From Italy To Braemar

From Italy To Braemar – How a Fascination With A Revolving Door Led To A Life-Long Love of The Hospitality Sector

Federica Bertolini, general manager of The Fife Arms in Braemar , The Sunday Times Hotel of The Year 2019, has a hospitality career which has taken her across Europe from one luxury hotel to another.

Federica left Italy in 1997 with her husband, and all their belongings in the car went looking for an adventure after graduating from University in Northern Italy.  They shared a romantic idea about living in Aberdeen.

They ended up in Edinburgh, and, in Princes Street, Federica fell in love with The Balmoral Hotel’s revolving doors and was lucky to get a job as a receptionist. In spite of two rejections from the HR department, based on her previous experience, she was granted an interview by a forward-thinking manager.

With Rocco Forte Hotels she then worked in Edinburgh, Rome and Cornwall going from large 5 star properties to a small hotel by the coast – Hotel Tresanton -owned independently by Sir Rocco Forte’s sister. Hotel Tresanton is recognised as one of the first hotels in the UK where design moved away from the classic ‘hotel look’.

After 12 years Federica was lucky to be chosen by owners Iwan and Manuela to take part in the refurbishment and relaunch of The Fife Arms in Braemar. The hotel, which has 46 uniquely-furnished, sumptuous bedrooms, is home to an outstanding collection of mainly Scottish art purchased especially for The Fife Arms.

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