Italy: Leeu Collection has appointed Auberge Resorts Collection to manage the Collegio Alla Querce in Florence, Italy.
The property, set within 15,500 square metres of gardens, is set to open in 2023. It marks Auberge’s second property in Europe.
Father-son architect practice, Esteva i Esteva, will oversee the transformation of the building. Local designers, ArchFlorence, will lead the interiors. Landscape designer Franchesca Watson will work alongside other Flortentine landscapers across the hotel’s five levels of terraced gardens.
Upon completion, Collegio Alla Querce will debut:
• 82 keys (61 rooms and 21 suites)
• A restaurant, bar and cigar lounge
• Several event spaces including a chapel, theatre, multi-functional room and an events lawn
• Fitness centre and swimming pool
• A spa with four treatment rooms, each with its own sauna, steam room and plunge pool
• Wine tasting room
• Art gallery
• Boutique shop
Analjit Singh, founder, Leeu Collection, said: “We made a conscious decision several years ago to focus on creating exceptional experiences for our guests by joining forces with the best-in-class in the fields of wine-making, dining out and artistic endeavours, so it gives me great pleasure to have the award-winning team at Auberge Resorts Collection manage our property in Florence. The approach taken by Auberge Resorts Collection is very much in keeping with the Leeu Collection ethos of crafting superlative luxury escapes that work with and promote the finest partners in the locality. This collaboration therefore feels like a natural fit and we look forward to working with them to build a sensational destination.”
Dan Friedkin, chairman, Auberge Resorts Collection, added: “We are tremendously excited to expand our presence in Europe with the addition of Florence and Collegio alla Querce. Our unique ability to elevate and preserve historic properties will translate into a dynamic new destination for rich culture, outstanding cuisine, art, design and unrivalled experiences in the internationally renowned city. We are grateful for Leeu Collection’s founder, Analjit Singh, who had the vision to create the most spectacular resort in Florence, and for the trust he has placed in us to help bring it to life.”
Collegio Alla Querce first opened in 1868 as a Barnabite boarding school. Two years later, a geodynamic observatory was installed for experiments and studies. Leeu Collection bought the former school in 2017 and has spent the last few years converting it into a luxury hotel.
Leeu Collection comprises three, five-star boutique properties in South Africa, and Linthwaite House in the UK’s Lake District. The group’s first hotel in Florence is due to open this year.