IHG’s InterContinental Brand Returns to Italy

Main Photo: The hotel as was in the 20th century

Date: June 2020

Location: Via Veneto, Rome, Italy

Name: InterContinental Rome – opening 2022

No. of Keys: 160 rooms and suites

Seller: Designed in the early 1900s by architect Carlo Busiri Vici in the neo-renaissance style, the palazzo building was originally home to ambassadors staying in Rome, opening as a the Ambasciatori Palace hotel in 1993.

Buyer: A multi-million-euro investment is behind IHG’s plans to open InterContinental Rome in 2022, marking a welcome sign of confidence in the Italian tourism industry at this challenging time. InterContinental Hotels Group announces the signing of a franchise agreement with Westmont Hospitality Group and funds managed by Oaktree Capital Management, for a property in the heart of Rome.

The luxury hotel will be set on the iconic Via Veneto, in the Ludovisi area of the city, close to the Villa Borghese. The existing property – which includes 160 rooms and suites, a restaurant, bar, spa and public areas – will be restored to create a sense of discreet, modern luxury for visitors and locals alike.

The Embassy Bar, as is today

Guests will benefit from its proximity to the city’s wealth of art and history, thanks to a prime position less than a kilometre walk from the Galleria Borghese, the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. The hotel can be easily reached from Rome’s Ciampino or Fiumicino international airports and is less than 10 minutes from the city’s main rail station.

IHG joins a strong consortium including the US-based fund, Oaktree, Westmont Hospitality Group, strategic investment partner and operator, and UniCredit S.p.A, the project’s senior lending bank. The project is held by a newly established real estate investment fund managed by Milan-based Castello SGR, one of Italy’s premier real estate management companies.

In May 2019, the hotel portfolio owned by Castello was acquired by Oaktree, consisting of 15 hotel properties – around 1,600 rooms, located in Italian business and leisure destinations, for €300 million. The portfolio included the Grottagiusti, Fonteverde, Chia Laguna, Le Massif hotels.

Willemijn Geels, Vice President of Development, Europe, IHG, commented: “The signing of an InterContinental in Rome represents an important moment in the growth of our luxury portfolio and brand presence across Europe. In these challenging and unprecedented times, this signing shows the continued trust our Owners and partners place in IHG and our brands. We are delighted to partner with Oaktree Capital and Westmont Hospitality Group and look forward to offering InterContinental guests a rich and unforgettable experience in the Eternal City.”

Alfredo Maria De Falco, Deputy Head of CIB and Head of CIB Italy at UniCredit, commented: “Confirmation by primary international investors of their commitment to Italy even in this difficult time is a strong signal of the country’s unimpaired attractiveness as a cultural, tourist and business destination. UniCredit is a strategic partner for the development of large real estate projects and we are happy to support this important initiative in a sector, such as the luxury hotel industry, which can be a driving force for the recovery of tourism in Italy.”

This announcement comes weeks after the signing of the Six Senses Rome, which is set to open in late 2021. IHG currently has 44 luxury hotels in Europe, with another 17 luxury hotels in the pipeline to open in the next 3-5 years. In Italy IHG has a portfolio of 29 hotels – across brands including Hotel Indigo, Crowne Plaza, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express – and further four in the pipeline.

THPT Comment: Good to see the InterConti brand return to Rome and Italy. The Ambasciatori Palace, beautiful building as it is, looking a bit dated now, so looking forward to it’s former glory being restored.

First Seen: 4Hoteliers

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