The Hotel Ritz in Madrid Closes its Doors for a €99M Refurb

27 February 2018 – Invertia

Following the purchase of the Ritz hotel in 2015 for more than USD 148 million (€120.7 million), its current owners, Mandarin Oriental and the Saudi group Olayan, announced that they would subject the property to an extensive renovation to significantly improve its facilities and services.

The investment by Mandarin Oriental, which administers the hotel under a long-term management agreement, quantifies its stake in the renovation at USD 60.5 million (€49 million), which is going to be financed through an appropriate combination of capital and debt.

Whilst the hotel is closed, its staff will participate in training programs and/or will be sent on temporary assignments at other Mandarin Oriental establishments, in preparation for the grand reopening.

Following the remodelling, in which the Spanish architect Rafael de La Hoz is participating, along with the French designers Gilles & Boissier, the hotel will have 106 rooms and 47 suites and Mandarin Oriental will be added to its current name ‘the Ritz’.

The intention of the owners is to improve the facilities and services at the hotel but to conserve its essence, which is defined by the “Belle Epoque” style of the original building.

Sources at the Hotel Ritz have informed Efe that the construction work will involve the remodelling of the dome and the installation of a swimming pool, amongst other aspects.

The same sources have said that the furniture and objects of value at the hotel will be stored in warehouses in Madrid and that a decision will be taken in the future as to whether some of them will be sold directly or through auction.

The hotel, located in the so-called “Golden Art Triangle” of Madrid, has hosted members of royalty, politicians, magnates and celebrities since its inauguration in 1910.

Original story: Invertia

Translation: Carmel Drake

Cerquia’s Directors Launch New Hotel Development Company: Xpandia

14 February 2018 – Eje Prime

The managers of Cerquia have set their sights on achieving five stars. Carlos Cercadillo, Javier Pérez Picallo and Jesús Salinero, all senior members of the Spanish company, have teamed up with a group of investors to leap into the hotel sector. The executives have launched Xpandia Projects, a company specialising in hotel development with a focus on Spain and Portugal, according to Pérez Picallo, CEO of Cerquia, speaking to Eje Prime.

Picallo will be in charge of the new project, although he will also continue in his position at Cerquia, as will Cercadillo, who is the President of the company and Salinero, who leads the expansion department.

“The hotels will be urban properties and they will be handed over turnkey-style to the operators”, explains the CEO of the company (…). The objective of the property developer is to hand over 800 rooms over the next three years. For the time being, the company is going to work on three projects, two in Lisbon and one in Valencia. The latter, located on Calle Guillem de Gastro, is on the verge of being granted its licence, with the aim of being completed and ready for delivery in 2020. In the case of the Portuguese assets, the delivery will take place in 2018 and 2019, respectively. In total, these three hotels will place 386 rooms on the market. Some of the major operators for which the firm is going to work include groups such as Accor, Iberostar, Hotusa, Vincci and B&B.

The development of the assets will be undertaken through both the renovation of buildings, as well as the construction of new build properties. The first project in Valencia and one of the projects in Lisbon involve the complete renovation of two properties. In addition, during this first phase, the company has pre-agreements to develop hotels in Madrid, Valencia, Alicante, Sevilla, Málaga, Bilbao and Donostia.

Xpandia is not planning to accumulate assets itself. “We will not hold onto the assets, instead we will sell them to investors who will operate them after we complete the building work”, explains Picallo, adding that “in some cases, we will hand over the hotels completely decorated and furnished”. The only hotel that the new company will own is a property in Lisbon, currently owned by Cerquia, which will be transferred from one portfolio to another. Despite the obvious synergies between the group and the property developer, “this is a project that will operate outside of Cerquia”, said its CEO.

The property developer will work on all stages of the projects from the location and selection of the properties to the drafting of the technical plans and the organisation of the construction work. Location wise, the properties will always “be in cities, primarily in central areas, to respond to the tourist interest that operators demand”, says Picallo. The property developer will study 100 potential projects per year.

The company is not going to work in Barcelona for the time being. Although the Catalan capital is the most touristic city in Spain, the property developer considers that “there is too much uncertainty around obtaining hotel licences in the city” (…).

During this first phase, the hotel operators that Xpandia is working with are expected to invest around €30 million. The hotels that the company is going to develop will be 3- and 4-star properties.

The group driving the project, Cerquia, is a company dedicated to the management and operation of its own real estate assets. The company, created in 2006, has offices, hotels and homes for rent in a portfolio that spans a surface area of approximately 20,000 m2 in the office sector alone across the Iberian Peninsula.

The firm’s clients include companies such as Banco Santander, Uria Menéndez, Garrigues, Catalana Occidente, Hoteles Vincci,  Bausch & Lomb, Intermoney, Worx, Lycamobile and Shine Ibérica, amongst others. For 2018, the group’s roadmap is to maintain its activity and continue with the progress of its three residential developments.

Original story: Eje Prime (by Jabier Izquierdo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Madrilenian Investor Group Buys Hotel Las Vegas In Málaga

17 November 2017 – Diario Sur

A Madrilenian investment group has acquired Hotel Las Vegas, in the centre of Málaga, which has been operating for more than half a century. The new owners, who want to remain anonymous, have signed an agreement with the Malagan chain Soho Boutique Hotels, founded by Antonio Gordillo and Gonzalo Armenteros de Dalmases, to operate this hotel facility for a period of 30 years. Although the amount paid for the purchase operation has not been disclosed, Gordilla did reveal the future plans for the establishment: Soho Boutique Hotels is going to invest around €2 million immediately in the complete renovation of the facilities, located right on the beachfront and with 107 rooms.

With the management of this hotel, the Malagan group is now the chain with the most hotel establishments in the capital, given that it already operates the Itaca Málaga, Soho Bahía Málaga, which will see its category rise to a four-star property at the beginning of next year, following a €500,000 investment, Soho Los Naranjos, Soho Boutique Málaga and now Soho Las Vegas, encompassing 270 rooms in the city in total.

Antonio Gordillo, partner and director general of the chain, wanted to send a message of calm to the workforce and assure the thirty employees that they are guaranteed the same conditions they have enjoyed until now. “We are a young chain, we started out in 2010, and one of our maxims is that our employees represent one of the company’s greatest assets. We place a lot of emphasis on ensuring our staff are happy and motivated”, he said.

In terms of the new activity for Soho Las Vegas, Gordillo said that all of the furniture, beds and televisions, amongst other items, will be replaced immediately, to adapt them to the needs of guests and the quality standards of the group. In the second phase, they are planning more comprehensive work such as the renovation of bathrooms and the launch of new services. “We are really surprised by how well the facilities have been maintained”, he said.

Soho Hoteles does not rule out incorporating more establishments in the city. The chain is in full swing with its expansion process, with new projects in Madrid and Cádiz. It already has establishments in Sevilla, Córdoba, Jerez, Granada, Fuengirola, Cáceres and Salamanca, taking its total portfolio to fifteen, including the properties in Málaga. “The company’s turnover amounts to €16 million, and in 2018 we expect to double that figure thanks to the new additions, including Soho Las Vegas”, he said, adding that the key to the chain’s success is that all of its establishments are located in the city centre. As such, they register an average annual occupancy rate of 82% and a revenue per available room (RevPar) of €82.

Original story: Diario Sur (by Pilar Martínez)

Translation: Carmel Drake