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Italy

25Hours Hotels to debut in Italy in 2020

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
25Hours Hotels to debut in Italy in 2020

The hotel brand that focuses on individuality, authenticity and striking first impressions has just announced that the opening of 25hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino will mark the brand’s entrance into Italy… 

Irreverent, smart, and authentic, and always with design that starts with a compelling story, 25Hours Hotels will next year open what it is describing as a “first-of-its-kind 173-room hotel in Florence, Italy”. The hotel, which will be posited steps away from Piazza di Santa Maria Novella is slated to open in early summer 2020, unveiling daring interiors by Paola Navone and architecture by Genius Loci Architecture.

25hours Hotel Piazza San Paolino will celebrate the wanderings of the exiled Dante Alighieri, with The Divine Comedy as the basis for its storytelling.

While the local architecture firm will take care of renovating the three existing buildings and integrating them into a single complex, Navone will add her own creative hallmark to the hotel combining the traditional with the contemporary.

The listed group of buildings in the Tuscan capital spans an area of 10,750 square meters and will set a new standard for the neighborhood with plans to incorporate many Florentine businesses and local heroes.

25hours is a young hotel idea that seeks to find contemporary answers to the demands of urban, cosmopolitan travelers. The German-born brand focuses on individuality, authenticity and character, and designs each of its hotels in partnership with various designers and in a unique style, under the motto “Know one, know none”.The hotel brand currently operates 13 hotels in German-speaking countries as well as in Paris. 2020 will also see more openings: The 25hours Hotel Firenze and the 25hours Hotel Dubai. The 25hours Hotel Company formed a strategic alliance with AccorHotels in 2016, and now also pursues hotel projects around the globe.

Main image credit: Studio OTTO

LIVE FROM MILAN: Pedrali unveils new collection

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
LIVE FROM MILAN: Pedrali unveils new collection

Pedrali has presented its latest collection at Salone del Mobile during Milan Design Week… 

Ten new products are currently being presented by Pedrali at the Salone del Mobile during Milan Design Week. The pieces are being unveiled alongside some of Pedrali’s more iconic collections, giving character to the Palace of Wonders.

Soul Outdoor – pure creativity
Design: Eugeni Quitllet

Soul Outdoor is a new, special evolution of the original version made in bent wood and launched by Eugeni Quitllet last year. The inspiration is the same that the Catalan designer defines as “a link between the concrete and the abstract, between the real world and that of dreams, between past and future… the unspoiled state of creation”. An armchair able to express an idea of uncontaminated and pure creativity, defined by its soul.
A curved aluminium tubular frame, with classical shapes but solid proportions, clasps an ergonomic seat in shaped teak slats, almost like an embrace. The contrast between the two outdoor materials and the aesthetic result of the aluminium shininess make this armchair innovative and original. The lines of Soul Outdoor are accentuated by the fluidity of aluminium, which ensures strength and lightness, while presenting a strong visual impact.
The Soul original version, suitable for furnishing elegant and refined indoor spaces, has a solid ash frame combined with an ergonomic polycarbonate seat, which appears suspended.

In January, Soul received the Special Mention of the German Design Award 2019 in the Excellent Product Design Furniture category.
Materials: Soul Outdoor with aluminium tube frame Ø30 mm and seat with teak slats. Soul with solid ash frame and polycarbonate seat.
Finishes: Soul Outdoor with polished, anodized or powder coated aluminium combined with teak seat with water-based oil treatment. Soul in bleached ash with a transparent or white seat; black ash with a transparent smoky grey or black seat; walnut stained ash with a transparent or white seat.

Colourful scene with chairs

Image credit: Pedrali Soul Outdoor

HÉRA – fluidity of shapes
Design: Patrick Jouin

Wood – the ultimate natural raw material – is the inspiration behind Héra, the new armchair designed by Patrick Jouin for Pedrali. In true respect for the material Jouin chose to preserve it by purifying this design and presenting an extremely refined, fluid form.
Available in ash or American walnut, this armchair embodies the concept of lightness, fusing it with comfort: the backrest, in three-dimensional bent plywood of 6mm thickness, has a remarkably elegant and ergonomic design, while its upholstered seat in polyurethane foam supported by elastic belts gives great cosiness.
The rectangular-section legs with round edge display an attention to detail that makes this item particularly suited for use in some of the world’s leading hotels and restaurants.

This armchair blends the Italian company’s know-how with the finest handcrafted joinery techniques; it is the result of years of interaction, research and close collaboration between the French designer and Pedrali.
The wooden elements of the ash version of Héra are FSC-certified and finished with organic water-based paints. The use of raw materials sourced from certified forests and of water-based paints made principally from plant-derived resins is a guarantee of the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
Materials: frame in solid ash or American walnut; three-dimensional bent plywood backrest of 6mm thickness; seat upholstered in flexible expanded polyurethane foam, with elastic belts.
Finishes: bleached ash or American walnut; upholstery in fabric or leather.

FOLK – now traditional chair
Design: CMP Design

Folk collection accentuates the quest for simplicity. Its friendly character, the warmth of ash wood, the soft and compact dimensions, human lines seamlessly convey the concept of a chair that speaks a universal language. The power of proportions is clearly evident in the time-tested forms, re-elaborated with the new possibilities offered by technology. A light, durable die-casted aluminium ring, becomes the structural and distinctive element which enables the piece to be easily disassembled for recycling purposes or to replace its components. The solid ash frame snugly embraces the aluminium ring that holds the seat, which is available in ash plywood, upholstery, or cane seat. This last version guarantees visual lightness and maximum durability thanks to the nylon yarn woven into the wicker material. The bent plywood backrest ensures total comfort and cosiness.

The collection includes a chair and a barstool in two heights (650 and 750 mm) with a footrest.
The wooden elements of Folk are FSC-certified and finished with organic water-based paints. The use of raw materials sourced from certified forests and of water-based paints made principally from plant-derived resins is a guarantee of the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
Materials: frame in ash, ring in die-casted aluminium. Seat in ash plywood, upholstery or natural cane seat, with grey nylon yarn woven into the wicker.
Finishes: bleached or black lacquered ash; aluminium, polished or powder coated in various colours. Fabric, leather or simil leather upholstery.

Jamaica – Italian bohème
Design CMP Design

Designed by CMP Design, the name of this collection was inspired by Bar Jamaica in Milan’s Via Brera, a legendary hub for intellectuals and artists in the twentieth century. The elegance of this chair speaks of an age in which art,
technology and the imagination came together to give a human face to the aesthetics of machines, reimagining a peaceful world with creative sociability.
The result is a modernist collection which reworks the classic forms of the past with a contemporary edge by changing the ways in which traditional materials of bent plywood and tubular metal are used. In Jamaica, the warmth of the ash plywood used on the legs, with a variable tickness, and the shell, featuring a central lumbar support, is masterfully paired with the tubular steel backrest, which adds a subtle chromatic element and is more curved in the armchair version. The shell can be fully padded and upholstered in fabric, optimising the comfort of the seat and allowing numerous customised options. The wooden elements of Folk are FSC-certified and finished with bio water-based paints. The use of raw materials sourced from certified forests and of water-based paints made principally from plant-derived resins is a guarantee of our company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
Materials: legs and shell in ash plywood; steel tube Ø16 mm.
Finishes: bleached or black lacquered ash; powder-coated steel, antique brass, black nickel. Fabric or leather upholstery.

Image credit: Pedrali Jamaica

ELINOR TABLE – a classy hug
Design: Claudio Bellini

The Elinor collection is the result of the collaboration inaugurated last year with Claudio Bellini, leader designer of the office furniture contemporary scene. Elinor table springs from a new perception of space; the concept brings to mind the soft, curving lines of the namesake executive chair, conveying a refined yet contemporary image. The result is a product with premium aesthetic credentials that meets the needs of a constantly-changing market. Designed to furnish contemporary office spaces and domestic settings, the Elinor table has a simple yet distinctive design, with carefully refined details. The base is formed of two moulded elements of fixed dimensions, made from rigid polyurethane foam and upholstered in genuine leather; they support a table top in ultra-thin 6mm solid laminate, with rounded lacquered MDF support beneath it which conceals the steel structure. The Elinor tables can be adapted; the two elements of the base can be positioned in several ways to create different geometric arrangements, allowing a variety of aesthetic results. These moulded elements, when arranged in an asymmetric way, donates lightness to the setting thanks to the space between them, by ensuring great stability. The table tops can be square (1500 x 1500mm) or rectangular (1100 x 2000mm, 1100 x 2600mm, 1100 x 3000mm), always feature soft edges.
Also available with a central cable management for office environments.
Materials: top in solid laminate; support in MDF, structure in steel; base in rigid polyurethane foam upholstered in genuine leather.
Finishes: genuine or simil leather upholstery; tops in black, arabescato white or black marble Fenix, or in white compact full colour solid laminate.

BUDDY SOFA – friendly spirit
Design: Busetti Garuti Redaelli
The successful Buddy collection expands its horizons, enriched with a new furniture solution: a two- and three-seater sofa designed for the living room at home, but equally suitable for waiting rooms, informal office meetings, or lounge areas in the contract and hospitality sector.
While it still reflects the collection’s friendly, reassuring design, this sofa adds further comfort to the seat, thanks to a combination of four different densities of polyurethane foam supported by elastic belts, offering greater softness for a domestic environment in which one feels truly pampered.
The sofa is incredibly versatile: not only is it available with or without armrests, but several seating modules can be positioned together. Available in two sizes: 2480 x 900 x 735 mm and 1800 x 900 x 735 mm.
Version with removable covers available on request.
Materials: fireproof polyurethane foam in four different densities, upholstered in fabric, leather or simil leather; steel frame, aluminium legs Ø25 mm.
Finishes: powder coated aluminium or antique brass.

TRIBECA LOUNGE – Fasten your seatbelt!
Design CMP Design

Tribeca collection gains new elements, highlighting its fresh, dynamic, colourful and playful side. A lounge chair and a two-seater sofa which, like the chair, armchair and stool, evoke the comforting echoes of the past, offering a modern reinterpretation of the classic Sixties patio chairs made from steel and woven cord.
An outdoor icon, revisited through new materials: a webbing in vertically-woven extruded PVC with a nylon core that is truly durable, easy to clean and colourful, is combined with the solid tubular frame. Handcrafted with the highest attention to detail, this chair is incredibly soft and comfortable, and puts a contemporary twist on tradition with cutting-edge design and quality.
Materials: steel tube frame Ø20mm powder coated for outdoor use, back and seat in woven extruded PVC with nylon core, UV resistant.
Finishes: white, pink, red, terracotta, brown, blue, sage green.

REMIND – between mind & heart
Design Eugeni Quitllet

“Remind, or call back to mind – a concept rendered in Latin by the word ‘re-cordis’, meaning ‘to pass through the heart”. (Eugeni Quitllet)
Mind and heart have been both essential to create Remind: the heart in its creation and the mind in its production. While evoking the soft sinuous curves of wooden chairs from the late nineteenth century, Remind’s organic silhouette recalls “something never seen before”, a universal shape able to fit into any space and style of decor. The result is an innovative polypropylene armchair, in which each element is conceived to ensure total comfort and cosiness. The breathable texture makes it airy and even lighter. Made from injection-moulded polypropylene, the armchair is functional and versatile, perfect for both outdoor and indoor spaces.
REMIND PIXEL: It’s time for creative flair and personalisation. Now, the perforated backrest of Remind can be decorated with tiny colourful pixels made from polypropylene, so anyone can become an artist by creating infinite patterns: a number, a letter of the alphabet, an object, or simply a dash of contrasting colour.
Pedrali’s plastic furniture is made using premium raw materials and is recyclable and eco-compatible. Our polypropylene products are 100% recyclable, demonstrating the company’s commitment to environmental sustainability.
Materials: single-material chair in polypropylene charged with glass fiber; polyopropylene pixels.
Finishes: beige, sand, green, red, grey, black. Pink, red and black pixels.

TAMARA – roaring Twenties
Design Basaglia Rota Nodari

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of its lighting collection, coinciding with the thirtieth edition of Euroluce, Pedrali presents Tamara, a lamp that successfully blends style and elegance. This new suspension light takes inspiration from the shape of the headlights of early twentieth-century automobiles, paying homage to Tamara de Lempicka, modernist painter, icon of elegance and charm, who in her famous self-portrait is behind the wheel of a green Bugatti. Made from aluminium powder coated in various colours, Tamara stands out for its soft form, in which fleeting, rounded yet angular lines combine to make a versatile product. The light produced provides direct illumination of the surface beneath; however, an opening in the upper section of the shade, and the convex profile of the closer in opaline polycarbonate, allows a delicate band of light to shine onto the ceiling.

Tamara offers interesting compositions for geometric effects that give a unique look to any room.
Materials: aluminium diffuser Ø180 mm; opaline polycarbonate closer.
Finishes: powder coated aluminium with matte paint in various colours, or in satin brass or satin copper finishes; cable and ceiling rose available in black or white.

ARKI-TABLE adjustable – a perfect balance
Design Pedrali R&D

Arki-Table optimises its ability to meet the needs of flexibility and functionality of most modern working spaces, with a new version with the height-adjustable top. Suitable for meeting rooms and work stations, this table is able to adapt to his users and their needs, making real the concept of smart and dynamic office.
Two electric actuators, connected to a control unit and activated by two buttons placed under the top, move as one and allow to choose the ideal height of the top, from 740 to 1140 mm, to have maximum comfort during the workday.
Available in white or black full colour versions, Arki-Table adjustable has an ultra-thin 6mm solid laminate top with central cable management with a cover (150 x 600mm), steel trestle legs and an extruded aluminium support.

Top in solid laminate 6 mm in three dimensions: 1000 x 2000mm; 1000 x 2400mm; 1000 x 3000mm white, black or grey.
Materials: solid laminate top 6 mm; steel legs; extruded aluminium support.
Finishes: top in white full colour, black, in three different grey or in black Fenix.

Faloria Mountain Spa Resort reopens in the Dolomites

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Faloria Mountain Spa Resort reopens in the Dolomites

In Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy’s most glamorous mountain destination, the newly renovated Faloria Mountain Spa Resort combines comfort, modernity and tradition, which together arguably defines a new model in hospitality in the Dolomites…

In its own words, Faloria Mountain Spa Resort is: “Charming hospitality in the heart of the Dolomites”. The historical hotel in Cortina, which gave its first glimpse of its new design concept last year, has reopened following an expansion and renovation.

Establishing a new benchmark in the hospitality of the entire Alpine region, the hotel features new guestrooms, a spa covering over 1000 sqm, a gourmet restaurant and new common areas. It now reopens with the aim to allow guests to live an unforgettable experience in accordance to the highest international luxury standards. The project architect Flaviano Capriotti, has designed an environment inharmony with the surrounding landscape, where Alpine tradition meets contemporary accents.

Contemporary guestroom

Image credit: Faloria Mountain Spa Resort/Andrés Otero

The new guestrooms offer guests an exclusively refined environment, where the charm of mountain furnishings is combined with a contemporary touch. The rooms are wide and bright spaces, with huge windows to enjoy an enchanting view of the Dolomites. The parquet, boiserie and tasteful details lend a delightful domestic flavour, without forgoing refinement and exclusivity.

The bed headboards are designed with botanical drawings of the local alpine flowers, selected from the Florae Austriacae atlas, written by the botanist Nikolaus von Jacquin in the 18th century. The botanical theme then becomes a common thread throughout the SPA, the common areas and the restaurant.

The Faloria Spa Resort opens a new wing, and internal restyling designed by Italian architect Flaviano Caprioti.

Image credit: Faloria Mountain Spa Resort/Andrés Otero

The new SPA Area, the largest in the entire Alpine region, is a veritable jewel. A surface area of more than 1000 square metres, where guests can enjoy a unique sensory journey with 25-metre long semi-Olympic pool, sauna, ice fountain, calidarium, vitality pool, chilling out areas and private treatment rooms. The Spa offers an emotional experience targeting all levels of perception: visual, tactile, olfactory and emotional for a regenerating holiday. Materials and colours recall larch woods, the stone of Dolomite rocks and the green of lake water, so that guests feel they are immersed in the nature of Cortina.

Main image credit: Faloria Mountain Spa Resort/Andrés Otero

Design hotel in the Dolomites will define a new model of mountain luxury hotels

800 445 Hamish Kilburn

The plan for the new Faloria Mountain Spa Resort, historical glamorous hotel based in Cortina, has finally been unveiled…

A new design hotel in the Dolomites, the Faloria Mountain Spa Resort, is said to set a new standard in mountain luxury hotels. The project, signed by the architect Flaviano Capriotti, upgrades the resort to the highest hospitality standards, achieving the fifth star and presenting a new hospitality model: at crossroads between local tradition, innovation and comfort.

Capriotti has developed an aesthetical language harmonised with the surrounding landscape

The opening is scheduled for December 2018. The project comprises not only the aesthetic and functional refurbishment of the existing building, but also a generous expansion, through the construction of a brand new central body, which recall the typical style of the Dolomites.

Capriotti has developed an aesthetical language harmonised with the surrounding landscape, revisiting it with a contemporary touch. The renovation of the existing hotel aims to the highest international luxury standards to establish itself as the standard of excellence in hospitality for the Alps overall.

The guests checking in to the new Faloria Mountain Spa Resort will be embraced in a perceptive path of the natural identity of the area, relishing a unique environment that offers the most advanced technologies for a functional comfort and unique atmosphere.

The project includes a new lounge area with Bar and a maiolica tiled stove, inspired to those of the traditional houses in the Dolomites, where the upholstered furniture – which is all custom designed – is covered with warm wool, typical of the mountains. A large “opus incertum” Dolomia stone wall separates the Lounge area from the Bistrot, which is a cozy and quiet space that accommodates up to 40 people, welcoming guests from breakfast to dinner.

Woven wicker panels screen the light and create an elegant and refined atmosphere

The chosen materials are Dolomia stone and larch, the padded furniture is made of wool and the chairs are typical, redesigned however with a contemporary accent. The Restaurant, which accommodates 70 people, is the heart of the renewed relationship between building and background, being bounded by a glazed pavilion with scenic views of the mountain Croda da Lago on one side and the iconic 1956 Olympic ski jump on the other.

The original vintage larch coffered ceiling is restored. Woven wicker panels screen the light and create an elegant and refined atmosphere. The restaurant is completed by the “Stube”, the center of the traditional house in Ampezzo, built with antique woodwork and a large table that can accommodate 10 guests.

Guestrooms

The new rooms – split in Classic Room, Suite, Comfort Suite, King Deluxe, Suite King – have all been designed by Capriotti, that selected a chromatic palette and materials where brushed larch, wool and Dolomia stone are the common threads to achieve the highest comfort and practicality.

The spaces are rich of details specifically designed to greet and receive without standing out, maintaining a delicate domestic flavor thanks to details such as the flooring and the wall cladding made of brushed larch and the padded wool bed headboards that are designed with botanical drawings of the local alpine flora. The wardrobes are designed in two parts for a comfortable use in couple, dedicating the central area to the make-up.

The SPA

The cornerstone for the new hotel concept is the redefinition of the SPA and Wellness area, around which a new sensorial and emotional experience was created, devoted to touching every level of perception: visual, tactile, olfactory and emotional. The SPA is designed with a selection of natural materials from the Ampezzo valley: the larch wood from the forest, the Dolomia stone from the mountains and the green from the water of lakes.

Covering over 1000 sqm in size, where the guest can experience the sensorial path of the sauna, ice fountain, pool, calidarium and vitality pool. The internal swimming pool is unique for its size and features across the whole Alpine area: beautifully designed and coloured, 25 meter long with three lanes, suitable for every need, even for professional swimmers. There is a large skylight on the ceiling and a large glazing wall with bronze profiles, from which one can enjoy the view of the Mount Faloria and access the outdoor garden and the outside area of the vitality pool, which being heated can also be used in winter and under the snow. The vitality pool stretches also in the inside of the building, comprising of an area appositely designed for silence and relax.

Rome’s Palazzo Montemartini joins Radi­­sson Collection

1024 683 Katy Phillips

The philosophy of the newly launched Radisson Collection matches particularly well with the distinctive traits of Palazzo Montemartini.

Radisson Hotel Group has added the Palazzo Montemartini in Rome to Radisson Collection, effective from June 2018.

Built back in 1881, Palazzo Montemartini is situated near the Baths of Diocletian and the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli designed by Michelangelo.

In terms of style and setting, the hotel combines modern design with a truly authentic flavour, and is made up of 82 rooms and suites, as well as events halls. The Senses Restaurant & Lounge Bar offers local fare, complemented by views of the Servian Wall – the very first wall of ancient Rome, according to boffins.


There’s also the Montemartini SPA by Caschera – a lifestyle space with jacuzzi, heated hydro tonic pool, treatment rooms including a dedicated salt room, sauna and hammam, sensory and chromotherapy showers.

Elie Younes, Executive Vice President & Chief Development Officer, said: “We couldn’t have asked for a more iconic destination than Rome to add a new Radisson Collection to the world. Palazzo Montemartini is a perfect addition to our portfolio. It’s a modern icon that respects the brand promise of Radisson Collection through its authenticity, design and exceptional service. We are looking forward to building on the heritage of this legendary hotel and showcase the true colors of Radisson Collection in one of the world’s most loved cities.”

“The philosophy of the newly launched Radisson Collection matches particularly well with the distinctive traits of Palazzo Montemartini, focused on providing a friendly luxury experience,” said Giuseppe Marchese, CEO of Ragosta Hotels Collection that owns Palazzo Montemartini. “We are proud to join the Radisson Hotel Group and launch the first Radisson Collection in Italy.”

IN PICTURES: Hotel Savoy collaboration with Emilio Pucci

1024 683 Katy Phillips

Full details and gallery of showcasing the Florence hotel’s new look.

The Hotel Savoy in Florence has reopened its doors after an extensive renovation project in collaboration with Florentine fashion house, Emilio Pucci.

Director of Design, Olga Polizzi, sought to enhance the timeless elegance of the hotel using hints of the Renaissance and artisans. Laudomia Pucci, Image Director at Emilio Pucci, has collaborated on the project, bringing  Italian design into the hotel to create what Hotel Savoy calls a ‘unique ambiance’.

The hotel entrance and lobby have been reinstated to their original grandeur, with a five meter high corniced ceiling. The fluid and mostly white space is punctuated with colourful art and design, including paintings by Luca Pignatelli.

Pucci’s touch continues throughout the lobby, where the print has been carried over on cushions that decorate the sofas in a strong solid statement of black and fuchsia, while two armchairs feature a velvet flower print that merges renaissance motifs with a ‘pop art spirit’.

The modern and sophisticated look of the hotel lobby is completed with a hand tufted rug featuring the iconic “Lamborghini” print from the Emilio Pucci Archives in nuances of pinks, greys, white and black.

Polizzi & Pucci have also created a new look for the guest rooms and suites which have been designed to give a sense of calm, freshness and the tranquil tones used, combined with the luxurious fabrics in a mix of materials, create a predominantly Italian feel, mirroring the essence of Rocco Forte.

You can browse a full gallery of the renovated areas below:

Brand Spotlight: Generator Hostels

Brand Spotlight: Generator continues Europe expansion

1000 667 Daniel Fountain

Generator, the cutting-edge European lifestyle brand responsible for leading the hostel revolution, announces the opening of three new properties: Generator Stockholm and its bar Hilma; Generator Amsterdam and its club Oosterbar; and Generator Rome.

These consecutive, milestone launches, round out the company’s portfolio to include 11 destinations in Europe.

In its quest to continue to provide true native experiences at each location, Generator is opening up their food and beverage venues, and other on-property programming to locals in respective communities. Beginning with Hilma and Oosterbar, and continuing across existing units, this new initiative will bring like-minded travelers and locals together to create a unique social experience driven by design, art, music, food, drink and entertainment.

Brand Spotlight: Generator Hostels“Generator redefined the shared accommodations sector, and transformed the industry as we know it,” said Fredrik Korallus, Chief Executive Officer, Generator. “We are thrilled to offer our unique concept in these three world class cities, and connect our global traveler with even more exciting experiences.”

Stockholm, Rome, Amsterdam, and the addition of new bars and restaurants across the portfolio are an integral part of the company’s robust expansion efforts. 2017 property openings include a city center location in Madrid and the brand’s US debut in South Beach, Miami.

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RELATED LINKS:
SNEAK PEEK: GENERATOR HOSTELS IN AMSTERDAM, ROME & STOCKHOLM
AWARD-WINNING HOSTEL BRAND GENERATOR OPENS IN STOCKHOLM
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Generator Stockholm is located in Stockholm’s city center at Torsgatan 10 and includes edgy bar and restaurant Hilma. In a prime location, dubbed the heart of Europe’s Silicon Valley, the new hostel and Hilma have attracted the traveling and local stylish, creative, and technology elite.

Brand Spotlight: Generator HostelsAlso newly opened, Generator’s arrival to Rome – a major European hub – will disrupt the city’s hostel and boutique hotel scene with its upscale shared accommodations. Centrally located on Via Principe Amedeo in the Esquilino neighborhood near the colorful Mercato dell’Esquilino, the 75-room, 174-bed property provides convenient access to notable attractions like the Roman Colosseum and Termini Station. An array of churches, parks, bars, cafes, and pizzerias line the surrounding streets, which are some of the oldest in the city. On-property features include:
– A rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the Apennine Mountains and ancient Roman aqueducts
– An open layout lobby programmed with live music and local art, including a mural by famous Italian street artist Luca Maleonte

Following the March 2016 opening of Generator Amsterdam, the 168-room, 564-bed property recently launched, Oosterbar, a club located in the building’s basement, the former boiler room of what was the University of Amsterdam’s science department. Its original tiles combined with a new dramatic metal piping sculpture, other raw and industrial-chic elements, and intimate lighting create an energetic nightlife vibe.

Guests can expect diverse DJ programming including special one-off performances, live acoustic acts, comedy shows, and international themed music nights ranging from hip hop and R&B to bass, house and elective to disco. The space will also feature exhibitions with local, emerging artists and fashion designers.

generatorhostels.com

Hampton by Hilton Rome

Hampton by Hilton arrives in Italy

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Hilton’s Hampton by Hilton brand has this week announced the opening of its first property in Italy, Hampton by Hilton Rome East. The hotel joins 64 other Hampton by Hilton properties open across Europe.

Hampton by Hilton Rome East is also Hilton’s first property in Italy to offer Digital Key, the mobile-enabled room key technology that enables Hilton Honors members to simply and securely open the door of their room, as well as any other area of the hotel that requires a key, at the touch of a button available through the Hilton Honors app.

“We are thrilled to open Italy’s first Hampton by Hilton property which offers modern rooms, meeting space and a convenient location. We are also pleased to be Hilton’s first property in Italy to offer Digital Key,” said Sebastian Siciliano, general manager. “We look forward to welcoming guests with caring and thoughtful Hamptonality service and providing them with the brand’s signature amenities, all backed by the 100% Hampton Guarantee.”

The hotel contains 148 contemporary rooms (some interconnecting) with comfortable beds, 40-inch HDTV, work desk with ergonomic chair and complimentary Wi-Fi.

hamptoninn3.hilton.com/en/

 

Autograph Collection

Autograph Collection announces fourth hotel in Italy

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Autograph Collection Hotels has announced its fourth hotel in Italy with the opening of Hotel Sina Villa Medici, located in the historic heart of Florence.

The hotel joins a diverse portfolio of more than 125 Autograph Collection Hotels around the world – all one-of-a-kind properties that champion values of vision, design and craft.

Housed in a historical residence dating back to the 19th century, the hotel has a new, resplendent look following an extensive nine-month refurbishment by. Boasting design elements including vaulted ceilings, marble bathrooms, silk wall coverings, and antique furniture, the hotel is befitting of its majestic city surroundings.

Modern artworks created especially for the hotel by locally born artist Marco Lanza have been added to the ground-floor entrance hall, the gallery and the lounge bar, depicting details of original paintings of Caterina de Medici that now hang in the Uffizi Gallery.

The hotel’s 99 guestrooms and suites offer the perfect mix of traditional features and contemporary finishes with parquet flooring, mood lighting, USB outlets and modernized bathrooms. Almost all guestrooms have balconies or terraces offering stunning views of Florence”s iconic monuments.

W Hotels to Debut in Italy with W Rome Hotel

W Hotels to Debut in Italy with W Rome Hotel

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W Hotels Worldwide, part of the Marriott International group, has announced the signature of a hotel in Rome, its first hotel in Italy.

This hotel, the first by W in Italy, is set to open by 2021 in the Via Veneto neighbourhood. It has been renovated and will be operated in partnership with Omnam Group.

The W Rome Hotel will have 159 rooms and suites, including a presidential suite called Extreme WOW.

A rooftop bar, as well as a restaurant and a reception hall, as well as a spa and workout facility are among the hotel’s equipment. This announcement confirms the development of the W Hotels group in Europe, where it currently operates seven properties.

Gran Meliá Ca’ di Dio

The Gran Meliá brand grows in Italy

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Meliá Hotels International has announced the addition of a new five-star hotel in the city of Venice, “a destination that has always been an aspiration for the company”, according to Garbiel Escarrer, Executive Vice President and CEO, Meliá Hotels International.

Escarrer added that “we have waited until we found our dream project: a hotel located on the Grand Canal, in an old hospice, in one of the most idyllic and desired destinations in Europe.”

The hotel will open at the end of 2018 following an extensive refurbishment. It will feature 79 rooms, meeting rooms, a signature restaurant and an all-day-dining restaurant. Its swimming pool, patios and unique views of the Grand Canal and the city of Venice will complement the experience of the most discerning guests.

Gran Meliá Ca’ di Dio will join the growing list of luxury hotels in Venice, one of the world’s most popular international destinations. The hotel will offer the attributes that differentiate Gran Meliá from competitors: the most modern and avant-garde expression of Spanish luxury culture, passion and lifestyle, which have made hotels such as the Gran Meliá Rome and Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques in Madrid international benchmarks of 21st century five-star hospitality.

The hotel is owned by the Salute Hospitality Group and will be managed by Meliá Hotels International for an initial 29 years. The operation also involved Rinascimento e Valori, a hotel consultancy in the Italian market.

New INNSIDE by Meliá in Rome
Meliá Hotels International has just announced a new hotel for the INNSIDE by Meliá brand in Rome, the INNSIDE Porta Maggiore, located in the homonymous square of the old neighbourhood of Esquilino, one of the trendiest districts of the Roman capital. Owned by Salute Hospitality Group, the hotel will open in 2019 and will have 171 rooms, swimming pool, wellness centre and fitness area, two restaurants and different meeting and event facilities.

With these facilities and its central location, INNSIDE Porta Maggiore will focus on the bleisure segment, the Group’s strategic approach to grow in urban destinations. INNSIDE by Meliá, an urban brand with a lifestyle touch, comes to Rome to address the contemporary traveller and offer a different experience. At INNSIDE, guests can linger in lobbies fit for living in, enjoy endless WIFI and a daily offering of soft drinks, think big in creative meeting spaces, get going in 24/7 exercise classes, and relax in Wellness areas.

Aleph Rome Prestige Room

First Curio property in Rome – Aleph – opens

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Following an extensive restoration, Aleph Rome Hotel – an elegant property in the heart of Rome – has reopened as part of the exclusive Curio Collection by Hilton, a global portfolio of upper upscale, independent hotels and resorts.

Acquired by Al Rayyan Tourism Investment Company “ARTIC” in 2016, Aleph Rome Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton, is now an 88-room hotel based just a short stroll from the legendary Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Villa Borghese and many other key attractions. The 1930s-built property is the first in Rome and the second in Italy for the rapidly growing Curio Collection by Hilton.

AlephThe property-wide renovation of Aleph Rome Hotel focused on blending its Roman charm with contemporary features, while preserving its spirit, grandeur and historical treasures, including authentic Cipollino marble. Guests will enjoy a distinctly remarkable experience, taking advantage of a wide range of uniquely re-designed guest rooms and suites, restaurants and bars, along with a rooftop pool overlooking the city of Rome. The hotel is conveniently located near the Barberini metro station, between Via Veneto and Piazza Barberini.

The hotel offers 88 guest rooms, including 14 suites and a junior suite, each featuring modern Italian furniture, high ceilings and marble floors. Guests may also enjoy contemporary comforts, such as an interactive TV, Nespresso® machine and walk-in shower.

curiocollection.hilton.com

Cristallo

Luxury Collection to add Italian Cristallo Resort & Spa

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The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts has announced that Cristallo, a historic hotel located in the renowned Italian town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, will join The Luxury Collection this June.

Owned and managed by the Gualandi family, Cristallo, a Luxury Collection Resort & Spa, marks the brand’s first hotel in Cortina, and first ski resort worldwide.

Located in Northeastern Italy and nestled within the spectacular Dolomites mountain range, a UNESCO World Heritage site, the dual-season property will reopen after a redesign of the hotel’s rooms and suites, as well as the hotel’s lobby.

A second phase of renovation will be complete by December when the property will celebrate its first ski season as part of The Luxury Collection. With this reopening, The Luxury Collection expands to eight hotels in Italy, reinforcing the brand’s commitment to growing its European portfolio.

Boasting majestic views across Cortina and the monumental Dolomites, the hotel’s 74 guestrooms, including 20 suites and two Presidential suites, have been distinctively furnished to complement the property’s Italian heritage. Pale wood panels are offset by intricate wild flower detailing and delicate cornicing, full of local character. Each room has been well-appointed with the signature Luxury Collection bed, en-suite Carrara marble bathroom with heated floors, and modern technology.

The iconic property, which first opened in 1901, has a storied history that includes hosting The Winter Olympics, Hollywood film crews such as The Pink Panther, and celebrities such as Frank Sinatra. Cortina is one of Italy’s most sought after destinations for skiing, summer activities such as hiking and mountain biking, as well as one of the region’s top epicurean destinations. As the newest member of The Luxury Collection, Cristallo will continue to surround its guests in extraordinary period details like pendant chandeliers and hand-painted wall ‘frescos’, while expanding on its modern-day amenities to provide a truly luxurious guest experience.

Viu Milan

Milanese mastery, Italian style on show at Viu Milan

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Taking centre stage in Milan”s hip Porta Volta neighborhood with its stunning glass façade framed with lush vertical gardens, Hotel Viu Milan is rewriting the rule book on how to make an entrance in Italy’s capital of cool.

The newly built 124-room property boasts the only hotel rooftop in Milan with an outdoor swimming pool and stunning 360-degree views of the city skyline—perfectly located for aperitivos set to an intoxicating soundtrack of bossa nova. Throw in a Michelin-starred chef and exquisite Milanese design and you have summer in the city wrapped up.

 

Leeu Collection adds Florence property to European portfolio

Guest Blog – TOPHOTELS: ‘Italy, a sure thing for hotel developers’

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Italy has an ever-appealing charm – the food, the passion, the beautiful coastline and incredibly historic cities, the architecture and of course, the landscapes. For centuries, Italy has attracted holidaymakers, and continues to do so today, making it almost a sure thing for hotel developers.

One of the more recent hotel projects to open was the La Bagnaia Golf & Spa Resort Siena, a luxury 5-star development branded under Curio by Hilton and situated close to the picturesque town of Siena, known for its medieval brick architecture. The 101-key hotel, resort and golf course allows visitors to take advantage of the serene setting while playing golf or indulging in the swimming pool set within the idyllic grounds of the hotel. The resort is also equipped to handle large events and conferences.

The ultra-modern La Lama in Rome is currently under construction and set to open in the second quarter of 2018. Nicknamed “The Cloud” because of a nebulous structure in the interior of the hotel, the 409-key luxury new build complex will house a 5-star hotel as well as an 1,800 seater auditorium for conferences and events. The complex will be built with sustainability in mind and incorporate modern technologies in its construction and design.

IHG is in the process of building their first hotel in Venice, the InterContinental Venice – Palazzo Nani. Under construction at the moment, the new 51 room luxury hotel will be house in a converted 16th century palace, which will be refurbished to the highest standard, keeping the palace’s stunning ceiling frescoes and hand-carved wooden beams. Set to open at the beginning of next year, the hotel will also have wellness facilities and corporate spaces.

More information on hotel construction in Italy can be found on TOPHOTELPROJECTS.

Rome welcomes back Le Méridien Brand

Rome welcomes back Le Méridien Brand

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Le Méridien Hotels & Resorts, part of Marriott International, has marked a milestone: reintroducing the brand to Italy and reimagining an iconic palace to debut Le Méridien Visconti Rome.

Rome welcomes back Le Méridien BrandFollowing its meticulous renovation and conversion, Le Méridien Visconti Rome, owned and managed by the Toti Group, now boasts custom-designed guestrooms, suites and a transformation of the hotel”s public spaces, including the brand”s signature lobby concept: Le Méridien Hub.

Rome welcomes back Le Méridien BrandLocated in the charming Prati district, ideally situated between the Spanish Steps and the Vatican, Le Méridien Visconti Rome is deceivingly residential with 240 guestrooms and suites – ideal for business, leisure and group travel.

Rome welcomes back Le Méridien BrandLed by ara Design International, the hotel”s redesign is rooted in a classic Italian style with understated, geometrical references to Rome”s fabled treasures, including the Pantheon.

Rome Cavalieri celebrates launch of enhanced Petronius Suite

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Rome Cavalieri, Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts is delighted to announce the re-launch of its iconic Petronius Suite following significant investment and enhancements, allowing guests to experience heightened levels of luxury in the Eternal City.

Combining Rome’s sense of history and traditions with Waldorf Astoria’s signature style and service, the newly enhanced Petronius Suite at Rome Cavalieri provides an unforgettable experience that reflects its namesake, the arbiter of elegance and fine taste. Located on Rome Cavalieri’s top floor, commanding spectacular views of the city below, the Petronius Suite’s ornate bedroom, marble bathroom, kitchen, wine cellar, dining room for up to 8 guests and living space are adorned with antique furniture, precious brass, wooden parquet and rare seventeenth century paintings depicting Santa Caterina and Santa Cecilia. From mosaic tables to a sofa designed by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, this is a suite that doubles as an exhibition and museum in its own right.

Classic meets contemporary with the Petronius Suite’s subtle yet slick technology system, allowing guests to control audio, visual and lighting at the touch of a button and Rome Cavalieri to provide modern luxuries without losing its long-standing traditions and charm. This extends to the state-of-the-art Valcucine kitchen from the ‘Artematica’ line, fully equipped to cater for a decadent private dinner and allowing guests to treat the Suite as a luxurious home from home.

Petronius Suite at Rome CavalieriRome Cavalieri has paid attention to the demand for space, privacy and flexibility from high-net-worth travellers and the Petronius Suite is therefore adaptable to comprise three additional Imperial Rooms with an adjacent Vista Suite, creating a unique apartment concept with the benefit of access to the resort’s extraordinary facilities.

These include Rome Cavalieri’s Imperial Club, which has also benefitted from recent enhancements, and offers a selection of drinks and light bites best enjoyed with views from the terrace, from morning through to night. Guests are also able to discover 15 acres of manicured parkland, Europe’s largest private art collection adorning the walls, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, the Cavalieri Grand Spa Club with treatments by La Prairie and Rome’s only three Michelin starred restaurant La Pergola. Whilst unforgettable experiences include gladiator training for children, taking a super-car for a spin on the winding roads of the ‘Gran Turismo’ or pampering a Very Important Pet with a choice of nutritious meals, spa grooming and dog sitting.

In addition to the re-launch of the Petronius Suite, enhancements to the Corner and Vista Suites has also reached completion, providing a Suite to suit all tastes at Rome Cavalieri.

Hotel Baia

Chia Laguna opens the new Hotel Baia, Sardinia

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The prestigious Chia Laguna resort, Sardinia, part of the hotel brand Italian Hospitality Collection, is delighted to announce that its fully refurbished Hotel Baia is now open for the summer season complete with two new restaurants, a new bar, a semi-Olympic pool and 77 new rooms.

The renovations are the next stage of Italian Hospitality Collection’s €50 million (£43 million) investment plan for Chia Laguna resort that began in 2011 and resulted in a 60% rise in UK guests in 2016.

Hotel Baia’s 77 new, light and airy rooms come in four categories with the majority sleeping up to three guests, a cot can also be provided. Most rooms are also interconnecting making them a great choice for families. The spacious new Junior Suites with sea views offer two rooms – bedroom and living room – and can sleep up to four guests plus a cot for babies.

A spacious new 140sqm, two-bedroom Suite Incanto with a large garden boasts two double-rooms with sitting areas and en-suite bathrooms, a spacious living room with a sofa-bed and a separate bathroom, creating room for up to six guests. A new semi-Olympic 25 metre infinity pool with a separate children’s area takes pride of place in the hotel’s gardens.

The resort has opened two ultra-stylish new restaurants at Hotel Baia. The new La Pergola restaurant, reserved for guest of Hotel Baia, offers the finest in Sardinian and Mediterranean show cooking. Whiteluna, open to all resort guests, has a lively atmosphere with an open-air garden bar where live DJ sets take place before and after dinner.

Chia Laguna is a collection of four hotels set amongst the turquoise waters and unspoilt countryside of Chia Bay in enchanting Southern Sardinia. Guests are spoilt with a mini club and babysitting services, land and sea sports, a Natural Spa and no less than nine restaurants which serve a vast range of gastronomic choices from local Mediterranean flavours to the best in international à la carte cuisine.

chialagunaresort.com

New hotels join Small Luxury Hotels Of The World

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This May Small Luxury Hotels of the World is welcoming five new luxury properties to its portfolio. Introducing a brand new eco-certified hotel in Cap Corsica, a newly opened palazzo turned boutique retreat in Rome, a serene forest dwelling in Izu, Japan and a sophisticated retreat wrapped up in bright botanic gardens in Puerto Vallarta.

Le Domaine Misincu: Corsica

Opening June 2017
Due to open in June 2017, set in 35 hectares of natural parks and gardens, Le Domaine Misincu will be the only five-star rated environmentally friendly and eco-certified luxury boutique hotel in the region of Cap Corsica. Highly protected, savage and unspoilt in natural beauty, Cap Corse is the last remaining “wild” part of the island and therefore nicknamed as “the island on the island” which sets its history apart from the rest of the island. Aiming for Corsican modern luxury living at its best, Le Domaine Misincu is an epitomised “barefoot casual luxury” experience with a holistic approach. Contemporary yet traditional in style, the hotel pays homage to Corsican heritage and the outstanding beauty of its natural surroundings coupled with 21st century amenities for today’s luxury leisure travellers. Whether it is the vast range of local products in the F&B outlets, Corsican fabrics, materials and woods to be used for anything interior design or the fleet of Tesla cars available for guests, any stay here is to reflect an authentic Cap Corse experience.

Casa Velas: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico

Found amidst blooming grounds of tropical flora, the adult-only hotel and ocean club, Casa Velas, sets the scene for a perfect romantic seaside escape. The 80 suites offer guests a private piece of luxury in the botanic gardens and the wooden beams and furniture and earthy tones are inspired by traditional Mexican designs. The hotel is just minutes from the beach, an 18-hole golf course and the buzzing boardwalk of Puerto Vallarta. The treatments at Casa Velas Spa draw on ancient wisdom and local ingredients, with treatment rooms for couples and singles, a hydrotherapy area and beauty salon. The on-site restaurant, Emiliano, is an AAA Four Diamond rated a la carte fine dining restaurant, headed up by one of the area’s leading chefs, serving Mexican and international cuisine. Alternatively guests can opt to take a short stroll to the Ocean Club for Asian-inspired cuisine and cocktails on the beachfront.

Margutta 19: Rome, Italy

Opening July 2017
This brand new Roman boutique hotel will open its doors on July 1 2017. Tucked away on Via Margutta – known locally as ‘the artist’s street’ thanks to famous prior residents such as Picasso and Stravinsky, this elegant palazzo has been given a modern make over. Despite its city location Margutta 19 provides a chic and restful escape, away from the buzz of Rome. The 16 rooms have been styled in gentle shades of sage and ivory, with parquet floors, travertine marble bathrooms, king size beds and Frette linens. Classic and deluxe suites overlook the cobbled Via Margutta and its terracotta buildings, while the Garden Suite comes with its own 43 square metre terrace. Restaurant Assaggia is courtesy of angelo Troiani who serves his own inventive spin on Roman classics, including recipes handed down through generations of the hotel owner’s family.

ABBA Resorts Izu: Izu, Japan

Situated on the stunning Jogasaki coast, ABBA resorts Izu is an intimate, 30 room retreat, featuring an indulgent Neen-spa and three world-class restaurants serving French and Japanese fare. Built in the ryokan style of a traditional inn, the luxurious Abba Resorts Izu, blends seamlessly into its ancient forest backdrop. The resort’s natural garden was created from diverse lava formations and the villas come with their own open-air bath, filled with warm, soothing mineral waters flowing in from the Ukiyama Hot Springs that Izu is known for. The rooms are designed to calm and soothe, with woven tatami straw mats and other natural touches in abundance.

São Lourenço do Barrocal: Monsaraz, Portugal

This 200 year old family run, fully working farm-come-luxury boutique retreat (main picture) seamlessly blends contemporary scandi-style décor with vintage homestead touches. Every element of the hotel celebrates its Alentejo surroundings. Guests can wander the grounds, take a seat in the wooden deck chairs amongst the orange grove, stroll through the wine and vegetable garden, take a dip in the pool or pack up a picnic and cycle to the estates lake. At night guests are invited to enjoy farm-to-table dining at the onsite restaurant, where classic Alentejo flavours are served up using home grown and locally sourced produce alongside the winemakers selection from the onsite vineyard. The 40 rooms, suites and cottages are a tasteful mix of old and new, with white fabrics, wool blankets, carefully selected vintage features and farm views. Certain suites and cottages also come with a private terrace, perfect for star-gazing. A spa by organic Austrian brand Susanne Kaufmann, features an oak wood hot tub and an outdoor pool, as well as a variety of treatments.

La Bagnaia Golf Spa Resort Siena Curio Collection by Hilton

First Curio Collection by Hilton opens in Italy

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A once medieval village turned sprawling retreat, La Bagnaia Golf & Spa Resort Siena has joined the upscale Curio Collection by Hilton.

The hotel was hand-picked to be a part of the collection of one-of-a-kind independent hotels and resorts all celebrated for their individuality. As the first Curio Collection by Hilton hotel in Italy, the brand welcomes the resort to the collection of more than 30 hotels and resorts worldwide.

“As our debut hotel in Italy, we are honoured to welcome an incredible and picturesque resort, a showcase of all that Tuscany has to offer, to Curio Collection by Hilton,” said Mark Nogal, global head, Curio Collection by Hilton and Tapestry Collection by Hilton. “A destination in itself, La Bagnaia offers everything from expansive terraces with breathtaking views of Tuscany to an exclusive spa where guests can relax in therapeutic mineral waters.”

La Bagnaia offers everything visitors want from a relaxing sojourn to Tuscan: breathtaking views of rolling countryside, delectable Italian fine dining, a captivating wellness spa and world-class 18-hole golf course designed by world-renowned architect Robert Trent Jones Jr. Spread over 1,100 hectares, the resort has a medieval village-like look and feel, divided across a number of buildings and featuring two main ‘hamlets’ – Borgo La Bagnaia and Borgo la Filetta.

“As one of the most distinctive hotels in Tuscany, La Bagnaia has earned a reputation for delivering one-of-a-kind experiences that blend elegant Italian accommodations with modern amenities,” said Marisa Monti Riffeser, owner, La Bagnaia Golf & Spa Resort Siena, Curio Collection by Hilton. “We are proud to join Curio Collection by Hilton, affording us the ability to offer authentic discoveries complemented by the service and consistency of Hilton.”

Resort Highlights
– Spacious Guest Rooms: 99 guest rooms, including 12 suites, each furnished with uniquely sourced art to add that extra touch of elegance. The Canonica residence, for example, combines nine bedrooms, a living room and an exclusive garden.
– The Buddha Spa: A modern and exclusive Tuscan wellness center, The Buddha Spa provides a relaxing and rejuvenating experience. Its natural thermal waters are channeled into swimming pools decorated with classical columns and antique vases.
– Royal Golf Bagnaia: The first 18-hole Tuscan golf course, designed by the renowned architect Robert Trent Jones, Jr., Royal Golf Bagnaia, covers 120 hectares amongst the rolling hills of Siena and picturesque lakes.

Salone del Mobile

Salone del Mobile Milano at the centre of the creative world

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“A stand-alone moment at which culture and industry become an international benchmark and an exemplary model for an Italy that works. It’s been an exciting week, full of positivity and enthusiasm from the companies, which showed themselves off to best advantage, from the creative genius displayed by the architects and designers and from the huge numbers of visitors who flocked to Milan to check out the latest innovations at the Salone and experience the buzz of the city”, said Claudio Luti, President of the Salone del Mobile, as the event closed.

343,602 attendees in 6 days from 165 countries
The figures confirm the positive trend evidenced in the Salone del Mobile and the biennial Euroluce and Workplace3.0 pavilions right from the off, marking a 10% increase on the 2015 edition, the last time the lighting and workplace biennials were held.

The results are further confirmation of Italian President Sergio Mattarella’s remarks when opening the 56th edition for the first time in the history of the Salone del Mobile: “This is not merely a display of exhibits, but also of a business culture that symbolises a method of working together with a particular approach to modern manufacturing.”

Salone del MobileMore than 2,000 exhibitors overall, 34% of them from other countries, were split between the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, the International Furnishing Accessories Exhibition, Euroluce, Workplace3.0 and SaloneSatellite. This edition has served more than ever to underscore the Salone’s powerful synergy with the city of Milan.

Salone president Claudio Luti went on to say: “Enormous numbers of visitors, not necessarily with links to design, have made their way to Milan to experience the thrill of this Salone and of the city itself. Thanks to the collaboration of all the institutions working in the city, Milan has been even more beautiful and welcoming than ever. Milan alone can lay claim to the Salone del Mobile and its industrial enterprises with their links to the creative and publishing world and close ties to the city.”

Salone del MobileThis last edition marked the 20th anniversary of SaloneSatellite, in which more than 650 designers and 16 design schools took part, further celebrated by a special exhibition at the Fabbrica del Vapore, which runs until 25th April.

Salone del MobileThe next edition of the Salone, along with the biennial Bathroom, Kitchen and FTK (Technology For the Kitchen) exhibitions, will be held from 17th to 22nd April 2018, in Milan.

Giardini di Villa della Pergola

Villa della Pergola – A British atmosphere on the Italian Riviera

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Set in lovely 22,000 square-metres of gardens, Villa della Pergola, Villino della Pergola and Casa del Sole are all elegant masterpieces of architecture that date from the end of the nineteenth century overlooking the Gulf of Alassio.

After its winter closing, Villa della Pergola is reopening on the 7th April, where guests staying can feel completely at home in any of its twelve suites, each different from the other, and each dedicated to characters who have stayed at Villa della Pergola or who have been part of the aristocratic British colony that took up residence at Alassio. Villa della Pergola is open until the end of October.

Set in lovely 22,000 square-metres of gardens, Villa della Pergola, Villino della Pergola and Casa del Sole are all elegant masterpieces of architecture
The buildings have a quite unique history that is in fact intimately bound up with this English community that chose to stay on this coast in the years between 1800 and 1900 as one of their favourite wintering holiday spots.

Set in lovely 22,000 square-metres of gardens, Villa della Pergola, Villino della Pergola and Casa del Sole are all elegant masterpieces of architecture

The Villa and the garden were originally the idea of the Scottish General William Montagu Scott Mc Murdo in 1875. In the early years of the twentieth century the grounds and the Villa della Pergola passed into the hands of Virginia Woolf’s cousin Sir Walter Hamilton Dalrymple.

Set in lovely 22,000 square-metres of gardens, Villa della Pergola, Villino della Pergola and Casa del Sole are all elegant masterpieces of architecture
In 1922 the new owner Daniel Hanbury, second-born of Thomas, designer and owner the celebrated Hanbury gardens of La Mortola, Ventimiglia, began the work of developing the collections of plants in the grounds, drawing on the resources of the family’s own botanical gardens.

Set in lovely 22,000 square-metres of gardens, Villa della Pergola, Villino della Pergola and Casa del Sole are all elegant masterpieces of architecture

Villa della Pergola has just been selected to be part of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World, the exclusive club including small independent hotels. Hotels have been carefully selected to celebrate their unique characteristics and high standard.

giardinidivilladellapergola.com

Student Hotel

The Student Hotel group expanding across Europe

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The Student Hotel group, pioneers of hybrid high-quality co-living, co-working hospitality and student accommodation to open in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

The Student Hotel will increase its European portfolio to 16 properties following the introduction of three new locations by 2019. Hotels in Eindhoven (already open) and Delft will add to its business in the Netherlands, which includes two properties in Amsterdam and one in Rotterdam, The Hague, Groningen and Maastricht. Delft is due to open in September this year.

Plans are agreed to open a third property in Italy as Rome joins Florence and Bologna, while Madrid marks The Student Hotel’s entry into the Spanish market.

Student Hotel

While the buildings are all different, they share a mix of contemporary student rooms, hotel rooms and co-living studios. The ground floors are accessible to the public and house study areas, meeting rooms, TSH Collab – co-working space for start-ups and local business – restaurant, bar, games room, gym and garage to house guest bicycles.
Charlie MacGregor, The Student Hotel’s CEO and founder, says: “Wherever we are, The Student Hotel connects students and hotel guests with start-ups, freelancers and the local neighbourhood. This expansion into new markets is just the start, expect many more acquisition announcements as we aim to fulfil our goal of 41 hotels by 2021.”

Madrid
The group’s first co-living and co-working Spanish location will be in the heart of Madrid at the “La Imprenta” building, the former printworks at Cuesta de San Vicente 28. The building, which has been empty for 10 years, will be transformed into a 300-room hotel set to open in September 2019.

The Student Hotel Madrid is near to the city’s Gran Via, close to Principe Pio metro and Suburban railway stations, and within walking distance of the Complutense and Politécnica Universities, plus other learning centres including ICADE, ICAI and IED.

Student Hotel

Rome
The third Italian property will be located in the heart of Rome’s San Lorenzo district, an up and coming area popular with artists, artisans, writers, intellectuals and actors.

The group has acquired a site in Viale dello Scalo S. Lorenzo, which currently houses two buildings. It will refurbish one and demolish and rebuild the second to create the 649-room Student Hotel Rome, scheduled to open in August 2019. Construction will begin in February 2018.

The Student Hotel Rome is a short walk from Sapienza, the city’s main university where 113,000 students are enrolled, and 15-minutes walk from the main train station, Termini.

Delft
The 342-room Student Hotel Delft is a central location right on the Station Delft and the future Van Leeuwenhoek quarter. The most striking part of the hotel is the open front facing the station and park development. Designed by KCAP Architects & Planners, construction is scheduled for 2018 with the opening slated for summer 2019.

Student Hotel

Eindhoven
Now operational, The Student Hotel Eindhoven is a complex with 400 rooms located next to Central Station and adjacent to the campus of the Technical University Eindhoven, the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven and the city centre. The site is part of a larger redevelopment project, Light Courts, which was dormant from 2008 until The Student Hotel became the first investor to kick start the project in 2015.

European Expansion
The Student Hotel will add eight properties to its current eight-strong portfolio by 2019. The four new announcements join Florence, Maastricht, Bologna and Berlin as properties that will open between 2017 and 2019 to bring the total number of Student Hotels in operation or in development to 16.

In Paris, where The Student Hotel operates under the Melon District brand, the property has been refurbished and will rebrand as The Student Hotel Paris this summer.

In Barcelona the Melon District properties will be refurbished and brought in line with The Student Hotel, focusing on international students and study abroad groups. It will launch in September this year.

Future
By 2021 The Student Hotel plans to have 41 properties across Europe that will offer 17,550 rooms and over 620,000 square meters of co-living and co-working space in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France and Germany.

The Student Hotel seeks out and develops dormant and unloved buildings that, once renovated, bring positive economic and social benefits to their neighbourhoods. Each property is open to the community at large and encourages people who live and work in the hotel, or in the neighbourhood, to use its connecting space and facilities.

www.thestudenthotel.com

Il Sereno Lago di Como

Sereno Hotels announces official opening of Il Sereno Lago di Como

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Sereno Hotels is pleased to announce the first official full-season opening of Il Sereno Lago di Como, the first new hotel on Lake Como in decades, designed by famed Milan-based architect and designer Patricia Urquiola.

The all-suite hotel features 30 suites, all with their own furnished terraces and lake views. Il Sereno is the third property to join the Sereno Hotels portfolio after Le Sereno Hotel & Villas in St. Barthélemy and Villa Pliniana, also located on Lake Como.

Decorated Milan restaurateur and Michelin star chef, Andrea Berton, is at the helm of the hotel’s signature restaurant, Ristorante Berton Al Lago, featuring an exquisite menu inspired by the region. Rounding out the all-star team, acclaimed botanist Patrick Blanc contributed his signature vertical botanical gardens throughout the property, including a spectacular “green sculpture” work of art.

“We are thrilled to open the doors of the much-anticipated Il Sereno Lago di Como,” said Luis Contreras, owner of Sereno Hotels. “This project has been a true labour of love between Sereno Hotels and Patricia Urquiola; and we are excited to introduce an entirely new design concept to Lake Como. We know devotees of Sereno Hotels and new guests alike will enjoy the exquisite design coupled with unparalleled attention to detail, amenities and relaxed service our brand is known for.”

A New Vision for Lake Como
In keeping with the Sereno Hotels philosophy of opening intimate, design-driven hotels in highly desired destinations, Lake Como was selected for the site of Il Sereno, as the location has long seduced visitors with its natural beauty and dramatic vistas of the southern Italian Alps. Situated on a sunny promontory next to the village of Torno and surrounded by peaceful views of Lake Como’s natural beauty, lush gardens and idyllic small towns, Il Sereno’s location stretches approximately 450 feet along the lake’s eastern shore. Sereno Hotels partnered with Patricia Urquiola and her team at Studio Urquiola to bring to life the vision of creating a contemporary hotel with understated décor; a contrast to the classical designs that can be found around Lake Como. Urquiola and her team envisioned every facet of the hotel from the architecture to the interior design, which includes designing custom furniture, rugs, wall coverings, lamps, bathtubs and bathroom fixtures.

Spectacular views of Lake Como and scenic mountain ranges greet guests in airy lounge areas that seamlessly integrate the interior and exterior of the accommodations. At the centre of the hotel, Urquiola designed a stunning, original stairwell that serves as one of many focal points around the property. Made with natural materials including walnut wood, the large steps are encased in bronze and effortlessly “float” as the lobby’s centerpiece. The dark and beautiful veins of the walnut wood complement the ceppo di grè stone found throughout the hotel. Guests will also find beautiful marble walls with bas-relief patterns that mimic the patterns found in the Venetian terrazzo floors of the restaurant. The hotel features just 30 spacious luxury suites, each with its own waterfront terrace and unobstructed views of Lake Como.

Modern and custom furnishings created by Urquiola complete the elegant and sophisticated design, with understated earthy tones of grey and walnut with touches of blue and green hues to incorporate the colors found in the surroundings of the iconic Italian Lake. Suite amenities include robes and towels made by D. Porthault for Il Sereno and bath toiletries by Ex Voto Paris, a private bar, 24-hour room service, cutting-edge technology including complimentary Wi-Fi, cordless telephones, flat screen TV’s and blue-tooth music systems. In-room spa services are also available.

Urquiola’s collaboration did not end with the physical aspects of the hotel. Lake Como has been producing the world’s finest silks for centuries and Urquiola also designed silk scarves, or foulards, that are produced locally for hotel staff uniforms; in addition to a custom design that will be available for guests.

serenohotels.com/property/il-sereno/

Masserie Maresca

Masserie Maresca to undergo restoration, extension

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Masseria Grottone, part of Masserie Maresca Farm-Hotel, built between 1812 and 1860 is an agricultural complex a few miles away from Ostuni. Dipped in 40 acres of centenary olive trees and Mediterranean scrub: a natural context of extraordinary richness.

Abandoned for several years, the restoration and extension project has been assigned to the firm Schiattarella Associati having a long history dating back to 1970s and a know-how linked to some of the most significant projects of the last years such as the Seoul Metropolitan Museum, the Children Museum in Kyonggi, the Art Center in Addirriyah and many relevant projects in Italy as well such as the Spanish School of Archaeology, the Cube House in the Olympic Village and the Pediatric Ward of the Umberto I Hospital in Rome.

Recovery of the historical building has taken into consideration the respectful restoration of volumes and vaulted spaces, in order to preserve its original features in addition to the realisation of new expressly contemporary elements that are discreetly placed next to the main structure.

Expansion has enabled to build services in the rooms at ground level without modifying the existing structure. The new building, placed in a position not visible from the main entrance, thanks to a high dry stone wall, doesn’t change the overall perception of the historical structure.

Today the estate hosts a luxury farm-resort with 10 rooms, a garden, a swimming-pool, a patio and a solarium. Interiors are intentionally bare and cleansed: nature with its mighty and thousand-year old olive trees in the surrounding area is the real treasure. Minimal design for furniture, local finishing material, as the Trani stone, are the frame.

Once again, Schiattarella Associati commits to develop a concept of responsible restoration fully respecting history and nature. An intervention that restates Schiattarella Assiociati vision: an act of responsibility towards the community, where each structural, formal and stylistic innovation, is always addressed to improve experience and relationship inside architectural and urban projects, always respecting context and history in which they are embedded.

Restoration and implementation of Masseria Grottone
LOCATION: Ostuni (BR), Italy
CLIENT: MASSERIE MARESCA (www.masseriemaresca.com)
YEAR: 2012-2016
PROJECT: Schiattarella Associati, Andrea Schiattarella, Carla Maresca
PHOTO: Antonio Fatano

www.masseriemaresca.com

Hotel Viu Milan opens in Porta Volta

Hotel Viu Milan opens in Porta Volta

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Taking centre stage in Milan’s hip Porta Volta neighbourhood with its stunning glass façade framed with lush vertical gardens, Hotel Viu Milan is rewriting the rule book on how to make an entrance in Italy’s capital of cool.

Opening March 2017, the 124-room Design Hotels member is surrounded by an exquisite cross section of Milanese culture: from centuries-old historical monuments to grand shopping boulevards and cool drinking dens. And yet it is set to become the area’s hottest landmark thanks to its impeccable Milanese design, in-house Michelin-starred chef, and spectacular rooftop pool—primed to play host to the city’s chicest cocktail hours.

Architects Arassociati Studio sought inspiration from the urban regeneration around Porta Volta when designing Hotel Viu Milan. Rendered in sustainably-sourced wood, metal, and bronzed glass, the hotel’s striking façade is composed of undulating patterns of indentions and projections that define each story. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the rooms and guest areas with natural light and blur the lines between inside and out, a sentiment further cemented by the verdant vertical garden that frames the structure. Milanese firm AG&P Greenscape were responsible for the innovative system of planters and cables that form the foundations of the botanical waterfall, brimming with locally-sourced flora including fragrant jasmine, wisteria, and climbing roses.

 

Arassociati and Nicola Gallizia Studio were entrusted with the interior design of the hotel, which is defined by a tonal colour palette and contemporary textures. Parquet oak wood floors contrast perfectly with light colours and bespoke fabrics, exclusively created for the hotel by the renowned Venetian textile company Rubelli. The furnishings come courtesy of acclaimed furniture design studio Molteni&C, as well as local artisans and carpenters, who have been commissioned to create key pieces inspired by quintessential Italian design.

Hotel Viu Milan opens in Porta Volta

Hotel Viu Milan’s studied elegance extends to the hotel’s 124 rooms and suites, which are a lesson in meticulously-crafted luxury. A neutral colour palette is enhanced by wood paneling of walnut, durmast, and Rosewood, which echoes the lines of the classic design pieces in the rooms. Floor-to-ceiling windows flood the rooms with natural daylight, while private terraces scattered across the first and seventh floors provide unrivalled panoramas over the Milanese skyline. Bathrooms are luxuriously outfitted in Port Laurent marble and, thanks to a retractable wooden wall, bath time is accompanied by an enviable city view, as well as a stash of stylish Malin+Goetz amenities.

Hotel Viu Milan’s fluid ground-floor social spaces open up right off the lobby, a light and airy reception area dotted with original artworks by Sony George and made cozy by an oversized fireplace. The flowing space leads to Bulk, an informal restaurant conceptualized by Michelin-starred chef Giancarlo Morelli. Designed as a multi-faceted social hub centered around regional cuisine, the eatery serves from an open kitchen and low, cozy seating encourages languid lunches. Overlooking Porta Volta’s new public square, Bulk’s Mixology Lounge Bar and Garden is perfectly placed to host the eternal cocktail hours of summer, ably lubricated by the bar team’s expertly-mixed Negronis.

Hotel Viu Milan also plays host to an eponymous gourmet restaurant helmed by Giancarlo Morelli. Pitched at a slightly darker hue thanks to custom lighting by Pentalight, the Restaurant “Giancarlo Morelli” exudes a studied sophistication befitting the Italian fashion capital. For dedicated gourmands, the restaurant’s 12-seater kitchen table gives an unrivalled insight into the inner workings of a Michelin-starred maestro.

Bookending the property is The VIU, the only hotel rooftop in Milan with an outdoor swimming pool that features stunning 360-degree views of the city. Teak lounge furniture is set amid Mediterranean olive trees, creating an urban oasis where guests can while away halcyon hours between dips in the pool.

All photography: Tiziano Sartorio 

The new Bargello Suite - Hotel Brunelleschi

New Bargello Suite at Brunelleschi Hotel, Florence

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Florence is a city made to be admired, photographed, portrayed, contemplated in all its aspects. The Hotel Brunelleschi affords panoramic views of incomparable beauty: guest rooms and suites have postcard views onto the main monuments and symbols of the city center, allowing one to live the atmosphere of the Florence of old. Staying there it is possible to enjoy a unique privilege, an experience that alone is worth the trip.

Since late January the new Bargello Suite was added to the collection of views of the hotel, boasting sophisticated crimson red interior décor and overlooking the old city centre dominated by the iconic Basilica of Santa Croce, related to the origin of the famous “Stendhal syndrome”.

The new Bargello Suite - Hotel Brunelleschi

Hotel Brunelleschi is located in the heart of the city. It is truly unique because it includes in its architectural structure two historic buildings and affords different magnificent views from the rooms onto the main monuments: Brunelleschi’s Dome, Giotto’s Belltower, the thirteenth-century tower by Ghiberti, Palazzo Vecchio. And since a few days also the Basilica of Santa Croce and the Bargello building, hence the name of the latest Suite.

The new Bargello Suite
The latest renovated suites at Hotel Brunelleschi is called Bargello from the view out of one of its windows onto the medieval monument that was once the seat of the military chief and later of the mayor. Now the site houses one of the most important museums of Renaissance sculpture in the world. But the most significant is the view onto the façade of the magnificent Basilica of Santa Croce, so iconic as to be the origin of the famous “Stendhal syndrome”.

The new Bargello Suite - Hotel Brunelleschi

The renewal of the new Bargello Suite was finished in January 2017: its sumptuous and sophisticated interiors are characterized by crimson red. Each of the suites is different, dominated by a colour palette that differentiates it from the others and sets the tone for the atmosphere.

The space of 45 square meters has a warm oak flooring. The decoration is in the unique style of this boutique hotel, that combines classic charm with contemporary décor, characterized by exclusive custom-made furnishings. The décor is marked by an extreme lightness with comfortable velvet sofas, beds with upholstered headboards, matching pillows, elegant chairs, while the windows are framed by precious silk curtains. The finishes are made of top quality materials.

The new Bargello Suite - Hotel Brunelleschi

The comfort of the room is absolute: the bright, spacious marble bathroom has both a tub and a shower with color therapy; the bed is a king size bed of 76×80 in. At disposal, safe, minibar, LCD TV 42″ with 60 digital and Sky channels, Nespresso machine, tea kettle, audio Ipod docking station, scented bath products by Dr. Vranjes and other optionals.

brunelleschihotelflorence.com

Grotta Giusti

Grotta Giusti, Tuscany, reveals plans for a stylish refurbishment

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The prestigious spa hotel, Grotta Giusti, Tuscany, part of hotel brand Italian Hospitality Collection, is delighted to announce a number of luxurious new upgrades for spring 2017. All 64 rooms, the bar, and restaurant will receive a lavish makeover and several exciting new additions will be made, including six dog-friendly rooms and a wine-tasting area.

The refurbishments in the 19th century property, will be unveiled when the hotel reopens on 9th March 2017. Home to the largest thermal caves in Europe, these improvements will serve to cement Grotta Giusti’s position as one of the most unique and exclusive spa hotels in the region.

In addition to a design makeover, the hotel’s 64 bedrooms will be equipped with high-tech touches, such as LED ceiling lights, improved Wi-Fi and more plug sockets for guest convenience, whilst staying true to the classical style the hotel is renowned for. Ten new, interconnecting rooms will appeal to larger families. Dog lovers will be delighted by the addition of six canine-friendly rooms, with special flooring creating a scratch resistant surface for man’s best friend to play on and the hotel’s sprawling 45-hectare grounds providing plenty of space to explore.

Grotta Giusti

Guests will be able to unwind at the end of the day over an indulgent wine-tasting session at the new area by the restaurant, sampling the very best local wines accompanied by mouth-watering canapés.

The interior design overhaul will breathe new life into Grotta Giusti’s guest rooms, bar and restaurant, creating light and airy spaces which reflect the tranquillity of the surrounding Tuscan countryside.

With a decadent history as the former home of famed poet Giuseppe Giusti, Grotta Giusti is now a prestigious hotel that has maintained its historical air and natural charm with a backdrop of antique furnishings and paintings. It offers 64 lavish rooms with marble bathrooms, a large outdoor thermal swimming pool, a large summer pool in the garden and a private underground thermal cave and lake, where guests can scuba dive or indulge in a spot of floating therapy.

grottagiustispa.com/en/

Ritz-Carlton, Abama will re-open its much-loved ‘Verona’ next month, unveiling extensive expansion and a significant renovation of the classic Italian hotspot

Ritz-Carlton, Abama celebrates re-opening of Verona restaurant

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The Ritz-Carlton, Abama will re-open its much-loved ‘Verona’ next month, unveiling extensive expansion and a significant renovation of the classic Italian hotspot.

The re-launch will see Verona welcome its guests to increased dining space and a chic new-look. Marking the leading European destination’s continued commitment to excellence, the new venue forms part of the resort’s gastronomic stable of ten restaurants.

Ritz-Carlton, Abama celebrates re-opening of Verona restaurant

Situated in the heart of The Ritz-Carlton, Abama’s Citadel building and behind its renowned Moorish façade, an open and airy new dining space encourages a vibrant experience true to Italian spirit. White-washed brick walls surround, with accents of wood and graphic wood collaging. Verona’s towering wine cabinets will house its generous collection of Italian wines, complemented by an international list and local island favourites. Each table will be dressed sharply with white table linens juxtaposed with bespoke-design crockery. A large terrace area will also enable diners to enjoy the year-round temperate climate against a backdrop of lush tropical plants and terracotta vistas.

Open every day from 6pm for dinner reservations, Verona will add to guests’ exceptional choice of restaurants, joining The Ritz-Carlton, Abama’s two Michelin-starred, M.B. and Kabuki venues, and its latest openings, Txoko from Martin Berasategui, and the 20/20 steakhouse launched in December 2016.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Guest Blog: New hotels join Small Luxury Hotels Of The World™

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Following our recent 2017 travel trend predictions, we’re bringing you the latest on our newest hotels to look out for in 2017…

The Caribbean takes centre stage

The Manoah Boutique Hotel: Shoal Bay, Anguilla – Opened December 2016
Every aspect of the brand new Manoah Boutique Hotel has been designed to celebrate its stunning location on the shores of Shoal Bay. Opened in December 2016, the 25 bedrooms and suites are decorated in cool neutral shades and each room has a private glass-fronted veranda overlooking the beach. The resort boasts an Olympic-sized swimming pool surrounded by lush tropical gardens plus two tropical beach bars. Guests can opt to spend their days at the tranquil Manoah Spa, or relax on the powdery white sands of Shoal Bay taking in the view. Water sports such as paddle boarding, kayaking or scuba diving can also be arranged. Inspired by a delicious mix of global cuisines, chefs at the Ocean Beach Club Restaurant have created a unique menu using fresh seasonal produce, best enjoyed accompanied by the sound and sights of the sea.

SLH Insider Tip: With local stables nearby, spend an evening on horse-back with a sunset beach ride on Cove Bay.

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The Reef by CuisinArt: Anguilla – Opened November 2016
Desirably situated on Merrywing Bay on the tranquil island of Anguilla, The Reef by CuisinArt debuted in November 2016, revealing a beachfront contemporary oasis featuring 80 suites, directly on the Caribbean Sea. The hotel offers an array of accommodation, some with sea views and others that are right on the white sand beach with dramatic outdoor Jacuzzis. Fresh locally sourced ingredients from the on-property hydroponic farm and fresh seafood fill the menu at the nautical inspired fine dining restaurant, The Yacht Club, and the casual cool beach front bar and restaurant, Breezes. The architecture and design of the hotel is fresh and modern, with touches of colour and the sea brought inside and ocean views from almost every window.

SLH Insider Tip: Head to the other end of the island and take a boat out to tiny coral island, Scilly Cay, for live music, delicious lobster and for what many hail as the best rum punch on the island.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Le Barthélemy Hotel and Spa: St Barthélemy – Opened November 2016
This exclusive oceanfront resort is SLH’s first property in St Barth’s. The hotel opened its doors in November 2016, welcoming guests to its 46 rooms and suites with interiors by celebrated designer Sybille de Margerie and cuisine by Michelin-starred French chef, Guy Martin. The elegant boutique hotel perfectly captures the laid-back luxury of St Barth’s, with light airy interiors and genuine island hospitality. The bright and airy rooms and suites are decorated to reflect the white sands and turquoise blue of the ocean and each one opens out onto a private terrace with ocean or garden views and private swimming pool. Aux Amis, the resort’s restaurant serves a light menu during the day and in the evening the space opens onto a beachfront terrace where guests can enjoy French and international cuisine overlooking the bay. The hotel’s spa has partnered with luxury French skin care brand La Mer and offers a wide array of treatments in its open-air atrium.

SLH Insider Tip: On the south-east tip of the island sits Anse de Columbiere – this undeveloped bay is only accessible by foot or by boat and is a peaceful haven for those seeking somewhere secluded to swim and sunbathe.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Paradise Beach: St Kitts and Nevis
Exclusivity, intimacy and personal service are key at this beachfront resort on the utopian island of St Kitts and Nevis. Boasting an idyllic location – nestled into a glorious white-sand beach and overlooking St Kitts and Mount Nevis – Paradise Beach Nevis has the distinction of being the only villa resort on the Caribbean island of Nevis. The resort is child friendly and the villas for up to eight people make it a great option for a family getaway. Each of the seven villas is its own personal palace with a marble or limestone bath, king beds, a sound system which allows guest to stream their own music, fitness studio, dining rooms for private meals, a private pool, a sea view and kitted out with Hermés bath products. The hand woven, palm roofs were designed to mirror the Nevis Peak, which, combined with lush gardens and an amazing beach, provide a paradise of luxury and tranquillity.

SLH Insider Tip: Probably one of the more well-known attractions but still well worth the hype is the Sugar train –the last scenic railway in the West Indies. The double decker carriages have open sided top decks for guests to enjoy the breeze along with their rum punch and the sounds of the trains own choir.

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Point Grace Resort and Spa: Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos
An all-suite hideaway surrounded by perfect sandy beaches as far as the eye can see, Point Grace Resort and Spa overlooks the stunning Grace Bay and is SLH’s first hotel in Turks and Caicos. The tropical resort is turn-of the-century style with a contemporary twist and consists of 25 suites all spanning over 1,000 square feet, two restaurants and the Thalasso Spa, where treatments are inspired by the ocean. Grace’s Cottage, the hotel’s fine dining restaurant is an architectural gem featuring picturesque outdoor seating where old world elegance meets modern gourmet cuisine. Guests can also enjoy lunch and breakfast at Hutchings, which is nestled in a tropical garden and serves casual food with a Caribbean influence. A unique collection of African tribal crafts and artwork can be found dotted around the hotel, most of which are locally sourced from the island and lend an insight into the culture and travel experience of the turn of the century West Indian traveller.

SLH Insider Tip: If you’re a wildlife lover visit the Leeward settlement, an uninhabited islet known as ‘Iguana Island’ – a sanctuary for the endangered Turks & Caicos Rock Iguana.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Unique Island Escapes

Kokomo Island: Kadavu Islands , Fiji – Opening March 2017
Combining luxury, sustainability and unspoilt beauty, Kokomo Island is Fiji’s newest and most exclusive private island resort, situated on the edge of the celestial Kadavu Island group. Kokomo Island opens in March 2017 and is the first SLH hotel in Fiji. The boutique property is encircled by the untouched Great Astrolabe Reef so ideal for diving enthusiasts (the hotel has its own Dive Centre for guests). The 21 villas, owner’s beachfront residence and five hilltop residences are designed for privacy and comfort, featuring sustainable design and traditional Fijian touches, all alive with character. Guests can enjoy fresh, sustainably-sourced produce at the resort’s three restaurants, as well as a number of dining experiences including a chef BBQ and private island picnic. The Kokomo Island spa blends world-class Sodashi products with rejuvenating indigenous Fijian beauty rituals to create signature treatments. The hotel is a personal passion project for Australian billionaire property developer, Lang Walker, who, together with his family, has brought his vision for an island paradise like no other to life.

SLH Insider Tip: Visit the nearby manta ray cleaning station, where manta rays come to get freshened up by wrasse fish, and take the opportunity to swim with the rays.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Naxian Collection Luxury Villas and Suites: Naxos, Greece
Situated on the lesser known Greek island of Naxos, Naxian Collection is a chic hill-top retreat with ten sugar cube white villas and suites providing a serene sanctuary. The cave-like rooms are decked out with minimalist interiors, cream walls, bamboo screens and giant bathtubs. Each room offers stunning views over landscaped gardens, lagoons and nearby Naxos town, which is just two miles away. Pretty Agios Prokopios beach is just a ten minute walk from the property and there are plenty of walking or horse-riding trails to keep outdoorsy guests busy. The hotel’s kitchen boasts plenty of local organic ingredients and traditional Naxian recipes from the property’s own organic field, free-range chicken coop, nearby olive groves and the family vineyards. It also has its own wine cellar which is home to a formidable selection of local wine.

SLH Insider Tip: Try and time your stay with a classical music concert or violin recital at the Venetian Museum of Naxos in the Kastro which offers live entertainment year round.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World

Sikelia: Pantelleria, Italy
Known as the ‘Black pearl of the Mediterranean’, Pantelleria is a perfect escape for adventurous travellers willing to voyage a little further to be rewarded by natural volcanic hot springs, a rugged coastline, spectacular caves surrounded by the bluest of seas and warm volcanic waters to swim in. The enigmatic owner, Giulia Pazienz, ensures all the service is personal, friendly and sincere. Built out of an ancient dammuso, designed by the island’s most famous resident architect – Gabriella Guintoli, the wild beauty of the island is reflected in the hotel itself. Ancient pottery, glazed painted tiles and predominantly dark shades throughout lend an air of drama to the property. The 20 rooms are unique yet share a stylish design with meticulous attention to the finer details, with Frette linens and Hermés products in every bathroom. At the hotel’s restaurant, Themá, the chef combines fresh fish and shellfish with vegetables grown in Sikelia’s own garden, serving bold flavours from Arabia, Africa and Southern Italy. This is all served with intense, aromatic wine from the owner’s estate, made from the Zibibbo grape, indigenous of the island.

SLH Insider Tip: For a more informal dining experience, guests can head to the owner’s Coste Ghirlanda Wine Laboratory which is flooded with candles and offers a rustic cosy vibe where guests eat under the stars on communal kitchen tables.

Small Luxury Hotels of the World

www.slh.com/

Leeu Collection adds Florence property to European portfolio

Leeu Collection adds Florence property to European portfolio

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Expanding its international hospitality portfolio further, Leeu Collection has acquired its second European property, the former Collegio Alla Querce in Florence, Italy.

Located in Via della Piazzuola, just 2km north-east of the city’s historic heart and 9km from Florence’s international airport, the complex covers a total area of 13,400m2 plus 15,500m2 of park, which will be transformed into a 70-plus bedroom luxury hotel and gardens, set to open in 2021. Parts of the historic Collegio Alla Querce, which has its own chapel and theatre, were previously used as a boarding school and hotel.

This latest acquisition echoes the vision of Analjit Singh, Leeu Collection’s founder and entrepreneur of Indian origin, of creating unrivalled escapes and offering visitors extraordinary experiences.

For Analjit, giving this project the ‘Leeu touch’ through redevelopment and renovation is of utmost importance. “We will remain true to the pillars of our brand: inspiring art collections, distinct architecture and design; manicured and detailed landscaping that reflects respect for the environment; superlative service with attention to the smallest detail; spectacular views and an outstanding food and wine experience.

“Given the Florence hospitality and tourism boom, as well as the improving economic backdrop rejuvenating the European hotel sector, this new development is well timed and complements our existing portfolio. The Leeu Collection team will create an unforgettable experience in a superb setting.”

“The acquisition of this formidable historic property will complement Leeu Collection’s ethos of extraordinary offerings around the globe,” added Carrie Wicks, CEO of Leeu Collection. “The project foresees the creation of a 5-star luxury hotel and a wide range of additional facilities, such as meeting and event spaces, a spa and restaurants.”

Mascagni Luxury

Italian Space Hotels welcomes the Mascagni Luxury Dependance

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It is both an apartment and a hotel housed in a magnificent Renaissance Revival building in the heart of Rome.

It is both a one-of-a-kind accommodation and a place to feel at home. The Mascagni Luxury Dépendance, which opened in July 2016, offers all this and more. Being ever attentive to trends in the hospitality sector, the Space Hotels group has just added this Roman hotel to its portfolio, as it is a shining example of how an establishment can re-invent and evolve itself to keep up with the needs of its clientele.

The Mascagni Luxury Dépendance, which is an annex located just twenty metres from the Hotel Mascagni in a prestigious 19th-century Renaissance Revival building with mosaic floors, opens up a new frontier in the capital city’s hospitality. Its twelve suites and rooms are located on the building’s fourth and fifth floors, offering guests who choose to stay in this “Roman home” both an exceptional view of the city’s rooftops and the convenience of hotel room.

The annex was created by the Hotel Mascagni based on its many years of experience and opened in July 2016 to offer a more intimate and innovative concept of hospitality, that of independent accommodation. The group of rooms was skilfully designed by an architect who blended the comfort of a hotel with a feeling of familiarity and home. The décor in all the suites and rooms was inspired by the modern, elegant Rationalist style of the early 1940s and updated with pastel-coloured walls and matching fabrics that contrast with the dark parquet floors and luxury furnishings. The use of precious Carrara marble in the ensuite bathrooms and hallways makes this annex into a luxury home.

What is the advantage of having hotel rooms in a residential building? The answer is an easy one. The advantage is staying in a peaceful and private room that is completely independent and still offers all the comfort and attention of being a guest in a hotel. As well as having access to a 24-hour reception desk with check-in and check-out service, choosing between a buffet or room-service breakfast and being only 20 metres away from a charming bar.

All the guestrooms are designed to be lived in like apartments, so they offer ample space and an area to store luggage. Moreover, each room has a kettle for making tea and a Nespresso machine for making Italian coffee at any time of the day. And last but not least, the expected and appreciated modern technology of USB wall sockets for charging mobiles and tablets. Both the inward and outward facing rooms offer wonderful views of Rome’s famous cityscape, from Via XX Settembre to the famous Piazza Esedra.

www.spacehotels.it

Generator Hostels

Sneak Peek: Generator Hostels in Amsterdam, Rome & Stockholm

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Generator Hostels have opened three new beautiful design hostels in Amsterdam, Rome and Stockholm…

Amsterdam
The Amsterdam hostel has been built in a former zoological university building reusing the old lecture hall as a bar and chill-out lounge.

Rome
The Rome hostel has the interior covered with a tapestry of Roman heritage with stylish private rooms.

Stockholm
Finally, the Stockholm hostel has a unique style with luxurious private rooms and everything design-led from the bar to the rooms.

Chia Laguna, Sardinia in final stages of €70,000,000 investment plan

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The prestigious Chia Laguna resort, Sardinia is delighted to announce a number of new upgrades to Hotel Baia for the 2017 season. Two new restaurants, a new bar, a semi-Olympic pool and 80 new rooms will be unveiled at the start of the 2017 season on Saturday 20th May 2017.

The renovations are the next stage of Italian Hospitality Collection’s €70,000,000 investment plan for Chia Laguna that began in 2011, placing it amongst the most exclusive resorts in the Mediterranean. Hotel Baia’s 80 rooms will be fully renovated this winter. The light and airy rooms come in four categories. The Prestige Parco, Prestige Laguna and Prestige Mare rooms can all sleep up to three guests, a cot can also be provided. The majority of rooms are interconnecting making them a great choice for families.

The spacious new Junior Suites with sea views offer two rooms – bedroom and living room – and can sleep up to four guests plus a cot for babies.

A spacious new 140sqm, two-bedroom Suite Incanto with a wide living room and large garden is artfully positioned overlooking the picturesque bay below, with views of the flamingo adorned lagoon and the award-winning beach. The suite boasts two double-rooms with sitting areas and en-suite bathrooms. The rooms are connected by a spacious living room with a sofa-bed and separate bathroom, creating room for up to six guests.

Hotel Baia boasts access to one of Italy’s most beautiful beaches and offers guests complimentary beach service in a private area with umbrellas, sunbeds and towels. Chia Laguna is a collection of four hotels set amongst the turquoise waters and unspoilt countryside of Chia Bay in enchanting Southern Sardinia.

Hotel Eden, Rome

Rome’s iconic Hotel Eden to reopen April 2017

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Dorchester Collection is proud to announce the greatly anticipated reopening of its tenth hotel, Hotel Eden in Rome, for April 2017.

Having undergone an extensive restoration programme since November 2015, the updates will enhance the hotel’s original design whilst preserving the much loved spirit of the property: the project will unveil 98 spacious guestrooms and suites and will offer a captivating and dynamic food and drink concept with enhanced panoramic views across the Eternal City.

Hotel Eden will also introduce a new urban spa complete with four suites. These will feature a fusion of pampering signature treatments and wellness offerings by Sonya Dakar and Officina Profumo Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, alongside a blow-dry bar and a manicure and pedicure space.

Hotel Eden, Rome

The restoration blends contemporary features with the charm and authentic classic Roman style of the property. Interior designers, Bruno Moinard and Claire Betaille of 4BI & Associates, together with Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku from Jouin Manku, were appointed to the project.

Moinard, who previously completed the redesign of some of the public spaces at Hôtel Plaza Athénée as well as The Grill at The Dorchester in 2014, has overseen the interior decoration of the lobby, rooms and suites, while Patrick Jouin and Sanjit Manku were entrusted with the restoration of the restaurants and bar on the sixth floor, which offer guests magnificent views of the city below.

General manager, Luca Virgilio, comments: “Hotel Eden has a rich heritage and prominent location in the heart of Rome. While it continues to rank as one of the top hotels in the world, the restoration programme will revitalise the property and lead it into its next chapter. Our vision is to create a property that will continue to enchant both local residents and international travellers alike and we cannot wait to welcome guests this spring.”

Curio - A Collection Tuscany

Curio – A Collection to arrive in Tuscany

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Hilton has reached a management agreement with Agricola Merse to bring Curio – A Collection by Hilton to Tuscany. The 101-guestroom La Bagnaia Golf & Spa Resort Siena is set to welcome guests from March 2017.

Surrounded by the beautiful Sienese countryside, La Bagnaia is a tranquil oasis set against a landscape scattered with charming medieval hamlets and towns. Spread over 1,100 hectares, the upscale hotel has a village-like look and feel, divided across a number of buildings and featuring two main ‘hamlets’ – Borgo La Bagnaia and Borgo la Filetta.

The resort includes the Buddha Spa by Clarins and is connected to an 18-hole golf course. The range of facilities provided by the hotel for leisure and business travellers include two restaurants and two bars, three swimming pools, 12 treatment rooms, a tennis court, and conference rooms which combined cater for almost 1,000 delegates.

Situated just 12km from the city of Siena – a World Heritage Site and one of Italy’s most popular tourist destinations – the hotel is conveniently located for guests wishing to access the city’s many attractions including the Piazza del Campo, the Mangia Tower and the Santa Maria Assunta Cathedral. Steeped in history, culture-rich Siena and its surrounding areas offer multiple attractions including exquisite Italian cuisine and world-famous vineyards.

Il Sereno Lago di Como

Sereno Hotels announces opening of Il Sereno Lago di Como

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Sereno Hotels is pleased to announce the grand opening of Il Sereno Lago di Como, the first new hotel on Lake Como in decades, designed by famed Milan-based architect and designer Patricia Urquiola. The all-suite hotel features 30 suites, all with their own furnished terraces and lake views.

Il Sereno is the third property to join the Sereno Hotels portfolio after Le Sereno Hotel & Villas in St. Barthélemy and Villa Pliniana, also located on Lake Como. Decorated Milan restaurateur and Michelin star chef, Andrea Berton, is at the helm of the hotel’s signature restaurant, Ristorante Berton Al Lago, featuring an exquisite menu inspired by the region. Rounding out the all-star team, acclaimed botanist Patrick Blanc contributed his signature vertical botanical gardens throughout the property, including a spectacular “green sculpture” work of art.

Il Sereno, Lake Como

“We are thrilled to open the doors of the much-anticipated Il Sereno Lago di Como,” said Luis Contreras, owner of Sereno Hotels. “This project has been a true labour of love between Sereno Hotels and Patricia Urquiola; and we are excited to introduce an entirely new design concept to Lake Como. We know devotees of Sereno Hotels and new guests alike will enjoy the exquisite design coupled with unparalleled attention to detail, amenities and relaxed service our brand is known for.”

In keeping with the Sereno Hotels philosophy of opening intimate, design-driven hotels in highly desired destinations, Spectacular views of Lake Como and scenic mountain ranges greet guests in airy lounge areas that seamlessly integrate the interior and exterior of the accommodations. At the centre of the hotel, Urquiola designed a stunning, original stairwell that serves as one of many focal points around the property.

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RELATED: Sereno Hotels launches Patricia Urquiola-designed Il Sereno
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Made with natural materials including walnut wood, the large steps are encased in bronze and effortlessly “float” as the lobby’s centerpiece. The dark and beautiful veins of the walnut wood complement the ceppo di grè stone found throughout the hotel. Guests will also find beautiful marble walls with bas-relief patterns that mimic the patterns found in the Venetian terrazzo floors of the restaurant. The hotel features just 30 spacious luxury suites, each with its own waterfront terrace and unobstructed views of Lake Como.

Il Sereno, Lake Como

Modern and custom furnishings created by Urquiola complete the elegant and sophisticated design, with understated earthy tones of grey and walnut with touches of blue and green hues to incorporate the colors found in the surroundings of the iconic Italian Lake. Suite amenities include robes and towels made by D. Porthault for Il Sereno and bath toiletries by Ex Voto Paris, a private bar, 24-hour room service, cutting-edge technology including complimentary Wi-Fi, cordless telephones, flat screen TV’s and blue-tooth music systems. In-room spa services are also available.

“Sereno Hotels has perfected the art of providing luxury service in a relaxed manner and we look forward to introducing our brand of service to Lake Como,” said Samy Ghachem, Managing Director of Sereno Hotels. “Guests will have access to not only the best in design, amenities and cuisine, but will also find an attention to detail that is unrivalled.”

Il Sereno, Lake Como

Urquiola’s collaboration did not end with the physical aspects of the hotel. Lake Como has been producing the world’s finest silks for centuries and Urquiola also designed silk scarves, or foulards, that are produced locally for hotel staff uniforms; in addition to a custom design that will be available for guests.

Il Sereno, Lake Como

Sereno Hotels launches Patricia Urquiola-designed Il Sereno

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Il Sereno presents a new era of luxury hotel for the iconic destination of Lake Como with an ethos of understated elegance. Designed by Patricia Urquiola, Wallpaper* Designer of The Year 2015, the all-suite hotel will have 30 spacious rooms, ranging from 65-square-metres to The Penthouse at 200+ square metres, all with floor-to-ceiling windows and all of them on the waterfront.

London restaurateur Giuliano Lotto (La Petite Maison, Il Baretto) will operate the hotel’s indoor-outdoor Restaurant Il Sereno. Guests can also relax at the hotel’s full-service spa, situated under original arches dating back centuries.

The property will feature a private beach, as well as a dock, allowing guests to arrive by one of the hotel’s boats custom-built by Ernesto Riva. One of Il Sereno’s show stopping features will be the 60-foot-long freshwater infinity pool suspended over the water and the large sundeck.

Il Sereno, Lake Como

DESIGN
Highly sought-after Milan-based architect and designer Patricia Urquiola will create a stylish modern look at Il Sereno, moving away from the Faux Renaissance and Neo Classic design that dominate in the area. Urquiola is one of the leading names in design today and has been commissioned by brands including Louis Vuitton, Baccarat, Panerai and Missoni, amongst many others.

Urquiola will create a relaxed, peaceful sanctuary for guests, drawing inspiration from Lake Como’s culture, lifestyle and the history of the region. Every space on the property will offer a panoramic view of the lake and mountains with the hotel being sensitively designed to complement and showcase its surroundings. Il Sereno is made largely from natural materials, including wood, stone, wools and other fabrics, to create an aesthetic full of personality, whilst remaining timeless.

Il Sereno, Lake Como

Joining Urquiola on the project is noted botanist Patrick Blanc, who will create two vertical gardens to ensure that the hotel blends with its surroundings, as well as landscaped gardens on the property. This project is of special importance to Urquiola with the hotel being close to her home town, Milan, one of the design capitals of the world, particularly for furniture.

Key to the design has been to instill the same principles that have made LeSereno St. Barths a success. The Serenoguest expects a hotel that has a strong sense of place, a very well developed design sensitivity and that solves the challenge to provide exclusive, sophisticated and very high-end services in a relaxed and simple manner. A central brand promise is that no matter how luxurious or well designed, there is no substitute for views and space.

DINING
Sereno Hotels has partnered with celebrated London restaurateur Giuliano Lotto to launch Restaurant Il Sereno. Lotto is currently involved in several of London’s most acclaimed restaurants, including La Petite Maison and Il Baretto, and has recently opened Restaurant Le Sereno, St. Barths.

Il Sereno, Lake Como

Luis Contreras, owner of SerenoHotels, said about the opening: “We are thrilled to announce a new hotel under the Sereno brand. We believe that Lake Como, alongside St. Barths, is the perfect setting for an idyllic, luxury property. We are also extremely honoured to be working with Patricia on such a unique concept.”

www.ilsereno.com

Palazzo Scanderbeg, Rome

Palazzo Scanderbeg, Rome – where Renaissance meets design

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Consisting of eleven Townhouse rooms and grand Suites of different sizes, the luxury Palazzo Scanderbeg is located in the heart of Rome, with a rich history dating back to the 15th century. Thanks to a careful restoration carried out by Lamaro Appalti, this hotel can now be enjoyed by the travellers of today.

Palazzo Scanderbeg, Rome: Where Renaissance meets design

Today Palazzo Scanderbeg pays tribute to its illustrious past with a contemporary and sober, yet sophisticated style, embellished by wooden floors recovered from antique Venetian mooring poles and high ceilings with exposed beams.

Palazzo Scanderbeg

The furniture signed Cappellini and Poltrona Frau; the precious suspension lamp by Terzani that lights up the helical-shaped stairs; the Sartori carpets, that mix old Persian rugs in a delicate patchwork; as well as all the other furnishings are examples of that elegant Italian design that exalts craftsmanship also in the most modern style.

Palazzo Scanderbeg

The Palazzo consists of 4 floors and is built around a courtyard where there is a fountain decorated with a decorative gargoyle, from which water flows, a symbol of Italian Mannerism. The building features beautiful terraces, but one of the most sought-after corners is the Library Room – from here one has access to the exclusive Suites, the largest of which measures 166-square-metres.

palazzoscanderbeg.com

GROHE at Milan Design Week

Join GROHE for exclusive dinner at Milan Design Week

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April will see representatives of the world’s fashion and design industry converge on Milan, where the 55th Milan Design Week will be held from 12 to 17 April 2016. GROHE is delighted to host an exclusive dinner on 14 April, called “A View on Innovation” which will provide architects, business partners and media representatives exciting insights into the industry.

In addition, the Milan GROHE Showroom, which can normally only be visited by special invitation, will be open to the public for the whole of the Milan Design Week.

GROHE’s products will also be displayed at the exhibition “different suites X different people” by renowned architect, Simone Micheli.

For more information on GROHE’s involvement at Milan Design Week 2016, please visit GROHE’s website here.

Hotel Marinedda, Sardinia

Hotel Marinedda, Sardinia Italy (Patrick Goff)

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For many years my practice worked for island hotel groups, the Hugglers (see Club Hotel and Spa) and the Seymours of Jersey (see the Merton), through some very tough times for tourism on the island as it shrank from some 27,000 bedrooms to 9,000. For small islands there are many problems that affect the work of designers — limited competition between a few contractors, for example, who can carve up work between themselves and may have limited ranges of specialisation. Even supply from outside the island can put site work at the mercy of island transport links.

Transport links can also be a limiter on how guest reach hotels too. It may be there is only one airline serving the island, or a limited seat capacity restricting the ability to offer low prices or to raise tourism numbers. Jersey for example suffers from sea fogs which can restrict the ability of airlines to keep to schedules. Seat prices are high too.

Recently I was invited to look at a group of hotels on Sardinia. Interesting to see the island listed as having its own separatist movement wanting to take it back independently of Italy into being once again the Kingdom of Sardinia. Somehow for these separatist movements they are quite happy to believe that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.

Hotel Marinedda, Sardinia
Like Seymour’s who only operate on Jersey (Hugglers also operate the Apollo in England), Delphina only operates on the island, the owners being a construction group with a great eye for locations and the ability to move quickly to exploit them once found. Northern Sardinia is partly the Costa Smeralda. The hotels currently operate seasonally. You might think this is due to the weather, closing in winter being a sensible option, but no hotelier likes losing quality staff during a closure. No this is down to the fact that the airlines only operate the routes to the local airport seasonally.

Sometimes I wonder why Islands don’t operate their own airlines or ferry services rather than leaving themselves at the mercy of offshore operators — I guess the desire for independence doesn’t run to spending their own money. Delphina operates eight four and five star hotels in the north of Sardinia, beautifully located overlooking the coastline with its secret beaches and rocky coves, on the edge of a marine reserve that is a divers delight, and almost a part of the Costa Smeralda itself.

Sardinia has a pink granite rock a little like Jersey’s but unlike Jersey it is washed by warm seas with very little tidal rise and fall, allowing the permanent beach provision of umbrellas, sunbathing platforms, bars etc, unthreatened most of the year by the sea itself. The rock creates little almost private coves along the shore each with a small sandy beach slipping into a warm emerald sea. In addition the absence of threat from the sea itself enables a relaxed style of both townscape and hotel design that can rarely be found in the UK, enhanced by glorious riots of colour from oleander and bougainvillea.

Hotel Marinedda, Sardinia
In Sardinia the towns also build right to the sea, unlike England where they hide behind the beach defences and sea walls our up to 15 metre high tides demand, even before we talk of 14 metre high Atlantic or 20 metre North Sea waves. In Sardinia current legislation prevents any building close to the shore line but many hotels and towns go to the water’s edge as they pre-date this law and enjoy the barely half a metre rise and fall rhythm of the Mediterranean. With local roots and local pride Delphina makes the most of this heritage in its hotels. It uses local produce and local cuisine in its restaurants and emphasises its link with the sea by operating seawater Thalasso Spas in 6 of the hotels.The use of local stone builds (literally) the relationship with the local landscape.

Buildings are low rise and follow the contours, the architect and planners having a good eye for how to integrate the resort with the landscape, curving around both pools and the sandy beaches the small coves provide along the property waterfront. Rooms have balconies with sea views and paths through the oleander and bougainvillea lead guest via pools with waterfalls to the beach bars and sunloungers that fringe the beaches. In keeping with the architecture the interior design follows local tradition — painted walls, tiled floors, covered balconies and windows that open to let sea breezes cool and ventilate. Even in the summer heat the rooms feel cool and the vernacular of stone, thick walls, shuttered (and well shaded) windows create rooms that even though they have air conditioning are still cool without it on.

Hotel Marinedda, Sardinia
More surprising then is the fact that there is little sign of solar power being deployed given the endless days of sunlight. Washrooms are generously sized and few have baths — again driven by attitudes to water conservation and the quick shower taken after sea bathing. Baths are appropriate where soaking out the stress of a day is needed, but here holiday makers might shower two or three times a day so water conservation becomes a major consideration. For families with small children rooms with baths are available providing notice is given on booking.

This is an hotel without corridors in the conventional sense since all access is along paths that follow the contour lines, each bedroom unit being accessed via its own ‘front door’ off a ‘street’. Balconies look out to sea across gardens planted profusely with oleander and bougainvillea, the gorgeous colours enhanced by the strong Mediterranean sunlight.

In contrast the colours painted on the bedroom walls as faded blushes and blues, gently harmonising with the landscape and the fabrics. Schemes might at first glance seem bland but in a landscape of strong brilliant sunlight and shadow they are restful and calming, making rooms a retreat from the bright turquoise of the sea and the hard light of the sun. The timber used is traditional chestnut, used both for the traditional form furniture and also for the structural timbers that provide the framework for the planting that shades the walkways.

Hotel Marinedda, Sardinia
Use of local materials continues in the way in which the signage is controlled. Using outcrops of stone signage is either painted or incised into the local rock/boulders, integrating signage neatly into the landscape.

Running down from the Reception desk is the line of pools terminating on the beach. The chain of water provides a heart to the hotels, and each major point has its own restaurant and along the way the spa hides itself, with treatment rooms having delightful porthole windows that allow light in from beneath the water of the pools, filling them with a calming aquamarine dappling and restful for those having massage treatments.

Tucked away off a pathway the spa is ‘buried’ within the rock, merging into the same contour following building line adopted by the bedrooms. Even seen from the sea the development is skilfully enveloped by the landscape, and for the spa the use of treatment rooms underneath the level of the pools furthers this process of incorporation. The pools themselves are enlivened with water falls and spa areas, some linked as seawater treatment areas (Thalasso), some there for pleasure for those who prefer a pool to the beautifully warm crystal clear Mediterranean that laps tidelessly onto the beach (sigh)…

Hotel Marinedda, Sardinia
The walks meander through the gardens, sometimes passing rooms where balconies are furnished not just with loungers or tables and chairs but also with thoughtful rails for drying beach towels and costumes, where an evening beer can be – oh stop, enough! Writing this on a cool autumn evening under grey English skies this is torture…

Rooms have Wi-Fi and Sky TV, which has to compete with sunsets and birdsong and the inevitable noise of cicadas. Mr Hilton said location, location, location. Well Mr Hilton, say to that Sardinia, Sardinia, Sardinia. If you like swimming in a crystal clear sea, marine parks, sun and sand then this hotel facilitates that enjoyment. Skilfully planned, pleasantly serviced, generously sized it is well enough designed to slip gracefully into the background, not trying (as so many gauche designs do) to compete with experience of the holiday maker.

Here the memories will be of sunsets and the environment, the sea and sky, of bougainvillea. When asked the reply would be “the hotel – yeah- it was OK”. Impressing with aggressive design is not what its about here. Instead it is well designed to complement the holiday experience, not compete with it. Here the designers ego is subordinated to the hotel guest’s pleasure.

Which is exactly as it should be.

©All words and Pictures Patrick Goff 2014