The Notebook

At Rocco Forte Hotels

Follow The Notebook to stay up to date with the latest news and happenings in our hotels and destinations across the globe.

Hotel Astoria’s Birch Spritz
An iconic landmark in St. Petersburg, for over a century the Hotel Astoria has embodied the sophistication and opulence of Imperial Russia and its proud history. 24 hours a day, the softly-lit Lichfield Bar offers a range of delectable drinks featuring typically Russian ingredients, the newest of them our signature cocktail, the Birch Spritz.
St Petersburg
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How personalised experiential travel is reshaping the industry
Experiential itineraries are at the leading edge of the travel industry, with clients seeking bespoke, curated experiences over one-size-fits-all, generic tours. Travel is no longer about ticking monuments off a checklist, it is about delving deeply and personally into a destination, developing an intimate sense of place and animated dinner party storytelling.
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Amazing Experiences: Fabulous Food
There’s nothing like great food to bring people together and get them talking. From indulgent Belgian chocolate tastings to Russian caviar classes, Rocco Forte Hotels have created a fabulous range of foodie experiences to give your clients a trip to remember.
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Why wellness is the new watchword in travel
Throughout history, different cultures have had different interests in ‘wellness’. To some, it was the antithesis of illness and the warding off of disease. To others, it was the tenet that would help define their approach to life, from Hippocrates and the Ancient Greeks to the 5,000-year old tradition of Ayurveda.
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Why Putting Children First Makes the Perfect Family Holiday
Oliver James, one of Britain’s leading experts on child psychology, has really understood the effect that travel has on children, and why it is so important to their development. Adults have long regarded holidays as not only a way to relax and get away from the stresses and strains of everyday life, but as a way to learn, build bonds and create life-long memories. Children are no different in this respect, but what stimulates them is distinctive from their parents.
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Irene Forte Skincare: The Sicilian Secret to Glowing Skin
Inspired by Sicily and with ingredients handpicked from Verdura Resort’s organic farm, Irene Forte Skincare has been painstakingly developed over three years. Named after its founder, Rocco Forte Hotels Wellness Director Irene Forte, Irene Forte Skincare is a multi-benefit, natural and sustainable skincare brand that is the Mediterranean diet for your skin. Here, Irene Forte introduces the brand, and her secret to glowing skin.
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How to Have Fun with the Kids in St Petersburg
From painting porcelain to treasure hunts and puppet shows, St Petersburg offers all kinds of fun ways for little visitors to experience Russian history and culture.
St Petersburg
The Glittering Splendour of Faberge
There is no name that evokes the extravagance and opulence of Imperial Russia more than Carl Fabergé, goldsmith to the Romanov dynasty. Painstakingly crafted by hand from gold and platinum and decorated with thousands of glittering diamonds and finished with exquisite details, Fabergé’s Imperial Eggs are truly breathtaking. From 1885 until the revolution he produced 50 eggs for the Imperial Russian court, 43 of which still survive today.
St Petersburg
The Gin Revolution Arrives in Russia
Move over, vodka, there’s a new spirit in town. Over the last few years, gin’s popularity has exploded in the UK, with artisanal brands and micro-distilleries popping up across the country. Now, the juniper-based spirit is making waves in Russia, with Hotel Astoria’s Lichfield Bar pioneering St Petersburg’s gin revolution.
St Petersburg
The Timeless Grandeur of Russian Opera
The land that produced musical titans like Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and Stravinsky, Russia has a long and illustrious connection to opera.
St Petersburg
The Most Beautiful Churches to See in St Petersburg
Moscow’s legendary cathedrals are famous the world over, but St Petersburg’s colourful churches are things of equal beauty. With ornately-decorated onion domes and vibrantly coloured exteriors, they’re an architectural feast for the eyes. Join us as we explore St Petersburg’s most beautiful churches.
St Petersburg
Olga Polizzi’s Five Interior Design Tips
“Nowadays hotels are more like homes and homes are often more like hotels,” explains Rocco Forte Hotels’ Director of Design, Olga Polizzi. “When I’m designing, I always think about things personally – what would I want in a room?” If you’re looking to transform your home, here, the interior design expert shares her simple tips on how to recreate the elegant atmosphere in her own home.
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Six Things You Must do During St Petersburg’s White Nights
During the summer months, the sun never fully sets over St Petersburg, leaving the city bathed in a warm glow. The annual White Nights phenomenon celebrates this magical time of year with a wealth of cultural activities. Embrace Russian culture, food and fun from dusk until dawn with a stay at St Petersburg’s elegant Hotel Astoria.
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Who Will Win the World Cup 2018?
With the World Cup in full flow in Russia, and the last 16 all but finalised, we’ve made our predictions as to who might clinch the title in 2018. If you didn’t manage to get a ticket to see a match in St Petersburg, you’ll still be able to keep up with all the action with live screenings at our hotels.
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The Enduring Allure of Ballet in St Petersburg
The spiritual home of ballet, St Petersburg has had a centuries-long love affair with this poised and elegant dance. It was on St Petersburg’s grand stages that iconic ballets like Swan Lake first debuted, and today, the Russian city showcases the finest performances in the world.
St Petersburg