19th century photograph of Hotel Eden in black and white

Hotel Eden

History of Hotel Eden

Our story begins with the affluent Ludovisi family and entrepreneurial hotelier Francesco Nistelweck. Hear about the important part they play in our rich history.

Take a look back at the highlights from our extraordinay 130-year history.
Illustration of Villa Ludovisi and its grand gardens
Illustration of Villa Ludovisi and its grand gardens

For centuries the area was owned by the affluent Ludovisi family but in 1883 they started selling their parkland and vineyards so a modern new district could be built.

Ancient photograph showing Francesco-Settimi and wife, Hotel Eden, Rome
Francesco Nistelweck and his wife Berta

Our hotel building was constructed around 1887, as a series of elegant residential apartments it was designed by the prominent Italian architect Francesco Settimi, who was involved in much of the influential building in Rome around this time.

When hotelier Francesco Nistelweck set eyes on the apartment building he was immediately inspired to transform it into a luxury hotel, convinced that the popularity of the new railway would guarantee him plenty of guests.
Generations of Nistelweck’s family owned and ran the hotel for almost one hundred years.

Arrival at the Hotel 19th century
Guests arriving in style circa 1890

When Hotel Eden opened on October 10, 1889, we were the first hotel in Rome to feature a lift, electricity, heating and running water. We became an instant success and a firm favourite with guests touring Europe.

Hotel Eden in 1897
Illustration of the view from the hotel in the 19th century

Murray’s Handbook Advertiser describes us as, “The best hotel in Rome, with commanding views of the city and surrounding countryside.” We were also often referred to as the English hotel due to our popularity with English guests taking the grand tour.

Historical illustration of Hotel Eden Rome exterior

In order to keep up with demand, an entire extra floor was added to the hotel in 1902. This was also the year in which the last of the individual, privately owned apartments in our building were bought and the whole building officially became Hotel Eden.

Hotel Eden during the 1920s

We announced the completion of a major renovation of the hotel in 1920. It was during this time that private bathrooms were added to most of our guest rooms and suites and, as the height of luxury for its time, each rooms and suite also had a private telephone installed.

Historic picture of Il Giardino Ristorante open air terrace at night

Our bar was moved to the rooftop terrace in the 1960s, to make the most of the magnificent views over the city. Originally this area was used to dry our laundry – what a waste of such a beautiful vista!

Hotel Eden during the 1960s

It was during the 1970s that we built and opened our restaurant on the top floor, so more guests could enjoy the view. It has been a popular place to dine ever since.

Penthouse suite at Hotel Eden

Our Bellavista Penthouse Suite was created in 2000, on the same floor as our restaurant and bar. Originally it was designed, as shown here, by Roman architect Lorenzo Bellini. Today it’s the elegant style of interior designers Bruno Moinard and Claire Bétaille of Moinard Bétaille that you can enjoy. This suite also features a telescope for a close-up view of the city’s major landmarks.

Old lobby at Hotel Eden

September 2013 Hotel Eden became Dorchester Collection’s first hotel in Rome.


A refurbishment plan was put together and in April 2017, following a complete restoration, we reopened to start a new chapter in our illustrious history.

Hotel Eden's yellow exterior building façade, Rome

In 2019 we celebrated the 130th anniversary with exciting initiatives throughout the hotel.