Inside the new-look spaces at Belmond’s Splendido Hotel in Portofino

Swimming pool at Belmond Hotel Splendido, Portofino.
Swimming pool at Belmond Hotel Splendido, Portofino.

Spearheaded by acclaimed designer Martin Brudnizki, Belmond’s Italian grand dame hotel, Splendido, Portofino, has reopened for the European summer season with new-look guest spaces.

Travellers visiting the famed Splendido Hotel by Belmond, which overlooks a tranquil Ligurian bay in Portofino, Italy, over the 2023 European summer season will find redesigned spaces by acclaimed designer, Martin Brudnizki.

The glamorous hotel, which has a storied past as a frequented destination for the international jet-set such as Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, and Charlie Chaplin, has unveiled a revitalised swimming pool area with a new Splendido Grill restaurant, as well as the refurbished Baronessa Suite.

Design notes

The newly revealed Baronessa Suite by Martin Brudnizki is said to be inspired by the palazzos of the region. Brudnizki has applied his signature style of layering different colours, fabrics, textures, and styles, merging vintage and antique pieces with a modern feel, including décor that dates to the mid-20th Century,

The Liguria region can be felt in the design through the use of black and white Carrara and Lavagna stone flooring, local Albissola ceramics, and original Margerin frescoes. Fabric wall coverings are paired with Graniglia alla Genovese flooring and mosaic border finishes. Antiques were acquired from local auction houses and estate sales, and reupholstered in custom fabrics, while the timber headboard has been carved in the style of an unfurling agapanthus.

“Splendido is an icon and so our approach to the project was similar to that of a portrait painter, creating a design centred on the building and one that is as much a restoration as a rejuvenation. We looked to the local flora and fauna and architecture for influences while also championing Ligurian craft to ensure the rooms felt luxurious as well as contextual. It was important the design situates guests in Portofino, creating that comforting feeling of being at a friend’s holiday home while allowing them to experience the beauty, art, and life of this magical place”, said Brudnizki.

“Within this historically sensitive design, there is a layer of amenities to make Splendido the most comfortable in the world. Technology like the lighting control that changes smoothly according to the time of the day, energy saving features and enhanced sound insulation help make the guest experience seamless.”

The picturesque swimming pool from the 1970s has been redesigned by Italian landscape designer Marco Bay, who used the green-blue tones of the sea along with mosaics featuring pink, red, and white stone.

At the Splendido Grill restaurant, green and white tiles are complemented with lush greenery, and a retractable sunroof in green and terracotta. Italian design flair can be spotted in the striped Murano glass lighting, Bonacina chairs, and bespoke fine bone china inspired by local flora and fauna.

The newly unveiled spaces represent the first of a multi-phase renovation project of the luxurious property, a grand dame of the region since the 1950s.

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