DuJour Navigation

My Favorite Things: Irene Forte

The London aristocrat and hospitality maven dishes on her must-have travel gear

At 27 years old, Irene Forte, the daughter of English hotel tycoon Sir Rocco Forte—whose portfolio of 11 iconic properties includes London’s Brown’s and Edinburgh’s Balmoral—is anything but content to fall back on her vast fortune. While overseeing all training and development for the company’s hotels, she also runs the entire brand’s cutting-edge spa and fitness programs. Forte, an Oxford grad and self-proclaimed “running-obsessive,” is additionally spearheading the launch of Forte Organics, an organic beauty line, and has won a grant from the U.K. government to develop an app that will assist premium hotels—both in and outside the family’s chain—optimize overall performance.

Given her demanding travel agenda, we asked Forte, whose slightly older sister Lydia is also a Tatler darling and key player in the business, to share a few of the items she always takes with her on the road–secret weapons that keep her looking and feeling amped to conquer the high-stakes world of luxe hospitality.

“I’m a firm believer in natural skin care products as I’m really conscious about what I put on my skin, and even more conscious with what I eat,” she says. “I don’t believe in putting harsh chemicals on my skin even if they may have great results in the short term. I don’t tend to like things that are overly fancy or big high-end brands. I tend to do my own research and find brands that are right for me. Increasingly, when you work out and sweat, I believe that it’s important to wear something that has natural ingredients. When I travel for work, they are normally very short trips, so I usually have to bring hand luggage. I’ll also never forget my trainers and gym gear; all of our hotels where I tend to travel to have gyms so if I can squeeze in a work-out in between meetings, I always will.”


1. Gaylia Kristensen Anti-ageing Cream (for the day)

This Australian brand is truly amazing. It took Gaylia six years to create this one cream. Unlike a lot of brands on the market, who include modern technologies, Gaylia’s products are the only ones (that I know of) to have successfully pioneered naturally derived technologies rather than synthetic. There are approximately seven technologies in this one product in optimal concentrations, making it stand out from all brands on the market that I know of. 

2. Forte Organics Hibiscus Night Cream (for the night)

All the Forte Organics products are rich in organic, natural, as well as active, Sicilian ingredients. The base of the creams is an oligomineral water, magnesium sulphate-rich, from the Sicilian Madonie Regional Natural Park, as well as the organic olive oil that we produce at Verdura Resort in Sicily, rich in Vitamin E and unsaponifiables. This night cream smells delicious and it’s extremely nourishing and hydrating. It’s formulated with hyaluronic acid and ceramides, blended with hibiscus, hazelnut oil and green peas.

3. Forte Organics Hibiscus Serum (for the day and night underneath my creams)

This is gel like serum, which also smells delicious. It’s nourishing and has an extremely lifting effect.

4. Bio-Oil (for the body)

I use Bio-Oil every morning as I have quite dry skin and it helps keep it hydrated. Alternatively, coconut oil is also fantastic when my skin is feeling particularly dry (I even sometimes put this in my mouth as a teeth whitener and just for general oral health!). 

5. Newton Running Shoes

I don’t go anywhere without my Newton Running Shoes. I think they are the best trainer on the market at the moment for sports. They’re always in my handbag or suitcase.

6. Back Label T-Shirts & Sports Jumpers

When I go to the gym or travel, I’m always wearing / packing Back Label clothing. Back Label use 100% organic materials for their clothing, so they feel amazingly nourishing. Their clothing is made out of ingredients such as: Milk Protein, Seaweed Cellulose, Organic Cottons & Fleece and Eucalyptus. Everything they do is just really simple and elegant.