Ruby racks up Roman conversion

Image © Ruby Hotels
Munich-based Ruby Group is partnering with ECE Group to convert a former office building with a historical façade in Rome into its second Italian hotel.

Under the Ruby Hotels brand, the site will have approximately 165 rooms and a 24/7 bar with café and a rooftop terrace.

Listed building

ECE group company ECE Work & Live will be the project developer and investor, transforming this listed property from the early 19th century on Via Nazionale in the centre of Rome. Interior design will be spearheaded by Ruby’s own design team, led by Matthew Balon.

Construction of Ruby Hotel Rome is scheduled to start in autumn 2023, with opening scheduled for spring 2025. The investment volume is around €60 million.

Italian first

The project is ECE Work & Live’s first hotel development in Italy and the first joint project with Ruby Hotels, which focuses on affordable luxury, modern design and efficient processes. 

Ruby is planning numerous new hotels throughout Europe. The Otto family holds a 25% stake in the Ruby Group.

Lean luxury

Catherine Hilt, group senior manager development at Ruby, said: “Within Rome’s stably growing market, affordable luxury is an over proportionately growing, albeit underserved niche segment.

“With our lean luxury concept, we aim to address this specific demand. This project fits perfectly, and we are particularly happy to be realising it jointly with our long-time partner ECE,”

Leisure and business

Torsten Kuttig, director hotel development at ECE Work & Live added: “Our first hotel project in Italy combines the main objectives of our strategy in the hotel segment: to expand our international activities and extend them to attractive markets such as Italy, to increase investments in the conversion of existing properties and to focus on hotels with a leisure and business competence.

“We are therefore very pleased to have identified a suitable existing property in the heart of Rome, which we can convert into a modern hotel building together with Ruby Hotels as our partner.”

European expansion

Ruby Hotels continues to drive its expansion in southern Europe, with its Italian entry, the 118-key Ruby Hotel Florence due to open in Q1 next year.

Developer ECE has already planned or realised numerous hotel projects with a total of 3,500 rooms in Germany and Austria – including two Motel One properties in Vienna, Residence Inn by Marriott Hamburg HafenCity and AC by Marriott Hamburg HafenCity, and Steigenberger Airport Hotel at Berlin-Brandenburg Airport.

In addition, the sister company ECE Real Estate Partners is already managing the investment of the ECE European Lodging Recovery Fund in Italy in the ongoing modernisation and repositioning of Hotel Bonvecchiati in the heart of Venice.