All robes lead to Rome
Slippery and sublime superyacht bathrooms
During emperor Augustus’ reign, there were 170 public baths in Rome alone. By 300 A.D. this had risen to over 900. Even back then, bathrooms were incredibly luxurious affairs with mirrored walls, richly seamed marble pools and mosaic-lined floors. Their fresh hot water was delivered by a furnace-fired central heating system, and larger complexes even housed restaurants, games rooms and libraries.
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Bathroom construction required excellent engineering skills then, as now. Houses had their water supplied via lead pipes, which were taxed according to size so, as most couldn’t afford such luxury, the popularity of public bathing houses soared. These social hubs were full of gossip, gaiety and community spirit, allowing the locals to relax, bathe and pass on all the news of the day.
Private bathrooms became the ultimate status symbol. One complex built by the emperor Diocletian was the size of a football pitch. Like contemporary superyacht bathroom designers, the rich and thought leaders of the day wanted to make a statement. Statues jostled with massive marble columns; assistants and aides rubbed shoulders with masseurs proffering sensuous olive oil rubs and tempting treatments.
Pairing Rome’s essential blend of indulgence and sensuality with practicality, leading superyacht bathroom designers are adept at layering luxurious form over incredible functionality. Bathing aboard is reaching unimagined heights of relaxation, invigoration and, perhaps surprisingly, technological innovation.
When Pendennis transformed the 20-year-old Masquerade of Sole into the almost brand new A2, they collaborated with New York-based architect, Peter Marino on interior design, and Dorr and Parkway Interiors (interior build experts) on the yacht’s master en-suite bathroom. Roman Classico Travertine stone adorns the walls, floors and vanity tops for that timeless touch; the bathroom hardware and lighting is clean-lined and contemporary with polished nickel detailing.
The VIP cabin features shimmering glass-frosted sycamore and grey striped Pentelikon, each marble slab meticulously chosen to blend into its new home. The guest bathrooms boast pristine slabs of grain-cut Perlino Bianco marble. The Roman Empire epitomises wealth, opulence and longevity and their grandiose bathing style has certainly left its mark on society.