Hospitality Design - July 2011 - 105
Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani
Cipriani, Los Angeles
Above, from left: Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani. (Photo by Donnelly Marks, Haute Living.) From left: A studio guestroom and the lobby bar at Mr. C in Beverly Hills, designed in collaboration with Marcello Pozzi and Tedeschi USA, with Gensler handling the architecture.
The hospitality business is the only life Ignazio and Maggio Cipriani know. From the age of 10, the brothers grew up working every summer in the family’s renowned restaurants, clubs, and event spaces around the world, learning the business hands-on, from the kitchen to the front of the house. “I spent time in the kitchen at Harry’s Bar in Venice because in the beginning, I was too short to be on the ﬂoor. From there, I moved on to being the cashier, then the pasta factory, and then overseas in Hong Kong. I learned how to interact with people in different departments and [the importance of] attention to detail, which we’ve been able to carry with us throughout our own careers,” Maggio says. Adds Ignazio: “The hospitality business is what we have been breathing since we were very young, and we grew up loving it.” Their hard work and passion paid off—they recently have taken over control of the company’s operations. Most recent openings include a restaurant in Istanbul and two restaurants, a club, and event space on Yas Island in Abu Dhabi. “Istanbul is an incredibly beautiful and vibrant city, where different cultures have created a very exciting environment,” Maggio explains. “As far as Yas Island, it is a very special place and we opened [the venues] in a strikingly modern building at Yas Yacht Club.”
Now the fourth-generation Ciprianis are expanding the family brand and creating their own legacy with the opening of Mr. C, a 138-room hotel in Beverly Hills. “It was quite natural to enter the hotel world, something that our great grandfather had already done when he opened (and then sold) Hotel Cipriani in Venice,” Ignazio explains, mentioning that they do intend to open other Mr. C locations. “We wanted to create a product that reﬂects the things that we like when we travel and the things we would like to ﬁnd that are missing. A certain natural and timeless elegance that mixes tradition and the glamour of the ’50s/’60s with the contemporary world, great service that appears effortless, a warm, inviting, and not imposed atmosphere that makes guests feel at home.” Both are involved equally in the hotel and the restaurants, as they don’t separate or classify their roles. But don’t think sibling rivalry here—they are having way too much fun. As Maggio says, “We really enjoy [working together] and respect each other so we try not to interfere too much. We do have different personalities: Ignazio is more diplomatic, whereas I tend to be very upfront, so we complement each other in that sense.” Echoes Ignazio: “We really do get along—we are close friends in and outside of the business and that comes across in our daily lives and at work.” hd