Shaner Introduces Grand Universe Lucca, Autograph Collection in the Tuscan Destination of Lucca

Italy, Lucca. January 18, 2021

A new era in hospitality shines bright in the coveted Tuscan destination of Lucca, where the Grand Universe Lucca, Autograph Collection, recently opened in the heart of the city. Offering 55 superbly appointed rooms and suites, the former 16th century palazzo turned luxury auberge stands proudly adjacent to the Piazza Napoleone and across from the iconic Teatro del Giglio, where performances by Lucchesi composers Puccini, Catalani and Luporini have inspired a moving music culture that beats well into the present day.

A masterstroke of the Florence-based Archea Associati S.r.L., Grand Universe Lucca's interiors splendidly blend timeless elegance and contemporary comforts. Textiles drawn by earthy shades of grape red, pine green and Tuscan sun yellow, reflect the city's famous silk production heritage, while delicate wall tapestries pay homage to the region's vineyard patterns. Refined, glass pendant lights reflect the property's glassblowing history, while music, one of the hotel's inherent pillars, inspires the name of each room category — from the ‘Piccolo Room' to the ‘Puccini Suite', named after the beloved composer who, along with various global artists, poets, philosophers and royalty, frequently visited the monumental Hotel Universo e Tosca in the early 1900s.

"The opening of Grand Universe Lucca is an extraordinary, momentous occasion — not just for the charming city of Lucca, but for our beloved, resilient Italy, and the travel industry as a whole," said Georges Midleje, Regional Managing Director for Shaner Properties in Italy. "With its sublime design and inspired programming, Grand Universe Lucca duly pays tribute to a storied and colorful past and present, while celebrating a brilliant novel era in luxury travel centered around new discoveries and moving, meaningful experiences."

In addition to showcasing the historic locale through its interiors, Grand Universe Lucca offers a traditional Italian restaurant Legacy serving local cuisine accompanied by fine wines. At the rooftop bar Sommitá, guests can enjoy a digestivo named after great personalities of the city along with panoramic views of Cattedrale di San Martino and beyond.

Paying homage to the city's rich culinary traditions, guests can indulge in a variety of experiences that range from pasta workshops, to pastry making, to honey and olive oil tastings and pairings. Wine tastings, such as the Montecarlo, Montalcino and Chianti Classico experiences, will explore the Tuscany region's various appellations. For a truly curated experience, guests can visit the Symphony Lounge to unlock their own theme song with the ‘Prelude of Existence' whereby the hotel's classical composer will create a personalized Prelude, crafted to reflect the guest's personality.

Grand Universe Lucca debuts as the 200th hotel in the Autograph Collection Hotel brand portfolio, offering guests a unique outpost from where to explore Lucca, ‘city of a hundred and one churches,' and it's mesmerizing medieval landmarks.

Grand Universe Lucca is jointly owned by Italy's Marcucci Group and Shaner Italia, and operated by Shaner Ciocco. Both are divisions of Shaner Corporation, a leading developer, owner and operator in the hospitality industry has 53 properties open in four countries and 10 new properties under construction. Grand Universe Lucca is Shaner's second property in Italy. The group operates the Renaissance Tuscany Il Ciocco Resort & Spa in Barga, a charming town in the Serchio Valley just 40 kilometers from Lucca.

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Guest Service: Health and Safety First

Though expectations are that hotels will return to some semblance of normalcy in 2021, their highest priority must continue to be the health and safety of guests and employees. To that end, hotels are training their guest service personnel in enhanced cleaning routines, which include the following practices - bathrooms, elevator buttons, remote controls and other high-touch items, are disinfected and cleaned with a higher frequency; all tables, chairs and menus in restaurants are cleaned at a much higher frequency, and after each seating; floor markers in public areas to remind guests and team members to maintain physical distance; hand alcohol stations and disposable gloves in lobbies and restaurants; loose items such as pens, note pads and information material removed from rooms and meeting rooms; limiting the number of seats in restaurants and public areas; and revised food & beverage offerings. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will review how guest service personnel are being trained to maintain health and safety protocols in their operations.