Splendido Mare, a Belmond Hotel, Portofino will reopen on April 16, 2021 following a complete renovation by Paris design agency Festen Architecture. “The Mare” is the first to be renovated under the LVMH ownership; inspired by its maritime heritage, Festen Architecture reinterpreted traditional craftsmanship in contemporary ways, complemented with antique objects and custom furnishings.
References to the harbor’s history can be found throughout the property. Each of the 14 rooms and suites have locally sourced and hand-varnished wood, traditionally used in the fishing and sailings boats that dot the harbor, while rope patterns are woven into the marquetry of the headboards. The nautical knot is the emblem of the hotel and is referenced through touchpoints, from the glassware and crockery to the room keys. The traditional Ligurian colors of the harbor buildings—a palette of amber, terracotta and sea green—are used to accent the archways and ceilings. The design of the wooden floor is also inspired by the church of San Giorgio in town; the bathrooms pull inspiration from the neighboring Santa Margherita beach cabins.
As a nod to 1950s Portofino, guests can find plenty of mid-century modern furnishings. Each guestroom has authentic antiques like fruitwood armchairs by Paolo Buffa and Gio Ponti, walnut armchairs by Ulrich Guglielmo and table lamps by Oscar Torlasco. The furnishings are layered with Italian fabrics by Loro Piana and Rubelli and the wall lamps are from Murano Glass. One of the suites is inspired by Ava Gardner, who was a frequent visitor to the guest house when filming “The Barefoot Contessa” in 1954 with Humphrey Bogart.
The eight rooms have been named to reflect each element of the design inspiration. La Marea (tide), Fioco (jib), Gozzo and Riva (boats) reference the nautical heritage, while La Baia (bay), Aurora (new dawn), Libeccio (southwesterly wind) and Tramontana (northerly wind) call on the surrounding beauty and natural phenomena.
Splendido Mare will also have a curated art collection with commissioned pieces by Italian artist Gabriele Cappelli, known for his modernist simplicity. Cinematic photography and abstract pieces by Ligurian artists have also been selected for their portrayal of the destination, its history and landscape.