London-based Rocco Forte Hotels, which currently has a portfolio of 10 luxury properties, will add a second hotel in Rome. Currently shuttered, the 192-room Hotel de la Ville at the top of the city's iconic Spanish Steps will undergo a top-down renovation that will reduce its guest-room count to 105 to bring it in line with the company's luxury status. The property is expected to reopen at the end of 2018.
The news follows the recent announcement of Rocco Forte Hotels' planned expansion, with Sir Rocco Forte revealing his intention to double the number of hotels in the group over the next five years. The existing hotels in the collection are mostly in Europe, an area where the group will continue to concentrate, as well as branching further afield with a property in Jeddah, opening in the first quarter of 2017, and another in Shanghai, opening in 2018.
In a statement announcing the addition of the hotel, 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 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. I am confident that we will take Hotel de la Ville to new heights."
Alberto Ramella, managing director of Reale Immobili, said, "We are very pleased to have reached this agreement, which allows us to be present in a specific and high-standard sector of the market and to strengthen our position in the luxury hotel industry. It is a strong competitive advantage for our company and for the whole Reale Group, which gives additional value to our core business."