Rocco Forte announces second Rome property

Spanish steps, Rome

Rocco Forte Hotels has announced plans for a second hotel in the Italian capital Rome.

The group will operate the city’s Hotel De La Ville once it reopens at the end of 2018, following a restructuring and refurbishment which will see the room count reduced from 192 to 105 rooms.

The hotel is located at the top of the Spanish steps, around half a mile from Rocco Forte’s existing Hotel de Russie.

The group recently announced its intention to double its portfolio over the next five years, from the current ten hotels. Properties are currently under development in Jeddah (due to open this year) and Shanghai (scheduled for 2018).

Commenting on the news Sir Rocco Forte said:

“It has been a long standing ambition of mine to have a second property in Rome so I am delighted to be working with the prestigious Reale Group to launch a new hotel in the heart of the city.

“The success of our existing hotel, Hotel De Russie, has shown that Rome continues to be a highly attractive destination for both the business and leisure travellers and we are very confident of the long term growth prospects of the city.

“The two distinct hotels will complement each other, offering a combined 226 rooms and suites, and appealing to the luxury guest who seeks the outstanding Rocco Forte Hotels service. With our existing city presence and knowledge of working in Rome, I am confident that we will take Hotel de la Ville to new heights.”

roccofortehotels.com

Rocco’s Augustine to open in summer 2008

The Rocco Forte Collection has announced that its forthcoming Prague property, due to open in early summer 2008, will be called The Augustine.

The Augustine – named after the 13th-century Augustinian St Thomas’s Monastery which forms part of the new hotel complex – will feature 101 rooms in five historic buildings. The hotel will be located in the Lesser Town (also known as Mala Strana) quarter of the city, close to both Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge, and around 10km from Prague’s Ruzyne International Airport.

The group says the new hotel will include “cloistered terraces, wooden ceilings, wine vaults, stone arches and elegant garden squares”, and even the odd monk, as certain areas of the buildings will be kept aside for practising Augustinian monks.

Rooms will average 40sqm, with views ranging from the courtyards to the chapel or the city’s main cathedral, and interiors designed by London-based firm RDD, whose clients include the Cheval Group, Marriott International and Le Méridien Hotels and Resorts.

Other features will include a 90-seat restaurant, a double-height bar with outside cloister terrace, a total of six function and meeting rooms (the largest being 150sqm), a business centre, and a spa with gym, four treatment rooms, sauna, steam room and relaxation area.

The extensive work being carried out to bring the five buildings under one complex can be seen at rfhprague.com. Aside from the monastery, the other buildings being converted include a 14th-century Gothic palace (formerly the Blue Key hotel), and two previously government-owned properties.

The arrival of The Augustine will follow the opening of The Charles Hotel, Munich last month, and the reopening of Le Richemond in Geneva in September (see the November issue of Business Traveller for a review).

For more information visit theroccofortecollection.com.

Report by Mark Caswell