Baroness Thatcher re-opened Rocco Forte’s Brown’s Hotel in London today (12 December 2005), 20 months after it closed for a complete renovation that has cost in excess of £20 million.
In keeping with the quintessentially English ambiance of the hotel, a very traditional ceremony took place at noon. Mayfair’s Albemarle Street, on which the main entrance of Brown’s Hotel is to be found, was closed briefly for a marching performance by The Band of the Royal Artillery. Baroness Thatcher, accompanied by Sir Rocco Forte, then stepped forward to cut the symbolic ribbon and unveil a brass plaque, thus proclaiming the hotel officially open.
Baroness Thatcher was asked to preside over today’s proceedings because she is a life-long friend of the Forte family and officiated at the opening of two other hotels previously opened by Forte plc: The Bristol in Warsaw and Hotel Eden in Rome.
Brown’s Hotel will be the flagship hotel for Rocco Forte Hotels and marks Sir Rocco’s successful return to the hotel industry, just over 10 years since Granada launched an aggressive takeover bid for Forte plc. In less than a decade, Sir Rocco has created a collection of luxury hotels that is enjoying an aggressive expansion throughout Europe – Brown’s Hotel is the tenth hotel to join the group.
Over the next three years, an additional five properties will open, as Sir Rocco continues to work towards his aim of building a collection of luxury hotels covering all major European cities. Three properties are under construction in Germany (Villa Kennedy opens in Frankfurt in March 2006, Hotel de Rome in Berlin in September 2006 and a yet to be named Munich property in 2007) making Rocco Forte Hotels the country’s market leader with regard to luxury hotels.
A luxury hotel is also due to open in Prague in 2007 and work has recently started on Rocco Forte Hotels’ first resort property, Verdura Golf Resort & Spa, which will open in Sicily in 2008, bringing the total number of hotels in the Rocco Forte Hotels collection to 15.
All members of the Rocco Forte Hotels collection share a commitment to individual stylish design, attention to detail, exceptional levels of comfort and personal service, and the latest technology – and Brown’s Hotel is no exception. Olga Polizzi, Rocco Forte Hotels’ Director of Design and Sir Rocco’s sister, has created a stylish new design that maintains the refined English charm for which Brown’s Hotel has always been known, successfully combining it with a more contemporary and comfortable style. The latest in guest innovation and technology have also been integrated into the public areas and all guest rooms.
About Rocco Forte Hotels
Rocco Forte Hotels was established in 1996 to create a collection of luxury hotels in Europe. The hotels have individual styles, with each hotel reflecting its nationality and location. The collection is linked together under the Rocco Forte Hotels brand, which guarantees attention to detail, quality and service delivery.
Current hotels within the Rocco Forte Hotels collection are:
- Hotel de Russie, Rome
- Hotel Savoy, Florence
- The Balmoral, Edinburgh
- The St David’s Hotel & Spa, Cardiff
- The Lowry Hotel, Manchester
- Hotel Astoria, St Petersburg
- Hotel Amigo, Brussels
- Le Richemond, Geneva
- Brown’s Hotel, London
- Château de Bagnols, en Beaujolais (managed on behalf of Lady Hamlyn)
Villa Kennedy, Frankfurt – March 2006
Hotel de Rome, Berlin – September 2006
Munich – Spring 2007
Prague - 2007
Verdura Golf & Spa Resort, Sicily – 2008
For further information, online reservations and images, please visit the Rocco Forte Hotels website: www.roccofortehotels.com