Splendido Mare, a Belmond Hotel, Portofino, is ready to re-open its doors in April 2021 following a complete renovation by Paris design agency, Festen Architecture. The hotel is the first to be renovated under LVMH ownership and will revive the timeless allure of Portofino, embraced within a charming guesthouse. Here’s what to expect…
The making of The Mare
Belmond, a pioneer of luxury travel for over 45 years, has been building its portfolio of one-of-a-kind experiences in the world’s most beautiful destinations. It is part of the world’s leading luxury group LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.
Following a head-to-toe revamp, Splendido Mare, a Belmond Hotel, Portofino will re-open its doors in April 2021. The design transformation pays tribute to the harbour’s nautical history and can be referenced throughout the property. Interior designers Festen Architecture took the helm for the makeover, combining traditional craftsmanship with modern fare.
“We like to work on the transformation of classical spaces – delving into a storied past to conceptualise its future. For Splendido Mare, we are cherishing its humble beginning as a guest house for fishermen and the cinematic setting of Portofino.”Charlotte de Tonnac – Co-Founder, Festen Architecture
Each of the 14 rooms and suites feature nautical elements, including locally-sourced and hand-varnished wood, traditionally used in the fishing and sailing boats from the harbour. Guests can find intricate rope patterns woven into the marquetry of the headboards, handcrafted by renowned textile designer Véronique de Soultrait. Peer around to find the iconic nautical knot which is the emblem of the hotel and is referenced in the bespoke designed glassware and crockery, as well as the individual room keys. There’s also 7,000 beautiful handmade terracotta tiles, sourced from local Lingurian craftsman.
The redesign evokes a stylish home where contemporary and vintage pieces co-exist to provide a timeless feel. We want guests to feel comfortable, at ease but also feel the historical spirit , and we want them to feel the coherence we try to create between the design of the hotel and its surroundings.Charlotte de Tonnac – Co-Founder, Festen Architecture
The furnishings are layered with soft Italian fabrics by Loro Piana and Rubelli and the wall lamps are from Murano Glass. Rooms are named after different elements of the design inspiration. These include La Marea (tide), Fioco (jib), Gozzo and Riva (boats), La Baia (bay), Aurora (new dawn), Libeccio (southwesterly wind) and Tramontana (northerly wind).
The colour palette is inspired by traditional Ligurian colours—amber, terracotta and sea green, found on the archways and ceilings. While there is a sense of modernity in the design, there is also a huge emphasis on mid-century 1950s glamour, ubiquitous to Portofino’s history. This is reflected through the authentic antiques including fruitwood armchairs by Paolo Buffa and Gio Ponti, the walnut armchairs by Ulrich Guglielmo, and table lamps by Oscar Torlasco, designed to create a sense of welcoming nostalgia, especially for Italians who may reminisce on similar childhood memories. One of the suites is inspired by Ava Gardner, a popular personification for mid-century glamour—and also a frequent guest at the hotel while she was in the region for one of her films.
Art and fashion collaborations
Fashion designer Arthur Arbesser was commissioned to design a stylish attire reflecting the keynote design elements. The Vogue- and LVMH-recognised emerging talent in fashion has created elegant, mid-century modern silhouettes for the uniforms, integrating geometric patterns, nautical detailing and botanical references from the national park.
Splendido Mare, a Belmond Hotel, Portofino has also commissioned a curated art collection by Italian artist, Gabriele Cappelli, renowned for his modernist simplicity to fit with the timeless elegance of Portofino. Other art pieces by Ligurian artists are showcased in the form of cinematic photography and abstract pieces.