Ugo Ossani: Proprietor of Aldrovandi Villa Borghese

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Ugo Ossani is a distinguished and awarded Italian hotelier. He was born in Rome in 1974. He has degree in Business Administration. Among other properties in Italy and Switzerland, his most prominent ownership is Aldrovandi Villa Borghese in Rome, member hotel of "The Leading Hotels of the World."

Ossani was mentored by Aniello Lauro, former manager of the Splendide Royal in Lugano. Ossani has introduced many innovative ideas focusing entirely on the quality of services. He is married to Manuela Morgano, who descends from famous Capri hoteliers family. Family Morgano runs in Capri Grand Hotel Quisisana and La Scalinatella.

How did you get into the hospitality industry?

It has been a compulsory step to get into the hospitality industry. At the same time I can say that I have been fortunate to inherit from my father this magnificent property in 1992. My father has transformed a former religious convent into a luxury hotel in the late 1970's. My career began in 1998, after my degree. First I have worked in the purchasing department and then in all other hotel divisions. Still a young man I have had the good fortune to personally meet and observe many captains and leaders of magnificent hotels in Europe. I have been mentored by a true legend in the hospitality industry, Mr. Aniello Lauro, former General Manager of the Grand Hotel Splendide Royal in Lugano. Additionally my real fortune began when I have married my beautiful wife, Manuela Morgano, who descends from famous hoteliers family, which runs Grand Hotel Quisisana and La Scalinatella in Capri.

Tell us about Aldrovandi Villa Borghese. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the hotel?

I would say, for me it’s a family business – which is more art and craft than industry, as far as I am concerned. “Tradition, sophisticated luxury, simplicity, elegance, customization of service delivered to our guests, humaneness of the staff, beauty and peace of the heart”, this is today the Aldrovandi.

Our hotel offers to the guests relaxing chariot-like ride in golf-car, which is more similar to elegant promenade from the hotel to the Spanish Steps, through the marvellous park of Villa Borghese. The hotel’s private gardens are very relaxing with enjoyable sense of serenity of this fine ambience.

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have attributed to Aldrovandi's success?

Partnership with the famous haute-cuisine chef Oliver Glowig in 2011. After only 3 months our main restaurant has been awarded with 2 Michelin stars. The opening of the innovative SPA LA MER in 2013 and our eclectic new AMERICAN BAR in 2015. Local people use to come to our bar to enjoy the best cocktails in Rome.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

With my wife Manuela Morgano, we often travel to France, England, America, Switzerland visiting other marvellous properties. We are carefully monitoring and observing innovative trends in the hospitality industry and implementing and rendering them compatible with the Italian hospitality tradition. It is our intention to consistently deliver bespoken, ever-improving hospitality service to our distinguished guests. I personally love modernity mixed with tradition. I believe that sometimes modernity means going backwards, rediscover and actualize our roots and our identity.

Life Motto?

Family and sublime hospitality.

Aldrovandi's Motto?

Be at your home and have experience of your dreams.

Your greatest success as Managing Director of Aldrovandi? Most difficult moment-how did you overcome and what did you learn?

It has been an outstanding moment when the hotel has been recognized the best property in Rome by the readers of the magazine Condé Nast Traveler, a true bible in the industry. I was surprised by such an accomplishment but perhaps underestimating our product and level of service. Fortunately someone else noticed it.

The recent crisis in Europe and Italy has been very difficult and sad for us. At the same time the crisis has been an additional motivation form my inventive reaction with the opening of the new restaurant in 2011 and SPA in 2013.

Your advice to an aspiring hotelier?

An aspiring hotelier should visit other leading hotels in the world and patiently observe all innovative trends in the hospitality industry. And try to be friend of famous international hoteliers, which example and advice is good to follow.

Describe the ideal experience at Aldrovandi.

Sun bathing at outdoor pool area and a light lunch in our garden piazzetta. Relaxing chariot-like ride in golf-car, which is more similar to elegant promenade from the hotel to Piazza di Spagna, through the marvellous park of Villa Borghese. Shopping around piazza di Spagna. SPA LA MER in the late afternoon. An elegant dinner in the palm tree garden at Oliver Glowig restaurant.

How important are architecture/design to the success of Aldrovandi?

Elegant Italian architecture with marble intarsions is as important as palm garden, outdoor swimming pool and internet. New generation of international luxury travelers is savvier than ever; they understand quality, nuances and haute cuisine. Famous Italian architects, interior designers and skilful craftsmen have worked diligently to bring luxury to life at Aldrovandi Villa Borghese

How do you motivate your employees?

You have to make them feel excited to come to work every day, and to spend time in the hotel. Create a pleasant and amicable work ambience. You don't have to post the "employee of the month" on the wall, but you can post a small notice or write a employees’ achievements on a whiteboard for the whole office to see. It is also important to encourage learning new skills.

One food and drink left on earth, what would you choose?

Beluga Caviar and Louis XIII Remy Martin Cognac. Not typical Italian.

What literature is on your bed stand?

Valentino at the Emperor's Table by Valentino Garavani , André Leon Talley , Oberto Gili; Il sognatore di Positano by Virginia Attanasio, Stefania Berbenni, Franco Zeffirelli; Hotel il Pellicano by Slim Aarons, John Swope and Juergen Teller. Italy and France are still among the few countries in the World, that have created wonderful endeavours of family entrepreneurship.

Role model - business and personal?

My father for both.

Current passion?

My magnificent wife and splendid family.

Favorite travel destination?

The island of Capri, a divine place.

What's next for Aldrovandi?

Preserving and improving the product and the quality of service. More concretely, an additional indoor pool, enlarging our beautiful SPA, and a fascinating transformation project of the parking lot area into an extension of our gardens with exotic floral and arboreal cultures.