February 8, 2017 – Expanding its international hospitality portfolio further, Leeu Collection has acquired its second European property, the former Collegio Alla Querce in Florence, Italy.
Located in Via della Piazzuola, just 2km north-east of the city’s historic heart and 9km from Florence’s international airport, the complex covers a total area of 13 400m2 plus 15 500m2 of park, which will be transformed into a 70-plus bedroom luxury hotel and gardens, set to open in 2021. Parts of the historic Collegio Alla Querce, which has its own chapel and theatre, were previously used as a boarding school and hotel.
This latest acquisition echoes the vision of Analjit Singh, Leeu Collection’s founder and entrepreneur of Indian origin, of creating unrivalled escapes and offering visitors extraordinary experiences.
For Analjit, giving this project the ‘Leeu touch’ through redevelopment and renovation is of utmost importance. “We will remain true to the pillars of our brand: inspiring art collections, distinct architecture and design; manicured and detailed landscaping that reflects respect for the environment; superlative service with attention to the smallest detail; spectacular views and an outstanding food and wine experience.
“Given the Florence hospitality and tourism boom and the improving economic backdrop rejuvenating the European hotel sector, this new development is well timed and complements our existing portfolio. The Leeu Collection team will create an unforgettable experience in a superb setting.”
“The acquisition of this formidable historic property will complement Leeu Collection’s ethos of extraordinary offerings around the globe,” says Carrie Wicks, CEO of Leeu Collection. “The project foresees the creation of a 5-star luxury hotel and a wide range of additional facilities, such as meeting and event spaces, a spa and restaurants.”
More about Leeu Collection:
Leeu Collection (in Sanskrit Singh means lion, which is leeu in Afrikaans) comprises three five-star boutique properties: Leeu Estates, a 17-room country house retreat and boutique winery in the Franschhoek valley Leeu House, a 12-room hotel in the heart of Franschhoek village; and Le Quartier Français, a romantic 21-room hotel and three-bedroom villa also located in the village.
Extending beyond the offering of luxury accommodation, Analjit Singh (or BAS as he is affectionately known in South Africa) is a partner in Mullineux & Leeu Family Wines, which produces award-winning wines in the Swartland wine region some 80km north of Cape Town.
Complementing Leeu Collection, an exotic new culinary hub across the road from Leeu House Heritage Square is home to Marigold, Franschhoek’s first Indian restaurant. Adjacent to Leeu House, Tuk Tuk, a craft beer microbrewery in partnership with the award-winning Cape Brewing Company team, is serving bespoke brews and Mexican food.
Everard Read in partnership with Leeu Collection is a considered space that opened in February 2017 showing modern and contemporary artworks by Southern African artists. The Gallery includes a sculpture garden, interspersed with herbs and vegetables and is located adjacent to Le Quartier Français.
The first addition outside of South Africa for Leeu Collection was Linthwaite House, a country retreat overlooking Lake Windermere in England’s scenic Lake District. This boutique hotel is a celebrated four AA Red Star Hotel situated on 5.6 hectares of landscaped gardens and offers en-suite bedrooms and a celebrated restaurant.
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