Albert Camus, French author and philosopher, once said, “In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion.” From smartphones to social networks, WiFi to Wikileaks, the 21st century is overwhelming for even the most tech-savvy of us. Design Hotels™ Original Marcello Murzilli knows this all too well. From his early success as founder of the legendary Italian fashion brand “El Charro”, to the challenging task of opening one of the world’s first eco-resorts, Murzilli has always had his finger on the pulse of contemporary society. His new vision in the Umbrian hillside, Eremito, introduces a new kind of experiential travel for Design Hotels™, and for the lifestyle hospitality industry as a whole.
Eremito is Italian for “hermit” and Murzilli has taken this ascetic concept and created a wholly unique travel experience. The 14-room property is made for the solo traveler; it is a sanctuary from the digital age, a celebration of a simple, uncluttered life. There is no internet, no double occupancy, no business center, minibar, or television. There is only warm stone and bright stars, wind whispering around the trunks of trees, a river winding its way through verdant hills. Travelers come here to escape, to reconnect with their spiritual self and experience the world free from the tired excesses of society.
The main source of illumination at Eremito comes from candles, and what little electricity the hotel does use is generated by a state-of-the-art array of photovoltaic cells. Silent dinners and daily yoga and meditation allow guests to look inwards for inspiration. The vegetarian food served in the refectory-style dining room is sourced from the hotel’s own garden and nearby organic farms, and the bedsheets are made from responsibly and sustainably grown hemp. A stone grotto encloses an oversized hot tub, while a steam bath is available for added relaxation and detoxifying benefits.
Eremito was built stone by stone with Italian masonry techniques dating back hundreds of years. It uses the foundations of a 13th century country home as the blueprint for its 14 single rooms. Murzilli spent four years planning and constructing this modern-day monastery, with his home at the time consisting of a tent pitched on a grassy hillock. Working tirelessly to make his vision of Eremito a reality, Murzilli drew upon his experience opening zero-footprint eco-resort Hotel Desconocido to ensure that this new property was fully self-sufficient and environmentally conscious.
Located in the Umbria region of Italy, Eremito is miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city. A 90 minute drive from Rome, the property is surrounded by 3,000 hectares of protected natural reserve. Thanks to the abundance of ancient monasteries in the area, Umbria has long been regarded as the spiritual center of Italy. And as travellers get jostled around on the rough dirt road and mobile reception bars blink out of existence one by one, they begin to understand that they are heading towards an experience like no other. Rates start from EUR 212 per night and includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and hot and cold refreshments.