South African based hospitality group Leeu Collection has expanded its footprint with the acquisition of its second property in Europe, less than a year after the group took over its first UK hotel.
The group have acquired the former Collegio Alla Querce in Florence, Italy, which will now be transformed into a 70-plus bedroom boutique hotel, set to open in 2021.
Parts of the Collegio Alla Querce, which has its own chapel and theatre, were previously used as a boarding school and hotel.
The news follows the group’s acquisition of Linthwaite House in April 2016, a luxury Lakes boutique hotel, which was the brand’s first property outside of South Africa where the Leeu Collection currently operates three hotels.
Later that year in October, former Firmdale boss Carrie Wicks was appointed as the group’s new CEO, after 19 years with Firmdale Hotels.
Commenting on the new acquisition, she said: “The acquisition of this formidable historic property will complement Leeu Collection’s ethos of extraordinary offerings around the globe. The project foresees the creation of a five-star luxury hotel and a wide range of additional facilities, such as meeting and event spaces, a spa and restaurants.”
Analjit Singh, Leeu Collection’s founder said: “Given the Florence hospitality and tourism boom, as well as the improving economic backdrop rejuvenating the European hotel sector, this new development is well timed and complements our existing portfolio. The Leeu Collection team will create an unforgettable experience in a superb setting.”