MILAN, ITALY—The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc., has officially opened the Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Milan. Owned by Katara Hospitality, the Milanese landmark has completed an all-encompassing renovation. Formerly known as Palace Gallia, the hotel is located in the heart of the new Porta Nuova district.
“With The Luxury Collection set to reach 100 hotels by the end of the year, this is an exciting time to unveil Excelsior Hotel Gallia, right on the heels of the annual design fair Salone del Mobile and the recent launch of Expo Milano 2015,” said Hoyt Harper, global brand leader, The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts. “As art, design, fashion and culture collide in this dynamic city, we are proud to unveil the work of local artisans and architects who reimagined this icon for today’s luxury travelers and the local community.”
“Excelsior Hotel Gallia is a magnificent property that has undergone a meticulous renovation and strategic expansion that marries contemporary design with the hotel’s Belle Époque architectural style, ensuring that this remains as one of Milan’s historic landmarks,” said Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, chairman, Katara Hospitality.
“It brings us great pleasure to strengthen our partnership with Katara Hospitality as we continue to grow The Luxury Collection in Italy, the birth place of the brand,” said Michael Wale, president, Starwood Hotels & Resorts – Europe, Africa and Middle East. “This has been one of the most prestigious hotels in Milan since it opened in 1932 and, today, the new Excelsior Hotel Gallia yet again reflects the city’s rich history, sophisticated style and vibrant energy.”
Led by Milan-based Studio Marco Piva, the extensive architecture and interior design project marries contemporary aesthetics with the hotel’s original Belle Époque style. The design firm also curated a collection of more than 500 pieces of art, including paintings, sculptures and photographs. The interiors feature distinct references to Milanese lifestyle and the timeless elegance of the Art Deco era, including furnishings exclusively created by Italian designers and craftsmen, according to the company.
Excelsior Hotel Gallia is comprised of two buildings—the fully restored historic palace and a new modern wing with a facade that resembles a delicate steel and glass curtain. Guests entering the hotel are welcomed by a custom-made nearly 100-ft. Murano glass chandelier created by De Majo, depicting a waterfall of 180 light cylinders which illuminates the eight-story monumental stairwell. The historical lobby pays tribute to notable Milanese architecture of the 1930s, such as La Scala Theatre, Vittorio Emanuele Gallery and Villa Necchi Campiglio, according to the company. The public spaces have been outfitted by B&B Italia using aluminium, glass and marble.
Excelsior Hotel Gallia features 235 guestrooms, including 53 suites. The 10,764-sq.-ft. Katara Suite is situated on the seventh floor, offering two terraces, four bedrooms and a private spa. The two-bedroom Gallia Suite mimics a sophisticated private residence with its loggia surrounded by historical columns and statues, according to the company. The other 51 suites revolve around five distinct themes: Design Suites, dedicated to a renowned Milanese designer or architect, including Vico Magistretti, Achille Castiglioni, Giò Ponti, Luigi Caccia Dominioni and Franco Albini; Art Suites, which overlook the square and feature a sliding panel with photos of the hotel’s historic facade; and Atelier Suites, evoking the ambiance of creative workshops. The hotel’s Signature Suites have been conceived as art galleries with theatrical use of lighting, color and artwork, while the Executive Suites are inspired by the atmosphere of Milanese lofts. All the rooms are outfitted by Cassina Contract with the exception of the Katara Suite, which has been furnished by B&B Italia.
Set to open in September on the seventh floor, the hotel’s rooftop mixologist bar and signature restaurant Terrazza Gallia will be managed by the Cerea family under three Michelin-star duo Enrico and Roberto Cerea. The Cerea family will also run the hotel’s banqueting and events services.
The property features the first Shiseido Spa in Italy, which spans more than 10,764 sq. ft.. Located on the sixth and seventh floors of the hotel, the spa offers a range of beauty and wellness rituals, as well as a swimming pool and fitness area with the latest equipment from Artis by Technogym.
The hotel’s historical Cupola room on the seventh floor houses a multifunctional space equipped with the latest audio-visual technology. Connecting the historical center of the hotel with the main hall of the new building is the indoor Promenade, a 328-ft. walkway. The ground floor of the new wing features 12 meeting rooms, spanning across 10,764 sq. ft., as well as 7,535 sq. ft. of foyer space
“This Luxury Collection hotel is one of Katara Hospitality’s flagship international investments, and we are proud of what has been achieved together with our partners such as Starwood. Excelsior Hotel Gallia is a true reflection of our vision to ensure the heritage of such iconic properties continues around the world,” added Hamad Abdulla Al-Mulla, CEO and board member, Katara Hospitality.