It’s a new era at Cipriani. The legendary family-owned brand is not only opening their first hotel since the late 50’s, but the fourth-generation Cipriani brothers, 23-year-old Ignazio and 21-year-old Maggio are running the show. Fittingly, rather than “Cipriani,” the Los Angeles space is coolly titled “Mr. C” (the brothers’ nick name around the office) and there’s a cheeky new logo with a dapper fellow who looks like current Cipriani logo’s portly brother, with a taste for XXL neckwear. “Me and my brother designed the little man with the huge bow tie,” says Ignazio. “We sent it to the logo company skinny and it came back fat, but we liked it better fat, so we kept it.”
And while Mr. C’s weight gain was something of a happy accident, Ignazio’s business style seems far more regimented. He started in the family business at Harry’s bar at 13 (working the cash register…not mixing boozy bellinis), then fast-forward only seven years, and at 20, he dropped out of Baruch College to take over the North American business with his brother. He starts every morning at 8:30, moving between the office and their New York locations, stops home for a break around 4pm, and then is back out to their restaurants and lounges again before getting home at 3 am. And despite his age, the late-nights aren’t about partying. “I’m always at downtown Cipriani. I’m there almost every night,” he says. “It’s work.“ Perhaps that’s why he explained all of this over an espresso.
So it’s no wonder that the Mr. C project came to fruition in a bit less than a year and a half—quite a fast pace. Steps away from Rodeo Drive, the 138-rooms were all designed by Ignazio and Marcello Pozzi (an L.A.-based conceptual artist) and feature dark hardwood floors, teak and marble bathrooms, a full bar, and private balcony. “We really tried to make it elegant, but at the same time comfortable and smart,” says Ignazio. “We spent a lot of money on the rooms.” And if you need more space, there are also five 3,000 square foot bungalows with private gardens, gourmet kitchens and private plunge pools.
The hotel also houses the Mr. C restaurant—a mix of classic Cipriani recipes (expect an appearance from the signature Carpaccio) alongside new, more casual grilled dishes and pizzas—that are also available via the 24-hour room service and at the 4,500 square foot teak-decked pool. “Cipriani has a formula that works, and we’re not going to change too much about it,” says Ignazio. “But that’s why we came up with the new brand, Mr. C; if we want to do something, we want to have the freedom of doing it without having to go back and ask.”
“I would like it to be a hotel that is timeless,” says Ignazio. “Not something that just booms in the first year and is cool for a little bit and then people move on to the next thing.” If the Cipriani track record is any indication, Mr. C doesn’t have anything to worry about.