Rocco Forte Hotels increases Sicilian footprint with historic masterpiece

Two-year restoration of Villa Igiea in Palermo, Italy is complete and now open

Rocco Forte Hotels has this month unveiled its newest member property, the newly restored Villa Igiea.

The historical Art Nouveau palazzo overlooking the Gulf of Palermo was originally designed by Ernesto Basile commissioned by the influential Florio family, returns to its former splendour as a jewel of the Mediterranean.

Villa Igiea’s location, nestled between land and sea, makes it a perfect base to discover the cultural heritage of Palermo, which provides visitors with enchanting sights and unique experiences. Built in 1900, the historic palazzo has been meticulously renovated by Olga Polizzi, Deputy Chairperson & Design Director of Rocco Forte Hotels, in collaboration with renowned architects Paolo Moschino and Philip Vergeylen of Nicholas Haslam Studios.

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Over the last two years, the intricate restoration process has enhanced the hotel’s charm and renovated the building’s Belle Époque feel. Villa Igiea’s allure has been reinstated, combining the architectural grandeur of the past with the contemporary comfort of the 21st century in the design and style of Rocco Forte Hotels.

“Villa Igiea is an iconic building which, like its original owner Franca Florio, is a grand lady of charm and elegance and a symbol of hospitality,” said Sir Rocco Forte, CEO and Chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels.

“It has been the focal point of the city of Palermo for over 100 years hosting artists, emperors and the Hollywood elite, enraptured by the wonders of Sicily. I am so proud to be part of the history of this remarkable hotel and to have had the chance to restore it to its original splendour.”

Creative Director of Food for Rocco Forte Hotels Fulvio Pierangelini will oversee the Florio Restaurant, the Igiea Terrazza Bar and the Alicetta Pool Bar, serving delicious Sicilian flavours.

For the opening of Villa Igiea, the Concierge team has created a series of itineraries, which guarantee unforgettable memories, and allow guests to get to know Palermo, the city of a thousand faces. With its eight UNESCO heritage sites and the intense colours and scents of the local markets, this Mediterranean gem offers endless inspiration for discovering the city’s historical, architectonic and landscape delights. Guests can choose from the “Jewish Palermo”, “The Leopard Tour”, “Local market tour with cooking lesson”, decide to take the “Florio trail” or explore the island’s coastal roads on a Porsche cabriolet in complete freedom and much more.

Room rates at Villa Igiea start at €416 per night.

Rocco Forte Hotels has two further properties in its pipeline, The Westbund Hotel in Shanghai (slated to open in 2021) and The Carlton in Milan, debuting in 2023.

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