One of the richest people in the world and co-founder of Microsoft Bill Gates has added yet another gem to his collection: the medieval Castello di San Giorgio in Portofino, Italy. The $60 million acquisition, carried out by Gates’ real estate firm Four Seasons, begs the issue of what will happen to the castle in the future. Will the computer magnate turn it into his personal home, or is he planning to turn it into an opulent hotel?

Magnificence of the Castle: The 12,917 square foot Castello di San Giorgio is tucked away in the charming fishing village of Portofino. It has twelve bedrooms and twelve bathrooms. Its prime location in the center of Portofino provides stunning views of the water and the ocean. The castle has a rich history, having originally served as a military defensive facility during the Roman era and been the residence of prominent people like the sister of Giorgio Armani and the Loro Piana family.

The Four Seasons Connection: The future of the castle is speculated about in light of Gates’ acquisition through Four Seasons. With a private elevator that takes you straight to the beaches around Portofino’s harbor, this property is ready for makeovers. Mayor Matteo Viacava did clarify that the castle is only allowed to be used for residential purposes, so there would be difficulties if Gates decided to turn it into a hotel.

Navigating Regulations in Residential or Hotel Settings
Mayor Viacava highlighted the municipality’s rules limiting Gates’ usage of the castle to residential use, even though he was excited about the possibility of Gates moving in. It would be difficult to convert the castle into a hotel because of the numerous regulatory obstacles that would need to be overcome. The $60 million investment could not even be the start of the financial considerations needed for Gates’ dream of a Four Seasons luxury hotel.

Cascade Investment’s Four Seasons Stake: Gates has long been associated with the Four Seasons brand, even before this most recent acquisition. For $2.2 billion in September 2021, Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal’s share of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts was acquired by his investment company, Cascade Investment LLC. Although Gates’s affiliation with the Four Seasons is noteworthy, the precise plans for the Portofino castle are still unknown.