La Dolce Vita: The art of living without haste

La Dolce Vita: The art of living without haste

Life is sweet like a meringue milk ice cream on a hot summer afternoon, like a kiss in the rain, like Friday at home watching ‘La Dolce Vita’: the classic film directed by Federico Fellini in 1960, with the unforgettable pairing of Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni, whose his character, Rubini muses: “We must get beyond passions, like a great work of art. In such miraculous harmony.”

And if life is a masterpiece, beauty is the only constant in Dolce Far Niente (the sweetness of doing nothing), a philosophy that evokes hedonism in its purest form. In Fellini’s masterpiece, Marcello, a frustrated writer, seizes Rome’s nightlife to the fullest, escaping the monotony of his job as a tabloid journalist. As Italy entered into the 60s, it experienced an economic miracle due to the Marshall Plan, leaving behind the austere post-war years. Cinema’s greatest divas began to strut their stuff in the Italian capital, causing a sensation rarely seen outside Hollywood. Rome combined fluffiness and 60s modernity, which people loved, but at the same time there was a great deal of scepticism in the face of a society still under the yoke of a Catholic church that condemned such a carefree lifestyle.

Rome, and the Cinecittà film studios, are the great icons of an era that gave us timeless classics such as Ben Hur and Cleopatra, the film where Richard Burton and Liz Taylor met and began their torrid romance.

La Belle Epoque of 60s Rome came to an end, leaving an eternal philosophy: live life as if it were a cigarette dangling out of Monica Bellucci’s mouth. This is La Dolce Vita. It’s a photo by Slim Aarons, where the tanned and beautiful sport pastel colours and shelter under fringed parasols by an Italian lake. It’s a plate of paccheri under Da Paolino’s lemon trees in Capri. It’s waking up at 11 a.m. and writing inspired prose about summer love on an Olivetti typewriter. It’s cruising through the streets of Amalfi in a 1960 Alfa Romeo Spider, passing through Positano and then going for a swim in the Fiordo Di Furore. It’s a scene taken from Paolo Sorrentino’s memories. It’s Sophia Loren’s laugh when asked what she most likes about life, and she replies: “Mangiare.”

Life is shaped like a blue and white chessboard by the sea, like the Parco dei Principi hotel in Sorrento, created in 1962 by Gio Ponti, the master who placed Italy in the zeitgeist of modern life. The Sorrento hotel, and Fausto Melotti’s pottery, superbly show that true luxury is simplicity.

It’s the exquisite simplicity with which Dickie Greenleaf (a gorgeous, bronzed Jude Law) enjoys life in the film: The Talented Mr Ripley, the second film adaptation of Patricia Highsmith’s novel (Plein Soleil, Purple Noon in English, is the first, with Alain Delon playing the part of Tom Ripley) where Matt Damon becomes obsessed with a rebellious playboy that lives life to the full on the Italian coast. Dickie embodies everything that encompasses this lifestyle: sun-kissed hair, cinnamon skin, smoking on a stunning sailboat, the haughty attitude, linen shirts, that seductive gaze, backless espadrilles, insolence, bon vivant, joie de vivre. The scene where he sings ‘Tu vuo fa l’americano’ by Renato Carosone is the icing on the cake for a character who is the quintessence of ‘Dolce Far Niente.’ Someone who sees life as their plaything.

The small Italian village where Dickie idles away his time is none other than the island of Ischia, but Highsmith renamed it Mongibello for her novel. Even though it doesn’t exist in real life, we at Concept wanted to bring its essence across to our side of the Mediterranean and place it in our most evocative hotel. Mongibello will materialise on the island as an Ibicenca Dolce Vita, where you can discover the sweetness of doing nothing for yourself.

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Pinball: the new decoration phenomenon

Pinball: the new decoration phenomenon

In 2015, Romeo’s Hotel (inspired by the love motels on Route 66) and Paradiso Hotel (a tribute to pink contemporary art) already housed their own pinball machine, the first with a bingo theme and the second dedicated to Formula 1 with a dash of sexy seventies. What is it about these trendy items that have seduced everyone and given them eye-watering price tags?

Pinball is known in other countries as petaco, million-dollar machine, pinbola or flipper, among other names, and they are also a feature of Bar Luce, located in the Fondazione Prada complex in Milan. This space, designed by famed film director Wes Anderson, recreates a traditional Milanese Café of the fifties and sixties, incorporating elements of Prada’s classical-meets-new-age aesthetic. Anderson has filled the café with Formica furnishings in Prada’s trademark soft pastels, terrazzo flooring, trompe l’oeil wallpaper and pinballs dedicated to Steve Zizou. There must be something about them if Concept, Prada, and Anderson are on the same wavelength. Concept is known for incorporating vintage pieces and furniture in their seven establishments, and some of the hotel landings have a pinball or jukebox from the sixties or seventies. It is another way of differentiating themselves from the rest, which they aim to do when building their brands. They also have a 1966 Casanova pinball machine and a 1968 Wurlitzer Americana II in their offices.

Romeo’s pinball is atypical due to its size, as it is shorter than the ones manufactured at the time. Paradiso’s is electromechanical, characterised by the true sound of the ball strike and its analogue scoreboard. Another expert on these mechanical marvels is the collector – and friend of Diego’s – Sören Manzoni. “Let me tell you something,” he says from his garage in Barcelona: “Between the fifties and the sixties, the pinball industry grossed more than the film industry worldwide. And Spain was the second-largest producer after the United States!”

Sören’s place is no ordinary garage. Manzoni’s Garage, which is the name of his particular Willy Wonka factory for adults, is a museum that houses pieces from the seventies, eighties and nineties. This retro fever is represented by approximately: 20 limited edition pinball machines, 150 radio cassette players and boom boxes, 100 lunchboxes, 1,000 skateboards, legendary motorbikes and everything else a nostalgic person could wish for.

In 2018, Stern, the biggest pinball manufacturer in the world, and the only one to maintain production when arcades began to lose ground to home consoles, created the most valuable machine in history, in collaboration with Supreme, the New York skate boutique that has captivated big names such as Louis Vuitton. Only 100 units were made, they sold out in 10 minutes and today are worth more than 400,000 euros. Stern’s pinball collaboration with Stranger Things has been as popular, with a limited edition of 500 units valued at 9,000 euros each.   “It’s funny, back in the 2000s, if you removed a pinball machine from an old bar, they were grateful as they didn’t know what to do with it,” says Manzoni.

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Top 5 Photoshoots Concept 2023

Top 5 Photoshoots Concept 2023


If we’re talking about colour, good vibes, girl power and a sexy touch, we have to talk about Bershka. The youngest member of the Inditex giant is also a buzzing brand that’s plugged into pop culture. This description fits perfectly with our most Instagrammable hotel, Paradiso Art Hotel, so it was only a matter of time before this collaboration came to fruition. This union, made for enjoyment, was created in summer 2022 by the Catalan art director Paula Casanovas and included an entourage of influencers and artists who defend the brand’s values to the hilt: Lele Giaccari (@lelegiaccari) Diego Lazzari (@diegolazzari_) Beatrice Vendramin (@beatricevendramin) Carla Molina (@carlamolina31) Niki Wu Jie (@niki_wujie) or Carla Diaz (@imcarladiaz). The singer Aleesha got the event going with an acoustic performance that put the finishing touch to a day that was destined to happen.


British brand Phix Clothing is a friend of ours and had to be mentioned in our Top 5 Coolest Photoshoots of the Season. This brand, who sponsors our live concert series, Dorado Live Shows, with their classic rock-inspired shirts, landed on the island to shoot their new campaign with us, visiting all of Concept’s hotels. In their last collaboration, they launched a collection with British rocker Miles Kane (one of their most famous ambassadors) and they are making a name for themselves among hip cats who love 70s aesthetics and rockers from across Europe, with patterns not suitable for the timid! At Concept, we hope they’ll soon do a women’s collection… Long live Phix Clothing!


This slow fashion and Made in Spain brand was founded in 2018 by Eduardo Duarte (@eduardoduartefmijares) and Laura Martínez (@itslauraboyd) is inspired by the 90s minimalism and has already been featured in editorials, video clips and fashion films with the national and not so national It girls of the moment: Jessica Goicoechea, Aitana and Valentina Zanere. These childhood friends, who hail from Asturias, named their brand after the English translation of northern Spain’s most common flower: the hydrangea. What began as an excuse to have something in common has materialised into a project that is steadily progressing. Grand Paradiso was the chosen setting for these fashion lovers to improvise a photoshoot with photographer Maty Chevrieve (@matychevrieve), in which the model and influencer Carla Guetta (@carlaguetta), and actress Soraya Yasmin (@cuentosrosaless) took part.


Catalan Anna Villaroya is in charge of Grain Clothing, and her team are back for the second year to design a bikini and swimming costume for each Concept hotel, both for men and women. They have the ability to hit the nail on the head with each outfit, representing the spirit of each of the hotels and expressed in quick-drying stretch fabric. Leopard print, red hearts, tropical palm trees, arty geometries and colours blend perfectly into the Concept universe, summing up this collection to perfection.

This collaboration is already a classic, and Grain Clothing’s swimming costumes are the uniform that every holidaymaker needs.


Under the title ‘Cuando Zarpa el amor’ (When Love Hits), Vogue Spain made a very unconventional wedding editorial and chose Romeo’s Motel & Diner as the setting. Photographer Angie Couple was in charge of the photoshoot with her lens, and the story was about a couple who come to our roadside motel with their gang of friends and decide to get married in our chapel, in true Las Vegas style. With Marcia Lennona and Camilo Rodríguez as the art directors and Juan Camilo as the stylist, it was a luxury cast in one of the most charismatic and irreverent photoshoots that we’ve had the pleasure of hosting in our temple for lovers and sinners.

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