Rocco Forte Hotels

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Rocco Forte Hotels
Industry Hospitality
Founded 1996 in London, England
Founder Sir Rocco Forte
Key people
Sir Rocco Forte, Chairman
Olga Polizzi, Director of Design
Services Hotels
Number of employees
2,500 (2015)

Rocco Forte Hotels was established in 1996 by hotelier Sir Rocco Forte and his sister, Olga Polizzi. Their collection of 11 luxury hotels are located in the centre of European cities, as well as beach resort in Sicily and a recent opening in Saudi Arabia. Led by a family with four generations of hospitality experience, Rocco Forte Hotels have a distinctive Anglo-Italian style and approach to providing exceptional guest service. Sir Rocco Forte is Chairman and Chief Executive, Olga Polizzi is Deputy Chairman and Director of Design.


Following the takeover of the Forte Group by Granada plc in 1996. Sir Rocco Forte and Olga Polizzi the children of Lord Forte, the late hotel magnate formed RF Hotels. The rights to the Forte name were initially lost in 1996, when Granada plc bought the Forte Group.

The first hotel purchased by the newly formed company in 1997 was a former Forte Group hotel, The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, which had been put up for sale by new owners Granada plc.

In 2001, following the de-merger of Compass Group from Granada's media interests, the use of the Forte trademark was returned to Sir Rocco Forte in a gesture intended to dispel the bitter legacy of the takeover.[1]

In 2003, the company changed its name to Rocco Forte Hotels and The Rocco Forte Collection on 29 July 2007. The group name then reverted to Rocco Forte Hotels in 2011. The group's sales offices are located in London, Rome, Frankfurt, Moscow, Madrid, New York City and Los Angeles.

As a brand of Rocco Forte Hotels Limited, the group owns and manages luxury five-star hotels. Brown's Hotel, Hotel de Rome and Hotel Amigo are members of The Leading Hotels of the World.[2]

List of hotels[edit]

The Balmoral Hotel, Edinburgh - 1997

Opened by Rocco Forte Hotels in February 1997, The Balmoral Hotel is situated on the corner of Edinburgh’s Old and New Town next to Waverley Station. It was once one of the prestigious railway hotels, the North British Station Hotel. JK Rowling finished the last of her Harry Potter novels in one of the suites, and the Queen Mother was a regular for lunch. The Balmoral has 168 rooms and 20 suites.

Hotel Savoy, Florence - 1997

Bought in December 1997, the Hotel Savoy occupies the site where the historic Mercato Vecchio and the church of San Tommaso once stood. Construction of the hotel began in 1893, and was celebrated at the time for its luxurious modern touches – including central heating, electric lights and an elevator. Now, the hotel offers 88 contemporary Italian-style rooms.

Hotel Astoria, St Petersburg - 1999

Rocco Forte acquired Hotel Astoria in January 1999. The beautiful Grade I listed building, located opposite St Isaac’s Cathedral, was designed by celebrated St Petersburg architect Fyodor Lidval and constructed between 1911 and 1912. Famous guests include dancer Isadora Duncan and poet Sergei Yesenin. The hotel also featured in the 1995 Bond film, GoldenEye. It comprises 83 rooms and 86 large suites.

Hotel Amigo, Brussels - 2000

Situated a short stroll from the picturesque Grand Palace, this hotel was purchased in January 2000 and occupies a building over 500 years old. Once a prison, it was transformed into a hotel in 1957 to cater for the royals and celebrities flocking to Brussels for the 1958 World Exposition. There are 154 rooms and 19 spacious suites.

Hotel de Russie, Rome - 2000

Close to the Spanish steps, and with stunning views over the Piazza del Popolo, Hotel de Russie was added to the group’s portfolio in April 2000. The building and its 2,800 m2 of terraced gardens were designed in the early 1800s by Giuseppe Valadier. The hotel hosted artist Pablo Picasso, poet Jean Cocteau and their friends in 1917. It contains 88 rooms and 33 suites.

Brown’s Hotel, London - 2003

Rocco Forte purchased their London hotel in July 2003. Brown’s is located in Mayfair, mere steps from the Royal Academy of Arts and the luxury boutiques of Bond Street and Burlington Arcade. This was London’s first hotel, originally opening in 1837. Eminent guests range from prime ministers, to writer Agatha Christie. The 11 Georgian townhouses that make up the property have 115 rooms and 33 suites between them.

Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt - 2006

Villa Kennedy, situated within walking distance of Museum Embankment and the River Main, was bought by the hotel group in March 2006. Built in 1901, it was an opulent family home for 30 years. The hotel was named after the road on which it stands as a homage to President John F Kennedy who visited in 1963. The 127 rooms and 36 state-of-the-art suites combine comfort and elegance.

Hotel de Rome, Berlin - 2006

Rocco Forte opened Hotel de Rome in October 2006. The building, in the heart of the Mitte district, was constructed between 1887 and 1889 to serve as the Dresdner Bank headquarters. The spa occupies the bank’s old jewel vault, and lies behind an authentic 15cm-thick steel door. There are 108 rooms decorated in tones of cream, blue and red, and 37 suites.

The Charles Hotel, Munich - 2007

The Charles Hotel is named in honour of Sir Rocco Forte’s father, Charles Forte. The hotel group opened the modern art deco-style property in October 2007 on the site of a former university library. It is located close to the historic Königsplatz, with views over the Old Botanical Garden. The hotel offers 136 rooms with scenic views and a collection of suites.

Verdura Resort, Sicily - 2009

Verdura Resort opened in July 2009, nestled in a valley of olive groves on a 2km stretch of private Mediterranean coastline. The hotel gets its name from the Verdura family who once owned the land. Today, it is home to three world-class championship golf courses, 203 rooms and 47 suites.

Assila Hotel, Jeddah - 2017

Rocco Forte Hotels’ latest property opened in March 2017 in the heart of Jeddah’s most prestigious business and shopping district. The hotel doubles as a gallery, with almost 2000 original works by contemporary Saudi Arabian artists on display. As well as 147 bright, high-ceilinged rooms and a collection of suites, Assila Hotel also offers 94 fully serviced residential suites for longer stays.

Related hotels[edit]

Future openings[edit]

There are plans to increase the current portfolio in the next few years. 2019 will see the addition of two new hotels to the Rocco Forte Hotels collection: Hotel de la Ville in Rome; the another, yet unnamed, in Shanghai. The first will be the group’s second hotel in the Italian capital, occupying a position at the top of the Spanish Steps and just minutes from the Hotel de Russie. The major renovation will reduce the hotel’s current 192 rooms to 105.

The Shanghai property will be Rocco Forte Hotels’ first Asia Pacific hotel. It will occupy the top 15 floors of the Longhua International Aviation Service Centre complex, and will comprise approximately 280 rooms and suites as well as several restaurants, a spa and a ballroom.


External links[edit]