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Culture

Welcome to The Notebook

Whether you’re planning a trip or have already touched down, The Notebook is here to excite and inspire. Be it with behind the scenes features and insider guides or articles about the history, culture and ever-evolving food scene in our exceptional host cities, we’ll take you under the skin of each destination and introduce you to the unique story behind our hotels.

Rocco Forte Hotels takes guests on a journey through the history and culture of a world where quality, individuality and authenticity is key. Chosen for their classical context or avant-garde influence, our hotels are located in 10 of Europe’s most important cities, so there’s plenty to discover both inside the property and out on the city streets.

Each of our hotels is also set in a historically or culturally significant building, so the walls are full of stories. Discover how Brown’s Hotel came to be not only the oldest hotel in London, but also the birthplace of the telephone, while the 500-year old Hotel Amigo previously housed a 16th century prison. Elsewhere, Hotel de Rome originally operated as a bank – the sparkling indoor pool is located in the former jewel vault and one of the spa treatment rooms still features the original 15cm-thick steel door.

With such character, our hotels have attracted an illustrious guest book. Over the years our loyal clientele has included royals, presidents, politicians, innovators and authors, among many others. In London, Winston Churchill was known to frequent Brown’s Hotel for dinner, while Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother was partial to a roast lamb lunch at The Balmoral in Edinburgh. Elsewhere, Hotel de Russie in Rome hosted the likes of Pablo Picasso and Jean Cocteau.

But aside from this impressive catalogue of visitors – more on this later – we want to show you another side to our properties. Designed to mirror the history and culture of the destination they call home, our hotels are also distinctly local. Tapping into the cultural heritage of each city and embracing the current creative scene, we work with artisans in each of our locations to incorporate local craftsmanship into each hotel. Look closely and you’ll find innovative works of art, beautiful artisanal craftwork and architectural quirks inspired by the property’s rich past.

But what really makes Rocco Forte Hotels special is the Forte family themselves. Four generations of the same family have worked together to make Rocco Forte Hotels what it is today, under the leadership of Founder and Chairman Sir Rocco Forte. Through The Notebook, let us introduce you to the family and dedicated team members who work hard behind the scenes to ensure that every aspect of the hotel experience is exclusive and authentic.

“We are a family of individuals, and our hotels, like us, are all individual too,” says Sir Rocco Forte. “Our unique style is about being true to the individual character of each hotel, to our heritage, and to each city we are in. We’ve done things this way for four generations. You might say it’s in our blood.”

Through The Notebook, we’ll show you where to cast your gaze and take you on a journey of discovery through each hotel, while exploring the most fascinating cultural aspects of our exceptional host cities. We hope you’ll stay tuned.