Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo - MGallery by Sofitel

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Discover the Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo - MGallery by Sofitel, which was built by admiral Cecil Domville in the 19th century.

Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo - MGallery by Sofitel was constructed during the historic reign of the United Kingdom’s famed Queen Victoria, who sat on the British throne from 1837 to 1901.

The Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo - MGallery by Sofitel was originally built as a private villa at the end of the 19th century by English admiral Cecil Domville. The building features Gothic Revival-style architecture, which was popular throughout England at the time. Ignazio Florio purchased the building following Domville’s death and would go on to name it after his daughter, Igiea. Florio yearned to recreate the building into a luxury hotel that could appropriately reflect the cultural temperaments of Europe during its Belle Époque period. For a short time, the hotel was known as one of the favorite venues of the aristocracy, who often held dances at the hotel’s Donna Franca Florio restaurant. Unfortunately, after the renovation was complete, Florio’s dream would not last long, as the cultural tranquility of the era was shattered with World War I. The Villa Igiea was even used as a field hospital for soldiers who were harmed fighting on the Italian Front. However, prosperity returned the hotel upon the war’s conclusion, when the Banco di Sicilia acquired it. The hotel returned to hosting European high society for many years thereafter, attracting celebrities and dignitaries alike. In the 1990s the hotel was purchased by the Acqua Marcia Group, and then by Hilton from 2006 to 2011. In 2015, the hotel was acquired by AccorHotels and is now operating as the Grand Hotel Villa Igiea Palermo - MGallery by Sofitel.

  • About the Architecture +
    Ignazio Florio eventually decided to renovate the building to soften its severe Gothic Revival style and hired Italian Art-Nouveau architect Ernesto Basile to complete the renovation. Basile was known for his unique fusion of ancient, medieval, and modern design elements. A fan of the Art Nouveau, Basile was one of the first to adopt the aesthetic. While the structure itself is reminiscent to that of a castle, it features many of Basile’s signature Art Nouveau features. During the renovation, particular attention was given to the exotic indoor garden and the positioning of the pool, with the interior walls decorated with female figures and florals. The villa’s new wall frescoes were created by Ettore de Maria Bergler, an Italian painter, and the furniture was created especially for the hotel by Italian designer Vittorio Ducrot. One of the hotel’s best examples of its Art Nouveau appearance is located in the hotel’s Sala Basile, where the frescoes created by Bergler blend harmoniously with the architecture of Ducrot.

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