Kempinski Hotels has announced plans for its first property in South America, with the renovation of the Laje de Pedra hotel in the Brazilian resort town of Canela.
Dating back to 1978, the property was designed by architect Edgar Graeff, and was the location for the signing of the Mercosur Treaty in 1992.
It is situated on a cliff overlooking the Vale do Quilombo Eco Reserve, in Brazil’s southern Serra Gaucha Region, which Kempinksi said was “a perfect fit for the Kempinski brand, as it carries a strong German and European culture”.
Salgado Filho Porto Alegre International Airport is situated around 100km from the hotel, with links to destinations including Rio, Sao Paulo and Panama City.
The group plans to transform the property into a hotel residences, with a scheduled opening date of 2024.
Facilities will include “international restaurants and bars with spacious terraces and spectacular views, such as a steakhouse in a modern Gaucho style or an Italian enoteca”, as well as a rooftop lounge, 1,000 sqm fitness centre, spa and heated swimming pool.
A total of 360 residential suites ranging in size from 54 to 290 sqm will be partially sold, “with future owners able to use all of the hotel’s services or rent out their apartment temporarily when they are not on site themselves”.
Commenting on the news Bernold Schroeder, chief executive officer ad interim and chairman of the management board of Kempinski Hotels, said:
“After being the absolute place to be in the first decades after its opening, the Laje de Pedra has fallen into a slumber, so to speak, in recent times.
“The aim is to bring this historic and architectural icon back to life with our commitment to first-class quality combined with timeless European elegance and to position it as a top destination at the highest level.
“It is an excellent opportunity for us to tackle the South American market with such an exceptional project.”
Kempinski recently opened its 21st property in China, and currently has a portfolio of 79 hotels across 34 countries, including Cuba and Dominica in the Americas.