Now more than ever, the mission of Baglioni Hotels & Resorts is to provide guests with a hotel stay unlike anything they’ve ever had before, that offers consummate Italian style and uncompromising comfort. Here, RLI sits down with CEO Guido Polito to discuss the brand and what its key drivers are as it looks for further international expansion.
Baglioni Hotels & Resorts was founded in 1974, when Roberto Polito and his wife Lisa established the Baglioni Resort Cala del Porto in Punta Ala, Tuscany with the aim of developing a unique concept of Italian excellence and hospitality. Today, the brand is a collection of elegant and sophisticated hotels each with their own story and symbiotic relationship with the local culture and language.
“Our portfolio consists of hotels in Venice, Rome and Florence, Italy’s finest art cities, as well as a Tuscan Maremma and vibrant London,” explain Guido Polito, the CEO of Baglioni Hotels & Resorts. “We also have our five-star luxury resort in the Maldives, in the unspoilt paradise of Maagau atoll, as well as our new resort in Sardinia, which opened back in June this year.”
Because of the effects of Covid the hospitality sector has gone through, and continues to face the most severe crisis of its industry ever, and Polito explains that it has taken time to understand and overcome it, and that such long periods of restriction have made people realise how important travelling is for their own wellbeing.
Whilst Covid-19 of course had an effect on almost every business, before the pandemic Baglioni Hotels & Resorts was performing well, achieving constant growth in terms of revenue and brand awareness. Even during Covid, they successfully opened the Baglioni Resort Maldives in difficult times, which gave them the opportunity to offer a completely new experience to their clients with an exotic and unique destination within its portfolio.
Whilst the company’s latest opening was Baglioni Resort Sardinia in June, in the next 12 months they intend to secure a new hotel in Milan, this is their top priority along with an additional resort in Italy. “In the future, we are looking for properties in New York and Paris; this has been a priority for many years and remains a key target. However, at the same time, we intend to grow in our existing markets and I believe that Sicily and Puglia would be great destinations in the future.”
Over the years, the brand has developed a concept of luxury, embodied in personalised service and sensitivity to both their culture of origin and their individual tastes and preferences. While surroundings may influence the style, it is the Baglioni personality that lends the hospitality its unmistakable hallmark of quality.
The Baglioni Hotels & Resorts are private residences, elegant and intimate, open and vibrant, and the staff are meticulous about every detail. Everything on site is arranged to put the guest at the heart of an authentic, personal and exquisite Italian experience that will live long in the memory.
Polito feels that both Italian and international guests visit Italy mainly for its unmistakable style, and they choose the collection because they are the authentic epitome of it since one of the defining features of Italian style is Italian fine food.
“The gastronomic experience is one of the highlights of every hotel in the Baglioni Collection. Fine dining at Baglioni Hotels & Resorts is all about tradition, sustainability, and a sublime attention to detail, driven by an incessant quest for the best ingredients and recipes that Italy has to offer,” says Polito.
A family-owned company, Baglioni have always been able to think long-term, building the company, brand and reputation over the years, showing resilience through difficult times and always possessing a clear strategy. It is these elements that have been key drivers for the business Polito feels. He adds that in addition to this, the passion, quality and loyalty of the people who work for Baglioni gives them an extra competitive advantage compared to many international brands.
In today’s world, social media and e-commerce are front and centre in the minds of guests, and Baglioni understands this and has strengthened its online presence by focusing on quality experiential content. Each hotel in the portfolio has an Instagram and Facebook account, and the goal is to communicate the ‘Unforgettable Italian Touch’ through digital communication.
The aim for Baglioni Hotels & Resorts today and in the future is to guarantee unforgettable experiences. “Our collection is vibrant, elegant and original, and our hotels are dreamy, warm and cozy spaces that stimulate all five senses. Our unique locations, combined with the personalised, innovative and multicultural service provided, make our guests feel unique and special,” explains Polito.
“Each site has its own unique Italian spirit because it lives in harmony with its urban environment and becomes a point of reference. It represents a place of intrigue and vibrancy, a place where art, culture and fashion combine and our goal moving forward is to develop the brand on an international scale, continuing to serve as ambassadors of the finest Italian hospitality.”