Glitz + glamour at Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte

Glitz + glamour at Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte

Michelin-star dining, contemporary design and heritage hospitality

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Fri 03 May 2024 4:27 PM

Relaxed glitz and glamour are the signature traits of Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte in a summation of the very best of the seaside.

Opened as the Select Palace Hotel in Viareggio in 1922 by Florentine aristocrat Giuseppe De Micheli, the first two floors were designed by Goffredo Fantini before being extended by Ugo Giovannozzi just two years later. With fascism clamping down on all things non-Italian and with a royal visit in the offing, the owners changed the grand hotel’s name to Principe di Piemonte in 1938.

Today’s five-star luxury hotel is the epitome of riviera style, having been restyled down to the last detail by Florence-based design firm S+S Studio, while internationally renowned fashion designer Stefano Ricci saw to the Presidential Suite. Contemporary art is expertly placed alongside original Liberty features in the ground-floor lounges, where modern comforts like vast flatscreen TVs sit beside classy cabinets, plush carpets and items purpose-designed for the grand hotel.

Vaunting 80 beyond-beautiful bedrooms, including 32 suites, across five floors, an innovative spa and the finest of all rooftop pools, the Principe di Piemonte is a destination in its own right, with myriad milanesi and entrepreneurs “vacationing” in nearby Forte di Marmi making a beeline for Il Piccolo Principe, the flawless two Michelin-star restaurant at night; the world-class breakfast helmed by chef Giuseppe Mancini in person as a papier-mâché Carnival character; and sumptuous Sunday lunches.

A koi carp carpet flowing up the grand staircase, the silkiest of kimonos and complimentary Bulgari perfume: thoughtful touches elevate this five-star experience to a superlative sphere, where history, heritage and hospitality are instilled with a new tomorrow.

If a visit to the Principe di Piemonte is not a possibility in the coming months, savour the experience by diving into Manila Alfano’s coffee-table book, A Century at the Principe, published by Forma Edizioni. Vintage photography, tales of the rich and famous (the Duke and Duchess of Windsor once holidayed here, as did Marlene Dietrich, Jerry Lewis and Sophia Loren) and a handful of the chef’s recipes tantalize for a future trip.

This review was based on a night’s stay and dinner kindly provided by Grand Hotel Principe di Piemonte.

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