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Katara Hospitality brings Excelsior Hotel Gallia to Milan

Starwood Hotels & Resorts will today unveil the multi-million euro full restoration of the Excelsior Hotel Gallia, a Luxury Collection Hotel, in Milan.

The move is part of the American company’s continued strategy to invest in the creation and restoration of its luxury portfolio.

Owned by Doha-based Katara Hospitality and situated in the heart of the city’s rapidly emerging Porta Nuova district, Excelsior Hotel Gallia is a glittering reflection of Milan’s rich culture, sophisticated style and vibrant scene. 

The property is expected to be the latest success for Katara, which was recently recognised as Middle East’s Leading Hospitality Development Company by the by the World Travel Awards.

This historic hotel has been one of the most prestigious hotels in Milan since 1932 when it first opened as Palace Gallia.

Its grand re-opening coincides with the highly-anticipated Expo Milano 2015, setting a new benchmark in luxury hospitality in the city.

“We are thrilled to unveil the fully restored Excelsior Hotel Gallia and to introduce The Luxury Collection brand to Milan,” said Marco Olivieri, general manager, Excelsior Hotel Gallia.

“This sparkling hotel is set to be a new destination authority in Milan, by delivering indigenous experiences and exceptional service for global explorers and the local community.”

Led by the award-winning Milan-based Studio Marco Piva, the extensive architecture and interior design project marries contemporary aesthetics with the hotel’s original Belle Epoque architectural style.

The renowned design firm also curated the unique collection of more than 500 art pieces, including paintings, sculptures and pictures, specifically for Excelsior Hotel Gallia.

The interiors feature distinct references to the stylish Milanese lifestyle and timeless elegance of the Art Deco era, brought to life by unique furnishings that have been exclusively created by Italian designers and craftsmen.

His Excellency Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani, chairman of Katara Hospitality, centre, opens the new hotel

“I wanted to create the place that is linked to Milan’s history of excellence, a special venue that integrates and enhances the values of architecture, design, and fashion,” said Marco Piva, architect of Excelsior Hotel Gallia.

“My project pays homage to the city of Milan and offers travellers from all around the world an example of the city’s style and elegance, a distinct class of welcome and refined hospitality.”

All of the hotel’s elegant furniture is made in Italy, including several that were in collaboration with artisans and designers in Milan, including Poltrona Frau, one of Italy’s leading luxury furniture makers, who created one-of-a-kind pieces for all guest rooms; Flos, who manufactured the exquisite table lamps; Cassina, who was involved in the complete fit-out of all guest accommodations and corridors; and Luxury Living Group, who selected renowned pieces from Fendi Casa for the most prestigious areas of the hotel.

Light dominates the spaces throughout the hotel through a play between natural and artificial lights, bringing to life its glittering style – particularly the beautiful and immense glass façade.

Specially commissioned light installations and lamps were created for Excelsior Hotel Gallia by: Zonca Illuminazione, which produced the Meneghina by Marco Piva lamp collections for guest rooms and suites; Fabbian, which created the custom ‘Gold Step Lamp’ installation for the monumental staircase in the historic building; De Majo, who designed an impressive 30-metre-high Murano glass chandelier – a dazzling waterfall of 180 light cylinders illuminating the heart of the eight-storey historical stairwell; and La Murrina, leader of the traditional Murano blown glass, who manufactured the 27 chandeliers used in the rooftop destination restaurant and bar as well as the Katara Suite.

B&B Italia fit out the public spaces using various special materials, aluminium, glass and marble, including the expansive 3,000sqm of brown antique granite with silver accent paving the floor in the reception and lobby areas.

The impressive historical lobby pays tribute to outstanding Milanese architectures of the 1930s such as La Scala Theatre, Vittorio Emanuele Gallery and Villa Necchi Campiglio.

Further along the ground floor, guests can relax in the Gallia lounge where the library and Cigar Room offer a warm ambience amidst silkscreened glass with patterns inspired by the Art Deco era.

Michael Wale greets delegates at the opening of the new hotel

Excelsior Hotel Gallia comprises two main buildings – the fully restored historic palace and a modern new wing with a façade that resembles a delicate steel and glass curtain.

The striking juxtaposition is inspired by the hotel’s luminous past and the emerging skyline of the Porta Nuova area, the up-and-coming city centre of Milan.

Excelsior Hotel Gallia will feature 235 luxurious guest rooms, including 53 suites, of which the most opulent will be the 1,000sqm Katara Suite, one of the largest Presidential Suites in Italy.

Situated on the seventh floor, the Katara Suite will offer the epitome of opulent luxury with two terraces, four bedrooms and a private spa.

The hotel’s two-bedroom Gallia Suite is conceived as a sophisticated private residence with luxurious tasteful finishings made from Carrara statuario marble, lacquered wood and leather.

One of the outstanding features of the suite is the beautiful loggia with historical columns and statues leading guests to an inspiring view of the renewed Central Station and the magnificent square.

The other 51 suites revolve around five distinct themes: Design Suites – five of which are dedicated to a renowned Milanese designer or architect, namely Vico Magistretti, Achille Castiglioni, Giò Ponti, Luigi Caccia Dominioni and Franco Albini, and feature some of their most iconic creations.

On offer are Art Suites – situated in the new building, overlook the square and feature a large sliding panel with photos of the hotel’s historic façade; Atelier Suites – located in the historic palace, are designed to recall the mood of creative workshops; Signature Suites – conceived as art galleries with theatrical use of illumination, colours and artwork; and Executive Suites – inspired by the intriguing and elegant atmosphere of Milanese lofts.

The destination roof-top bar and signature restaurant on the seventh floor will soon offer a stunning panoramic view of the city alongside remarkable epicurean experiences and classic Italian hospitality.

The restaurant and bar on the ground floor is designed in a contemporary reinterpretation of the 1930s.

His Excellency Sheikh Nawaf Bin Jassim Bin Jabor Al-Thani greets Roberto Maroni, president of the Lombardy region

The hotel also features a sophisticated wine cellar ideal for an intimate lunch, aperitif or show cooking for small groups.

Guests will be able to enjoy and indulge in the spa which will be the largest hotel spa in Milan spanning over 1000sqm across the sixth and seventh floors.

Providing a relaxing ambiance with natural daylight, the spa will offer a wide range of beauty and wellness rituals as well as a fitness area with the latest equipment from Artis by Technogym.

Excelsior Hotel Gallia also features an indoor Promenade, a charming 100-metre walkway with small boutique windows from the famous Montenapoleone Street, the heart of the Milanese fashion district.

The Promenade connects the historical hall with the main hall of the new building.

The ground floor of the new building is dedicated to meetings and congresses, featuring 12 meeting rooms spanning across 1000sqm and 700sqm of foyer space including a grand ballroom that can host up to 400 people.

The hotel’s historical Cupola on the seventh floor will house an exclusive multifunctional room equipped with the latest in audio-visual technology and retractable seats that allow the room to be easily transformed, making it a spectacular and unique venue for hosting celebrations and events such as private concerts, weddings and movie screenings.

For more information about Excelsior Hotel Gallia, visit the official website.