2019.04.24    -    EPISODE #2

Charles Forte

London | Entrepreneur


Let us introduce you to Charles Forte, the second guest of the digital project #HouseOfMolteni. Watch the full episode to discover his life in London.



Charles Forte

London | Entrepreneur

Let us introduce you to Charles Forte, the second guest of the digital project #HouseOfMolteni. Watch the full episode to discover his life in London.

1 | Can I ask you your name, who you are and what you do?

I’m Charles Forte, I work for Rocco Forte Hotels, which is our family business. I do hotel development, finding new sites for the group.

2 | Today you brought us to Brown's Hotel. This particular location seems to be very important in your life. What makes this place home to you?

From time to time, this is my home away from home. The Rocco Forte offices are close by and this is where I go for work and leisure.
This hotel has a lot of significance for me, in so far I spent many years here. It’s where I grew up, with a lot of the staff. I’ve been part of it since I was 14-15. I’ve worked here during my school holidays, even misbehaved here. A real cornerstone of why London is home for me.

3 | I would say being part of your family is a great honour but also a great responsibility, isn't it?

It's great! This is the fourth generation of my family to work in the hospitality business. It gives me a great sense of pride for what my family has been doing for so many years and to carry on such legacy. I feel lucky to enjoy what I do and to do it with my family. There is definitely a sense of responsibility, but overall it’s enjoyable.

4 | You have Italian origin and you also lived in New York City.

4 | You have Italian origin and you also lived in New York City.

Yes, my mother is from Rome. I spent four years in New York City to attend university between the ages of 19 and 23, but London is where I grew up. All of my grandparents are Italian and I’ve spent a lot of time in Tuscany with my family during the holidays. Of course, we have hotels in Italy, which represents an important market for us. A market in which we operate very well and are looking to expand quite rapidly. We already own three hotels, and we are planning three new openings this year, with one more opening in Palermo next year.

The Italian heritage is very integral to our business and that’s why we need to be more present in Italy and grow the Rocco Forte Hotels business there.

5 | Do you do a lot of travelling?

I travel a lot to visit projects, maybe once or twice a year. As soon as the project is signed off, the next operational phase starts. This is a part of the process that is managed by my sisters. Nonetheless, I still get to travel often. I was recently in Milan, Budapest and Paris…it’s fun.

6 | Is there a particular place in London which you find particularly inspiring or relaxing?

London is such a vast city with so many hidden spots. There are a lot of amazing things going on everywhere, but there isn’t one specific place that I draw inspiration from.

The whole of London is inspiring and it takes quite a bit of time to explore and find all the hidden gems that it has to offer. But once I find these new interesting places, it reaffirms my love for the city.

7 | Can I ask you to tell us a little more of the place where you brought us today?

We’re here at Brown’s Hotel, in the Hellenic Suite, the oldest hotel in London, opening in 1837. This particular hotel came under the management of Rocco Forte Hotels in 2005. It’s a very unique hotel, comprised of seven townhouses in a very quiet street in the heart of St. James.

It’s a location that has a ton of history: it’s the site of the first phone call by Graham Alexander Bell and Rudyard Kipling wrote a lot of the Jungle Book here.

8 | Do you come here often?

I come here a lot, for meetings and sometimes to meet old friends. I have lunch and dinner at the restaurant quite often. From time to time I use the gym or I just come for a quick coffee and to take a look at the new things that have been done. They have recently redone the lobby, so I was here the other day, in order to provide my opinion on the renewal.

9 | What does hospitality mean for you?

Hospitality is synonymous with family for me. It’s difficult to separate the two, it’s at home, it’s at work. I think you have to have sensibility and a fair share of empathy too, in order to understand the needs of someone else. They take a lot of pride in it, and I have a lot of respect for that.

10 | Design, luxury, service, human warmth. Can you put them in order of importance?

I think human warmth is integral to good service. Our hotels are all very design lead as well, but the difference between a lifestyle hotel with great design and a great luxury hotel is the level of service, which needs to be incredibly attentive and very quick, but also quite subtle and discreet. That’s an incredibly difficult combination to master.

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2019.06.28    -    EPISODE #4


Lawrence Van Hagen

London | Founder of LVH ART, Art Advisor and Curator

Let us introduce you to Lawrence Van Hagen, the fourth guest of the digital project #HouseOfMolteni. Watch the full episode to discover his life in London.


2019.05.28    -    EPISODE #3


Anna Calvi

London | Singer-songwriter and Guitarist

Let us introduce you to Anna Calvi, the third guest of the digital project #HouseOfMolteni. Watch the full episode to discover her life in London.


2019.03.29    -    EPISODE #1


Betty Bachz

London | Entrepreneur and Model

The first story of the second series of #HouseOfMolteni focuses on the city of London, cosmopolitan home of international design, and on Betty Bachz - Entrepreneur and Model - as its main guest in the beautiful location of Cardi Gallery.