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Jazz Shapers, Jazz Shapers Live

Shaper: Sir Rocco Forte

Sir Rocco Forte is the Chairman and Co-Founder of the luxury hotel brand, Rocco Forte Hotels.

With his grandfather and father in the hospitality business, Rocco’s approach to customers was shaped at an early age – treat guests differently because they are individuals. From spending school holidays working across his father’s company, the Forte Hotel and Restaurant business – later Trust House Forte, Rocco joined the Forte Group in 1969, succeeding his father as Chairman in 1992.

Following a takeover by leisure and media company Granada in 1996 that took away their right to use the Forte name commercially, Rocco and his sister, Olga Polizzi (Deputy Chairman and Director of Design at Rocco Forte Hotels), set about building a new business, RF Hotels, targeting the high-end hotel market. In 1997, the pair bought back The Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh from Granada and 10 years later, the Forte rights were returned and the business was renamed Rocco Forte Hotels.

Interview highlights

The thing I am most proud of is the culture that we’ve created in the company.

There is a lot of hard work involved and a huge attention to detail in delivering the guest experience during their stay at a hotel.

Various departments have to work effectively for the guest experience to be a perfect one.

I am quite happy to debate things.

If you own a business, it becomes your life.

Family is the bedrock of society.

You have to have a sense of determination and ability to want to overcome difficulties when they are presented.

I don’t think anybody should come into this industry if they don’t love it.

Unless you have the passion and belief that you want to deliver, it is very difficult to do the job properly.

I visit each of my hotels at least twice a year to satisfy myself that what is being done is correct and within the standards and philosophy of the company.

Shaper: Jenny Biggam

Jenny Biggam is the Co-founder and CEO of the7stars – the UK’s largest independent media agency. Having known from an early age that she didn’t want to go to University, but wanted to just get stuck into the world of work, Jenny found herself at a small marketing agency in Soho. After roles at Zenith [...]


Jazz Shapers - 4 days ago

Shaper: Adam Brown

Based in London, Orlebar Brown was founded by Adam Brown and launched in March 2007 as a tailored approach to men’s swim shorts. OB Classic swim shorts remain the original and best ‘short you can swim in’, offering something you can wear on the beach or by the pool, yet smart enough to wear to [...]


Jazz Shapers - 3 weeks ago