At Rocco Forte Hotels
1911: Rocco Forte moved from Mortale (now called Monforte) in Italy to Scotland, where he opened the Savoy Café in Alloa. He developed several other cafés before deciding to move to Weston-super-Mare. He opened a marbled emporium here with two cousins. It was an all day operation, selling the best ice creams, light snacks and coffees.
1929: Charles Forte followed in his father’s footsteps. At the age of 21, he managed a Venetian lounge in Brighton for his cousin. Within 12 months he had turned it into a profit-making outlet.
1934: Charles then set up his first milk bar on Regents Street in London at the age of 26.
This was only the beginning of Lord Charles Forte’s empire. The Forte Group grew to over 1,000 restaurants, 500 hotels and catered for 24 airports.
1992: Rocco Forte also followed in his father’s footsteps, taking over Forte Group Plc.
January 1996: Forte Group Plc was taken over by Granada after a very public and hostile takeover battle.
1996: Just months after the takeover, Rocco Forte identified a gap in the high end hotel market with his sister, Olga Polizzi. They developed a new luxury hotel group together. This was initially known as RF Hotels. It later became Rocco Forte Collection, and today is known as Rocco Forte Hotels.
- February 1997: We opened The Balmoral in Edinburgh.
- December 1997: We bought Hotel Savoy in Florence.
- January 1999: Hotel Astoria in St Petersburg was added to the collection.
- January 2000: We bought Hotel Amigo in Brussels.
- April 2000: We bought Hotel de Russie in Rome.
- July 2003: We bought Brown’s hotel in London.
- March 2006: Villa Kennedy in Frankfurt was added to the collection.
- October 2006: We opened Hotel de Rome in Berlin.
- October 2007: We opened The Charles Hotel in Munich.
- July 2009: Verdura Resort in Sicily was the latest addition to the group.
Today: We are a growing family-run company. Sir Rocco, his sister Olga Polizzi, as well as his two daughters, Lydia and Irene, are all working in the company. We have 9 hotels, one resort, and we are due to open Assila Hotel and Residence in Jeddah in April 2016, as well as a new hotel in Shanghai in 2017. Our hotels are landmarks right at the very heart of the city, except for our resort, which is suitably remote. They’re a part of each location’s landscape. They’re colourful, characterful buildings with interiors that resonate with the local culture.