19 June 2015 – El Economista
The formar Hotel Husa Illa in Barcelona will open its doors again on 1 August, but it will do so under the AC Hotels brand, owned by Marriott. The company, led by Antonio Catalan, has signed a rental agreement with the Sanahuja family, which owns the property (closed since March).
With this opening, AC Hotels takes its total number of hotels in Barcelona to seven, and it expects to continue to grow there in the short term. “Barcelona represents a clear target for the group. We are currently analysing several transactions in the city, but the truth is that it is difficult to find what we are looking for”, explains Catalan.
The new hotel, located in the L’Illa Diagonal shopping centre, will be “the chain’s best hotel in Barcelona”; €5.5 million has been invested on a comprehensive reform of the building.
Following this facelift, the hotel will have 108 rooms (all measuring at least 45 m2), several suites, a gym and three meeting rooms, amongst other facilities.
Crisis at Husa
Before closing its doors, the property was managed by the hotel chain Husa, which is currently facing financial difficulties, since several of its companies have filed for bankruptcy. In fact, at the beginning of this month, the company chaired by Joan Gaspart, presented a proposed agreement, which raised the possibility of repaying its debts through the transfer of some of the assets it still manages.
This crisis was reflected at L’Illa, where the chain accumulated unpaid rent and the hotel was returned to its owners, after an eviction demand was filed. Its closure resulted in the dismissal of 26 employees, who all received severance pay. Nevertheless, Antonio Catalán says that AC Hotels has hired at least ten of the former employees to work at the new hotel, under the terms of the agreement made at the time.
Original story: El Economista (by Alba Brualla)
Translation: Carmel Drake