From the fascinating itineraries of the 18th-century Grand Tour to the present day, Hotel Scapolatiello in Cava de’ Terreni, which lies in a beautiful green valley above the Amalfi Coast, has preserved the traditions of the family that down the generations has contributed to its enhancement.  

The hotel, located in the old medieval village of Cava de' Tirreni and just 10 minutes by car from the motorway exit, was built in 1821 not far from the Benedictine Abbey that dates back to 1011. Guests are won over by its delicious cuisine, family atmosphere, and a landscape so relaxing and fascinating that it has attracted travellers and artists since the 1800s. Today at the property’s helm the father and son team Cesare and Giuseppe Scapolatiello are the fifth and sixth generations of the family, and with true passion and deep commitment they continue to write the history of this wonderful establishment. 

Cesare and Giuseppe ScapolatielloCesare and Giuseppe Scapolatiello

The hotel's strategic position makes it possible to easily visit Pompeii and Herculaneum, to admire the tradition of Vietri’s ceramics, to relax in the sun of Amalfi, or to discover the nature and the many trails of the Monti Lattari Park, all this while enjoying the tranquility and relaxation of a unique structure with many services. Set in a park of over 4,000 sqm with panoramic terraces directly overlooking the Lattari Mountains, the nearby Benedictine Abbey of Cava de' Tirreni, is a place where history and serenity come together in harmony, a medieval village where time seems to stand still and which is just waiting to be explored.

Hotel Scapolatiello is also located on the legendary Alta Via dei Lattari trail, which is almost 90 kilometres long and crosses the Lattari Mountains from Cava de’ Tirreni to Punta Campanella, the headland that looks across the Medieterrean waters to the island of Capri. This first section of the trail leads to the Sanctuary of the Madonna Avvocata sopra Maiori located at an altitude of almost 1,000 metres asl and overlooking the Amalfi Coast. This is a wonderful experience for both experienced trekkers and for professional team building. In addition, Hotel Scapolatiello immerses its guests in an ambience of peace and harmony with yoga at sunset, embraced by the magic of the centuries-old park while the hotel’s genuine Mediterranean cuisine is an introduction to the best of traditional Italian flavours.    

Published in Hospitality

The performance of luxury hospitality in Italy is consolidating. While waiting to know this year's numbers, Giorgio Ribaudo, managing director of the consulting firm Thrends, recently presented a preview of the now traditional report on Italy's high-end hotels’ performance. And the numbers by sector are, as always, more than flattering. If the overall hotel turnover in 2022 was around €22 billion, the 5-star segment was able to generate as much as 28.5% of this, equal to €6.3 billion, despite the fact that luxury hotels in Italy have just 4.1% of rooms, for a total of 668 properties and 44,768 keys. But if the weight of the high-end segment on the overall turnover of Italy’s hôtellerie clearly lies in the high room rates, current operating margins are also interesting, averaging 22.9% for 5-star hotels. 

Driving the sector's performance, as always, were the international markets, with 73% of the total, just below the 74% of the pre-Covid 2019 year. The main foreign markets were the US (26%), followed by Germany (16%), the UK (10%), Switzerland and Lichtenstein (7%), and France (6%). In terms of location most Italian luxury hotels are in Tuscany, followed by Latium, Campania, Veneto and Lombardy. The ranking by city is unsurprisingly dominated by the so-called Big 4 with Rome in pole position for the number of 5-star rooms, followed by Milan, Venice and Florence. Thrends estimates that at least two 5-star hotels will open in Italy every month this year with 23 total openings on the drawing board, followed by 45 in 2024 and 29 in 2025. Once again Rome is in the hot seat with 14 hotels in the pipeline between now and 2027, followed by Milan with six, and Venice, Arzachena in Sardinia and Cortina d'Ampezzo with three each.

Massimiliano SartiMassimiliano Sarti

Published in Editorial

Together with the Londra Palace Venezie and the Umbrian Borgo dei Conti, The Place Florence, owned by the Babini family, has joined the new The Hospitality Experience brand.

mini 26.07 Meli The Place Firenze 15

“Expert travellers are looking for authenticity rather than marble walls”

“I have always been a proponent of tailored hospitality, based on human relationships, made up of people with heart and soul, who welcome guests as if they were in their own home,- says Claudio Meli, general manager of The Place Florence.  -Redesigned exclusively with the collaboration of Tuscan artisans, I think we have managed to overcome the extremely difficult challenge facing many major international brands today, which is that expert travellers are looking for authenticity rather than marble walls, Jacuzzi tubs (a must in 5-star hotels twenty years ago) and opulence. They want to stay for the added value which is the human factor, that sense of place they find here when our concierge welcomes them as if they were at a Florentine friend’s home. The same applies to our restaurant The Kitchen & The Bar, where our chef Asso, uses only local organic products, for his genuine, traditional menu.”

mini 26.07 Meli The Place Firenze 7

Surprising customers who are used to having almost everything

“I always say. that in a hotel you have to feel at home - actually it must be better than a home and make guests feel at ease. And here you get that very special, genuine and pampering service that we all crave when we are on holiday. Guests of The Place hotels also find that doors normally closed to the public open for them. Apart from the private opening of a museum, there are simple experiences that are unthinkable for most visitors. For example, we take our guests to visit artisan ateliers that we support through our foundation The Place of Wonders, where even today, thanks to made-to-measure craftsmanship, artisans produce creations that are admired the world over.”  

Published in Hospitality

Falkensteiner is to open anew 97-room 5-star hotel, on the 4.5-hectare site of the former Tavani waterworks in Salò, on Lake Garda.

The hotel and 96 apartments will be ready in June 2025

In collaboration with architect Matteo Thun, the 5-star will be built on land acquired during the Covid period by the South Tyrolean group. It will be flanked by 170 premium-living serviced apartments, also completely furnished by Matteo Thun. "Work should start this autumn, with the first phase of the project (costing €140 million) expected to be completed in June 2025 and in the summer the hotel and the first  96 apartments will be available. The premium-living apartments project is essential for the economic sustainability of the entire project,” said FMTG Group CEO Otmar Michaeler.

Falkensteiner Lake Garda

“Generalist hospitality has no future, the key to success lies in specialization”

"In Italy, the first development was at the Falkensteiner Jesolo where the apartments have now all been sold. For Salò 20% of the available stock has already been pre-purchased," said the chairman of FMTG’s supervisory board Erich Falkensteiner. With F&B outlets and the wellness concept Acquapura Spa, the resort will primarily target the adults-only segment and families. "Generalist hospitality has no future,- said Falkensteiner, -today, the key to success lies in specialization. It is an approach that guarantees, among other things, a specific identity for each of our properties, generating added value.”

Falkensteiner Lake Garda apartment

Bolzano and Licata are the next Falkensteiner openings

The Falkensteiner Group’s next steps include the opening of the 113-room 4-star Hotel Bozen in Bolzano in 2024, and the 160-room 5-star Hotel Licata in Sicily. "We are constantly looking for new opportunities,- said Erich Falkensteiner -but we remain focused on leisure destinations. We are looking with particular interest at the sea in Tuscany, Apulia, Sicily, Sardinia and Calabria. Our objective is to consolidate our identity as a regional brand, without competing with the large international chains in the urban centres.”

Ambitious plans for further growth

At a group level the year got off to a very good start with a +15% average occupancy up to April. Then, with the drop recorded in almost all sectors of tourism, the growth trend weakened somewhat, settling at +7-8% compared to the same period in 2022: "There is the inflation issue, which undermines people's purchasing power,- says Falkensteiner. -And then there is the competition from Turkey, which has devalued its currency, making its destinations particularly competitive. If at the end of the year we manage to maintain 2022 levels I would be happy.” In terms of turnover the company closed the last 12 months at €230 million, around ten million above budget. "For 2023 the goal is to increase by a further 10%,” said Falkensteiner. 

Published in Hospitality

This has not been a summer to remember. At least not the way many expected after a sparkling start to the year. Inflation, the heat and the flooding in Romagna weighed particularly heavily on the final balance. That said, it wasn’t a total disaster, thanks chiefly to the substantial resurgence in international interest that packed the streets of our art cities. This is the initial evaluation of the high season from Assohotel Confersercenti on a survey by Florence’s Tourism Studies Centre and a sample of 1,449 hoteliers.

The negative part, over the same period in 2022, was that domestic demand posted a sharp drop of -5.7%, while foreign visitors increased by 3.6%. So all told, summer 2023 should close with a 1.4% decline in overnight stays. In absolute terms the number of tourists in Italy registered in Italian accommodation facilities were around 50.5 million, for a total of 207 million overnights, which is three million fewer than last year.

There was a sharp drop in the number of visitors to seaside resorts (-3.2%), as well as to rural and hillside areas (-3.1%), but good growth was reported in the art cities (+2.7%). Lake and mountain destinations remained the same, but there was also a decline in spa tourism. The markets that registered significant growth were France, Holland, the US and Poland. There was also a slight increase in arrivals of tourists in Italy from the Czech Republic, Belgium, Switzerland, Australia, Canada, Hungary, Spain and the United Kingdom. Tourists from Brazil, Germany, Scandinavia, South Korea and Israel remained stable, while Indian, Austrian, Chinese and Japanese arrivals dwindled.

Massimiliano SartiMassimiliano Sarti

Published in Editorial

The Romeo Collection plans to expands on the Amalfi Coast after its Romeo Rome, scheduled for next October.

The new Romeo Collection, named after the founder of the Neapolitan company, has announced further development with the Romeo Napoli designed by Kenzo Tange, then the Romeo Roma by Zaha Hadid and finally the Romeo Massa Lubrense, designed by Kengo Kuma. Three architectural stars for three different interpretations: from the hi-tech modernism of Tange to the parametric architecture of Zaha Hadid, to the sensitivity of the artefact as a landscape-natural graft from Kuma.

Alfredo Romeo's company will unveil the details of the new Roman property this coming autumn. The hotel will be the result of the conversion of the 16th-century Palazzo Capponi on Via Ripetta. All 74 rooms and suites (some on the mezzanine floor are entirely frescoed) will be custom-made by craftsmen using precious traditional Italian materials.The rooms range in size from an average of 42 sqm to the 155 sqm of the Romeo suites on the top floors with private terraces overlooking the rooftops of Rome, as well as a Turkish bath, emotional shower, sauna, vitamin C shower and state-of-the-art facilities.

Romeo Collection

The Alain Ducasse Restaurant, with the world's most starred chef, will feature a show kitchen with sculptural works by Zaha Hadid. Il Napoletano, on the other hand, will allow an exploration of Neapolitan traditions and a rediscovery of authentic flavours with a twist of innovation. Another culinary option will be the pizzeria located in the Courtyard, with lava stone flooring, amidst sculptural works by Marc Kostabi and Christian Leperino. In the Terrazzino, an outdoor space on the first floor, a wall-mounted work by Ugo Nespolo reinterpreting Piazza del Popolo provides a backdrop for events, presentations and a lounge bar. Finally, the Sisley Paris Spa located on the ground floor adjoining the fitness centre, all by Technogym, will provide the opportunity to be pampered with special treatments, as well as offering a relaxation area with Sicilian rock salt walls and an indoor pool with a screen positioned in the back wall that will host video art. The spa will also feature a Finnish sauna, an emotional shower and a Turkish bath.

Published in Hospitality

The Falkensteiner hotel group has plans to construct a new 5-star hotel in Salò, on Lake Garda.

The hotel and some apartments will open next summer

The luxurious hotel will boast 97 rooms designed for both adults-only and families. Additionally, the property will include 170 apartments with hotel services under the Premium Living brand, all elegantly furnished by Matteo Thun. The development will occupy an area of 4.5-hectares and the project is scheduled to commence construction next autumn. The first stage should be completed by June 2025, in time for summer with the hotel and 96 apartments available for guests. 

The Premium Living apartments are in high demand

The remaining 74 housing units will then be built ensuring a comprehensive and exquisite hospitality experience. The total investment for the project amounts to €140 million.  The Premium Living apartments play a crucial role in the economic viability of the entire venture. The success of the Premium Living brand has been evident in its previous developments, such as the Falkensteiner Jesolo, where all the apartments were sold. The demand is equally high in Salò, with 20% of the available apartments already pre-purchased, said Erich Falkensteiner, chairman of the supervisory board of Fmtg.

Falkensteiner Salò

Despite some difficulties growth levels are improving

Falkensteiner had a strong start to the year, with an average occupancy rate of +15% in its properties up to April. However, due to declines in various sectors, the growth trend has slightly weakened, settling at +7%, +8% compared to the same period in 2022. Nonetheless Falkensteiner remains optimistic about maintaining growth levels and aims to achieve a further 10% increase on a like-for-like basis in 2023. The company's turnover for the last 12 months reached €230 million, surpassing the estimated budget by about ten million euro. “For 2023, the goal is to grow by a further 10% on a like-for-like basis,” said Falkensteiner.

Published in Hospitality

While hotel investments are slowing down, the post-Covid tourism recovery is proceeding at a pace exceeding all expectations: an apparent paradox that can be explained by the simultaneous rise in inflation, which pushes up interest rates, convincing investors to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. But a reversal seems to be looming.  

And it could be brought about by another apparent paradox: the global economic slowdown predicted by many analysts (-0.4% and -0.3% are the estimates for the fourth quarter in the US and the eurozone, according to an Anima sgr processing of Haver Analytics data. Ed.) 

"The big surprise of 2022 was the sustained growth of the economy, especially in Italy,- says Fabio Fois, head of investment research at Anima. – This was unexpected but certainly positive, though it clearly left the central banks alone to fight rising inflation. And so interest rates inevitably went up.” This means that a moderate slowdown could actually be good news for real estate investments, hotel transactions included, as it could stop inflation from getting out of hand and help bring credit costs down to acceptable levels for transactions that often require significant amounts of leverage.

“In both the US and Europe,- warns Fois,  - asset price growth indices have already retraced to pre-Covid levels, though there is still pressure on service prices despite falling energy costs.”

An eventual economic slowdown, he added, would wipe out the empathy factor that is preventing inflation from falling at the desired pace.

Published in Editorial

The Bwh Group is back to 2019 levels and is focusing on developing resorts and leisure destinations, International visitors were 45% of the total 4.2 million overnights.

The Group posted €320 million in revenue, generated by more than 4.2 million overnights (approximately 2.9 million room nights) with international guests accounting for 45% of the total. Figures further improved in the first two months of 2023, when hotel revenues were 29% higher than in 2019, thanks to the rise in rates. Florence and central Italy, Naples, Rome and seaside destinations performed particularly well at over +40%.

“On average international guests have higher budgets and are prone to longer stays”

The group's 2023 strategic plan starts with increasing the international demand - “on average international guests have higher budgets and are prone to longer stays” - and at growing the company's Italian leisure and resort destinations,” said new CEO Sara Digiesi. 129 of the 170 Italian hotels are in primary or secondary city locations, and the aim is to provide tailor-made services that are different from urban hotels in order to compete with markets such as Spain and the Adriatic countries. 

Sustainability will play a crucial role

“We need to reposition the product and boost the quality of the services.” The new Bwh strategy will also address customer journeys, with ad hoc proposals before, during, and after the stay. Sustainability will also play a crucial role, adopting an international index for measuring harmful emissions.

Published in Hospitality

The Kleos Hotel Group has launched its first property in Milan. 

Introducing the club deal to Italy

Uturn Investments has acquired 48.5%, foundation of this new hotel project. The independent family office, founded in Verona by Gianpiero Peron, Luca Mongodi, and Alberto Nicoli, will act as the lead investor in a club deal aimed at creating something new for the Italian hospitality sector. Club deals are essentially groups of private investors who come together to invest in a company, coordinated by a financial operator.

The hotel is in a central area with access to Linate Airport

The Group’s debut hotel is situated in the Piazzale Susa area, close to the Blue subway line, which connects the property to Linate Airport and, once completed, to the city center. It has 55 recently renovated rooms with a focus on business travelers while also catering to the leisure market, with particular attention given to families. The hotel also has a gym with Technogym equipment, a business area accessible to all guests, and a lounge.

“We aim to establish a new benchmark for high-quality Italian tourism”

The club deal was launched by prominent Venetian families (Giuriati, Camuffo, Pittarello, Lazzarini, and Sabattini) and coordinated by Filippo Fornasiero of the Baracco Fornasiero Studio. The Kleos Hotel Group aims to open new properties in other leisure cities such as Venice, Cortina, and Verona.  “We are pleased to enter the hotel industry through this operation, a strategic sector for the Italian economy with great development potential,- says Peron. -. With Kleos Hotel Group, we aim to establish a new benchmark for high-quality Italian tourism, fostering growth to solidify the group's position in Italy.”

“We prioritize the well-being of our guests”

Andrea Andreani, chief operating officer of Kleos and former operating director of Salute Hospitality Group (Shg), explains, “Our mission goes beyond providing mere accommodation.  We prioritise the well-being of our guests, a passion for hospitality, gourmet cuisine, and an emphasis on wellness.” 

Published in Hospitality

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