The Ritz-Carlton to premiere in Italy

Pictured: the former Hotel Grande Bretagne, which will become The Ritz-Carlton Lake Como in Italy.
Marriott International has signed an agreement with Grimit Srl to bring The Ritz-Carlton brand to Italy for the first time.

The Ritz-Carlton Lake Como will result from the conversion of the former Hotel Grande Bretagne in Bellagio, on the shores of Lake Como.

Waterfront resort

Expected to open in 2026, the waterfront property is slated to offer 59 guestrooms and 46 suites, including two Ritz-Carlton suites, featuring lake views and luxurious furnishings.

Comprehensive resort facilities are anticipated to include a destination spa complete with an indoor pool, casual and fine dining restaurants, and state-of-the-art meeting and event facilities.

Extensive parkland and gardens will reflect the typical landscaping of the country’s Lombardy region and are expected to feature a meditation garden, historical walking trail, large outdoor swimming pool, and private boat dock.

Notable regeneration

The historic Belle Époque Hotel Grande Bretagne was one of the destination’s first luxury hotels when it opened in 1850. The property fell into disuse at the end of the last century and has since been acquired by the Galbusera family with a vision to restore the prestigious reputation of the former grand hotel through an extensive restoration and expansion project.

Spread over a 16,500 sq m estate, the regeneration scheme is intended to be the most notable hospitality development project in the Lake Como area in recent years and will involve a complete conservative restoration and reimagining of the property while respecting the building’s historical significance.

Important restoration

Donna McNamara, vice president and global brand leader, The Ritz-Carlton, said: “We are thrilled to announce this landmark signing with Grimit S.r.l. and to be part of such an important restoration of one of Italy’s most acclaimed destinations for luxury travellers.

“Lake Como is the jewel in the crown of the Italian Lake district and we can think of no better destination to debut The Ritz-Carlton brand in Italy. This incredible development showcases our commitment to thoughtfully growing our iconic brand in destinations where we know our guests want to travel most.”

Passion project

Emanuele Galbusera, president of Grimit Srl, added: “As a family, we are deeply rooted in the stunning area of Lake Como and are incredibly proud to be bringing The Ritz-Carlton brand to Bellagio.

“Our entrepreneurial spirit has made our family European leaders in the metal coil-coating sector with our business Lampre and we will take great pride in bringing that same dedication and passion to this remarkable project.”

Italian luxury

Marriott feels this project signals a commitment to strengthening its portfolio of properties across the company’s luxury brands in Italy. 

Other five star group properties in the works across the country include Bulgari Hotel Roma, a conversion of a 1930s building which will bring 114 keys to the capital city in Q2 this year; another conversion, Edition Milan, will deliver 116 rooms in Q1 2024; and a third conversion project, this time in Naples, is seeing a historic bank transforming into the 95-key W Naples, with completion due in Q4 2024.