History & Vision
A Fascinating History of Hotel Granduca Located in Uptown Park
Hotel Granduca is majestically situated in the heart of Houston’s Uptown Park and Galleria district, renowned for its exclusive shopping, entertainment, theater and fine restaurants. Kindly contact us for reservations and information at 713-418-1000, 1-888-472-6382 or email us.
Commonly and warmly referred to as the Palace of the Grand Duke, Mr. Borlenghi’s vision to build Hotel Granduca, was inspired by the life and history of Adalberto Malatesta, the Granduca of Monfallito. Born in 1524 in Rimini, Italy, Adalberto and his family were forced to flee their homeland due to territorial wars and civil unrest, when he was just 4 years old.
They settled in Savoy, Spain, where Adalberto’s mother was a relative of the ruling Savoias. By age 20, Adalberto married Marina di Savoia, who brought him a dowry, a palace and 1,800 acres in Monfallito. A born leader, Adalberto served in the Savoian army and in 1556, was instrumental in helping Spain defeat the French in the battle of San Quintino.
As a result, Philip II proudly crowned Adalberto the Granduca of Monfallito. As Granduca, Adalberto dedicated his life to helping the Savoias maintain their dominance and rule of northern Italy. He died at 64 years of age in 1588.
Inspired by the 16th century Tuscan palazzo of Adalberto Malatesta, the Granduca of Monfallito, Hotel Granduca’s inception is the masterpiece of Hotel Granduca’s Italian-born owner, Giorgio Borlenghi, president of The Interfin Companies, LP, of Houston. Mr. Borlenghi’s vision was to create a boutique hotel, reminiscent of a private Italian villa that would take each guest back in time to Old World Italy with a genuine experience to make each guest feel as though they were visiting, staying, or dining in someone’s private home.
Inspired by the 16th century Tuscan palazzo of Adalberto Malatesta, the Granduca of Monfallito, Hotel Granduca’s inception is the masterpiece of Hotel Granduca’s Italian born owner, Giorgio Borlenghi, president of The Interfin Companies, LP, of Houston. Borlenghi’s vision was to create a boutique hotel, reminiscent of a private Italian villa that would take each guest back in time to Old World Italy with a genuine experience to make each guest feel as though they were visiting, staying, or dining in someone’s private home.
An example of incorporating their family’s heritage and history into Hotel Granduca, Borlenghi and his sister, Ermy Bonfield personally designed and recreated the kitchen cabinetry in all of the guest suites to reflect the cabinetry in their grandmother’s kitchen in Italy. The cabinetry is constructed of 100-year old birch with a sleek, patina finish and beveled glass accents – mirroring fond, childhood memories of quality time in the Borlenghi family kitchen.
Intricately detailed mosaic tile designs are prominent throughout Hotel Granduca, combined with alternating wood floors and antique carpets. Hand painted murals are throughout the hotel. A perfect example of the Borlenghi’s strong sense of family history and tradition can be seen throughout the hotel.
Bonfield’s traditional Italian influence can be seen throughout the Hotel. Many furnishings, photos and accessories from the Borlenghi’s family home are incorporated throughout the hotel. Exposed beams and wooden elements have a naturally rustic patina – reflecting the traditional ambiance of Old World Italy.
The gardens and Veranda are lush with majestic palms, fountains and intimate spaces all beckoning your arrival. The cozy library offers art history books of old world Italy, making it a perfect retreat to take in the morning paper or enjoy Afternoon Tea.
Upon entering the elegant and intimate Lobby, one feels as though they are home.