The Borghese family’s opulent Rome residence is arguably the finest Roman Baroque building still standing – a symbol of the dynasty’s power, wealth and influence in the historic Campo Marzio district. Now, guests can experience its lavish surroundings by staying at its private apartment, Palazzo Vilón.
The majority of Palazzo Borghese is still owned by the fabled family, whose ancestors constructed most of the harpsichord-shaped building in 1613. However, smaller portions have been sold over the years, including its eastern wing annexe, which opened in 2019 as Hotel Vilòn by the Shedir Collection.
The newly christened Palazzo Vilón is a sprawling 1,000 sq m apartment inside Palazzo Borghese’s 17th-century wing, owned by film producer Pietro Valsecchi and operated by Shedir. The three-bedroom residence is an astounding piece of architecture whose roots trace back to a rivalry in 1671 between the Borgheses and the Colonnas, which saw the apartment decadently decorated over seven years by a whose-who of leading artists and artisans to show off the Borgheses’ superior wealth and tastes. Its exquisite highlight is the Galleria degli Specchi or Mirror Room – decorated with stucco-framed mirrors, inlaid-marble floors and a dazzling ceiling.
The interiors have been sensitively decorated by Milanese architect Giampiero Panepinto, leaving the building or ‘box’ unaltered but curating its contents with finesse. Vintage, midcentury modern and contemporary furniture and objects rub shoulders in a playful dialogue with the 17th-century surroundings while windows peer onto the private garden of Palazzo Borghese.
Of course, a stay in such a space comes at a premium: €15,000 a night, to be specific. The Hotel Vilón staff services the apartment, including a butler, who can arrange private visits to the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel before they open to the public, and guests have access to all of the hotel’s amenities, including its spa, bar and restaurants. Perhaps most intriguing, dinner is served in the Galleria, which seats up to 40 people with views of the spectacular ceiling overhead.
And while centrally located (a short walk from the Spanish Steps and Eternal City), the property enjoys ample privacy afforded by Palazzo Borghese’s grounds.