Rocco Forte has announced plans to add five new properties to its portfolio by 2020.
The hotels will be located in Italy and China, and will bring the group’s portfolio to 16 properties.
In May next year Rocco Forte will welcome the Hotel de la Ville in Rome and the Masseria Torre Maizza in Puglia. These will be followed in September 2019 by Rocco Forte House, also in Rome, and Grand Hotel Igiea in Palermo in 2020.
Meanwhile the group is also set to open its first Chinese property next year. The Westbund Hotel will be located in Shanghai’s Xuhui District, and will be housed within the top floors of a 52-storey building, with 219 rooms, and an English tea room modelled on the group’s Brown’s Hotel in London.
The hotel will also feature a rooftop Sky Bar with outdoor terrace, along with spa facilities on the 51st floor, including a 25-metre infinity pool.
It has been a quiet few years for the Rocco Forte brand, but the group says that the expansion plans build on record financial results for the year to April 30, 2018, where revenues exceeded £200 million.
The expansion into Italy in particular has been made possible by Cassa Depositi Prestiti taking a 23 per cent stake in Rocco Forte Hotels in 2015.
The group already operates the Hotel Savoy in Florence, Hotel de Russie in Rome, and the Verdura Resort in Sicily, meaning that by the time the four new Italian properties open, nearly half of Rocco’s portfolio will be located in the country.
The group currently has 11 hotels in Belgium, Russia, the UK, Germany, Italy and the Middle East.
Over the years it has also operated The Lowry Hotel in Manchester (now an independent property), St David’s Hotel and Spa in Cardiff (now the Principal St David’s, but soon to be rebranded by IHG), The Augustine in Prague (now part of Marriott’s Luxury Collection), and the Rocco Forte Abu Dhabi (now the Hilton Capital Grand Abu Dhabi).
Commenting on the news Sir Rocco Forte said:
“It’s the confidence in our brand that is driving the ambitious expansion plans that we are announcing today. It is the first stage in a long-term strategy to have a base in key cultural centres and European capital cities.
“We are interested in opening hotels in the best locations and are meticulous in ensuring that each has a distinct style and personality.”