The Matutes Family Considers Future of the Ayre Hotel in Oviedo

20 January 2018 – La Voz de Asturias

Palladium Hotel Group, the hotel group owned by the Matutes family, is reconsidering the future of its hotel in Oviedo, the Hotel Ayre. The Director-General of the company, Abel Matutes Prats, is considering including the establishments from the Ayre brand within the Only You brand (a concept of boutique city hotels), but it has not ruled out selling certain establishments.

The Ibiza-based hotel company has owned Ayre Hotels together with Parinver, the investment arm of El Corte Inglés since 2006. The chain comprises ten establishments (located in Oviedo, Barcelona, Madrid, Valencia, Córdoba and Sevilla). Some of these hotels may be included within the Only You brand and others may be sold in a commitment by the company to strengthen its hotel management business over hotel ownership. Nevertheless, in August, sources at El Corte Inglés said that “there were no plans afoot to sell any stakes”.

“We are making a significant effort to move towards a management model. We are a company that owns everything and our objective is to move towards a similar mix to that of our competitors. Over the medium term, we have to go down that route”, explained the director who wants to strengthen his firm’s role as a manager through agreements with owners and investment funds to grow faster.

The company considers that in Spain there is space to grow with the Only You brand in places such as Sevilla, Málaga, Valencia, Bilbao and San Sebastian, as well as in other European countries such as Portugal and Italy. “Once we are established in Europe, the plan will be to make the leap to North America”, he revealed.

The hotel group is very satisfied with the performance of its Only You Hotels brand (boutique city hotels), which currently comprises two establishments in Madrid. And the future outlook is so positive that it is looking for new operations for this brand both within and outside of Spain.

“We want to grow quickly with this brand but everything will depend on the welcome it receives when it opens”, said the company’s Director General, Abel Matutes Prats, who explained that the idea is to also incorporate hotels outside of Spain in both cities and tourist areas.


With the repositioning of its brands, the hotelier owned by the Matutes family forecasts “an important jump” in terms of revenues over the next two years, which could rise by 10% and whereby exceed the €600 million reached in 2017 thanks to the consolidation of the Only You brand, the opening of new hotels in Mexico at the end of the year and another couple of projects “which are currently under consideration”, but which will also close in 2018.

Palladium closed 2017 with investment in Europe and North America amounting to more than €88 million in terms of renovations and €125 million in new builds. In terms of the hotel company’s objective for the coming year, it plans to spend €50 million on renovations and €180 million on new constructions.

Original story: La Voz de Asturias

Translation: Carmel Drake

Palladium Hotel Group Forecasts Revenues of €600M+ in 2017

4 December 2017 – Expansión

The hotel group Palladium expects to record revenues of more than €600 million this year, although that figure is lower than initially expected due to the renovation of several hotels and the impact on demand of the hurricanes in the Caribbean and the crisis in Cataluña. According to the Director-General of Palladium, Abel Matutes Prats (pictured below), the final result will depend on the firm’s performance during the last stretch of the year, after two strong months in the Caribbean. The hotel chain owned by the Matutues family has registered a good season in Spain, in particular in the urban segment.

Original story: Expansión

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Matutes Family Buys Real Cinema In Madrid For €17M

2 October 2017 – Eje Prime

Madrid is still active in terms of real estate transactions. The former Real Cinema, located opposite the Teatro Real de Madrid, is going to pass into the hands of Marc Rahola Matutes, nephew of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abel Matutes, and cousin of Abel Matutes Prats, for €17 million.

The building, which has a constructed surface area of 2,300 m2, will undergo a remodelling, which could see Matutes’ total investment rise to €24 million, according to El Confidencial.

According to sources in the real estate sector, the company that owns the property, Selbridge SL, purchased it in 2003 and has constituted a purchase option over the entire domain of the property in favour of White Land, a company administered by Rahola Matutes. The building occupies a plot of land measuring 900 m2 and houses a performance hall.

Marc Rahola Matutes launched his career at the Palladium Group. In addition, the director manages the investments of the fund Ocean Group Capital, which he created after leaving his role at Matutes’ company, and through which he has bet heavily on the hotel sector.

The fund started out by acquiring the iconic OD Ocean Drive, located in the Marina Botafoch area. Then, it bought three luxury hotels in the Balearic Islands: OD Port Portals, in Mallorca; OD Talamanca (formerly Hotel Victoria) and OD Can Jaume, a holiday farm property, both in Ibiza.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Nadal & Matutes Jr To Build Madrid’s Most Expensive Homes

9 June 2017 – El Confidencial

Another deal has just been signed in the luxury housing sector in Madrid, which will bring to the market some of the most expensive and most luxurious apartments in the capital. They will surpass even the homes that Pimco and Lar Real Estate are marketing a few metres away from Paseo de la Castellana on Calle Lagasca. The businessmen Abel Matutes Prats (…), Manuel Campos and their partners, including the tennis player Rafael Nadal, have just purchased a building opposite the Supreme Court, which is going to be converted into the most elitist residential property in the city. Even more so even than the Millenium Building opposite Puerta de Alcalá.

The building will house 11 homes, nine of which have already been sold at prices that take your breath away: between €15,000/m2 and €20,000/m2. To date, the record prices were held by Lagasca 99, the project being promoted by Pimco and Lar, where the average sales price to date amounts to €16,000/m2, and where the most expensive home ever sold in the capital is located: a duplex penthouse flat measuring 700 m2, which has been sold for €12.5 million, in other words, for a whopping €18,000/m2. Interestingly, the only two units still to be sold in this new luxury development are the two penthouses.

The acquired building is located on Calle General Castaños, in the Justicia neighbourhood and was constructed at the end of the nineteenth century. It has a surface area of almost 5,000 m2, distributed over five storeys. Sources consulted by El Confidencial said that the transaction price could amount to €25 million. (…).

The neighbourhood of Justicia has become fashionable in recent months amongst buyers with a high purchasing power. According to a study compiled by the luxury estate agency Engel & Völkers, the profile of buyers in this specific area of Madrid is cosmopolitan, middle-aged, looking for a pied-à-terre, as well as young couples with children and foreigners from the UK, Germany, China and Venezuela.

Moreover, according to data from the agency, Justicia is by far the most expensive neighbourhood in the Centro district, with maximum prices of around €7,800/m2 for the most exclusive, newly built homes (…).

Complete renovation

With a classic style and a protected façade dating back to 1895, the property is classified for residential use and currently comprises 36 homes and 12 warehouses spread over five floors and a basement. (…). According to the sources consulted, the new owners want to renovate the building and recover its past charm, to position it as the most exclusive building in Madrid.

The transaction has been completed, after a long year of delays, through Mabel Real Estate, a business whose registered administrators include Abel Matutes and Manuel Campos, but in which other partners participate, such as Rafael Nadal and his family. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by E. Sanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hoteliers At FITUR Stand United Against Airbnb

25 January 2017 – Expansión

Same rules of the game / Directors of several major hotel chains are accusing the collaborative economy platform of unfair competition. They are also demanding more regulation and control by the authorities regarding homes made available for tourist use.

Fitur – the major tourism fair – brought together the main players in the tourism sector once again: airlines, hotel groups, transport companies, tour operators, travel agencies and purchasing centres, amongst others. One group of player, who did not attend but who were omnipresent at all the meetings, were online platforms, such as Airbnb. Even the definition of the collaborative economy was generating controversy.

Sources at Madrid’s Hotel Business Association (AEHM), the capital’s hotel trade association, emphasised that the boom in tourist homes is not only a phenomenon that is affecting cities such as Barcelona, although that city is hitting the headlines the most.

“Madrid has seen spectacular growth, increasing from 10,000 to 20,000 homes in one year and from 37,000 to 74,000 beds, although most of those have not been registered”, said the AEHM’s President, Gabriel García. “It constitutes unfair competition for the sector and it must be addressed”, he said.

Gabriel Escarrer, Vice-President and CEO at Meliá, was equally convinced. “There is a lack of regulation in the poorly-named collaborative economy. Meliá spends almost €18 per room in order to comply with regulations, not just in terms of taxes and licences, but also to comply with specific measures such as fire-proofing, security, occupational health and safety. That generates a disadvantage for us with respect to any individual who decides to rent out their apartment; what’s more, in most cases, those apartments do not have a licence or pay VAT”, he said.

For Escarrer, the person responsible “should not only be the owner of the home, but also parties that include such properties on their websites when they do not have operating licences”.

The Director General at the Palladium Group, Abel Matutes Prats, is aware that “we cannot buck the trends”, but, he emphasises that “it is unfair that there is so much regulation for hoteliers and yet a complete lack of regulation, both fiscal and normative, for everyone else. To illustrate the situation, he says that one segment has five referees watching over it, whilst the other has none”.

Antonio Catalán, President of AC by Marriott expresses the same sentiment. He considers that it is essential that the authorities act.

Sources at Airbnb say that they are not opposed to regulation but rather that they require it to “allow people to share their own homes”, in other words, they want “a single legal framework for individuals, distinct from the one applicable to professionals”. And they add: “The existing framework favours professional operators and harms those middle class people and families who want to open up their habitual residence. The collaborative economy needs clear legislation and Airbnb has always been open to working with cities to identify specific solutions”.

Property conversions

(…). “In many urban centres, residential assets are being converted into tourist properties and many cities are just not ready for the change, from the point of view of infrastructure or services. This results in problems for people living together”, explains Escarrer.

For Catalán, the key resides in “what type of city we want, Paris or Cancun, and what we have to do to achieve it”.

“In Ibiza, a type of tourism-phobia is started to emerge, which is hitting hoteliers. We have fewer rooms there than before. We bring fewer tourists than before, with higher quality but less volume. Why are there more tourists? Because of the collaborative economy. We need specific laws, like in New York, to limit the duration of stays and to require tourist apartments to comply with certain minimum health and safety requirements, and moreover, for tax fraud to be prosecuted”, said Matutes.

Airbnb’s sources reiterate that they are “part of the solution” to the challenges that cities are facing: “Airbnb complements the traditional tourist industry and helps to redistribute economic benefits from tourism amongst citizens, communities and neighbourhoods”.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake