In Italy, Venice is seeing some notable hotel development. First, Hilton's DoubleTree brand recently expanded its presence in Italy with the opening of the 203-guest-room DoubleTree by Hilton Venice North, which operates under a franchise agreement with owner DHotels srl and was designed by architects DHK Architects, Marco Piva and M2 Atelier. According to Hospitality.net, the hotel has Turkish and outdoor pools, and provides shuttle service to the historic part of the city.
Marriott International is set to open its first Italian JW Marriott hotel in Venice (and first resort in Europe) in March next year. The 266-room property, created in collaboration with Italian architect firm Matteo Thun & Partners, will be located on its own island with top views of St. Mark’s Square and La Serenissima. The JW Marriott Venice will be the brand’s sixth European hotel.
Amenities at the hotel will include a kid’s club and dedicated family pool, water sports and a rooftop pool with views across the lagoon to St. Mark’s Square, which can be reached by private boat. The hotel's spa, operated by GOCO Hospitality, is poised to be the largest in Venice.
Two other independent hotels in Venice will undergo renovation following a change in management: Hines Italia, an associate of the Houston-based developer, has won investor approval for a plan to revitalize both the Hotel Excelsior and the Grand Hôtel des Bains, which Property Investor Europe believes could end years of uncertainty surrounding the landmark hotels.
Hines took over the properties after winning management control of Est Capital’s Real Venice Fund I in February this year. According to Hines, Est had set about disposing of the fund’s properties amid unfavorable market conditions, rather than continuing its plan to redevelop, including the Grand Hôtel des Bains. Est bought the hotels from Starwood Hotels & Resorts at the start of 2008 for some €156 million in a deal that also included the Villa Cipriani in Asolo and some additional office, retail and storage facilities. Hines said a meeting of Real Venice I fund shareholders approved its plan and the regulatory amendments needed for it to begin redevelopment, and recent reports suggested that Hines was seeking to raise some €300 million to revamp the hotels.