Italian fashion house Fendi celebrated the opening of its first luxury hotel, Fendi Private Suites, last night with a lavish Champagne-fuelled cocktail party in Rome. Creative director, Silvia Venturini Fendi, and Fendi's chief designer, Karl Lagerfeld, joined well-heeled guests such as Sofia Coppola, Kendall Jenner and the world's media in the Italian capital to celebrate the launch at the Palazzo Fendi.
Fashion houses Bulgari, Giorgio Armani and Salvatore Ferragamo set a new trend when they moved into hospitality with five-star hotels and resorts that cleverly complemented their brands. Fendi follows with a boutique hotel consisting of seven luxury suites hidden discreetly on the third floor of Palazzo Fendi, the brand's flagship store in Largo Goldoni at the end of Via Condotti.
Downstairs, the store covers two floors of the 17th-century palazzo and has been completely remodelled by French architect Gwenael Nicolas to add energy and light. In a nod to the brand's historic origins it even features a fur atelier where clients can step inside and watch the experts at work.
"It's a game-changer, an emblem and symbol of our DNA," says Pietro Beccari, Fendi chairman and CEO. "There is no other place where you can so easily understand our very precise, very personal vision of luxury."
The third-floor hotel was designed by Italian architect Marco Costanzi, who has used beige and grey tones to create a sleek but subtle ambience. The suites range in size from 35 to 60 square metres and offer stunning views of the street action below. Up above on the fourth floor Rainer Becker's upscale Japanese restaurant chain, Zuma, has opened its first Italian location.
The hotel suites feature custom-designed furnishings from Fendi Casa including beds, sofas and side tables, but there are also Jan Katz carpets on the natural oak floors and each room has a Giò Ponti mirror. Reversible televisions can be seen from the living room or bedroom, while the bathrooms are filled with blood-red Lepanto marble and white travertine.
"This is a home experience for a sophisticated traveller," Marco Costanzi tells Gourmet Traveller. "This is not a business hotel. When you enter from the ground floor you have a different feeling."
Fendi Private Suites, level 3, Palazzo Fendi, Via di Fontanella Borghese, 48, Rome, fendiprivatesuites.com