Rocco Forte Hotels
JUN 30th

As the doors to our Italian hotels and resorts finally open for a very special summer, Martin Elsner, Regional Director for Italy, shares his experiences and the exciting new developments guests can expect to enjoy upon their next stays with us.


It must be a relief to finally be able to welcome back guests. In your own words, how have the last few months been?

“It’s absolutely a relief! As to the last few months, to be in the Hotel de Russie for 3 months without guests was certainly an experience in itself. Fewer team members and a long list of projects and maintenance works.

Although, I will say the lockdown has had its positive elements – the city of Rome has been so clean and quiet with no traffic, the perfume of spring noticeable in the air. Of course, I do still prefer Rome’s usual vitality - 3 months is too long.”


Can you share a little about any projects which have been in the works over the lockdown period?

“We’ve concluded the renovation of the Secret Garden at Hotel de Russie and rejuvenated it according to the original plans conceived by architect Giuseppe Valadier two centuries ago. Our breath-taking private garden is really one of a kind and perfectly connects with the Terrazza del Pincio above, designed by the same architect.

Across our hotels and resorts, we’ve enriched and extended the range of personalised experiences we offer our guests. Additionally, we have created more intimate accommodation options at our resorts.

New at Masseria Torre Maizza is our Alberobello Private Wing, which can welcome up to 20 guests across nine luxury suites featuring private gardens, plunge pools and more.

At Verdura Resort in Sicily, our new three- and four-bedroom Villas are completed; masterpieces of sustainable modern architecture built in harmony with the Resort’s scenic surrounds, they’re ideal for family reunions and private gatherings.”


What lessons can be learned from what has happened in recent months?

“Social contact is so important and this is what I have missed most, but thanks to our social platforms and online networks we all have been able to keep in touch with our guests and partners. We’ve learned how to respond to a challenge while ensuring we uphold our high standards and maintain a safe environment both for teams and guests.”


Do you feel that the crisis has, in some ways, brought your teams closer together?

“The solidarity has made our teams even stronger. Sir Rocco and the family have fully supported all employees and we’re all very grateful to feel so looked after.”


What are you most excited about now that your hotels across Italy are re-opening?

“We’ve arranged wonderful celebrations for the re-opening of each hotel and the joy in my staff’s eyes has made me very proud. Many regular guests – actually, I’d call them long-term friends – have attended the openings to show their support and enthusiasm, which is really encouraging. It’s such a pleasure to welcome back our guests and to offer them the incomparable services we’re known for once more.”


What would you say to travellers considering a visit to Italy?

“The situation in Italy is under control and numbers are encouraging thanks to the measures implemented by the Government and the sense of responsibility amongst the Italian population. Our country, as you know, is full of beauty and this is a rare opportunity to enjoy it without the crowds – we look forward to welcoming you.”


Discover our newly re-opened hotels at www.roccofortehotels.com