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Hotelier: Piero Magrino, Palazzo Naiadi, Rome

Piero Magrino’s dream to work in the hotel industry took hold as a child. “I had the privilege to live and learn the hospitality business in a beautiful hotel managed by my father,” says the 45-year old native of Venice. It’s there he discovered his love of hotels “with their unique ability to [captivate] guests through atmosphere, experiences, and emotions.”

For the past three years Magrino has helmed the Palazzo Naiadi, a crescent-shaped neo-classical palace in the heart of Rome, “offering a warm, personalized approach, typical of The Dedica Anthology collection of hotels,” a new brand of luxury hotels.

The white-marbled luxury five-star hotel features 238 rooms and suites as well as a variety of restaurants and bars. It also houses a spa and a fitness studio. The hotel’s meeting rooms, partly suspended over the foundations of the fourth-century Diocletian thermal baths, offer space suited for small and large events.

Magrino oversees a team of 200 associates. His biggest challenge, he says, is offering guests a unique experience so they want to return.

The hotel’s Average Daily Rate is about €330, with RevPAR running at €300, but Magrino looks forward to increasing that once the hotel’s renovations are complete.

Being part of a cultural city such as Rome, the hotel has invested in programs such as “Dedica for the Arts,” whereby the hotel hosts contemporary art exhibitions in the library, thanks to its partnership with the Le Dame Art Gallery, based in Rome and London.

“Being part of the Dedica Anthology, means the hotel can act as a cultural catalyst,” says the charming GM. “We’re committed to supporting cultural initiatives, working closely with key artists to underline the brand’s promise and to present a new form of curated, contemporary hôtellerie.”

As part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the hotel’s target market is skewed to Americans. “It’s our number-1 nationality, followed by Italy and the U.K, with 65-per-cent leisure guests and 35-per-cent business.”

As a soft, niche brand, Magrino says the hotel offers “a distinct point of view, launched at a time when both the global hotel industry and the luxury sector are evolving. An opportunity exists to challenge and reinvent the category, creating inspiring spaces and relaxed rituals consciously in rhythm with guests’ contemporary lives.”

To stand out from the crowd, Magrino believes “today’s hotels need service that’s more engaged, intuitive, genuine and friendly” — and that, he says, “comes through a cultural change.”

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