Marriott has opened a new Autograph Collection property in the historic walled city of Lucca in Tuscany.
The Grand Universe Lucca, Autograph Collection occupies a restored 16th century palace, which was originally owned by the city’s Paoli family before transforming into a hotel in 1857. The building has undergone a multi-million pound renovation led by Archea Associati S.r.l, retaining historical features such as wall foundations dating back to Roman times.
Lucca is located at the foot of the Apuan Alps, and is colloquially known as the city of a hundred and one churches. The hotel overlooks Piazza del Giglio and Piazza Napoleone, and is within walking distance of Medieval and Renaissance architectural landmarks such as the Chiesa dei Santi Giovanni e Reparata and the historic Teatro del Giglio.
The property has 55 rooms, including nine suites, with categories named after musicians – the ‘Puccini Suite’ for instance is named after Lucca-born opera composer Giacomo Puccini. Interiors showcase the site’s history while also introducing contemporary elements into the decor.
Rooms feature silk and velvet textiles in shades of “grape red, pine green and Tuscan sun yellow” to reflect the city’s silk production heritage, wall tapestries which depict the region’s vineyards, and glass pendant lights celebrating the property’s glassblowing history – the cellar also houses remnants of an ancient glassblower’s fountain. Modern touches include wooden surfaces with gold detailing.
Dining venues include traditional Italian restaurant Legacy, piano lounge Symphony, and rooftop bar Sommita which draws inspiration for its drinks from the city’s famous residents. The hotel also has a wine cellar Eterno, where guests can take part in private wine tasting sessions against a backdrop of ancient artefacts.
Additional experiences on offer include private cocktail classes with the head mixologist, and the opportunity to receive a personalised Prelude, composed by hotel musicians to reflect the guest’s personality. Upon special request, guests can take home the music sheet as a souvenir, packaged in a cylinder glass capsule engraved with “from here to eternity” in a Tuscan leather box.
Georges Midleje, Regional Managing Director for Shaner Properties in Italy, commented:
“Grand Universe Lucca will be a historical beacon blending different eras of history. Our unique location in the magical city of Lucca offers a unique perspective on Tuscany’s rich historic and culinary cultures”.
Jenni Benzaquen, Vice President, Brand, EMEA, Marriott International, added:
“We are delighted to expand our offering of one-of-a-kind hotels in Italy, and our debut in the charming city of Lucca. Grand Universe Lucca is unique jewel in the stunning city and Autograph Collection Hotels’ independent spirit is the perfect fit for the hotel’s next chapter.”
Since launching in 2010, the Autograph Collection has grown to include 180 hotels around the world.