Skip links

Since more than 100 years


The Regina Palace Hotel is proud to tell its one hundred years story. A timeline with the key stages of this incredible journey that, since 1908, continues to give emotions.

1806 – 1908

Napoleonic road & Simplon tunnel

With the Napoleonic road, in 1806 the first tourists began to arrive and, a century later, with the opening of the Simplon tunnel, representatives of the European and world “Belle Époque” arrived.
In Stresa, progress proceeded at a great pace, also due to the presence of the royal family, the hotels were always full of famous guests.
To respond to this request, a group of far-sighted pioneers of the nascent hotel industry founded the “Italian Society for Lake Maggiore Hotels” in 1906, which bought the famous Villa De Martini then demolished to house the new hotel.


Inauguration of the Regina Palace Hotel

The Regina was inaugurated in 1908. The hotel development in Stresa suffered a brief halt during the First World War, but after the war, many illustrious guests returned again, who wanted to occupy the luxurious suites of the Hotel.
Among the many, Queen Sofia of Greece and the composer Pietro Mascagni who often wrote music in the garden and who returned on April 25th 1937, as evidenced by the signature on the Golden Book of the Hotel.
The group of Stresians who in 1906 had bought the De Martini villa to build the Regina Palace, frightened by the continuation of the negative economic situation and the slow economic recovery, in 1922 decided to sell the hotel to the Bossi family.
The various horse competitions began which brought prestige to the city and the hotels.


George Bernard Shaw

We are in 1926: George Bernard Shaw is a guest of the Regina.
Some of the writings, jealously guarded by the hotel, recall the “splendid welcome and the desire to return to Stresa”.
At the beginning of the 1930s, the Prince of Piedmont and future King of Italy, Umberto II, arrived as a guest with his consort Maria Jose’ of Belgium.
This is followed by countless personalities from Princess Jolanda of Savoy to Princess Margaret of England. From King Hussein of Jordan to King Faruk of Egypt.


Conference of Stresa

In April 1935 the famous International Conference of Stresa was held with the aim of rebuilding the economic, financial and political structure of Europe.


Miss Italia in Stresa

The period of the Misses on the catwalk at the turn of the forties and fifties made Stresa a point of attraction for the cinema environment.
The Miss Italia finals at the Regina Palace were held for the first time in 1946 and continued uninterruptedly until 1949 and in 1958.
It was attended by girls who later became famous over time: Lollobrigida and Bosè are an example.


From Totò to the Convention center

In 1948 Prince Antonio De Curtis, aka Totò, together with Walter Chiari, landed in Stresa to shoot a film with the winner of the Miss Italy contest: “Totò on the tour of Italy”.
In 1955 the Convention center was built near the Hotel Regina Palace, which over the years, has become an important reference for the congress business.


From the change of property to the Debutante ball

In 1974 the hotel was put up for sale again and passed into the hands of some Stresian families.
Since then, there have been many successes: from the congress business to the 1984 NATO meeting.
In 1995 the Regina hosted for the first time the Grand Ball of the debutants, Vienna on the lake, which then became a fixed appointment every winter.


From the conservative restoration to the Ecofin

Since 1996, a skillful work of conservative restoration has made it possible to accompany the Regina Palace Hotel in the second millennium without altering its architecture and artistic elements.
In recent years, personalities from finance, politics and entertainment have been guests of the hotel. Recently, in September 2004, on the occasion of the wedding of Lavinia Borromeo and John Elkann, the Hotel hosted the elite of the economy, nobility and politics.
Once again, on numerous other occasions, famous people in various fields: the Nobel Prize for Medicine Rita Levi Montalcini, Alberto Tomba, Mario Cipollini, Katia Ricciarelli, Nikita Magalov, Leone Romiti, Ivana Trump, Luca Cordero di Montezemolo, Silvio Berlusconi.
The 2003 Ecofin once again made mention of Stresa. All press conferences were organized at the Regina.


A century of style

This is a very special year for the Regina Palace Hotel, which in 2008 celebrates the centenary of its inauguration.
One hundred years of charm and exclusivity, always with the highest quality and attention to details that transform elegance into luxury.
The history of the hotel is linked to that of the Lake Maggiore and Stresa, which since the early 1900s became a privileged destination for élite tourism.
For this reason, on the occasion of its centenary a book has been published, which tells the exciting vicissitudes of the Regina Palace, available for sale. Our Concierge will be happy to provide you with more information.