“When I like something, I want to experience it from both sides.” So says Gabriele Salini, the man who, along with his friend Emanuele Garosci, brought G-Rough to life. Tragically, Garosci was killed in a racing accident, but his spirit lives on in Salini who demonstrates the same curiosity and bon vivant spirit. “For example,” Salini continues, “I love great photography. But for me it’s not enough just to see it galleries, I want to try to create interesting pictures as well.”
The lifelong resident of Rome—the city he loves most—also adores the sultry sounds of the jazz trumpet. But rather than just listen to, say, Chet Baker, he has recently picked up the instrument and started taking lessons. Little surprise then that his enduring passion for design, specifically the renowned work done by Italian designers in the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s, extends beyond mere appreciation. A number of such works from his own private collection are now part of the design vernacular at G-Rough.
“The most exciting designers at that time were Italian and Roman,” Salini explains of his design choice for a hotel that formerly served as his home and the home of his friends, “so it was easy for me to start with the things I had already collected. It was enough to decorate the hotel’s 10 suites!”
At the heart of Salini’s passions is his love for Rome. “But there are two big issues about Romans,” he cautions. “They like to complain! But on the other side, they are very proud of their city. I am more on that second side.”
This pride extends seamlessly into the experience guests have at G-Rough. “I want them to feel connected to the city, as a Roman would,” he explains. “Emanuele used to say that passion is a critical driver for any project. Continuing that idea in my work is very important to me.
Thus, original experiences abound at G-Rough. “I created a booklet in which I recommend all the great places that mean something to me in the city, such as restaurants that are authentic to the true Roman experience,” he explains. “And we also have a very strong connection with a company called Italy’s Finest that gives our guests access to the grandest parties on the city’s most beautiful rooftops or enables them to visit a private noble palace to see hidden mosaics on the floor, as well as other types of insider experiences.”
Such involved and caring hospitality comes naturally to Salini who is the product of a large Italian family. “My mother used to say to us children, ‘This house is not a hotel!’ What she meant was that we were at home and should appreciate what the concept of a ‘home’ means. I decided that I wanted our guests to feel like they are guests in my home. It’s a great claim for our hotel. We give guests the feeling of being part of a palace home, yet with services offered in a five-star hotel.”
While Salini takes great pride in his accomplishments, he is not one to wallow in the past. The authenticity and cultural sincerity found at the core of G-Rough can now be found at the properties that make up his growing GS Collection of hotels. And each one puts art, local experiences, and Salini's philosophy of combining the heritage with the contemporary at the fore, producing a new kind of hotel experience in Old World Italy.