Hotel Online  Special Report



Rocco Forte Hotels Starts Construction on
Two Luxury Hotels in Frankfurt and Berlin


LONDON, England, Feb. 2, 2004 - Sir Rocco Forte was in Germany last week to mark the start of construction work at two new hotels.  On Thursday he was in Frankfurt, where the mayor of the city – Petra Roth – laid the foundation stone for the 166-bedroom property on Kennedyallee, which Sir Rocco announced would be called the Villa Kennedy.  Friday, Sir Rocco went on to Berlin where he announced a new 146-bedroom hotel in Bebelplatz, close to the Brandenberg Gate.  The hotel will be called Hotel de Rome.

Villa Kennedy will be constructed around an existing villa originally built in 1904 as the home of a Frankfurt family of private bankers.  This villa will be fully restored to become the centerpiece of the US$86.9 million project and substantial additional new construction will provide 166 spacious bedrooms and suites; restaurant and bar; lounge within the building cloisters, opening on to the gardens; hydrotherapy spa and fitness center; conference and banqueting facilities for up to 250 delegates providing the latest technology; seven meeting rooms for up to 40 delegates; and an underground car park.  The location provides a unique retreat from the bustle of the city, within easy reach of the main business and leisure areas.  The hotel will open in Spring 2006.

The Hotel de Rome will involve the conversion of a building originally constructed in 1889 by architect L. Heim and later extended in 1910.  It housed the head office of Dresdner Bank until 1945 when it became the head office of the Central Bank of the German Democratic Republic.  Since 1990 some of the rooms have been used for exhibition space while the rest of the building has remained largely unused. 

Much of the historic and architectural substance of the building remains and will be integrated into the new hotel.  The rooms leading to the banqueting hall are the former cashier’s rooms of the bank and are largely in their original condition.  As part of the US$88.2 million project, the imposing ancient vault of the bank will be converted into a swimming pool, and the magnificent offices of the former board members of Dresdner Bank will be converted into suites.  The new hotel is located in the very heart of the ancient part of Berlin, opposite the Humbold University.  On its right is the Opera and, to the left, the former Royal Library, now the Law School of the University.  The area between these buildings, Bebelplatz, was previously a small park and is better known today as the location where the notorious “burning of the books” took place on May 10, 1933.  The hotel, which will also open in 2006, takes its name from a luxury hotel, which was located a few steps from the new location in the late 19th century.

Sir Rocco said, “Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading financial centers and many of our existing customers have been pressing us to build a hotel there.  We were selected by the developer of the site on Kennedyallee some time ago and I am delighted that building work is now underway.  The Villa Kennedy will provide Frankfurt with a hotel of a standard, which does not presently exist in the city.“

“The location of the Hotel de Rome is outstanding and the existing building provides an opportunity to produce a very special hotel indeed.  Given our growing reputation for outstanding service delivery, I believe we will produce the best hotel in the city.  Berlin is one of Europe’s great cities and so is an important destination given our ambition to become Europe’s leading luxury hotel operator.”

These two new projects join the luxury resort in Sicily, which was confirmed earlier this month.  They bring the number of properties within the Rocco Forte Hotels brand to nine presently in operation plus three under development.

Sir Rocco Forte's luxury hotel collection, Rocco Forte Hotels, was established in 1996 to manage an international array of luxury properties. The company’s five-star hotels have individual styles, ranging from traditional to contemporary, and each hotel reflects its location and nationality. The collection is linked under the brand of Rocco Forte Hotels, which represents attention to detail, quality and dedication to the highest levels of service.  Rocco Forte Hotels' current portfolio consists of the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh, The St. David's Hotel & Spa on the waterfront of Cardiff Bay, Hotel Astoria in St. Petersburg, Russia, Hotel Amigo in Brussels, Hotel de Russie in Rome, Hotel Savoy in Florence, The Lowry Hotel in Manchester, England and the newly acquired Brown’s Hotel, London. In October 2003 Rocco Forte Hotels acquired the management contract for the Château de Bagnols, located in the heart of the Beaujolais region.

 Rocco Forte Hotels

Also See: Rocco Forte On His Way to Hitting Target of 20 Luxury Hotels / January 2004
Rocco Forte Builds New Hotel Chain Years after Family Feud / March 2002

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