hotograph by Alexandra Leese, Styled by Clemence Lobert; Hair by David Wadlow at Premier hair and make-up; Makeup by Neil Young at Premier hair and make-up; Retouching by Touch Digital; Photography Assistant: Andras Bartok; Fashion Assistant: Julie Velut; Special thanks to Brown’s Hotel, a Rocco Forte hotel, London
Even though they spent most childhood weekends and holidays at their family’s renowned hotels throughout Europe, the idea that Irene and Lydia Forte, who live in London, would someday join the family business, Rocco Forte Hotels, was never set in stone. “Our father [Sir Rocco Forte] always encouraged us to find our own areas of interest,” says Lydia, 30, a self-proclaimed food lover who, after graduating from Oxford in 2010, carved out a career in the restaurant business, managing various London haunts. Irene, 28, also an Oxford alumna, became interested in health and wellness after she spent a summer learning about organic gardening at Rocco Forte’s Verdura Resort, in Sicily. But by 2014, the allure of working full-time with their father at his 11 properties—which include the Hotel de Russie, in Rome, and the Hotel Savoy, in Florence—kicked in. Lydia oversees the restaurants as food-and-beverage manager, collaborating with her sister and a team of nutritionists to develop health-conscious menus. Irene heads up the spa-and-health program (“I’m a bit of a fitness fanatic”), and recently launched Forte Organics, a skincare line for the hotel group, using ingredients sourced from the garden at Verdura.
Next year the 21-year-old hotel group will open new properties in Rome and Shanghai. “We always ask for each other’s advice and trust each other’s opinions,” says Irene, who is developing the spa while Lydia handles the cuisine. “Now we are getting our first opportunities to work on our hotels from the ground up,” adds Lydia. “It’s great to have each other for support.”
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