European Hotels in The Luxury Collection Get Top Notch Renovations to Restore Their Former Glory
- Dec 07, 2012
By Alex Girda, Associate Editor
Seville—A number of European properties, part of The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, are in different stages of renovation and restoration, part of a continent-wide operation worth $200 million. Part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc., The Luxury Collection includes a number of more than 80 such venues in 30 countries across the world. 2012 has marked the reopening of the Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville and Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian. Also included in the ample investment are Venice’s Gritti Palace and Prince de Galles hotel in Paris.
The Hotel Alfonso XIII in Seville was opened earlier this year after a 10-month long renovation and restoration process, time during which the interiors received a face-lift from The Gallery at HBA London. The historic building is one of the European continent’s most acclaimed hospitality properties, and has been so since it was built at the request of King Alfonso XIII in 1929. The renovation’s results were awarded with the Gold Key Design Award in the category of “Best Historic Renovation.” A complex synergy of Moorish architecture and regional Andalusian design, the building is a 151-key, luxury hotel that also offers dining options such as the Spanish cuisine Bodega Alfonso, the poolside Taifas restaurant and bar, and the Art Deco-style American Bar.
The second Spanish venue to be included in the $200 million investment was the Hotel Maria Cristina in San Sebastian. The hotel reopened this summer to coincide with its centennial anniversary. San Sebastian is considered the culinary capital of Spain and is riddled with architecture and sought-after restaurants. Built in 1912 and named after Queen Maria Cristina, the hotel underwent a nine month-long restoration process that again included the work of The Gallery at HBA London. The venue offers visitor accommodations through 107 rooms and 29 suites, while dining is ensured by Chinese restaurant Tse Yang and Basque-inspired Easo Restaurant.
Next on the list of renovated venues is The Gritti Palace, a Venetian hotel set on the aquatic city’s Grand Canal. The historic hotel, its origins are set in the late 1400s, is set to reopen next year, on the 31st of January, after a long 15 months of works. It will be operational in time for the Venice International Biennale of Contemporary Art, one of the city’s main crowd attractions. The 82-key hotel includes dining venues such as Club del Doge, Bar Longhi and The Gritti Epicurean School. The Gritti Palace’s early 2013 reopening will be followed by the Q2-set reopening event of the Prince de Galles hotel in Paris. Renovations here will have lasted for around two years come opening day, all of the 159 rooms and 44 suites being redesigned by Pierre-Yves Rochon. The plan was to restore the venue to the degree of luxury it once offered and the signature mosaic courtyard is undergoing an extensive renovation. Chef Stephanie Le Quellec will have a new restaurant housed by the hotel walls, in an attempt to recreate the building’s elegant ambiance.