filters through the doors on the street as in a bar or restaurant, welcomed in the large open and light-flooded lobby, from a terrace and from Cugino, the café and bar for the aperitif which, in line with the desire to immerse the traveler in local flavors, serves the delicacies of the micro-bakery Marigold.
The interior design is consistent with the vocation of the hotel: vintage elegance declined in a contemporary key in the spaces scattered with art, from the 192 rooms spread over seven floors of a building from the '70s, not far from Villa Borghese and the Macro museums and Maxxi, at L'Apartamento, the space intended for private meetings and designed as the living room and kitchen of the house.
Ennismore Design Studio radically transformed the 1970s building by collaborating with Fettle Design for the design of the public spaces and drawing heavily on the original details of the building and the architecture of Rome. The dusty pink facade has remained largely intact, while inside the building has been completely revolutionized, transformed into a 1970s modernist space with a ground floor that includes a large open lobby bathed in natural light, a large counter bar and café with curved lines and a new shaded outdoor terrace.
Local marble and Venetian terrazzo are present throughout the space on the tabletops and bar fronts, along with the design elements that are the stylistic signature of The Hoxton, such as the wall coverings and wooden floors. In the lobby, elaborate textures and bright colors characterize the trendy sofas, while vintage Italian lighting makes the interiors even more welcoming.
The existing building was loaded with typical Italian elements of the 70s that have been taken up and provided a good starting point for the study of antique and vintage Italian design furniture throughout Italy and Europe. The most significant details of the local architecture and the neighborhood have been reinterpreted and re-proposed in a new way, instilling a sense of familiarity that unites all The Hoxton hotels and makes them so authentic to the context that hosts them.
In the rooms, rustic parquet floors, lacquered beams and local stones, while the bathrooms wink at the Italian design of the 1950s, the headboards are designed and, in some of the larger ones, splendid chandeliers have been recovered from the original building in Murano glass.
L’Appartamento (The apartment), in the basement, is instead the space dedicated to meetings and events, intimate dinners, events and private parties, with five rooms of various sizes. Arranged around a shared kitchen, each room features wooden floors, bright carpets and hints / touches of Italian vintage.
The design is at the service of a refined but informal hospitality, created to mix guests with local customers. For this reason, the Cugino restaurant bar is open all day and, from the afternoon, it becomes a bar for an aperitif. Always with the idea of transmitting the stories of the city to guests, the illustrator Michele Marconi was entrusted with the artwork on the key cards and in all the collateral material in the rooms.
In the lobby, an exhibition space changes in rotation several times a year, hosting local and emerging talents in fashion, illustration and design. As in a room with a view of Roman creativity.