STATE COLLEGE, PA—Shaner Italia, a division of Shaner Hotels, has acquired the historic Hotel Universo in Lucca, Italy, in partnership with Italy’s Marcucci Group.
The two companies, which were the winning bidders in a recent auction sale for the landmark property, plan to develop a branded hotel through an extensive restoration and renovation program valued at approximately $7.8 million. The revamp for the 70-room boutique hotel is expected to be completed within 12 months.
The Hotel Universo area is home to many of the region’s historic monuments and was converted into a hotel in 1857. The property features a large town square known for its many music and performing arts festivals.
“The acquisition of the Hotel Universo is another example of Shaner’s growing international expansion efforts of acquiring independent hotels featuring bold originality, rich character and uncommon details,” said Lance Shaner, CEO, Shaner Hotels. “The Hotel Universo represents the rich heritage of the region’s architecture, culture, music, arts and culinary offerings and we’re delighted to once again partner with the Marcucci family to preserve and upgrade this iconic property. We believe the new Hotel Universo will be an exceptional addition to our growing international portfolio.”
The Shaner Italia division and the Marcucci Group are already joint venture partners in the recently upgraded 180-room Renaissance Tuscany Resort and Spa in Tuscany, Italy.
“We want to bring the same distinctive focus on elegant accommodations and superior guest services to the Hotel Universo that we created at the Renaissance Tuscany property with the Marcucci family,” said Plato Ghinos, president, Shaner Hotels.
Shaner added that over the next few years Shaner Italia plans to increase its portfolio of hotels in Italy. The acquisition strategy reflects the company’s plans to expand in high-barrier markets throughout the U.S., the Bahamas and Europe.