< GREECE | RHODES: Grande Albergo delle Rose
Grande Albergo delle Rose was envisioned by Mario Lago, governor of the Dodecanese between 1922 and 1936, who realised the need for a thorough service
renaissance, and set out to revitalise the touristic standards of the island.
In 1924, he commissioned the design of a deluxe hotel to the Venetian construction company Sagar, probably the most famous company of its kind at the time. The architectural trend of that period was a combination of Byzantine, Arabian, Ottoman and Venetian lines, and the fusion was applied to this structure during a construction project undertaken by the company G. Spaini – M. Urban.
Construction began on the 26th of March 1925, and a little over 2 years later, on the 24th of May 1927, the hotel opened its gates. Grande Albergo delle Rose, Italian for “Grand Hotel of Roses”, got its name after the colourful rose garden that surrounds it. A spectacular inauguration ceremony in the presence of local authorities and prominent personalities from Italy and Egypt attracted extensive public attention. The Grande Albergo delle Rose was known as “The Dream of the East” as it soon became the most sought-after attraction of the international jet set, and a fashionable travel destination.
The hotel featured the best that technology had to offer at the time, the finest and most elegant furniture from famous houses such as Pucrot, Zaniol and Paleari, and the most sought-after comforts and amenities. Above all, it housed a casino that officially opened in 1929, attracting the crème de la crème of wealthy gamblers from across the world.
Seven years later, on the 22nd of November 1936, a new governor of the Dodecanese was appointed, Cesare Maria de Vecchi Conte di Val Gismon. He was not fond of the architectural design that his predecessor had applied across the town, and demanded that all buildings immediately be renovated. Inevitably, this also applied to the Grande Albergo delle Rose, which underwent minor refurbishment. A more modest and simple line known as “rurale” was applied, and the building took a form similar to that of the present day.
In 1937, the hotel’s administration was taken over by the Italian hotel company Savia, and the casino was taken over by San Remo and Campione, companies still in existence today.
After incorporation of the Dodecanese into “Mother Greece”, the Grande Albergo delle Rose was used for the requirements ofthe Greek State. In September 1955, its administration was handed over to the company Astir S.A., and was eventually conceded to the Municipality of Rhodes. A glorious and enviable era came to an end when the hotel’s doors were closed in the mid-1970s.
Less than three decades later, in early 1999, the hotel’s management was undertaken by Casino Rodos S.A. Fully renovated in May 2002 by the famous Italian architects and designers Giuseppe Molinari and Nicoletta Demolli, the hotel reopened its doors to a discerning clientele, having retained all the splendour of its glorious past. Guests delight in distinctive luxury throughout every corner of the establishment, experiencing unmatched service from the moment they arrive until the moment they depart, taking with them treasured memories of an unforgettable stay. “Aphrodite”, “Athena”, “Odysseus” and “Apollo” are names inspired by Ancient Greek mythology for just some of the hotel’s 33 deluxe suites.
One of the hotel’s most recognisable features is undoubtedly its Casino, the famous Casino of Rhodes, a point of reference in modern entertainment, and a popular attraction for gamblers and VIPs from across the globe.
During its rich history, Grande Albergo delle Rose hosted prominent figures of local and international political, cultural and social life, including Greek prime ministers Eleftherios Venizelos, Konstantinos Karamanlis and Georgios Papandreou, Greek magnate Aristotle Onassis, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Israeli Minister of Defence Moshe Dayan. Its lavish premises have housed events of great historic importance, most significantly the 1948 signing of the foundation of the State of Israel.
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