Arha Hoteles Takes over the Management of Hotel Piñamar in Santander

12 March 2019 – Press Release

International hotel property adviser, Christie & Co, has advised on the leasehold sale of Hotel Piñamar, located in Santander. The 3-star establishment has 34 rooms and is located next to the train station, in the fishing district of the Cantabrian city.

The hotel, which has been leased since it was opened to date by the Piña Coterón family, will now be managed by Arha Hoteles, a Cantabrian hotel chain that currently manages four other hotels: Hotel & Arha Spa (in Potes), Hotel Arha Albatros (located in Suances), Hotel Arha Reserva del Saja (in the Natural Park), and Hotel La Casona de Carmona (in the Cabuérniga Valley).

Original story: Press Release

Edited by: Carmel Drake

Fergus Incorporates Hotel Club Bahamas (Ibiza) Into Its Portfolio

17 October 2017 – Hosteltur

Fergus Hotels has incorporated the 3-star Hotel Club Bahamas into its portfolio, which will operate from 2019 as a 4-star property under the name: Fergus Style Bahamas. With this agreement, the Mallorca-based chain has made its debut in Playa d’en Bossa, Ibiza, with a project to reposition and increase the star rating of the hotel.

The hotel chain is committed to expansion in the Balearic Islands and will start to manage the latest hotel from November 2018 onwards. The establishment has 528 rooms, an extensive range of restaurants, several swimming pools, a gym, spa and garden areas. It represents the first hotel to be operated by Fergus in Ibiza under its Style brand. The establishment had been managed by Nordotel until now.

The repositioning of the property as the Fergus Style Bahamas will involve the renovation of a large number of the features offered at the hotel. Its location, on the beachfront of Playa d’en Bossa and its proximity to the island’s main leisure, shopping and restaurant areas will allow the hotel’s clients to enjoy a wide variety of activities during their holidays on Ibiza.

Fergus is currently undergoing an expansion phase, incorporating new hotels to join those already in its portfolio. The firm is committed to offering better services and facilities through the repositioning of its hotels and the creation of tailor-made products for its clients. Its short- and medium-term plans include incorporating its first assets outside of the Balearic Islands, within Spain, as well as undertaking its first transactions on the international stage. The chain has focused on the Balearic Islands, in particular, said Bernat Vicens, Director General of the chain, speaking to Hosteltur recently, but Fergus Hotels wants to establish a solid and stable presence beyond the Balearic Islands, he added.

Original story: Hosteltur

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Buys Hotel Fergus Tobago In Mallorca For €20M

27 June 2017 – Expansión

Hispania, at the half-way point of its life, is remaining firm in its commitment to the hotel segment, whilst continuing to divest its office and residential businesses.

As part of this strategy, the company in which George Soros holds a stake, has purchased Hotel Fergus Tobago, located on the island of Mallorca, for €20.2 million, which it has financed entirely using its own funds.

The company plans to invest an additional €10 million on the refurbishment of the hotel, which has 275 rooms and a 3-star ranking. With the repositioning work, the company hopes to increase the category of the establishment and improve its services. The Socimi plans to carry out this renovation once the 2018 season has come to an end.

Hotel Fergus Tobago recorded an average occupancy rate of 88% last year, according to data released by the Socimi.

Following the acquisition, Fergus Hotels will continue as the operator of the hotel, through a lease contract with fixed and variable components.

This purchase comes after the operation that the group undertook a few weeks ago when it acquired a hotel in Benidorm for €15.6 million. It plans to spend between €17 million and €19 million on the complete refurbishment of that asset.

Hispania now owns 11,296 rooms in 39 hotels and has consolidated its position as the largest hotel owner in Spain, ahead of the chain Melia.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Leonardo Hotels Buys Its Third Establishment In Madrid

29 September 2016 – Hosteltur

Leonardo Hotels is continuing its expansion in the Spanish capital with the acquisition of its third hotel, the Gran Atlanta Madrid, which will be incorporated into its portfolio from 30 September. According to Hosteltur, Gran Atlanta will join two other properties that the largest group in Israel bought in July. The Gran Atlanta Hotel is a four-star property and has 180 rooms, as well as five meeting rooms, with capacity for up to 100 people, and a restaurant.

A determining factor in the acquisition of the hotel has been its prime location, right in the heart of the financial and business district of the city. It is close to the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium and is well-connected by public transport, both in terms of local trains (Cercanías) and the Metro, which allow guests to travel quickly from Nuevos Ministerios to the centre or to the airport in just 15 minutes.

The Hotel Gran Atlanta Madrid will retain its current name until the renovation work has been completed. The refurbishment is due to take place between April and the autumn of 2017, when the property will adopt the Leonardo Hotels brand name. The international law firm Hogan Lovells has provided legal advice once again in an operation that has been advised by Planet Hotels & Resorts.

According to the Director General of Leonardo Hotels for Europe, Daniel Roger, “the decision to acquire another property in Madrid was not hard when we found the Hotel Gran Atlanta. Our success is based on our strategy of owning several hotels in Europe’s major cities and on the synergies that that approach generates. Naturally, the building’s potential and its excellent location have also been decisive factors.

The firm now has five hotels in the Spanish market, two in Barcelona (Leonardo Hotels made its debut in Barcelona with the Boutique Hotel Sagrada Familia) and three in Madrid. Roger added, “this represents a boost, in a short period of time, which makes our offer even more attractive and allows us to develop and strengthen our position in Spain ever further. We will continue our growth soon with more acquisitions here (in Spain) as well as in other countries in Europe”.

Leonardo Hotels is the European division of the Fattal Hotels Group, founded by David Fattal in Israel. It has operated in the European market since 2007 and owns more than 65 establishments in the superior 3-star and superior 4-star categories in more than 35 cities aross the continent, in countries such as Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, the UK, Spain, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands. In total, its properties have more than 10,000 rooms and 20,500 sqm of space for meetings and conferences.

Original story: Hosteltur

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania To Purchase 4 Dunas Hotels In Canary Islands For €75M

12 April 2016 – Expansión

The Socimi in which George Soros holds a stake has taken over the mortgage debt of the company that owns the hotels, which it has purchased from several financial institutions at a discount.

Hispania will invest €75 million on the purchase of four hotels on the island of Gran Canaria from the company Dunas Hotels & Resort, in order to strengthen the portfolio of assets of this type that it already owns in the Canary Islands, according to a statement made by the company. (…)

Dunas Hotels & Resort has filed for bankruptcy and so Hispania must wait until the creditors of the company have approved the agreement to exit the bankruptcy process and the company can be capitalised.

With this operation, Hispania will acquire four 4-star and 3-star hotels, containing 1,183 rooms in total. The Socimi will subsequently make an investment of €9 million to reposition the hotels through improvements.

The current partners of Dunas Hotels & Resorts will continue to operate the hotels through a variable lease contract for an initial term of ten years.

According to Hispania, the four hotels recorded an “exceptional” year in 2015, which is expected to continue in 2016.

With this investment, the Socimi will complement and reinforce the portfolio of holiday assets that it owns in the Canary Islands and will strengthen its presence on the island of Gran Canaria, where it already owns the 484-room Hotel Barceló Margaritas.

House purchases in Madrid

Meanwhile, Hispania has acquired a complex of 91 homes in Madrid, located in the north east of the capital, for €16 million.

Specifically, the asset comprises ninety-one 1-bed and 2-bed homes, which have a combined surface area of 6,296 m2 and 146 parking spaces.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

Starwood Joins Forces With HI Partners To Invest €500M

14 March 2016 – Expansión

International investors are becoming increasingly interested in the Spanish hotel sector. The US investor group Starwood Capital has joined forces with HI Partners, the subsidiary of Banco Sabadell, to invest €500 million in the purchase of hotels in Spain, over the next three years.

According to market sources, Starwood and HI Partners will create a joint venture that will specialise in the acquisition of hotel assets located in the main tourist areas, such as the Costa del Sol, the Canary Islands, the Balearic Islands, the Costa Brava and the Costa Dorada. The aim is to acquire 3-star and 4-star hotels that have more than 200 rooms. The vendors may be individual investors, as well as hotel chains interested in divesting their real estate assets.

Starwood Capital Group will control 70% of the joint venture, which will be implemented through the creation of a limited company. The US group – which already teamed up with Meliá in Spain in 2015 – will contribute funds through its Starwood Global Opportunity Fund.

Local partners

HI Partners will control the remaining 30% of the shares and will also take care of the management of the company, under the leadership of its CEO, Alejandro Hernández-Puértolas. Banco Sabadell owns a 99% stake in HI Partners and the remaining stake belongs to Hernández-Puértolas and two other founding partners of the hotel management and investment company: Sergio Carrascosa and Santiago Fisas. The three have extensive experience in the hotel sector, as they used to be involved with Reig Capital – the company that owns the Mandarin hotel in Barcelona – and other companies such as MedGroup and Stein Group.

The alliance is the result of numerous investment opportunities that currently exist in the hotel sector in Spain, which broke a historical record in 2015 with the sale of 143 hotels worth €2,650 million, more than double the investment volume recorded the year before. Listed Socimis, hotel chains and Spanish family offices accounted for 74% of the investment, but this year overseas investors are expected to gain in weight and the alliance between HI Partners and Starwood is a good example.

“The Spanish hotel market is very attractive for us due to the growing demand from domestic and international clients and the on-going recovery of the economy”, said Keith Evans, Vice-President of Starwood Capital. According to the executive, the firm has chosen HI “because it is a reputable manager with local experience”, which will allow us to fulfil the objective “of creating a portfolio of high quality hotels in which all of Spain’s main tourist destinations are represented”.

In June 2015, Starwood reached an agreement with Meliá to acquire a chain of holiday hotels, which included seven assets and 2,933 beachfront rooms. These hotels were transferred to a company in which the fund owns an 80% stake and the hotel chain the remaining 20% stake. Meliá’s idea is to re-launch its Sol brand as part of this initiative.

According to sources at Starwood, the two alliances signed in Spain to date will have different investment strategies. Since its creation, the private equity firm has invested more than €77,000 million in real estate assets all over the world; its portfolio contains 2,600 hotels.

Original story: Expansión (by Sergi Saborit)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Alchemy & Former Orizonia Director Create Hotel Group

5 October 2015 – Expansión

A new player has emerged in the Spanish hotel sector: Feel Hotels Group. The project has promoted by the fund Alchemy Special Opportunities and Javier Águila, the former Director of Orizonia, has just closed its first operation: the purchase of six hotels in Mallorca and Ibiza. This batch of assets, which belonged to Marina Hotels until now, comprises 1,200 rooms.

The acquisition, for an undisclosed sum, represents this hotel group’s debut in the market. Alchemy is the majority shareholder of the company, in which Águila also holds a stake. Águila is the CEO and leads a team with extensive experience in Spanish hotel chains, including Iberostar, Luabay and Bahía Principe, amongst others. Meanwhile, Alchemy, which has invested around €4,000 million (in various initiatives) since its launch in 1997, has been analysing opportunities in the hotel sector in Spain for a while; it has already invested in this sector in the past in the UK.

Four star properties

Feel Hotels Group will take over the management of the hotels from the beginning of 2016 and will invest €15 million modernising the facilities. The refurbishment of the six 3-star and 4-star properties, will be undertaken in 2016.

The chain will focus on the sun and beach segment and on 4-star hotels, although it does not rule out the possibility of acquiring a few lower grade or luxury establishments. Initially, it is targeting the main tourist areas in Spain, including the Canary and Balearic Islands, as well as the mainland coast and the south of Portugal. In the medium term, when Feel Hotels Group has secured a critical mass, it will expand its focus overseas.

The group’s route-map envisages that it will build up a portfolio of between 20 and 25 properties over the next four years, through the purchase of more hotels and also, by securing lease and management contracts. If these figures materialise, and depending on the size of the properties, Feel Hotels Group can expect to generate revenues of around €100 million.


The commercial launch of the chain is scheduled for early next year. However, the name of the company itself, Alchemy, is being used for the time being. The management team has not yet decided whether it will use Feel Hotels Group as the brand of the hotel chain.

Interest from international funds and investors in taking positions in the holiday hotel sector has intensified in recent months. At the end of April, Brussels authorised the partnership between Meliá and Starwood Capital, whereby the fund acquired 80% of seven hotels in the Canary Islands, Balearic Islands and Costa del Sol, with almost 3,000 rooms, for €176 million. Meliá will continue managing these establishments.

Meanwhile, Barceló sold the Hotel Barceló Santiago (Tenerife) to the Chinese group Chongqing Kangde Industrial, with whom it had been negotiating since 2013, for €50 million. In parallel, Barceló created the first hotel-only Socimi, with 16 holiday establishments.

Original story: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Dubai Investor To Open 3* Hotel In Centre Of Barcelona

16 June 2015 – Expansión

The businessman from Dubai has dodged the Ciutat Vella’s hotel moratorium by purchasing his licence from an establishment that has closed.

Since 2009, the historic centre of Barcelona, known as Ciutat Vella, has been subject to a hotel moratorium, which limits the construction of properties of this kind.

However, the Arab investor Haytham Alhaj Ali will open a three star hotel at number 8, on la Rambla del Raval, in the centre of Ciutat Vella.

He has engaged S3 Arquitectura to design the hotel project and he has signed an agreement with Acta Hotels to manage the future property, which could open in May next year.

This is Mr Alhaj Ali’s first project in Spain; he has invested in Barcelona through an equity company. The consideration paid for the purchase of the land and hotel licence is unknown but the cost of the construction work is expected to amount to around €3 million.

The hotel, with 27 rooms, stands on a plot of land in la Ramba del Raval where a former “squatters” drop-in centre, known as the ‘House of the Rebel People’, was located.

Original story: Expansión (by Marisa Anglés)

Translation: Carmel Drake