leadforensics CLAD People: Irene Forte says simplicity is the secret behind her new spa concept | CLAD

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Irene Forte - Brand Manager

PROJECT: Rocco Forte Spas


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Irene Forte quite literally grew up in the hotel business – her father is the famous hotelier Sir Rocco Forte, her aunt is renowned hotel interior designer Olga Polizzi and her cousin is hotelier Alex Polizzi who also presents UK TV series The Hotel Inspector.

Now, aged 27, Forte has developed the group’s first brand-wide spa concept, Rocco Forte Spas, which has just rolled out across its 10 luxury properties in Europe.

“We had very nice individual spas, but we had no overall unified concept,” says Forte. “And there was no health and fitness aspect. I saw a real gap there.”

She set out to create a concept that would work for existing spas – which include its flagship 4,000sqm spa in Sicily, Brown’s Hotel in London or the Hotel Astoria in St Petersburg. While each spa will incorporate local flavours through decor and nutrition – a crucial part of the concept – the rituals and branded skincare will remain consistent throughout.

The Rocco Forte spa concept combines spa treatments (Rocco Forte Rituals) with food (Rocco Forte Nourish) and in-house beauty products (Forte Organics) as well as Rocco Forte Fitness.

“I really like having a simple and clear concept,” says Forte. “We have four notions, which are easily understandable for guests. We can also continue build upon them.”

While Forte headed up the development of the spa concept, she also benefitted from the insight of her aunt, sister and father – with each family member playing to his or her strengths and interests.

Forte worked with her sister Lydia – just two years older than herself, and the bar and restaurant development manager for Rocco Forte – to create Rocco Forte Nourish. This involves using area chefs and nutritionists for local cuisine, as well as changing the minibar selections and offering a healthy corner at breakfast, with choices like sugar-free almond or soya milk and granola.

“It was the first project we worked on together,” says Forte. “It was quite good to do something together and I think our Nourish element really stands out.”

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