Giampaolo Ottazzi appointed as General Manager for the first Orient Express Hotels in Rome & Venice

October 2023

Expertise / Hotels

Orient Express has appointed Giampaolo Ottazzi as General Manager of the first two Orient Express Hotels in Italy: Orient Express La Minerva in Rome and Orient Express Palazzo Donà Giovannelli in Venice.

Ottazzi will be responsible for the strategic positioning, development, and operations management of both hotels, which are set to open in 2025.

Giampaolo Ottazzi

With over forty years of experience in the luxury hospitality industry, Ottazzi began his career in sales and marketing management roles in Venice at the CIGA Hotel, in Portofino at Hotel Splendido, in Florence at Villa San Michele, in Como at Villa d’Este, and in 2000, moved onto General Manager of Villa La Massa Hotel in Florence. In 2008, he served as General Manager of Belmond Hotel Cipriani in Venice for more than twelve years before his most recent position as General Manager of Hotel De Russie in Rome where he began in 2021.


The prestigious arrival of Orient Express Hotels in Rome and Venice mark the establishment of the brand in Italy, a significant milestone for Orient Express as well as for, Arsenale, expert in luxury hotels and hospitality, who strive to promote Italian assets in the hospitality sector.

Omer Acar, CEO Raffles & Orient Express, says “Celebrating a pivotal moment, we welcome Giampaolo Ottazzi, an expert in luxury hospitality, in leading our Rome and Venice hotels set to open in 2025. With over 40 years of experience, his strategic expertise will be instrumental in shaping the success of Orient Express in Italy and particularly in ensuring that the legacy of Orient Express will thrive in both of these precious properties ”.


Paolo Barletta, CEO of Arsenale S.p.A, affirms “We are pleased to begin this journey together with Giampaolo. His expertise and deep knowledge of the sector in Rome and Venice’s city will be crucial elements to give even more value to a unique historical asset like Minerva and Palazzo Donà Giovannelli. We want to create an unprecedented service that can make these two important hotels not just beautiful places, but a truly magical and authentic experience of Italian living’”.

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