Two weekends ago (21-22 June), Venice was still definitely still. We had found ourselves visiting the island for work, discovering that visitors, all mainly from Veneto, walked around very comfortably among the usually unviable streets, with backpacks but no trolleys.
No rows on the steamers, indeed free seats in the bow in the early hours of the morning.
The Bauer hotel, as well as the Danieli, the Cipriani, the Gritti, the Ca Sagredo, the Orologio and even the Aman were closed. Among the most prestigious hotels, only the Splendid by Starhotels was open.
The whole Lido was closed, they said (on site) for fear of possible lawsuits from VIPs on issues related to possible virus contagion. Too risky to open for the luxury tier.
More recent news, however, see the first prestige openings this week (w.e. from 3 to 5 July).
Beyond the contingency of the operation stranded on the absence of reservations from foreign markets, the Venetian capital has continued to be the backdrop to important transactions of sales and changes of management in the hotel sector. The sale of the historic Hotel Bauer, for example, was just the last in a series of important transactions that have taken place lately: the hotel, with its 210 rooms, has enriched the portfolio of the Austrian Signa, which acquired it from the American hedge fund Elliott.
Another transaction concluded a few months ago is the one that featured the Bellini hotel: former Boscolo and The Dedica Anthology, the four-star 97-room structure was purchased by Luxottica, through the Covivio fund, and will be managed for the next 15 years by NH Hotels on a lease agreement.
However, the Spanish chain is not alone in having won a new structure in Venice: other groups have acquired existing hotels in management or invested in the conversion of historic buildings to hospitality.
Major investments in the lagoon city have been made, for example, by Hilton Hotels & Resorts, which during 2021 will open a hotel under the brand Canopy, the first in Italy, 5 stars for 230 keys, which will be followed a few months later by the launch of the new Hampton by Hilton Venice, 3 stars that will count as many as 324 keys. The American group, with these two new openings, will be managing three hotels in the city (third of which is the Mulino Stucky). Recently, also the Indigo Venice, branded by IHG and operated by HNH Hospitality, St. Elena district, was opened.
Not much later, in the autumn of 2020, however, the Radisson Blu Venezia (5 stars, 50 keys) will make its debut on the Venetian square.
Already operating and recently re-opened or branded are the Ascend Venice Choice Hotel (4 stars, 33 keys), the hotel Ca’ Di Dio (5 stars, 79 keys) under the brand VOI Hotels, a flag by Alpitour, and the Ca’ San Polo (3 stars, 50 keys), leased by the Ferretti Hotels Group.
These will enrich the landscape of hotels run by hotel groups in the lagoon, which already accounted for more than 50 chain structures, half of which belonging to international groups, showing the great attraction that the city has always had abroad. The Luxury segment is the preferred by international brands, which manage 13 of the 17 5-Star and 5-Star Luxury properties in Venice, for a total of more than 1,550 keys. In the Upscale segment, on the contrary, there are 14 4-star properties run by Italian groups, out of a total of 24 hotels.
Looking only at the island, among the large international groups, the most active in the territory is Marriott International, which operates 7 hotels for a total of more than 880 rooms, 6 of which in the Luxury segment, followed by IHG (2 hotels, 262 keys), NH Hotels (2 hotels, 203 keys) and Best Western Hotel Group (2 hotels, 144 keys). The only chain structure not positioned in the Upscale and Luxury segments is by Generator Hostels, which has owned a 29-room hostel in Giudecca for several years.
Many of the protagonists of the landscape of acquisitions and branding, management and finance of what has recently happened in Venice will be present at ITHIC 2020, scheduled for October 13th in Rimini. The attendees list with the first 60 event participants and the BtoB app to schedule meetings are already available through subscription.

Data source: THRENDS Italy