Saturday, 20 January 2018

Our Love Affair with Hotel Locarno

Our love affair with Rome begun 12 years ago when we first visited the eternal city together. We were immediately blown away by all the history, the great food, the architecture, the light, the Romans and the ambiance of the city. We kept returning to Rome over the years and nowadays we even have our own house just one hour south of Rome. On that very first trip we stayed at the legendary Art Deco Hotel Locarno and totally fell in love with this stylish and discrete hotel, it's amazing interiors and friendly staff. 

Welcome to Hotel Locarno!

Hotel Locarno became like our home away from home in Italy and we kept returning, both to Rome and to this iconic little hotel. We have stayed in all the different suites (the Venetian suite is our favorite) and several of the other rooms as well. We have celebrated holidays here, we enjoyed many fun nights in the bar and when our first dog was born in 2006 (in Sweden) we received the happy news while having a delicious breakfast at Hotel Locarno. 

These days we check in when we want to spend the night in Rome and we use the hotel as our chic Roman office for our Communications Agency Red City PR. This last week we worked on several projects from our suite, took meetings in the cool garden of the hotel and this is where we outlined the details for a major and top secret celebrity collaboration for one of our clients. Hotel Locarno is the perfect place for those secret meetings and conversations that can only be whispered.

Breakfast is served!

Hotel Locarno was built 1925 and is a real Art Deco beauty filled with unique art and antiquities. Renovations are always carried out with a great respect for the Art Deco heritage and to preserve the ambiance of the property. There are in total 44 rooms and suites, they are all divine and so stylish! Hotel Locarno is very sophisticated and discrete, the perfect place for a secret love affair, discrete meetings and intimate moments. The hotel is known for its attentive staff and stunning atmosphere. It has played the leading role in movies and major fashion shoots and is loved by celebrities, business people and hotel connoisseurs alike.

Come and enter a world of Art Deco and great service!

Catherine Deneveue, Kylie Minogue, Kate Moss, Arnold Schwartz, Gwyneth Paltrow and Woody Allen and many more have passed through these stylish doors. It's always a fun crowd staying at Hotel Locarno and we love to talk to our fellow residents in the bar or in the lounges. It's like you know each other even if it's the first time you meet since you both share the passion for this place.This hotel is very private and knows how to keep secrets. In fact Hotel Locarno is itself like a very well-kept secret that you need to be let in on. So, with this blog post we share this little secret with you (but don't tell anyone else). We have stayed at many iconic luxury hotels and in unique properties around the globe but Hotel Locarno is truly our favorite. It has such a special ambiance and is really a unique place.

Welcome to check into a well kept secret.

The service is very friendly but discrete and the concierge gets you in to all the right places in Rome. There is even a dog-concierge that knows all the best spots for dogs and can arrange dog walking, dog sitting and play dates for your four-legged family member. Talk about pet friendly hotel! Cicero of course loved to stay here.

There is a dog concierge to give five-star service also to the four-legged guests.

Back in the 1920:s a famous Italian film called "Hotel Locarno" was filmed at the hotel capturing the spirit of the hotel and the life of it's guests. The hotel has since then been the location for many fashion shoots and films as well as meetings and secret encounters. Hotel Locarno is a world of it's own, in fact it's like stepping into a five-star version of Wes Anderson's "Grand Budapest Hotel". With such a great atmosphere and so many interesting people you don't really want to go outside .

The original poster from the film "Hotel Locarno"

This time we stayed in the Matilde Di Canossa suite, named after the excentric previous owner of the building. It is a stunning corner suite filled with Belle Epoque antiquities, art, hand-painted textile wallpaper, Venetian chandeliers and a little terrace. It was the perfect place for our longer stay in Rome, where combined a lot of work and meetings with some fun friends and great food.

The Matilde Di Canossa suite

Sweet dreams!

How about this art deco bathroom!

A small terrace

Cicero loved our suite (and so did we)

Do not disturb, we are not leaving our suite!

The bar of Hotel Locarno is a celebrity itself serving award winning cocktails in the stylish Art Deco bar inside and the lush secret garden outside. The Locarno bar was voted second best bar in Italy (and that is with some pretty tough competition) and both locals and international guests flock here every night. We love to spend the afternoons working in the garden and then staying on for aperitif, music and checking out the crowd as night falls. Our favorite cocktail is the "1925", named in honor of the opening year of the hotel.

The bar is open!

Art Deco style - what else?

The secret garden, aka our office

Hotel Locarno at night.

Apertivo o'clock

With great service, stunning rooms, unique atmosphere and a fun crowd you don't really want to leave the little luxury time-capsule that is Hotel Locarno but eventually we do go out and walk the charming streets around Piazza del Popolo and the park Villa Borghese. There are many stylish bistros, cool bars and fine dining restaurants in the area. 

Best Restaurants in Rome (according to us)
- Ristorante Camponeschi: this iconic restaurant has been around for over 30 years and we have been coming here for 12 years. The owner, Alessandro Camponeschi, welcomes everyone to this beautiful restaurant with a sophisticated setting and a modern take on the Roman kitchen. Friendly fine dining with amazing food, beautiful presentations and great wines (many from the vineyard of the owner).
- Jardin de Russie: this is the laid-back and at the same time posh restaurant of Hotel du Russie. Beautiful garden seating in spring/summer and a very international vibe. Modern kitchen and very nice food. Don't miss the bar with an amazing caviar menu!
- Hosteria dei Numeri Primi: this is a vibrant and cool restaurant in the trendy Trastevere area. Brilliant wine bar, casual dining and lots of fun! Favored by the trendy Romans.
- Ad Hoc: a very trendy, busy and fun bistro with high ambitions in the kitchen and a great atmosphere.
- Casina Valadier: this fine dining restaurant is located in a stunning villa with great views overlooking Rome. Very sophisticated. Offers a business lunch weekdays that is great value for money.

Foodie Heaven!

But now, after a month working (and playing) in Italy, it is time to head back home to the Red City and execute some of the exciting projects we have been working on in Rome. But we will soon come back to Bella Italia, our beloved house in Arpino and our favorite hotel in Rome. Now it's check-out time.

Thanks for another amazing stay dear Hotel Locarno - we will soon be back!

Arrivederchi Italia, Bonjour Morocco!