LVMH and Its Belmond Hotel Group Acquire Castello di Urio on Lake Como, Italy

Eva Morletto

By Eva Morletto20 novembre 2023

The Belmond hotel group has completed the purchase of Castello di Urio, a prestigious 16th-century residence on Lake Como, Italy. The acquisition and renovation of the palace and its grounds are estimated to cost between 50 and 100 million euros.

Belmond, acquired by LVMH, offers diversified luxury; the photo showcases the Villa Belmond overlooking the Lake Como in Italy (Villa Belmond)

Founded in 1976 with the purchase of the legendary Cipriani Hotel in Venice, the Belmond group, now part of the LVMH conglomerate, operates in 24 countries. The company boasts a rich portfolio of prestigious hotels, as well as iconic trains like the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, the Belmond Royal Scotsman, and the Cusco-Machu Picchu in Peru. More recently, cruises and safaris have been added to the group's offerings.

With a strong presence in Europe (46% of its activities), the group generates 20% of its business in North America. According to a study by the Mordor Intelligence research firm, North America is expected to represent the largest global luxury hospitality market share in 2023.

Based in Bermuda, with headquarters in London and listed on the New York Stock Exchange, Belmond was acquired by LVMH in April 2019 for $3.2 billion. This acquisition allowed the world's leading luxury conglomerate to establish a significant presence in the high-end tourism market, following the integration of brands like Cheval Blanc and Bulgari. The entry of the Cheval Blanc establishment in Courchevel in 2006 marked Bernard Arnault's foray into this segment. The acquisition of Bulgari in 2011 included a licensing agreement between the Italian house and the American company Marriott International.

Although this activity is still part of LVMH's "Other Activities" division, the sector is continuously growing. By the end of 2023, the size of the global luxury hospitality market is expected to reach $99.88 billion, and it is projected to reach $146 billion by 2028. Belmond is currently the fourth-largest player in the market, following Intercontinental Hotels, Marriott International, and Accor.

Another significant opening for LVMH is the first Louis Vuitton-branded establishment set to open in 2026. Spanning 6,000 square meters, it will be located on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.

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