photographer: ©Janos Grapow
Best described as the most stylish of Rome’s contemporary hotels, the new Aleph at Via San Basilio is the first of three concurrent European projects for the Boscolo Group of luxury hotels by noted hospitality designer Adam D. Tihany. At Aleph, the epitome of a boutique hotel in scale and location, Tihany not only designs the 96 guest rooms, but also revolutionizes the Italian hotel experience by bringing the three distinct layers of public spaces into the spotlight, making it the first of its genre and undisputedly, the meeting place in Rome.
Tihany’s ever-present wit is predominant throughout the hotel with his provocative interpretation of heaven and hell. Two full-scale samurai figures, representing the eternal dichotomy of “good versus evil,” stand guard at the hotel’s entrance and set the whimsical tone. “Hell” is represented by a saturated red interior on the ground floor in the Lobby Bar & Wine Lounge. The bar structure is all in off-white corian with electronic message strips with quotations about hell and heaven, presenting the failure of the favorite angel (Evil) - as a matter of fact, the bar is called The Angel.
The casual elegant “Sin” restaurant continues the metaphor with its red leather and velvet chairs, tinted red glass accents throughout, red glass and tableware, and even by serving an all-red menu. Tihany’s Library Lounge, with custom mahogany wood paneling, red leather upholstered furniture, and bookshelves lined with holographic “books,” is sexy and sophisticated.
An exotic, open-air Moroccan-inspired “Terrazza Paradiso” Bar/Lounge, with luxurious upholstery in earthy tones, is the perfect spot to bask in the Roman sun during the day or sip a Negroni at sunset.
In an unexpected design twist, “heaven,” is downstairs on the cellar level. The pristine white Aleph Spa is complete with training facilities, steam room, sauna, and a pool inspired by Roman baths. Slip into a robe and melt into the specially designed relaxation lounge for a refreshing drink. The cave area is the nicest relaxing room in town (as quoted in weekly news magazine Espresso at the time), in a white room all Bram’s photos are displayed (so it works as a gallery as well).
The courtyard has the backgammon board with two big dices hanging on the air – a direct reference to famous quotation Alea iacta est (also alea jacta est, Latin: "The die has been cast") is a Latin phrase attributed by Suetonius to Julius Caesar (49 BC) and is still used.
Inspired by Italian designs of the 1930s and 1940s, each guest room features a significant black and white photomural created expressly for the hotel by New York street photographer, Bram Tihany. Depicting special moments in “a day in the life of Rome,” these poignant images portray a sense of place and infuse the rooms with energy. The combination of contemporary and period furnishings is true to living in modern Rome. The specially designed VIP suite, finished in exotic zebrawood, features a 76-square-meter private terrace included Jacuzzi.
Winner of the 2003 European Hotel Design Award for “best interiors,” the chic and stylistically eclectic Aleph is setting a new benchmark for hotels in Rome. Says Tihany, “The Aleph is not just a place to stay, it is a state of mind.”
2003 Oct. 30th - European Hotel Design Award, Best New Hotel - Interior Design
2004 Oct. 18th - Prix Villegiature, Paris, Best Hotel Interior Design in Europe
Design team: Adam D. Tihany (Principal)
Rafael Alvarez (Senior Project Designer)
Peter Lu (Project Designer)
Andréa Riecken (Senior Designer in Rome)
Project partners: Bram Tihany, New York based photographer responsible for all the photo murals in the rooms & corridors.
Nir Adar: conceptual food art in the Enoteca (Wine tasting) and Restaurant Sin.