Rocco Forte Hotels to Acquire Grand Hotel Villa Igiea, in Palermo, Sicily

Date: November 2018

Location: Palermo, Italy

Name: Grand Hotel Villa Igiea – currently a MGallery by Sofitel (Accor) – five star


No. of Keys: 122, including 12 suites

Seller: Initially it was designed as a private villa and built at the end of the nineteenth century by the English admiral Cecil Domville, and later bought by Ignazio Florio, who gave the Villa the name of his daughter, Igiea.

The entrepreneurial spirit of the Florio identified it as a luxury hotel for the Belle Époque . With the decline of the Florio family, it was later used as a hospital and then acquired by the Banco di Sicilia, returning as a luxury hotel in the 1990s when it was acquired by the Acqua Marcia Group

Buyer: Rocco Forte Hotels – Their core partner Cassa Depositi Prestiti of Italy acquired a 23 per cent shareholding for £60 million in 2015 and is a strong supporter of Italian development.

This acquisition is a further step in the most ambitious expansion programme in the group’s history, with five new luxury properties due to open within the next two years bringing the Rocco Forte Hotels collection from 11 to 16 properties.

Over the last 22 years, Rocco Forte and his family have built and nurtured a group of prestigious, iconic hotels, all of which rank regularly at the top of the world’s leading hospitality awards.

With 11 existing hotels in Belgium, Russia, the UK, Germany, Italy and the Middle East, the group’s expansion plans are the first stage of a longer-term strategy to extend its network of hotels across Europe and key destinations around the world.

The expansion programme, the biggest since the group was founded by Forte in 1996, builds on record financial results for the year ended in April, with revenues exceeding £200 million.

Lloyds’ Bank of Scotland has solidly supported Rocco Forte Hotels for 21 years and has recently agreed a new ten-year debt facility for £158 million.

“It is the first stage in a long-term strategy to have a base in key cultural centres and European capital cities.

“We are interested in opening hotels in the best locations and are meticulous in ensuring that each has a distinct style and personality.”

Price: Bought at auction for, we believe, €25m

Price per Key: €204,918

THPT Comment: Not a bad price for this jewel of a hotel on Sicily’s Palermo coast.

First Seen: Breaking Travel News