NEW YORK -- Southwestern Sicily just got word it will be home to
two new luxury resort hotels in coming years.
Luxury European hotel chains Kempinski Hotels and Resorts and
Rocco Forte Hotels both announced plans for new, top-of-the-line
properties along the Mediterranean coast between Trapani and
Just four miles from the historical seaside village of Mazara
del Vallo -- noted for its 100 churches -- the 76-room, 12-suite
Kempinski Giardino di Costanza Grand Hotel and Spa is set to open
next door to the 19th-century Villa Fontanasalsa, now a conference
center, sometime next May.
Kempinski is spending about $71 million on the boutique
property, which lies five miles from the sea, 27 miles from Trapani
and 60 miles from Palermo Airport on the northwest coast.
The Giardino di Costanza will be the first property in Italy to
be managed by the chain, which is made up of 31 properties
worldwide, including 22 in Europe.
Kempinski describes the five-star hotel as "a unique complex
reflecting the local culture and architecture."
To wit, as Mazaro del Vallo has been an important seaport since
the days of Arab-Norman rule, the hotel's 16,000-square-foot Spa
Center will feature a Roman-Arabic bath concept to reflect Sicilian
heritage, while the Enoteca wine cellar will boast Mediterranean
Among the hotel's 88 guest quarters will be two penthouse suites
with private terraces and pools, five suites, five junior suites
and five rooms tailored to the needs of disabled clients.
All units will have private balconies or terraces, air
conditioning, Internet access and satellite TV; perks include
24-hour room service and laundry.
On a grassy hillside covered in orange groves approximately 80
miles to the south near Sciacca and Verdura, Rocco Forte Hotels
will break ground on the $206 million Verdura Golf and Spa Resort
To open in 2007, the 494-acre resort -- with one nine-hole and
two 18-hole golf courses -- will be partially funded by a $58
million grant from Italy's government; the project, expected to
generate 300 local jobs, will include a hospitality-training
The resort, the chain's third in Italy, "will be one of the most
exciting luxury developments in Europe in the last 25 years," said
chairman Rocco Forte.
It will feature 150 rooms and 50 suites -- each at least 430
square feet in size -- housed in staggered, low-rise buildings set
back into the hilly countryside.
The property also will boast a 16-room spa center with a gym,
swimming pool, five therapy pools and a "spa cuisine" eatery; a
conference center for up to 250 people; several other restaurants;
a private beach; and, eventually, 50 villas.
Verdura Golf and Spa Resort will be car-free; parking will be
available at the resort entrance next to reception, which will be
in a restored railway station.
The chain expects that "given that it's going to be a golf and
spa resort, the U.S. market is going to be particularly important
to us," said Tessa Gatti, marketing services manager.
For more on Rocco Forte Hotels, call (212) 515-5776 or visit www.roccofortehotels.com. For Kempinski Hotels and
Resorts, call (800) 426-3135 or visit www.kempinski.com.
To contact reporter Kenneth Kiesnoski, send e-mail to [email protected].