Rocco Forte Hotels announced its fifth new property following an agreement to acquire Grand Hotel Villa Igiea, in Palermo, Sicily. This acquisition is a further step in the most ambitious expansion programme in the group’s history, with five new luxury properties due to open within the next two years bringing the Rocco Forte Hotels collection from 11 to 16 properties.
In what will be the group’s first new openings for seven years, four properties will be located in Italy and one in China.
The Italy openings include: Hotel de la Ville, Rome, opening in May 2019; Masseria Torre Maizza, Puglia, opening in May 2019; Rocco Forte House, Rome, opening in September 2019; and Grand Hotel Villa Igiea, Palermo, Sicily, opening in 2020. In China, the group will be opening the Westbund Hotel in Shanghai in 2019.
With 11 existing hotels in Belgium, Russia, the UK, Germany, Italy and the Middle East, the group’s expansion plans are the first stage of a longer-term strategy to extend its network of hotels across Europe and key destinations around the world. The expansion programme, the biggest since the group was founded by Sir Rocco in 1996, builds on record financial results for the year ended April 30, 2018, with revenues exceeding £200 million ($259 million).
Rocco Forte Hotels is also generating exceptional levels of revenue per available room (RevPAR) which rank amongst the best in the world, up by 10 per cent over the previous year on a constant currency basis. Customer service ratings of almost 90 per cent are a further endorsement of the staff quality and the thoughtful training programmes in place. The group also maintains its world-class standards with a continual reinvestment in its properties, spending approximately £18 million ($23 million) annually on refurbishment.
The Forte family’s Italian heritage gives them a unique understanding of luxury hotels in Italy. The group already operates the renowned Hotel de Russie in Rome, the Verdura Resort in Sicily and the Savoy Hotel in Florence, which underwent a major renovation last year. These hotels rank as the most successful in the country.
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