Hotel Online  Special Report

Rocco Forte Hotels and Bank of Scotland Acquire
Le Richemond in Geneva for $79.3 million; 
Plans to Refurbish and Extend the Hotel to 125 rooms


LONDON, England, July 6, 2004 - Rocco Forte Hotels has taken over the famous Le Richemond in Geneva.  Le Richemond was built in 1875 and was owned and managed by the Armleder family for four generations until 1999.  It has an outstanding location in the heart of the city with views over the lake.  The hotel has 98 bedrooms and suites, two restaurants and is a founding member and shareholder of The Leading Hotels of the World.  Le Richemond achieved an unmatched ranking in the influential Institutional Investor poll of 1994, coming number one in Switzerland, number three in Europe and number nine worldwide.
Sir Rocco Forte and Family (Luxury Hotels) Ltd, Sir Rocco's joint venture with Bank of Scotland Corporate, has purchased Société Anonyme de l'Hotel Richemond A. R. Armleder, which owns the freehold of Le Richemond and its adjoining buildings, for $79.3 million from Richemond Hotels Holding SA, Luxembourg.  The hotel will be managed by Rocco Forte Hotels.

The adjacent buildings will be used to extend the hotel to 125 rooms and suites in 2005 as part of a major refurbishment.

Sir Rocco Forte said, "Le Richemond is one of the great hotels of the world.  It also has wonderful employees, which is what

Le Richemond
8-10 Rue Adhemar-fabri
1201 Geneva
Geneva Switzerland 
a high quality hotel is all about.   The hotel has been associated for many years with the Armleder family and it now passes to another family with a long-term involvement in the industry.   I am particularly pleased to return to Geneva as the old Forte company was previously represented here."

Victor Armleder said, "While I am sad to see the hotel sold and not remain in the family, I am very pleased to see the hotel going to Sir Rocco Forte and his group as I know Le Richemond, its guests and the staff will be in good hands."

François Rouge, Chairman of Banque de Patrimoines Privés Genève BPG SA, which supervises Richemond Hotels Holding said, "For both Geneva and the hotel, I am pleased to have played a part in seeing Le Richemond pass to a distinguished hotelier who will make the necessary investment to ensure Le Richemond continues its memorable history and remains the finest hotel in Geneva."

Le Richemond is Rocco Forte Hotels' fifth new hotel project in the last twelve months.  Last July, it bought Brown's in London, which will reopen in Spring 2005 after a complete refurbishment.  In October 2003, it took over management of the Château de Bagnols in Beaujolais.   In January 2004, it started work on the Villa Kennedy in Frankfurt and the Hotel de Rome in Berlin, both of which will open in 2006.  During the early part of 2004, over 490 acres of land was purchased in Southern Sicily, where the company will open its first golf and spa resort property in 2007. 

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. 

* All US$ quoted based on conversion rate of the Swiss Franc as of 07/02/04.

Katie McCall
Lou Hammond & Associates
39 E. 51st Street
New York, NY 10022
P: 212-891-0221
F: 212-891-0200

Rocco Forte Hotels

Also See: Rocco Forte Commences US$28.48 million Renovation of Brown's Hotel, London / June 2004
Le Montreux Palace in Switzerland, Managed by Raffles International, Now Known as Raffles Le Montreux Palace / May 2004
Geneva: A market profile / Arthur Andersen / January 2001

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