The economic downturn has been brought into sharp focus in Italy by the news that the palatial and celebrated Grand Hotel in Rimini is to close over the winter months for the first time.
The luxury hotel on the Adriatic was a favourite of the film-maker, Federico Fellini, and featured in many of his movies, most notably as a sumptuous backdrop to his 1973 picture, Amarcord. It was officially listed as an Italian national monument in 1994.
The current proprietor, Antonio Batani, said plain financial necessity had forced his hand – there simply weren’t enough guests. “It’s a painful decision but I really had no choice,” he said.
The regional tourism councillor, Maurizio Melucci, added his voice to the concern at the news. “I hope this is just a temporary measure. The Grand Hotel is not only the symbol of Rimini and Italy for the summer, but for the whole twelve months of the year,” he said.
Boasting 117 guest rooms and suites, the Grand opened in the summer of 1908 and remains the only five-star luxury hotel in Rimini – and the only one with a private beach. Its imposing appearance is complemented by rooms decorated with 18th century Venetian and French antiques, together with original, restored parquet floors and chandeliers.
by Andy Moreton
Book the Grand Hotel in Rimini through Luxique – after Easter 2011.