Archives for posts with tag: Hotel Eden

How embarrassing to notice that I’ve taken almost a month between posts.  Things really do move in a geological time frame here at the Stone House.  I didn’t go away for the holidays, and the only event of note was the Boxing Day open house I put on for friends and neighbors.  I ordered in two sides of American smoked salmon from Mackenzie, which were fantastic – I think I liked the gravlax style even better than the plain – roasted a couple of grass-fed beef tenderloins for sandwiches, put out various cookies and cheeses and so forth. I don’t eat beef, but my little dog certainly does, and I’m hoping the fact they were grass-fed means that the cattle had a nicer, more natural life before they became, um, tenderloins.  Literally my closest neighbors here are cows.

This berry trifle recipe was a big success – some of the comments say to make it with a pint of whipping cream rather than a quart, but I say, go for the full quart.  I used frozen berries, and they worked beautifully:  Berry Trifle by Tyler Florence.

This punch was very popular too:  Pomegranate-Champagne Punch by Martha Stewart.  I made it with Freixenet – I think you would have to be crazy to put real Champagne into a punch, though of course Martha’s minions claim they did.  It was lovely and zingy and indeterminately fruity, and reminded me of the church basement punch of my childhood – but in a very good way.

Anyway, back to the bathroom!

The decision to use the Philippe Starck bathtub initially led me to plan for the whole bathroom to be very Euro and modern.  I was thinking of using the IKEA Höllviken sink, which I still think is great:

ikea hollviken sink

image from ikea.com

This would of course go with a modern, single-hole, lever-handle faucet.  I especially like the Kohler Purist with the attractive little curve to the handle (there is also the same faucet with a straight handle):

Kohler Purist faucet, K-14402-4

Kohler Purist faucet, K-14402-4, image from kohler.com

The sink would require a new vanity, which would probably be dark wood…  I was having thoughts about glass tiles, until I found out how much they cost…  Something was holding me back, and I think it was that, although this bathroom would have been neat, fashionable, and a huge improvement, it would have been a little banal. It also would have been a departure from the essentially traditional style of the house – such a departure, I think, can be OK in a bathroom, but is something to think about carefully.

So there was something of an impasse before I found “the” sink.  I am an eBay queen; I live in a rural situation and do a lot of shopping on line.  I can’t remember what search turned this thing up, because it wasn’t what I’d been looking for, but as soon as I saw its photo, I knew that I had to have it, and that all plans would be rearranged to accommodate it.

I present to you the Kohler Artist Editions Imperial Blue™ design on Vintage® self-rimming lavatory, which, as Kohler puts it so well, “offers a striking focal point portraying the traditional strength and wisdom found in the Ming Dynasty porcelain vase that served as its inspiration.”  How could I resist a Ming dragon in my bathroom sink?

Kohler Ming Dragon sink

photo source: us.kohler.com

The list price for this sink is just shocking:  strictly for the One Percent.  The price I paid on eBay was much better, though still a jump up from IKEA.  But what price total, killing glamor?

The dragon sink seemed to call for a more traditional style of faucet.  Of course, I wanted something similarly luxe and unusual that could stand up to the fabulosity of the sink.  After much research, I decided I liked this faucet sold by Rohl, in the polished nickel finish:

Rohl Cisal faucet # AC51

photo source: rohlhome.com

 

It is from their Cisal line, which is manufactured in Italy.  The deciding moment in favor of this faucet came when I closely inspected this photo on Flickr, taken by a fellow Hotel Eden bathroom enthusiast… what style of faucet do you see there, next to the sink?  (Note also the wall phone installed next to the toilet, no doubt for answering those super-urgent film production questions.)

Through diligent Googling, I was able to find the faucet at around half price.

So now I have a bathroom sink whose retail price is a measurable percentage of what I paid for my entire house.  Incidentally, happy Year of the Dragon!

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This same trip to Italy, in the late spring of 2001, involved further exploration of the Amalfi coast and a visit to Pompeii – impossible to skip but strangely unaffecting, perhaps because of the crowds and also because of my own confusion, in the vast network of ruins, over what was original and what had been reconstructed or heavily restored.  The Greco-Roman ruins at Paestum, which were virtually deserted and had beautiful roses growing among them, had been more enjoyable, in part, I suppose, because I had fewer expectations attached to them.

At this point, our group had gone its separate ways, and my traveling companion and I found ourselves with a last night in Rome before our flight home.  We didn’t have a hotel reservation, and I lobbied hard to stay, just for this one night, at the Hotel Eden, which my trusty Fodor’s had informed me was “superlative”, had a rooftop bar with a famous view over the city, and – the unanswerable selling point – had been the favorite hotel of Federico Fellini.  We walked in off the street and were given what must have been one of their prettiest rooms.  I’ve been looking at the hotel’s website just now, and none of the rooms photographed on the site have that wonderful green wallpaper.  I hope this doesn’t mean they’ve gotten rid of it!

The sheets were linen… this may have been a first for me, but it was not a last, because I got a couple sets as soon as I could after getting home, and have never looked back.  Linen sheets are not cheap, but they last forever (so far), and I’m surprised they’re not much more popular.  I can still feel the warm air as I sit on the window seat and eat my room service breakfast… heaven.  My traveling companion was complaining about the expense, but once in a while, something really is worth it.

Ordinarily, I’m not given to photographing bathrooms, but this one was so spectacularly be-marbled that I had to document it:

It’s been my idea of the ideal bathroom ever since.  Such an elegant combination of luxury and simplicity.  I see, on Flickr and elsewhere, that others have felt compelled to photograph their Eden bathrooms as well!  But I think ours was the very, very best.

I don’t know what the Eden’s ownership situation was ten years ago, but I see that today it is owned by the Starwood chain, and I hope it doesn’t mean that things there are somehow a little less fabulous, because I would dearly love to stay again one day.  Or is it better, when something is perfect, not to try to go back?