Waris Ahluwalia with the Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts Celebrates Bespoke Craftsmanship with the Debut of "House of Waris RARE"

A Modern Day Marco Polo, Waris Ahluwalia is inspired by The Luxury Collection’s mantra "Life is a Collection of Experiences. Let us be Your Guide."

VENICE, Italy - November 05, 2013 - (BUSINESS WIRE) - The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts, part of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. (NYSE: HOT), today unveils "House of Waris RARE," a collection of handcrafted treasures from around the world curated by the brand’s Global Explorer Waris Ahluwalia. The collection will live in the Explorer’s Library at The Gritti Palace, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Venice and will retail at www.luxurycollection.com/rare and www.houseofwarisRARE.com beginning today.

"There is a mystique about The Gritti Palace that has been built by local artisans, architects, craftsmen and cultural institutions, who have preserved the building’s authentic elegance and distinct personality for generations," said Paul James, Global Brand Leader, The Luxury Collection, St. Regis and W Hotels Worldwide. "House of Waris RARE celebrates this commitment to craftsmanship while bringing this Luxury Collection landmark hotel into the 21st century."

House of Waris RARE was inspired by Venice’s illustrious trading heritage and brings together independent artisans and historic brands from more than 14 countries around the world including Italy, Turkey, Brazil, Morocco, India, France, the United States and the United Kingdom. As an impassioned traveler and Global Explorer, Ahluwalia carefully sought out and worked intimately with designers to create a collection, which features unique and eclectic items ranging from fine scents and oils, to exquisite accessories and objects d'art.

"As a global explorer, my passion is to discover the unexpected around the world," said Waris Ahluwalia. "House of Waris RARE celebrates the story-telling of many cultures through craft, and I couldn’t have imagined a better home for this collection than on the Grand Canal."

Each piece tells an individual story of the destination from which it was created as well as the artisan’s passion for craftsmanship, ranging in price from 100 to 10,000 euro. Stuffed owls were created by artist Ann Wood with vintage Fortuny fabrics, produced in the same factory in Venice, on the same machines, using the same highly esteemed textile process and Venetian techniques handed down from generation to generation. The ‘knock-out bread board,’ a hand-crafted wooden board with a brass handle, was designed by Autoban, an award-winning Istanbul-based design studio who works with local artisans to create one-of-a-kind designs. Exclusive ceramics were hand built, wheel-thrown and altered in porcelain by Carey Lowell, whose passion for exploring the fashion and function of clay was born from her travels throughout the United States.

The exclusive collection will be brought to life in the Explorer’s Library at The Gritti Palace, which reopened its legendary doors in February 2013 following a meticulous 35 million Euro restoration. The once traditional lobby lounge is now reminiscent of the archival treasure troves of ancient Venice with the warmth and charisma of a collector’s den. Discreetly ensconced in this space, House of Waris RARE invites guests to explore the collection and discover their own treasures to take home.

The Gritti Palace has been at the crossroads of art and culture for centuries, entertaining global explorers and influencers, as well as Venice’s social elite, who have gathered to share their appreciation of craftsmanship, making it a perfect fit for House of Waris RARE. Led by Donghia Associates, part of the iconic Venetian fabric house Rubelli, the restoration returns the iconic hotel back to its original grandeur for a new generation of luxury travellers.

About House of Waris

House of Waris, founded by designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia is strongly influenced by the romance and history of ancient kingdoms. His House of Waris jewels, which are coveted by fashion icons and sold at the finest boutiques, bring together old world techniques to hatch timeless creations. House of Waris is built around Waris’ passion for story telling through materials and craftsmanship. The brand is a celebration of objects of unique beauty, quality and inspiration. In 2010, the designer was inducted into the CFDA and placed on Vanity Fair's Best Dressed List. Anchored in the land of tradition, yet raised in the ever-changing city of New York, Waris is in a unique position to share with the world an uncommon view. For more information, please visit www.houseofwaris.com.

About The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts

The Luxury Collection® is a collection of hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories. For the global explorer, The Luxury Collection offers a gateway to the world's most exciting and desirable destinations. Each hotel and resort is a unique and cherished expression of its location; a portal to the destination's indigenous charms and treasures. Magnificent decor, spectacular settings, impeccable service and the latest modern conveniences combine to provide a uniquely enriching experience. Originated in 1906 under the CIGA brand as a collection of Europe's most celebrated and iconic properties, today The Luxury Collection brand is a glittering ensemble of more than 85 of the world's finest hotels and resorts in more than 30 countries in bustling cities and spectacular destinations around the world. The Luxury Collection includes award-winning properties that continuously exceed guest expectations by offering unparalleled service, style and class while celebrating each hotel's distinctive heritage and unique character. All of these hotels, many of them centuries old, are internationally recognized as being among the world's finest. For more information, please visit www.luxurycollection.com

About Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. is one of the leading hotel and leisure companies in the world with 1,162 properties in nearly 100 countries and 171,000 employees at its owned and managed properties. Starwood is a fully integrated owner, operator and franchisor of hotels, resorts and residences with the following internationally renowned brands: St. Regis®, The Luxury Collection®, W®, Westin®, Le Méridien®, Sheraton®, Four Points® by Sheraton, Aloft®, and Element. The Company boasts one of the industry’s leading loyalty programs, Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG), allowing members to earn and redeem points for room stays, room upgrades and flights, with no blackout dates. Starwood also owns Starwood Vacation Ownership, Inc., a premier provider of world-class vacation experiences through villa-style resorts and privileged access to Starwood brands. For more information, please visit www.starwoodhotels.com.

Media Contact:

Sara Migliore
+39 02 6336 3641
Starwood Hotels & Resorts, ITALY

Katie Roberts
+1 212 380 4049
The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts


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The Luxury Collection® is a collection of hotels and resorts offering unique, authentic experiences that evoke lasting, treasured memories.


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