Hotels: Of Tourists & Titans

For well-heeled travelers, a trip to Italy more often than not includes a stay at one of the 16 world-famous CIGA hotels. The rich list includes the Grand and Excelsior in Rome, the Gritti Palace in Venice and Milan's Principe e Savoia. At prices up to $100 a day, the CIGA chain has developed a loyal and profitable following by living up to its motto: "The client is a name, not a room number."

Now, in an abrupt about-face, CIGA plans to reach for the equally profitable middle-price, room-number trade. In partnership with...

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