From Small Family Business to a Global Luxury Brand: A Malta Family Success Story

From Small Family Business to a Global Luxury Brand: A Malta Family Success Story

Written by Albert Fenech
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Malta and Gozo have many sites and attractions, mainly cultural heritage and historical that attract millions of tourists each year. But the wonders of this island don’t stop there. In 1962 a Maltese family decided to upgrade their small restaurant. Fast forward six decades and the same family now helms the Corinthia Group of Companies, which includes dozens of elegant in some of the world’s greatest cities.

 

From Small Family Business to a Global Luxury Brand: A Malta Family Success Story

As the founding property of Corinthia Hotels, Corinthia Palace Malta exudes elegance

Humble Beginning to Corinthia Group

Back in 1962, the Pisani family decided to upgrade a small restaurant they owned on the then-sleepy borderline of the two central Malta villages of Attard and Balzan. By 1968 the eatery was converted into the Corinthia Palace Malta, which was inaugurated by the late Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh.

At the time, the wisdom of this was highly questionable. An island hotel far from the coast? The idea seemed dubious. Malta and Gozo were then in the throes of boosting tourism, and hotel development always favoured coastal settings with views of the blue Mediterranean Sea. However, the excellent deluxe standard of the Corinthia Palace Malta and the sedate quiet of its setting proved to be highly popular. Besides, in Malta you are never farther than a stone’s throw from the sea.

As a dating couple, my wife and I first visited the Corinthia Palace Hotel to attend her brother’s engagement celebration and we were highly impressed by property as well as by the overall efficiency and the poise of the event. Subsequently, we have returned many times to visit the excellent bars and restaurants in the hotel which has continued to excel in stature and reputation.

Today, the Corinthia Group of Companies is still retained and run by the Pisani family. To consolidate its owned hotels, manage the Corinthia brand, and undertake future business acquisitions and development, International Hotel Investments p.l.c. (IHI) was established as the group’s publicly traded holding company in 2000. The company now operates 24 hotels on three continents, 15 of which are Corinthia Brand hotels. Eight new hotels were recently under development in Brussels, Rome, Bucharest, Moscow, Doha, New York and Malta.

Corinthia Developments International (CDI) has lately been involved in securing investment, and planning further development projects in Cannes, Malta, Rome, New York and Moscow, IHI also owns significant land for future development in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Libya and Malta.

From Small Family Business to a Global Luxury Brand: A Malta Family Success Story

Malta-born Alfred Pisani continues to lead the Corinthia Group

The Man Behind the Empire

The genius mainspring behind all this is Mr Alfred Pisani, born in Malta in 1939 and still the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. From a one-hotel company in 1968, under Pisani’s guidance, the Group has diversified into equity participation, management, development and industrial catering, with an estimated worth of €1.6 billion.

Pisani’s continued passion for hotel development has his aspirations set on the creation of a six-star hotel, providing the ultimate state of absolute luxury. It’s a project and investment he said, “is not just in a Corinthia project. It is also an investment in Malta for Malta.

It is with a great sense of pride that I can say my wife and I were early clients and continue to be visitors to the many superb restaurants in the Corinthia Palace Hotel, including the very first upmarket Chinese Restaurant in Malta, as well as several continental restaurants at manageable prices, and the best of fare in such beautiful surroundings.

Where to Find Corinthia Group Hotels?

If you’re a world traveller, and one who appreciates elegant hotels, there’s a good chance you’ve bumped into one. Among the properties fully owned by Corinthia Group are:

Corinthia Palace Hotel Malta

Corinthia St George’s Bay Malta

Marina Hotel Corinthia Beach Resort Malta

Corinthia Oasis Malta

Corinthia London

Corinthia Budapest

Corinthia Lisbon

Corinthia Prague

From

Corinthia Budapest is a pillar of grand luxury in the Hungarian capital

 

Among the hotels managed, not owned, by Corinthia Group:

Hotel Verdi in Rome

Corinthia New York

Corinthia Doha

Corinthia Grand Hotel du Boulevard Bucharest

 

So, whenever you stay at a Corinthia Hotel, know that you’re mingling with a little bit of Maltese history and a lot of Maltese pride.

***

Be Seeing You In: Malta

Good to know: Last year Corinthia Palace Malta celebrated its 50th anniversary by commencing a year-long significant refurbishment of the property

WOW! Factor: The Group is planning to open a new Corinthia Hotel in Doha in 2024, along with a beach and yacht club

Tip: It’s hard to pick one favourite property, so try a few

 

Author bio: Albert Fenech

 

Albert Fenech
Born in 1946, Albert Fenech’s family took up UK residence in 1954 where he spent his boyhood and youth before temporarily returning to Malta between 1957 and 1959 and then coming back to Malta permanently in 1965. He spent eight years as a full-time journalist with “The Times of Malta” before taking up a career in HR Management and Administration with a leading construction company building the Benghazi Hospital in Libya, later with Malta Insurance Brokers, Malta’s leading insurance Broker and finally STMicroelectronics Malta, employing 3,000 employees and Malta’s leading industrial manufacturer. Throughout he actively pursued freelance journalism and broadcasting for various media outlets covering social issues, current affairs, sports and travel. He was Publications Editor for the Malta Football Association for 25 years and has written for a number of publications both in Malta and overseas, as well as publishing two e-books.

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