Katara Hospitality today announced that the internationally-renowned Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan will join The Luxury Collection® portfolio, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE: HOT). Owned by Katara Hospitality, Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Milan will open this November following an extensive renovation. The opening will mark The Luxury Collection’s seventh hotel in Italy, as the brand remains on track to surpass 100 hotels globally in the next five years.
The management agreement was signed by H.E. Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, Chairman of Katara Hospitality and by Mr. Frits van Paasschen, President & CEO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts. The ceremony took place at Katara Hospitality headquarters in Doha and was held in the presence of Italian Ambassador to Qatar H.E. Guido de Sanctis, H.E. Abdul Aziz Bin Ahmed Al Malki, Deputy Chairman of Katara Hospitality and Chief Executive Officer and Board Member of Katara Hospitality.
“We always embrace the local spirit wherever we invest in hotel assets around the world and the Excelsior Hotel Gallia in Milan is no exception,” said H.E. Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al Thani, Chairman, Katara Hospitality. “We have made a major investment to bring this grand property back to its true glory. Today, it gives us great pleasure to share our Italian flagship property with Starwood Hotels & Resorts.”
“I would like to thank Katara Hospitality for putting their trust in Starwood as we extend our partnership to bring The Luxury Collection brand to Milan,” said Mr. Frits van Paasschen, President & CEO, Starwood Hotels & Resorts. “With the brand’s origin in Italy, we are delighted to open this newly renovated hotel in Milan. Historic architectural gems such as Excelsior Hotel Gallia are perfectly suited to The Luxury Collection brand, which offers authentic travel experiences and exceptional service for global explorers and the local community.”
Mr. Bart Carnahan, Senior Vice President Acquisition & Development, Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Europe, Africa & Middle East added, “As an established market, Italy offers exceptional potential to expand our presence across all brands, especially in the luxury sector. The iconic Excelsior Hotel Gallia joins other historic landmark Luxury Collection hotels in Italy, in Venice and Naples as well as exceptional resorts in Costa Smeralda in Sardinia.”
Located in the Piazza Duca d’Aosta, Excelsior Hotel Gallia opened in 1932 in central Milan as one of the city’s most prestigious hotels. Now undergoing a meticulous renovation and strategic expansion, the hotel will return its original grandeur where Milan’s most fashionable mix and mingle. Marrying contemporary design with the Belle Époque architectural style, the hotel’s new architecture and design concept – led by Studio Marco Piva – has already won an Italian tourism industry award*, recognising its outstanding combination of historical and contemporary elements.
The hotel will offer 235 elegant guest rooms and suites, a signature restaurant and a roof-top bar with panoramic views of the city, an elegant lounge bar and cigar room, plus 1,000 square metres of wellness facilities including a spa, indoor swimming pool and fitness centre. Excelsior Hotel Gallia will also offer unparalleled event and meeting spaces for special celebrations including a congress centre spanning more than 1,000 square metres and comprising two ballrooms, six meeting rooms and a business centre.
Chief Executive Officer of Katara Hospitality added, “We are confident the ethos of The Luxury Collection brand is a strategic fit for our hotel as it is important that we have an operator which understands and respects the heritage of this wonderful hotel, ensuring it occupies its rightful position in the Italian and global market-places when it re-opens later this year.”
Katara Hospitality is a global hotel owner, developer and operator with a collection of iconic hotels in key markets across Europe, Africa and Asia.
Starwood currently has 21 hotels in Italy, representing five of its lifestyle brands – St. Regis, The Luxury Collection, Sheraton, Westin and Four Points by Sheraton. In Milan, the company is represented by The Westin Palace, Sheraton Diana Majestic, Sheraton Milan Malpensa Airport Hotel & Conference Centre and Four Points by Sheraton Milan, and is set to launch W Milan in 2016. Last year, The Luxury Collection restored and reopened The Gritti Palace in Venice, enhanced the public spaces and guest accommodations including the addition of unique suites at Hotel Danieli in Venice and introduced new villas to Hotel Pitrizza and Hotel Romazzino in Costa Smeralda in Sardinia.
The “Tourism for Italy” award in the “New Hospitality Structures” category was announced at the Expo Italia Real Estate exhibition in Milan and accepted by Studio Marco Piva, the architecture and design firm overseeing the hotel refurbishment.