Dubai: Luxury hotelier Elisabetta Gucci is planning to open 40 hotels in the next 15 years in the Middle East, Far East and South America, an executive told the Reuters Global Luxury Summit this week.
The hotelier expects to open its first hotel in Dubai at the end of this year, the executive said.
The Elisabetta Gucci Hotel in the Media City is expected to have 80 suites, two penthouses and one "royal" suite and expects to offer the ultimate in hospitality.
Part of the attraction will be a unique club, exclusive dining facilities and a fantastic roof-top lounge bar. Guests will also enjoy exclusive limousine service, the hotelier said.
Elisabetta Gucci is the daughter of fashion designer Paolo Gucci.
She is the fourth generation of the famous Florentine dynasty.
The decision by Elisabetta Gucci to develop a hospitality business follows the international trend to bring well known Italian names into the hospitality industry, the company said.
"She realised that she is probably one of very few who have the cultural background and experience to express her family heritage through the creation of an ambiente representing true Italian luxury and lifestyle," the hotelier said.
"All this thanks to her cooperation with Formitalia Luxury Group in creating exclusive interiors, furniture and art."
After Elisabetta Gucci's experience in the family company, in 1995 she started working in Formitalia Luxury Group near Florence.
In recent years Elisabetta Gucci has dedicated more time to her role as Formitalia Luxury Group artistic director, and she has followed the opening of the luxury furniture showrooms and accessory boutiques around the world.
Elisabetta Gucci is also art director of Mirabili Arte d'Abitare design and art gallery in Florence.
Two main brands
Elisabetta Gucci has develped two main hotel brands: Elisabetta Gucci Boutique Hotels and EG Hotels by Elisabetta Gucci.
The brand aims to fill what it said were gaps in the hospitality industry for centrally located boutique hotels and superior business hotels.
Her partner Lorens Ziller at Elisabetta Gucci Hotels and Resorts said the firm was eyeing a second hotel in China next year.
"We intend to develop other hotels for the GCC, and outside our focus will be Russia, China, Far East, Africa and South America, particularly Brazil," Ziller said.
"We would like to have 40 hotels in 15 years but think this can be over-achieved."
"The Elisabetta Gucci Boutique Hotel is a unique concept that develops the guest's stay into an exciting in-house shopping experience since most of the items featured in the hotel will be for sale," a company spokesman said.
A large catalogue of accessories and furniture will be available in every guest room and the in-house "Formitalia Luxury Boutique" will be designed to please every guest's desires.
It will include simple bed sheets, towels, bags for men and women, ceramics, silverware and furniture such as the beds, sofas, and chairs.
For business travellers
However, the EG Hotels by Elisabetta Gucci will be tailored for business travellers.
"This hotel concept focuses on the business traveller with more sophisticated needs looking for the comfort of an upper-class business hotel with in-room office space and the elegance of a five star property with a unique atmosphere and efficient facilities," the company spokesman said.
The hotel chain hopes to set up near business districts, and include business centre and conference facilities, with more than 200 rooms.
"If we had a 300-room hotel I would be seriously concerned," said Ziller.
"But even in the downturn there's great potential for boutique hotels in Dubai."
In April, Italian designer Giorgio Armani opened his first branded hotel in Dubai in the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower.
The Elisabetta Gucci hotel in Dubai had been scheduled to open by the end of 2009 but was delayed by a year, said Ziller. He hoped it would open by the end of this year.
A night at the Elisabetta Gucci Hotel Dubai could cost from an estimated Dh1,500 to Dh25,000, Ziller said. Guests will have the option to buy anything they like in the hotel.
-With inputs from Reuters