The Development Team
The Development Team
From the owner, Bianca Sharma
“Even when I first set eyes upon the crumbling monastery from the sea below, I felt an overwhelming sensation of hope. Instantly I fell in love. I saw past the neglect and faded ruin this abandoned monastery had been allowed to become and envisioned possibility. I believed this place could provide a refuge for relaxation and recreation in an environment that soothes the soul. So for the last decade I’ve toiled, a project of passion, to honor this historical treasure and convert it to its former glory. Working closely with a local team of architects, engineers and historical authorities, together we’ve painstakingly maintained the integrity of the monastery while simultaneously incorporating the intricate modern details of a luxury hotel. My dream to create an authentic retreat the entire Amalfi Coast can be proud of has, at long last, come true.”
Francesco Avolio de Martino – Architect
After receiving his architectural degree from the Federico Il University in Naples, Franco spent 14 years in America designing for Marriott’s international team working on ambitious projects in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the Caribbean. Upon returning to Italy to renovate a villa on the Amalfi Coast, Franco began his cherished acquaintance with Pierluigi Caterina, the well-known owner of Albergo Monastero di Santa Rosa. Franco’s enduring friendship with Mr. Caterina led to years learning about the history of the property and, in time, he became passionately involved with its renovation when Bianca purchased the monastery.
With great courage and against great odds, Franco persevered as the primary architect for 12 long years, carefully maintaining the ancient geometry of the building’s interior while simultaneously envisioning the exterior’s multi-leveled terraces and cascading gardens. Franco ensured that every authentic detail possible remained – right down to the original entrance with its rotating wooden cylinder where the nuns sold ointments and preserves concealed behind the confessional wall with no contact to the outside world. The new world of the Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel & Spa which Franco constructed, showcases omnipresent architectural historical connections and triumphantly succeeds in transforming the monastery to its former glory.
Hansjoerg Maissen – Vice President
Owner Bianca Sharma chose Hansjoerg Maissen, one of the top hoteliers in the world, as her Vice President for Monastero Santa Rosa. Hans brings 30 years of hotel industry experience to the Monastero Santa Rosa project from a career that has spanned the globe. Few hoteliers come with as impressive a resume, including seven years as Managing Director of the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat. During his tenure as Managing Director of the Grand Hotel du Cap Ferrat, Hans planned and executed a total refurbishment returning the hotel to its former glory as one of Europe’s most legendary resorts. During his illustrious career Hans has held prominent senior management positions around the world including Regional Director for Marriott Hotels Saudi Arabia as well as Managing Director of the Windsor Court Hotel in New Orleans for seven years. Notably, the Windsor Court Hotel was named Conde Nast Traveler’s number one hotel in the world in 1998 under Hans tutelage and was number one in America for four consecutive years.
Hans has been involved from the inception of the Santa Rosa project ten years ago translating Bianca’s dream to operate an exclusive resort with the feel of a private home into a reality. Hans is fluent in Italian, English, French and German. He can communicate in Spanish, but is not fluent.