A Look Inside Belmond Splendido Mare, Portofino's Major Transformation
Dreaming about summer in Italy? Yeah, us too. Especially since hearing that the famed Belmond Splendido Mare in Portofino has undergone a complete redesign, with re-opening set for April 16.
Belmond, which is now part of LVMH, turned to Paris-based designers, Festen Architecture, to reimagine the charming seaside property - a converted townhouse on the Italian Riviera featuring 14 guestrooms, including four suites, with views over Portofino Harbour.
“We like to work on a transformation of classical space, delving into a storied past to conceptualise its future. Our work for Belmond Splendido Mare cherishes its humble beginning and a cinematic setting of Portofino," says Charlotte de Tonnac, co-founder of Festen Architecture. "The redesign will evoke a stylish home where contemporary and vintage pieces co-exist to provide a timeless feel.”
Drawing inspiration from the locale's humble heritage as a fisherman's haven, Splendido Mare's new mid-century modern Italian design features nods to nautical traditions. Each guestroom features elements taken from traditional Italian fishing boats, such as natural wood, rope and brass. The custom-made headboards, for example, were crafted by textile designer Véronique de Soultrait, who used braided ropes to form geometric patterns.
The bespoke wooden latticed flooring is a Portofino signature. Meanwhile, archways and ceilings are accented by Ligurian colours of amber, sea green and terracotta. The bathrooms are inspired by the neighbouring ‘Santa Margherita’ beach cabins, with white and yellow geometric tiles forming bold striped walls against a pristine white marble floor.
Authentic antiques are found in every guestroom, including fruitwood armchairs by Paolo Buffa and fabric by Italian producers Loro Piana and Rubelli.
To cap things off - quite literally - Splendido Mare commissioned up-and-coming Austrian fashion designer, Arthur Arbesser to design new uniforms for staff. An "emerging talent" in the eyes of LVMH, Arbesser's designs reflect the timeless elegance of Portofino.
“I'm very happy that for these uniforms we were able to exclusively use Italian fabrics, created by talented weavers from Tuscany – among the most beautiful in the world," says Arbesser who, in his designs, takes inspiration from the colour palette of the region's natural landscape, and tasked local talent with bringing his designs to life.
“The new Splendido Mare will celebrate that timeless Italian sophistication by incorporating the highpoint of Italian mid-century modern design that corresponds to the incomparable spirit of Portofino," say Arnaud Champenois, senior vice president of global head of brand for Belmond. "This new chapter will embrace the philosophy of simple pleasures, the art of good living, scooping the sauce of your pasta with the last bit of bread. Belmond Splendido Mare will maintain its distinctive and iconic character and charm, the Ligurian way!”
Watch this space.
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