Rocco Forte Hotels, which operates ten luxury city centre hotels, is embarking upon its first leisure development. The new Verdura Golf and Spa Resort on the southern coast of Sicily will cost around €124 million. The company has secured a grant of €35 million from the Italian government which has identified the project as being of strategic importance by extending the tourism season, creating new jobs and repositioning the area on the international holiday market.
Sir Rocco Forte, chairman of Rocco Forte Hotels, said, “We believe that the new Verdura Golf and Spa Resort will be one of the most exciting luxury resort developments in Europe for the last 25 years. We will be open in 2007. We already have two very successful hotels in Italy and are keen to expand our presence in this country. Sicily is a beautiful island with a wealth of history and an outstanding climate. This project will create 300 new jobs and help cement the growing reputation of the island as a luxury destination.”
Verdura is a small village in southern Sicily, about 45 minutes drive from the international airport in Palermo and close to Agrigento and the Temple Valley.
The new resort extends over 200 hectares of land and includes:-
- Reception building near the entrance to the resort, involving restoration of the disused Verdura station building. This includes parking space, which allows the resort to be free of traffic other than electric buggies to transport guests.
- There will be 200 bedrooms, including 50 suites, set into the contours of the landscape to minimise visual impact and provide stunning views of the Mediterranean. All rooms will be at least 40m2
- Two eighteen-hole championship golf courses, plus a nine-hole course, designed by golf course architect Kyle Phillips, who designed the highly-acclaimed courses of Kingsbarns near St Andrews and The Grove in Hertfordshire. The golf club will include restaurant, cafà© bar and retailing in addition to the normal golfing facilities
- A spa complex including 16 treatment rooms, gym, large swimming pool, five thalassotherapy pools and a dietetic restaurant
- Conference centre for up to 250 people with eight meeting rooms, a cinema and a business centre
- Around 50 luxury villas
- A permanent hotel school and training facility.
Rocco Forte Hotels www.roccofortehotels.com.
Kyle Phillips www.kylephillips.com