Auberge Resorts Collection to Manage Leeu Collection’s Collegio alla Querce in Florence
MILL VALLEY, Calif. (August 18, 2021) – Auberge Resorts Collection, the award-winning portfolio of one-of-a-kind luxury hotels, resorts and residences, has been appointed by Leeu Collection to manage Collegio alla Querce, Auberge Resorts Collection in Florence. Set to open in 2023, the resort will stretch across pristine gardens on a rolling hill on the northside of Florence’s historic city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located just three miles from the Duomo di Firenze at the gateway to Tuscany, the luxury hotel will connect travelers to Italian culture with proximity to world-famous galleries and museums, architectural masterpieces and renowned cuisine in Florence, as well as to wineries and restaurants in the stunning countryside of Tuscany.
“We are tremendously excited to expand our presence in Europe with the addition of Florence and Collegio alla Querce,” said Dan Friedkin, chairman, Auberge Resorts Collection. “Our unique ability to elevate and preserve historic properties will translate into a dynamic new destination for rich culture, outstanding cuisine, art, design and unrivaled experiences in the internationally renowned city. We are grateful for Leeu Collection’s founder, Analjit Singh, who had the vision to create the most spectacular resort in Florence, and for the trust he has placed in us to help bring it to life.”
A former cultural institution and boarding school turned luxury hotel, Collegio alla Querce, Auberge Resorts Collection will encompass three adjacent 16th-century buildings, including an original chapel and theatre. An extensive transformation will awaken the property’s storied and romantic history, dating back to the Italian Renaissance, through a rarefied art collection, distinct architecture and design, and spectacular, manicured gardens. Surrounded by soaring oak trees, a nod to Collegio alla Querce’s name, the resort’s grounds will boast expansive lawns and five levels of terraced Baroque gardens, a work of art in itself and the vision of Analjit Singh and landscape designer Franchesca Watson, in concert with local Florentine landscapers.
Analjit Singh, founder, Leeu Collection, notes, “We made a conscious decision several years ago to focus on creating exceptional experiences for our guests by joining forces with the best-in-class in the fields of wine-making, dining out and artistic endeavours, so it gives me great pleasure to have the award-winning team at Auberge Resorts Collection manage our property in Florence. The approach taken by Auberge Resorts Collection is very much in keeping with the Leeu Collection ethos of crafting unrivaled luxury escapes that work with and promote the finest partners in the locality. This collaboration therefore feels like a natural fit and we look forward to working with them to build a sensational destination.”
The design of Collegio alla Querce, Auberge Resorts Collection will exude a relaxed yet refined country house within a city context. Award-winning Spanish father-son architect group, Esteva i Esteva, has been enlisted to preserve the structures’ original character while propelling the hotel into a new era of contemporary style. Spaces will infuse the Italian’s ancient love for geometry in architecture to flow organically and symmetrically. Local Florentine interior designers, ArchFlorence, will bring Collegio alla Querce, Auberge Resorts Collection to life with interiors that combine High Renaissance art with modern Italian design. Brilliant colors, locally sourced materials and contemporary pieces will complement antique pieces and walls of thoughtfully curated, decade-spanning artwork.
Upon completion, the Renaissance-era destination will be reborn as an 82-room hotel, including 61 guest rooms, 20 suites and a 2,250-square-foot signature suite. Modern amenities include an outdoor pool, dedicated wine tasting room, spa, fitness center, art gallery and a curated boutique. Dining options will comprise a destination restaurant, a glass-enclosed garden room set amongst olive trees for daytime dining, a sophisticated bar and cigar lounge set in the former academic admissions office, and an outdoor pool bar offering light bites and cocktails. The property will also boast an on-site enoteca offering tastings of the finest wines in Italy. For those looking for an authentic Tuscan culinary experience, tastings, private dinners and cooking classes will be available in the signature restaurant. For meetings and celebrations, a dedicated meeting room will be complemented by the theatre and chapel, which will double as space for events, art installations and workshops.
By harmonious design, Collegio alla Querce, Auberge Resorts Collection will marry the old and new worlds, fusing the brand’s signature, approachable luxury design with the building’s historic architecture. One-of-a-kind experiences will depict a unique perspective of art and history, allowing for indulgence in culinary creativity and commanding the enviable Italian way of life. Guests will also be able to soak up the Italian sunshine under the oaks of the spectacular outdoor pool, dine alfresco or find sanctuary at the rejuvenating spa, which will offer four treatment rooms, each with their own sauna and steam room.
“Collegio alla Querce is a once-in-a-lifetime destination, and we are delighted to partner with Leeu Collection as we expand Auberge’s presence in Europe,” said Craig Reid, president and chief executive officer, Auberge Resorts Collection. “The hotel will be a celebration of the property’s storied history and character while offering the luxuries of a beautifully designed home-away-from-home for the world’s most discerning travelers.”
Collegio alla Querce, Auberge Resorts Collection will be the brand’s second property in Europe, joining Grace Hotel, Auberge Resorts Collection in Santorini, Greece. The announcement comes at a time of thoughtful expansion for Auberge Resorts Collection. This year, the brand will open seven hotels including Etéreo, Auberge Resorts Collection in Riviera Maya, Mexico, Hacienda AltaGracia, Auberge Resorts Collection in Costa Rica, Susurros del Corazón, Auberge Resorts Collection in Punta de Mita, Mexico, Bishop’s Lodge, Auberge Resorts Collection in Santa Fe, N.M., Primland, Auberge Resorts Collection in Blue Ridge Mountains, Virg., The Inn at Mattei’s Tavern, Auberge Resorts Collection in Los Olivos, Calif. and Stanly Ranch, Auberge Resorts Collection in Napa Valley, Calif. Auberge will also debut significant transformations of several existing properties this year, including Solage, Auberge Resorts Collection in Napa Valley, Calif., Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection in Telluride, Colo., and The Vanderbilt, Auberge Resorts Collection in Newport, R.I.
Collegio alla Querce, Auberge Resorts Collection will open in 2023. For more information, please visit aubergeresorts.com/collegioallaquerce/.
About Auberge Resorts Collection
Auberge Resorts Collection is a portfolio of extraordinary hotels, resorts, residences and private clubs. While each property is unique, all share a crafted approach to luxury and bring the soul of the locale to life through captivating design, exceptional cuisine, innovative spas, and gracious yet unobtrusive service. With 20 hotels and resorts across three continents, Auberge invites guests to create unforgettable stories in some of the world’s most desirable destinations.
For more information: aubergeresorts.com
About The Friedkin Group
The Friedkin Group is a privately-held consortium of automotive, hospitality, entertainment, sports and adventure companies. These organizations include: Gulf States Toyota, GSFSGroup, US AutoLogistics, Ascent Automotive Group, Auberge Resorts Collection, AS Roma, Imperative Entertainment, 30WEST, NEON, Diamond Creek Golf Club, Congaree and Legendary Expeditions. The Friedkin Group is led by Chairman and CEO Dan Friedkin. For more information, visit www.friedkin.com.
Leeu Collection (in Sanskrit singh means lion, which is leeu in Afrikaans) comprises three five-star boutique properties in South Africa (Leeu Estates, a 23-room country house retreat and boutique winery in the Franschhoek valley; Leeu House, a 12-room hotel in the heart of Franschhoek village; and Le Quartier Français, a romantic 32-room hotel with two independent villas also located in the village) and Linthwaite House, an historic 36-bedroom property in the UK’s Lake District. Leeu Collection works closely with leaders in the food, drink, art and spa industries to ensure a first-class experience at all its properties. Visit www.leeucollection.com for more information.
Jessica Rothschild / Michelle Noski