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The Una Group to open at Portello in Milan with a 176-room hotel

By Wednesday, 22 November 2023 08:00
Fabrizio Gaggio Fabrizio Gaggio

The Una Group is to open at Portello in Milan with a 176-room hotel in the middle of 2026. 

“We are close to the MICO Convention Centre”

“We successfully secured the tender to oversee the property to be constructed at Portello in Milan, an integral component of a complex comprising two buildings close to the MICO Conference Centre,” says managing director, Fabrizio Gaggio. “The hotel, which will span 21 floors, have 176 rooms and restaurants, bars, and clubs on the fop four levels, will join our portfolio through a long-term lease agreement.”

“We significantly improved margins this year” 

This announcement coincides with a highly positive summer for Una, with volumes surpassing pre-Covid levels and average rates increasing by 13% over 2022.

“We have largely met our budgetary goals. Our initial forecasts were cautious, considering the surge in energy costs in 2022, however, we managed to contain these expenses, significantly improving margins,” says Gaggio. The group's success is fuelled by the strong resurgence of demand from the United States, now the primary market for some of the company's hotel like the Unahotels Trastevere in Rome. “Our F&B has also provided significant satisfaction, especially since we decided to internalize it from the end of 2021, with the notable exception of Bartolini's Restaurant in Milano Verticale.” 

Hotels in Genoa and Puglia are in the pipeline

Looking ahead, the company is interested in the so-called Big 4 cities, as well as secondary urban destinations, starting with Genoa. Another goal is Puglia, where the plan is to expand the offering with new resorts, following the model successfully implemented in Taormina and Giardini di Naxos. Significant renovations are also in the pipeline for the Art by Spanish Steps Una Esperienze hotel in Rome, and in the Unahotels Cusani in Milan, slated to be repositioned as Una Esperienze in 2024.

A tricky path to follow given high-interest rates

“Of course the current high-interest rates pose challenges to the development plans of the entire hotel sector. Even for groups like us, adopting asset-light strategies means that expected returns for investors tend to rise, leading to an increase in rent levels. The idea is to collaborate with those with long-term perspectives, but this is not without its difficulties.”

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