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Verdura Resort in Sicily
We knew a couple of months ago that Rocco Forte was sniffing around Venice, but plans really are coming to fruition now. Last week, it was announced that Forte is getting a $95m cash injection from Italian investors (in return for 23 percent of the company) – which he’ll use to open hotels in Venice, Milan, Naples (YES) and Sicily.
It gets better. In an upbeat interview with Il Giornale, in which he says that luxury travel will save Italy's economy, Forte said this:
We want to create a network of uber-luxury hotels in Italy – one that’ll be capable of attracting travellers wanting to rediscover the Grand Tour, that was so tantalizing to the aristocrats of the 18th and 19th centuries.
According to Forte, they’re currently sifting through potential sites in Venice, Milan and Naples. He is also “convinced of the unexplored potential of Sicily” (where they already have one resort outside, Verdura, in Sciacca). Taormina or Siracuse are on the hitlist there. Paris, New York, Moscow and the Middle East are priorities after Italy.
Hotel Renovations / Before and After / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Naples Hotels / Florida Hotels / → All Tags
We love hotel renovations nearly just as much as we love new hotels. But what we really love about hotel renovations is seeing the transformation that happens when an old, tired and lackluster room gets a modern makeover and transforms into new, spiffed-up, stylish guest room. Or put more simply, we love comparing the Before and After.
When we visited the The Ritz-Carlton Naples in Florida as a tween back in the early 90s, we're pretty sure the rooms looked similar to what you see above. Fortunately, the hotel has undergone a multi-million dollar makeover that will impress everyone, even those critical tweens.
Keep reading to see how the resort looks after the renovations!
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Today seems to be a banner day for Ritz-Carlton Hotel news, we've got three pieces of juicy goss that just needs to be shared. Here's the tea:
In our recent Abandoned Hotels story, we lamented the construction of Molasses Reef, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort had been languishing untouched in the Turk and Caicos since 2008 (it began in 2001) and showed no signs of ever coming to fruition. Well, a miracle has happened and the project is back on! According to HotelsMag.com, they've received confirmation on the private (you can only arrive by boat, small plane or helicopter) 125-unit resort's opening from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company.
HotelChatter also checked with our RC sources, and the luxury Caribbean resort is indeed a go. We were told an official release will soon come. European developers have taken over with an apparent $130 million investment to complete a project that's already had $300 million sunk into it by previous interested party, Logwood Development. Construction is expected to resume this year (keep your fingers crossed).
But wait, there's more Ritz-Carlton rumblings for ya!
The idea is kind of revolutionary for a Ritz-Carlton since Bites, as the name suggests, will offer small plates and cocktails in an intimate lounge-like setting.
No, there’s nothing new about a lounge serving tapas or small-plates menu, but whereas you’ll usually find white table-cloth and sparkling crystal service when dining at a Ritz-Carlton property, Bites is meant to mark a “return to intimacy and comfort in dining, which industry leaders and chefs are noting as necessities in the new decade of dining.”
Translation: this recession is making people nervous, so they want comfortable food and ambiance. That must be why Bites is only charging between $2-14 for each of the 40 plates on the menu, with the average falling around $7.
The Romeo Hotel has already gotten a mention from us for getting boutique hotels into Napoli, but it's more than just a boutique – it's really an impressive art hotel as well. They feature modern artists but not with the standard exhibition; instead, the Romeo has been commissioning artists to create a piece of art inspired by the city of Napoli.
At the moment, Francesco Clemente is the artist-of-the-moment, and as well as catching his specially-commissioned piece in the hotel, you can also see his larger solo exhibition at the MADre Museum. And to celebrate all that, the Romeo Hotel has created a Clemente Package which includes museum tickets and the exhibition catalogue, Sea View room accommodation with breakfast, a couple of discount vouchers for restaurants and spa treatment and a limited edition postcard collection of Clemente's artworks. This deal starts at €299 ($420) but to coincide with the MADre exhibition, it's only valid until October this year.
The great thing about this hotel is that if you're lost, you can wander the streets saying "Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo Hotel?" Or maybe not, but it's the kind of Friday pun we couldn't resist. Fortunately the hotel – and especially its art - sounds a lot better than our jokes.
Not that we necessarily need to lure you to Naples (Naples, Italy, that is; not Florida) since you already know that the baked goods are the bomb and you can buy many, many kiddie tricycles if you want 'em a brand new 85-room hotel has just opened up its doors to bring some boutique flavor to the Naples hotel scene.
The Romeo Hotel is the first step a development that is aiming to turn the area between the Piazza Municipio and the cruise ship terminals into an "elegant promenade," and claims to be the first design hotel to hit Naples.
The location makes for excellent views of both Mt. Vesuvius and the island of Capri, and the floor to ceiling windows in the rooms will, at the very least, let you watch the cruise ships come and go both from guestrooms and from the fitness center that looks out onto the Bay of Naples (there's also a 7,500 sq ft spa and a terrace-top outdoor pool).