Rome’s Hotel de La Minerve to become Orient Express property

The historic Hotel de La Minerve in Rome has been purchased by real estate investor Arsenale Spa with the view for it to become an Orient Express property by 2023.

A preliminary purchase agreement has been signed by Arsenale Spa and the Billi family, owner and manager of the hotel for the past 30 years.

The 17th-century property will continue its operations during 2021 under the guidance and management of the Billi family, before the start of a 20-month refit process from 2022.

Following the renovation, the property will be entrusted to the Orient Express brand, part of the Accor Group. Guests will be able to stay in the renovated and newly branded hotel in time for Christmas 2023.

"It is a great honour and privilege to work on a hotel as iconic and full of history as the Hotel de la Minerve, and the honour is made even greater by the involvement of Orient Express, one of the world’s most famous and prestigious luxury brands,” said Paolo Barletta, chief executive of Arsenale Spa.

“The Minerve is not just a hotel but a cornerstone of Italian hospitality. Carrying forward its history and role is a mission we hope to pursue with the entire community. We are convinced that the city of Rome has a growing market for true luxury hospitality and Accor will help us to build with their know-how and incredible Orient Express brand. This development is a big step forward in that direction.”

Roberto and Bernardo Billi added: “There is a strong common vision between our family's way of doing business and Arsenale's mission. The combination of respect for the distinctive traits that the Minerve has expressed throughout the history of the Roman hotel industry with the innovation needed for its renovation and enhancement is exactly what the city of Rome needs today. 

“It is for this reason that we have firmly adhered to the vision of Paolo Barletta and Arsenale, making our family and all the members of the Minerve enterprise available, in the challenging path of 2021 and the years to come".

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