Gran Meliá conquers Milan with new luxury hotel opening: Palazzo Cordusio

MILAN (Jan. 8, 2024) – Gran Meliá ushered in a new era with the opening of Palazzo Cordusio in December, a flagship property residing within an icon of nineteenth century design by architect Luca Beltrami. After undergoing an extensive renovation led by ASAH Architects in collaboration with Studio Piva, the building now stands as the epitome of timeless architectural elegance, showcasing a harmonious fusion of historical grandeur and contemporary design excellence.

Providing a getaway to Milan’s rich culture and iconic landmarks, the hotel is set to become the city’s new gourmet hotspot and social hub thanks to the partnership with the leading international company Sunset Hospitality Group, boasting globally inspired fine dining concepts and an unmatched central location.

As the second Gran Meliá hotel, and fourth luxury property in Italy, the opening of Palazzo Cordusio further strengthens Meliá Hotels International’s presence in the destination as a key player in the luxury hospitality segment.

Meliá Hotels International (MHI) is happy to announce Milan’s hottest new hotel opening, Palazzo Cordusio, A Gran Meliá hotel. Primely positioned in Piazza Cordusio, one of the city’s most iconic squares, the luxury hotel is housed within the historic Palazzo Venezia – jewel of the Assicurazioni Generali heritage and for over a century the company’s Milanese headquarters – and marks Gran Meliá’s Milanese debut, joining its Italian sister property in Rome, Villa Agrippina.

Timeless Design

Originally constructed between 1897 and 1901 by Generali, Palazzo Venezia’s eclectic design sought inspiration from the architect Luca Beltrami and played a pivotal role in the restoration of the area between the late 19th and early 20th century. The reopening under the aegis of Meliá Hotels International (MHI) will be the driving force behind today’s redevelopment of Piazza Cordusio, which promises to hand back one of the city’s key cultural hubs to the Milanese people, symbolically connecting the Duomo with the Sforzesco Castle, whilst inviting international travellers to discover its storied past.

Following the transformation of the building’s internal spaces, 84 rooms and suites have been created, each of which preserves protected elements, whilst elevating the areas for their new intended use. The luxury accommodations are characterised by imposing windows and in some cases private balconies which provide abundant natural lighting and unique views of Piazza Cordusio, via Orefici, via dei Mercanti and the Duomo.

Studio ASAH by Alvaro and Adriana Sans, MHI’s long-standing partner, was entrusted with the general architecture project and the interior design, favouring a sophisticated and contemporary flair to provide the perfect base for a truly memorable stay in the heart of Milan. ASAH’s approach unfolded in the conceptual design, ingeniously liberating the ground floor for retail spaces while maintaining the hotel’s secluded elegance within. Elevating the guest experience, the noble floors adorned the upper levels, ensuring a harmonious blend of profitability and privacy. Additionally, the architectural project places the reception under the building’s majestic dome, decorated with an enlarged reproduction of the Providence mural on the façade, creating a timeless ambiance upon arrival.

In terms of interior design, every room and suite, along with select corridors, is adorned with luxurious Rubelli fabrics, paying homage to Generali’s Venetian heritage. The plush interiors boast iconic furnishings from Italy’s prestigious brands, including Molteni, Cassina, Fornasetti, Flos, Oluce, and Foscarini, enhancing the hotel’s aesthetic appeal with a touch of elegance and cultural resonance.

The rehabilitation project of the building was managed by Generali Real Estate and MHI with the support of Studio Marco Piva, who handled the design and the artistic direction of the external facades and of all portions subject to monumental restrictions, the interior architecture and courtyard. In an effort to consciously conserve as much of the building as possible, the grand staircase became the protagonist, and its marble walls and floors maintained and restored to their former splendour, as were the original portal with the Generali Assicurazioni heading and the mosaic lunette with the Providence allegory. These are precious evidence of the previous function of the building, whose aesthetics have been reported on all the portals of the historical scale and in those created from scratch to maintain stylistic coherence throughout the hotel. The renovated building is now part of Generali’s European real estate portfolio.

Delectable Fine Dining

Renowned for creating unique experiences worldwide, Sunset Hospitality Group has grown to become a leading lifestyle hospitality, currently operating across sixteen countries and will oversee the hotels culinary offerings to bring guests together through food.

The Group will introduce four exceptional home-grown concepts to the hotel’s dining scene with the debut of Gioia Pasticceria, Giardino Cordusio, Isola Restaurant, and SACHI:

  • Gioia: located on the ground floor with views overlooking the Square, Gioia Pasticceria is created in collaboration with master baker Fabio Bertoni to offer the experience of an authentic Pasticceria;
  • Giardino Cordusio: the Italian cocktail bar located in the internal courtyard of the hotel is a joint project with Giancarlo Mancino, award-winning consulting barman and official partner of The World’s 50 Best Bars. The concept will offer exceptional cocktail creations featuring two stand-out elements created by Giancarlo: an impressively designed Martini “Altare” where a wide range of the signature Martini cocktails will be prepared, as well as the Negroni Alfresco, that will be sorted for at least 30 days in a 30 litre amphora.
  • Isola: led by Brand Chef Francesco Bagnato, Isola will bring a unique dining experience to Milan offering Italian favourites inspired by the Southern islands of Italy, along with an extensive selection of wines. The restaurant boasts a spacious terrace overlooking Palazzo della Ragione and Piazza Mercanti. The brand was recently recognized in the Michelin Guide and has established global presence in key destinations including Dubai, Bodrum, Marbella, and Morocco;
  • Sachi: already well established in London, SACHI is set to take centre stage on the Milanese dining scene under the guidance of acclaimed Chef Moon Kyung Soo, whose impressive career includes leading award-winning concepts such as SUSHISAMBA Dubai and Attiko. The Japanese restaurant will offer an Omakase counter, a large dining area, and an expansive garden space overlooking the Duomo. SACHI promises to take guests on a captivating journey through Japan’s diverse and exquisite flavors, emphasising local and seasonal ingredients all year round.

Guests can also access an intimate wellness area with an indoor swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath, and relaxation lounge; alongside a state-of-the-art gym complete with Technogym equipment and a full-width view of the Palazzo della Ragione and Piazza Mercanti.

The arrival of the first Gran Meliá branded hotel in Milan, and second in Italy after the success of Villa Agrippina in Rome, represents an important milestone for MHI. The opening further solidifies the country’s importance in the group’s luxury development pipeline, which includes the addition of a fifth hotel in Milan by 2024, as part of The Meliá Collection.

Jim Sullivan Managing Director
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