Eremo is like a nest, set in an ancient place of religious isolation. The Ligurian sea in front, a pine forest behind and a garden all around.
How would you describe Villa Rosmarino in a nutshell?
Villa Rosmarino is an old Genovese villa which was built in 1907 turned into a small boutique hotel. It is located on the mount of Portofino in Camogli, Italy.
It was a very big renovation project because the house had been abandoned for 30 years. We kept the original elements of the building, like the traditional decoration of the façade, but we renovated the interior in a more contemporary style. We even renovated the original gazebo.
What was your inspiration to buy a derelict villa, renovate it and rent it out to holiday guests as a small hotel?
First of all, it’s important to say that we bought the villa for ourselves because we wanted to leave where we were. We paid particular attention to the details and materials during the renovation because it was supposed to be our home.
We based the design on places we’ve always liked to go for vacation, where you can feel at home but receive the hospitality of being a guest.
What was your area of work before you started?
I used to work in advertising in Milan for more than 20 years. In 2007, I left my job because the house was ready. I thought I could live a less stressful life near the sea in a beautiful house in a beautiful environment.
Now, it’s a different type of stress because we take care of all the guests. We are lucky because most of the guests who visit are people looking for a place to relax. They are not stressed out people who complain, and if they are stressed, they leave feeling very rested.
Your philosophy is that you don’t simply ‘stay’ at Villa Rosmarino, but you ‘live’ in it.
Yes, that’s right. In the villa there are a couple of living rooms where people can relax and listen to music or read a book. We have a very big library with books of every kind — fashion, art, design, etc. It’s a place to spend some time living with us.
In fact, most of the time I don’t accept reservations for people wanting to stay just one night. It’s not the place to stay for one night. You just can’t experience the place that way.
What has been the biggest reward to you about running a small boutique hotel?
The greatest reward is really to make people happy. I’m really satisfied when people leave here thankful for the hospitality and for having had such a good time.
And we have a great percentage of loyal guests who return every year. That is very rewarding.