In Rome‘s historic district of Regola—a neighborhood where one can still breathe a deeply authentic Roman atmosphere—contemporary art galleries and traditional restaurants exist side by side. The 16th century Galleria Spada sits next to the nightlife of Campo de’ Fiori, and the once walled Jewish ghetto rises next to new restaurants. It’s here that the 42-room Chapter Roma hotel recently opened its doors. Inside a building that dates back to 1880, the hotel is heavy on nostalgia, but is decidedly modern, with artistic vibes throughout—like the area itself.
Owner and general manager, Marco Cilia is a young entrepreneur with a long experience in international hotels—including NYC’s Hotel Americano and Chicago’s The Robey. To give shape to his own project, Cilia invited South African-based designer Tristan Du Plessis of StudioA, who mixed his signature industrial-but-sophisticated style with several local and traditional elements.
Located on Via di S. Maria de’Calderari, meaning “street of Saint Mary of the blacksmiths,” the hotel pays homage to the ancient craft through its custom-made furniture by Roman blacksmiths.
The façade of the building is, for the most part, original—without any major restyling—in order to respect the aesthetic of its surroundings. And inside, there are exposed bricks all over, from the lobby to the rooms. Alongside these historical elements, bold accents are frequent and playful. From use of bright colors to intriguing materials, textures and art, the space is simultaneously busy and sophisticated.
Italian artist Alice Pasquini, whose work appears on a wall downstairs, wanted to make something that could be visible from the outside too—to be enjoyed by guests and passers-by alike. She tells us, “A canvas is white and scary, but a wall represents a completely different dimension. I have to play with architecture, let it speak to me.”
The staircase is both dark and calm: gray walls decorated by Warios, a Roman street artist and calligrapher. The handrail has been preserved and—alongside the facade and the exposed bricks—is one of the original elements in the building. This space feels quite distant from the colors, cocktails and music of the lobby.
Art is everywhere, except the guest rooms. According Cilia, guests should relax in a space as clean and spacious as possible. But the rooms don’t feel sparse. On the contrary, Marshall bluetooth speakers, vintage phones, and carefully selected design objects add plenty of character. The customized switches for the dimmable lights resemble tone and volume knobs on guitars, speaking the same language as the brass and industrial elements in the bathrooms. The gray and metallic details are balanced by the velvet upholstered headboards, soft linens (by Gamba) and, in some rooms, carpets.
Plush bathrobes are handmade in Turkey from peshtemal towels, while the excellent toiletries from L:a Bruket are organic and come from Sweden. Wellness shots are handmade by ME PER ME, a Roman brand specialized in healthy and natural drinks.
Room service is available 24/7 and guests can request a selection of liquors and instruments to mix their own cocktails. Or they can go to the lobby bar and choose their drinks, maybe starting from the selection of 14 different kinds of gin. A restaurant will open later this year, but a selection of carefully cooked food is already served.
Chapter Roma feels genuinely Italian and concurrently international, old but new, luxurious yet accessible. Rates start from €219 per room, per night.