It is true that the first step to remarkable adventures often starts with a dream and a vision, but it is equally true that a dream becomes reality through hard work, dedication, passion and a determination to put flesh on the bones of that dream. When in 1962, Mr Alfred Pisani and siblings decided to turn the large Villa Refalo at Attard into a fine dining venue, it was a first daring step into an unknown area of operation. But by 1968, the Corinthia adventure in the world of hospitality gave birth to the elegant Corinthia Palace Hotel, which still graces this Island. The story of this hotel is in itself an example of how determination can win against all odds, how hurdles can be transformed into achievable challenges, and how the fear of the uncertain can charge the adrenalin to transform the unknown into an adventurous reality.
And that adrenalin was kindled further with Corinthia’s tenacity to excel, lead, achieve and retain outstanding class and standards, and compete internationally with the best in hospitality. Corinthia never doddered or faltered. At times, life was tough and the road was very bumpy but instead of cowering, Corinthia’s vision widened and varied by adding to its investing arm, the function of developer and operator of luxury hotels and branded real estate. This multi-faceted and quite unique nature of Corinthia has wisely attracted revenues from different areas of operation. The Corinthia dream grew and expanded from several outlets in Malta to, amongst others, Prague, Budapest, Tripoli, Lisbon, St Petersburg, London, Brussels, Moscow, Rome and New York. In some cases it operates as sole or joint owner, and in some instances, besides being a developer, Corinthia features also as an operator.
The Corinthia adventure is still very much alive, the adrenalin still beats strongly, and the horizon ahead widens. These are a few of its ongoing projects which will further enhance the Group’s value:
CORINTHIA HOTEL ROME
Corinthia has signed an agreement with Reuben Brothers (a prominent private equity, real estate investment and development, and debt financing entity) to lease a prominent, centrally located building in Rome, which will be transformed into a 60-room ultra-luxury Corinthia hotel. The property is situated in the former seat of the Central Bank of Italy in Parliament Square. Corinthia will be the operator and lessee of the hotel.
CORINTHIA HOTEL NEW YORK
Corinthia has long nurtured a strong wish to operate in New York. This is now becoming a reality. A Corinthia subsidiary has entered into a 25-year hotel management agreement with the owner of a luxury Upper East Side hotel in New York City. The building was acquired by the private equity firm Reuben Brothers in 2020 and is to undergo extensive refurbishment to reopen in early 2023 as a Corinthia Hotel. Once renovated, the hotel will have 97 guest rooms, including food and beverage facilities, a spa and gym and 12 luxury residences. Corinthia will be the sole and exclusive manager of the hotel, to provide management services and to supervise, direct and control the management and the marketing of the hotel. The 25-year management agreement may be extended.
CORINTHIA OASIS PROJECT (former Hal Ferh site)
Corinthia holds a 83,900m2 site located north-west coast of Malta.
In July 2021, the Group had submitted a revised planning application to the Planning Authority for the development of a resort over the Ħal Ferħ Site. The regeneration project will include a 162-key resort hotel, a top-tier spa and wellness centre, 25 detached hotel-serviced residences and a host of ancillary resort amenities. As part of the project, Corinthia Oasis is also investing in an adjacent 330-space public car park for use by the local community, thus alleviating demand for parking by visitors to the nearby Golden Bay.
CORINTHIA PALACE HOTEL & SPA
In 2018, the Corinthia Group initiated an extensive refurbishment of this hotel and a complete transformation of the spa and gym facilities, at a total cost of €7.1 million. The final phase of this extensive refurbishment includes the part of the property, commonly referred to as “The Villa”, which is the main dining area of the hotel, and the hotel’s bedrooms. The necessary works, comprising mechanical and electrical works, finishing works, furniture and joinery works, and the deployment of soft furnishings and accessories, are expected to be completed in 2022.
CORINTHIA HOTEL ST. GEORGE’S BAY
This five-star property occupies a prime waterfront location and was originally opened in 1995. Over the years, the hotel has established itself among the leading five-star hotels in the area, targeting all sectors including leisure tourism, conferences and corporate travelling. Corinthia plans to refurbish this hotel’s 250 bedrooms, increase the number of suites by combining standard rooms to create larger suites in keeping with increased demand for this type of room offering, complete a soft refurbishment of the hotel’s lobby and public areas, enhance the landscaping of the hotel’s external areas, swimming pools and restaurants, and update back of house (BOH), mechanical & electrical equipment, as well as fire, life, health and safety measures in keeping with updated legislation and best practices.
The building where eventually the Corinthia Bucharest hotel was acquired by a third party investor, is now being extensively refurbished. Completion of works is expected in 2022 when the former Grand Hotel du Boulevard will open as Corinthia Hotel Bucharest. This hotel will feature 33 suites, a fully restored Grand Ballroom and various dining and leisure venues.
Corinthia will be managing and operating a luxury Corinthia hotel, which is being built in Gewan Island. This hotel will feature 110 guest rooms and other luxury facilities/services. Management by Corinthia will also extend to the adjacent luxury branded villas, golf course and yacht club. Whilst the beach and yacht club are scheduled to open in 2022, the hotel and villas are planned to open in 2023.
Owned with others, Corinthia is also currently developing a landmark property in central Moscow, close to Red Square, into a mixed-use real estate project, which will include a luxury boutique hotel, 109 upmarket residential serviced apartments for re-sale, high-end retail and commercial outlets.
Owned with others, this property is also under Corinthia management. This elegant hotel, which will be renamed Corinthia Astoria, is being extensively reconfigured and reorganised. Once completed, the hotel will offer unrivalled amenities in the city of Brussels. Initial strip-out and demolition works have commenced and are expected to be completed in 2023.
The horizon widens and Corinthia looks ahead with courage and determination to continue its ever-evolving adventure.