When we started the company in 1996, the prevailing concept was to create branded products, which meant you experienced pretty much the same hotel everywhere you went. We wanted to do things differently. We set out to treat our guests like individuals in every area of the hotel, to tailor our service for them and, through design, to give them a feeling of the city they’re in.
A History of Hospitality
Treating guests differently because they’re individuals was something I learned from my father. In turn, his approach to customers was shaped by working alongside his father, my grandfather. I’m fortunate to have been born into a family that has had hospitality and entrepreneurship at its heart for generations, and this experience has shaped Rocco Forte Hotels.
My family’s story in hospitality begins in 1911. That was the year my grandfather made the journey from Monforte, a hamlet in the South of Italy, to just outside Fife in Scotland. Not long after, he founded a café called The Savoy, the first Forte hospitality business.
After seeing my grandfather open and run a number of successful restaurants in both Scotland and England, my father set up a Milk bar on Regent Street. His timing was perfect. It quickly became one of five in central London and these grew to become the Forte hotel and restaurant business, later known as Trusthouse Forte, which went on to become the largest hospitality group in the world.