Christie & Co: Hotel Investment Amounted to €4.9bn in Spain in 2018

13 February 2019 – Press Release

According to data available to Christie & Co, total hotel investment in Spain in 2018 amounted to €4,860 million, across a total of 223 transactions (surpassing the 185 transactions registered in 2017). That represents an average price per room of €128,000 and an increase of 24.6% in the total investment volume versus 2017, positioning Spain in second place after the United Kingdom (where investment amounted to £6,500 million), but ahead of Germany for the first time (where €4,000 million was invested).

In terms of investor profile, the report highlights the importance of investment firms as the largest source of capital in 2018, representing 53% of the total investment, with more than €2,560 million (up from 42% in 2017). Hotel companies, with 24% of the total investment figure (vs. 20% in 2017) are in second place, and REIT companies are in third place once again with 15% (vs. 16% in 2017). Furthermore, regarding origin, it is worth noting that investment from domestic players decreased in comparison to the previous year (35% in 2018 vs. 51% in 2017), to be replaced by an increase in US investors (40% in 2018 vs 23% in 2017) and the entrance of new investors from Thailand (8%) and México (4%).

The report also emphasizes how the estimated investment figure was greatly increased by portfolio transactions and significant assets, which represented more than 60% of the investment volume across the whole country. Blackstone, which was the main player in 2017 with the purchase of the HI Partners portfolio (€630 million) was again a protagonist in 2018 with the purchase of 48 hotels from the Hispania REIT portfolio, for €1,900 million.

Likewise, transactions such as the purchase of the Atom Hoteles portfolio, the joining of the Chinese group Gaw Capital and the increase in the stake of Omega Capital in the Hospes hotel chain, the 9 urban hotels in the Silken portfolio acquired by CBRE Global Investment Partners and Pygmalion Capital Advisers LLP, the takeover of NH Hotel Group by Minor International, and the purchase of Hotel Villa Magna by the Mexican REIT RLH Properties for €210m (with a record price per room of €1.4 million) caused the total volume transacted in Spain in 2018 to once again beat all the established standards (…).

Finally, the analysis shows how almost 93% of the transactions carried out in 2018 (vs. 90% in 2017) were concentrated in the same six Spanish regions as in the previous year: the Canary Islands (29.6%), the Balearic Islands (21%), Andalucía (16.5%), the Community of Madrid (12.9%), Cataluña (6.8%) and the Community of Valencia (6.3%). Regarding the average price per room per region, the Canary Islands led the ranking in the resort market, with €140,000 per room, while the Community of Madrid led in the case of urban destinations with an average price of over €200,000 per room.

Original story: Press Release

Translation: Carmel Drake

Mexican Millionaire Sanginés-Krause Acquires Hotel Villa Magna in Madrid for €210M

20 November 2018 – El Confidencial

The finishing touches still need to be agreed but the parties have already shaken hands. The Mexican millionaire Allen Sanginés-Krause has just surprised the Spanish hotel sector by signing the purchase of the luxury hotel Villa Magna for a whopping €210 million, according to confirmation from sources familiar with the transaction. In reality, the vehicle that is finalising the acquisition is the Mexican Socimi specialising in Caribbean resorts, RLH Properties, of which the banker is President and a major shareholder.

Hotel Villa Magna was put up for sale in hurry just a few months ago, after its current owners, the Turkish emporium owned by the Sahenk family, was forced to divest several of its real estate assets around the world to complete the refinancing of its holding company, which was affected by the collapse of the Turkish lira. The process, which has been entrusted to JLL, has progressed in the fast lane, with several other Latin American magnates invited to bid.

Although the final completion of the deal is pending several details, the price exceeds all expectations. RLH Properties is going to acquire Villa Magna at a ratio of €1.4 million per room (the hotel has 150), a figure never achieved before in the Spanish market, according to hotel experts. The profitability of an investment such as this is beyond the magnitude that the real estate funds manage, taking into account that there are five-star hotels available in Madrid from €300 per room.

The buyer has thrown the chequebook to acquire this trophy property. Besides money, it has experience as a manager of hotel assets for luxury brands such as Four Seasons, Rosewood and Fairmont. In fact, it completed one of its closest acquisitions with OHL, from which it purchased its Mayakoba Caribbean complex (a resort with a golf course in the Riviera Maya) in two phases (between 2016-2018), for which it paid €470 million in total.

Sanginés-Krause’s relationship with the Spanish world transcends the sphere of business. His name was in the news a few months ago after it was revealed that he had hosted King Juan Carlos at his castle in Ireland. That private visit came to the attention of the press and it was discovered that the monarch was accompanied during his stay by his Mallorcan friend Marta Gayá. The meeting shows the degree of confidence that the emeritus has with the Mexican banker (former of Goldman Sachs and now head of BK Partners).

If this investment goes ahead, the list of Mexican companies taking roots in Spain will continue to grow. The second-to-last major operation saw the acquisition of Grupo VIPS by the restaurant holding company Alsea, which paid almost €500 million to acquire the company founded by Plácido Arango and his family. And based on the rate of purchases, it will not be the last big deal to star money proceeding from Mexico.

Original story: El Confidencial (by Carlos Hernanz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hyatt Wants To Grow In Spain & Places Its Focus On Madrid & Barcelona

24 October 2017 – Expansión

All of the stars are aligned for Hyatt’s return to Madrid. After almost a decade away, the US chain will return to the capital at the end of the year, with what will be its second hotel in the country, following the opening of Park Hyatt Mallorca in June 2016. What’s more, it is looking for new opportunities to strengthen its presence in the country, according to Gonzalo Maggi, Director General of Hyatt Centric Gran Vía Madrid.

For its debut in the capital, the luxury hotel group has chosen the building at number 31 on Madrid’s iconic Gran Vía. The building is owned by the Mexican family group Exacorp, and used to house the legendary Zahara coffee shop and the famous lottery office of Doña Manolita.

“Hyatt wants to continue investing in Spain. We do not have any specific projects under consideration at the moment, but we are looking for opportunities to continue growing in the country”, said Maggi, who mentions Madrid and Barcelona as the places where the group is placing its focus when it comes to strengthening its presence.

At the end of July, the multi-national owned 731 hotels around the world, and it has opened one hundred establishments in the last year alone.

In terms of Madrid, the chain, which managed Hotel Villa Magna for almost two decades until 2008, has this market on its radar. “We think that it is a very important city in Europe. Since we left Madrid, we have been trying to return, but we weren’t able to find any project that was worth it until now”, he said.

“Hyatt has 13 brands and we are considering which ones fit with this market. In addition to Centric, the Regency brand could suit the city”, he added.

With its arrival on Gran Vía, Hyatt will be the first in a long line of international luxury chains, such as Four Seasons and the Aloft and W brands – from Starwood – , that are going to arrive in the centre of Madrid over the next few years: “One of the advantages we have over the competition is that we are going to be one of the first to arrive on Gran Via in the five star segment. Our product will be distinctive all by itself. It will serve as a starting point for visitors to explore the city and as an icon for leisure in the local market”.

Timetable

The Hyatt Centric Gran Vía, with 159 rooms, will open its doors in December and will have 88 employees. The establishment will have a rooftop terrace, which will be inaugurated a few months later, probably in the spring of 2018.

The owner of the building, which used to be leased as office space, spent €30 million renovating the asset, which Hyatt wants to turn into a flagship property for its Centric brand in Europe. The hotel’s features will include a vermouth bar, Ondas, with a design that imitates that of a music studio, and an Ice and Coal restaurant, with a local gastronomic offering.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Irea: Madrid Led Ranking For Hotel Investment In 2016 (€445M)

2 October 2017 – El Boletin

The strong outlook for tourism in Madrid is continuing to attract interest from investors, as shown by the fact that the Spanish capital was the largest focus for hotel investment in 2016, with a total volume of €445.3 million, according to the report “Five Keys Madrid vs Barcelona 2016 – 2017”, published by Irea.

Last year, Madrid recorded 13 transactions in total, the most notable of which involved the sale of Hotel Villa Magna to the Dogus Group. During the first half of 2017, the city of Madrid registered 6 hotel transactions, whereby doubling the number recorded in 2016, with a total volume of €312.9 million. By far the most significant operation in H1 2017 was the purchase of Edificio España by Riu Hotels, which is going to convert the property into a 650-room hotel in the heart of Madrid.

Meanwhile, Barcelona was relegated to third place in the hotel investment ranking in 2016, behind Madrid and the Canary Islands, but ahead of the Balearic Islands, with a hotel investment volume of €214.6 million. Six hotels were sold in the Catalan capital, containing 1,028 rooms in total.

Nevertheless, that investment figure represented a decrease of 38.8% with respect to the maximum reached in 2015, explained in large part by the price rise effect resulting from the hotel moratorium approved by the city’s Town Hall. The first half of 2017 was very active in terms of hotel transactions, with the sale of five hotels and a total investment of €230.2 million. The main transactions involved the purchase of 55% of Hilton Diagonal by AXA REIM (for a price per room of more than €300,000) and the acquisition of Silken Diagonal by Benson Elliot and Highgate.

Demand

Madrid also led the domestic ranking for the number of travellers last year and came second (after Barcelona) in terms of the number of overnight stays, with 9.0 million and 18.1 million, respectively. For another year, the Catalan capital was the leading destination in terms of overnight stays in 2016 (19.6 million); it received 7.5 million travellers, which represents an average stay of 2.6 days (vs. 2 days in Madrid).

The report highlights that in both markets, the behaviour of international demand has been excellent and it notes the growth of 10.2% in the case of Madrid during the first half of 2017, confirming the upwards trend driven by overseas tourists (…).

Supply

In terms of the hotel supply, Madrid recorded a total of 68,790 beds in the highest category (an almost identical figure to that of Barcelona) (…), with 5-star establishments accounting for 15% of the city’s hotel beds in 2016.

Although the statistical data do not reflect it yet, the recovery in the construction of new hotels in the capital is already evident – according to the report – and will be noted in the data for the coming years, given that short-medium term forecasts for Madrid indicate that more than 4,400 new hotel beds are going to available soon, led by major hotel chains and international investment funds, who are backing the city, given the strong outlook for its tourism sector (…).

Key indicators

The positive trend that Madrid has recorded in terms of demand, together with the stable evolution of its hotel supply, has led to the growth of operating results in recent years. The Spanish capital recorded an average RevPAR of €63.30 in 2016, up by 6.1% compared to 2015 and up by 32% compared to the minimum level recorded in 2013 (…).

Meanwhile, the profitability indicators for the hotel sector in Barcelona have also grown significantly in recent years. Revenue per available room experienced average annual growth of 2.3% during the period 2008-2016 (…). In 2016, RevPAR in Barcelona amounted to €95.90 (…) up by 5.2% compared to 2015.

Original story: El Boletin (by E. B.)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Iberdrola Puts Hilton Diagonal Mar Hotel Up For Sale

21 March 2017 – Expansión

Iberdrola has hung the “for sale” sign up over the jewel in the crown of its real estate subsidiary: the building that houses the Hotel Hilton Diagonal Mar, a four-star property located at the intersection of Calles García Faria and Taulet, in the Barcelona neighbourhood of Diagonal Mar.

The company has contracted the real estate consultancy firm Irea to sell the asset, which has an asking price of more than €150 million, according to market sources.

These sources also indicate that the process will be restricted and that they will look to attract four or five candidates interested in acquiring the asset.

The building that houses the Hilton Diagonal Mar is the largest asset in the real estate subsidiary’s current portfolio, behind Torre Iberdrola in Bilbao, which is the corporate headquarters of the multinational company and is therefore strategic for the energy group and not susceptible to being sold.

Iberdrola’s real estate subsidiary has different types of assets in its portfolio, ranging from primary homes and tourist apartments, to offices, industrial warehouses and shopping centres. Currently, Iberdrola Inmobiliaria has a portfolio of real estate assets under management with a combined gross leasable area of more than 200,000 m2.

In Barcelona, the company owns the office buildings Torre Auditori and Torre Marina (in the final phases of construction).

The hotel now up for sale, work of the architect Oscar Tusquets and opened in 2005, was developed by the real estate subsidiary of Iberdrola.

Agreement with Hilton

Just before the construction work was completed, the company reached an agreement with Hilton whereby the hotel chain would take charge of the operation of the establishment for 20 years.

The Hilton Diagonal Mar has almost 420 rooms and around 20 suites, as well as multi-functional meeting rooms and a ballroom with capacity for 1,000 people. The building, which is oriented towards corporate events and conferences, is located opposite the Diagonal Mar shopping centre, a stone’s throw away from Barcelona’s International Convention Centre (CCIB) and 18 km from the airport.

Real estate investment in hotel assets returned to record figures in 2016. In this way, almost a quarter of all investment in commercial assets was linked to hotel assets.

Specifically, last year saw investment volumes of €2,200 million, the second highest amount ever recorded, thanks to a boost from some significant transactions, such as the sale of Merlin’s hotel portfolio – comprising 19 hotels and 3,645 rooms – to Foncière des Murs for €535 million. Likewise, last year, the Hotel Villa Magna was sold to the Turkish group Dogus for €180 million, in what is still the highest grossing operation to date in terms of price per room (€1.2 million), ahead of the almost €800,000 per room that was paid for the Hotel Ritz in 2015. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo and M. Á. Patiño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Irea: Hotel Inv’t Amounted To €1,363M In YTD Sept 2016

17 October 2016 – Europa Press

Hotel investment in Spain has continued its strong momentum during the first nine months of 2016 to reach €1,363 million, according to a report about hotel investment in the real estate sector prepared by Irea. The report also shows that the figure could rise to €1,800 million by the end of the year. Despite the fact that the investment figure is 16% lower than the level recorded during the same period last year, it is the second best year ever.

Investor interest in hotel assets is still very high and if some of the main operations that are currently on the market are actually closed as a result of the year-end effect then the figure could end up exceeding €1,800 million by the end of 2016. The profile of investors has changed considerably with respect to 2015, when the Socimis (primarily Hispania and Merlin) were the stars and investment involving asset portfolios accounted for half of the total investment volume.

In 2016, operations involving individual assets are clearly dominating the market and are spreading in a general way across the whole country, versus the trend in recent years when there was a higher concentration of investment in traditional destinations.

The increase in the number of hotels sold to date in 2016 has been noteworthy (97 hotels compared to 83 last year), however, the average size per number of rooms has decreased significantly to 142 rooms from 214.

Madrid leads investment with €310 million.

In geographical distribution terms, Madrid leads the investment table for the second year in a row, with €310 million, followed by Barcelona with €302 million (the two regional capital cities account for 45% of total investment). The Balearic and Canary Islands are ranked in third and fourth places with €206 million and €198 million, respectively.

Whilst the figures in the Balearic Islands have remained stable compared to 2015, they have decreased in the Canary Islands after the high volume of investment seen in 2015, when it was the main investment destination in Spain.

Finally, there has been a notable increase in contributions to total investment from secondary destinations. In 2016, hotel investment has been distributed amongst 68 municipalities so far, compared with 44 in 2015 and 25 in 2014, which shows that the hotel investment market is establishing itself in Spain.

Investment is now reaching regional capitals such as Gijón, Oviedo, Orense, Lugo, Granada and Alicante, for example, i.e. places where barely any activity had been recorded in recent years.

The Socimis decrease their level of investment

The profile of investors has also changed markedly since 2015, when the Socimis were the undisputed stars, accounting for almost 50% of total investment volume in the hotel market in Spain.

This year, the Socimis have faded into the background, accounting for approximately €85 million of investment (only 6.2% of total hotel investment), whilst other types of investors have grown.

International investors have invested €585 million to date, almost twice as much as they spent in 2015, led by the Dogus Group, which purchased the Hotel Villa Magna in Madrid and Westmont Hospitality, which acquired a majority stake in Torre Agbar in Barcelona.

In terms of national chains, they invested €276 million in total on the purchase of 32 hotels. Highlights included Hotusa, which was the most active group, purchasing five properties during the first nine months of the year.

Meanwhile, domestic investors spent €304 million on hotels in total. The star of that category was HI Partners, which has acquired seven hotels so far this year, primarily in the vacation segment.

Original story: Europa Press

Translation: Carmel Drake

JLL: Hotel Inv’t Amounted To €1,030M In First 7M 2016

3 August 2016 – Expansión

(…). Hotel investment in Spain amounted to €1,030 million during the 7 months to July 2016, which represents a 41% decrease compared with the same period last year. Nevertheless, it also represents the second highest figure recorded since 2007, according to a report prepared by JLL.

Specifically, as at 31 July this year, 81 (hotel) assets had been sold, for a combined investment volume of €1,030 million through 68 operations, compared with 92 assets sold as at July last year, with a combined investment volume of €1,752 million through 55 operations.

The most noteworthy operations so far this year have featured: Hotel Villa Magna, which was acquired by the Turkish group Dogus for an estimated €180 million; and Hotel Pullman Barcelona Skipper, which was purchased by the Saudí Royal Family for €90 million.

Excluding those two operations, Spanish investors accounted for 80% of the total volume invested in Spain.

In this vein, the most active investors in the hotel market have been the investment fund HI Partners (a subsidiary of Sabadell) and Hispania, which have completed transactions amounting to €110 million and €71 million, respectively.

Meanwhile, on the sell side, hotel groups have accounted for 41% of all hotel assets sold, followed by real estate companies (26%) and private investors (13%).

For Manuel Climent, Vice-President of JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group, the decrease in investment this year reflects, in part, the lower number of hotel portfolio transactions sold this year, after they soared in Spain in 2015.

Specifically, last year, up to eleven portfolios were sold, containing 74 hotels in total, for a combined investment volume of €1,450 million. So far this year, seven portfolios have been sold, containing 21 hotels and a combined investment of €174 million.

Climent forecasts that activity will intensify in terms of hotel portfolio transactions during the second half of the year, with HI Partners and Hispania leading the way.

For Climent, the moratorium in Barcelona has caused lots of investors who had purchased assets with a view to converting them into hotels, to become more cautious again. By contrast, some owners have put their hotel assets up for sale as they think that now is a good time to sell, given the lack of supply, which is raising prices in a space that is still very attractive for tourism.

The Vice-President of JLL Hotels & Hospitality Group considers that, although some important transactions are expected to be closed before year end, total investment volumes will fall below last year’s record of €2,740 million.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

CBRE: RE Inv’t Amounted To €2,100M In Q1 2016

4 April 2016 – Expansión

After a record year in 2015, real estate investment in Spain has recorded its second best start to the year since 2008.

Real estate investment in Spain amounted to €2,100 million during the first quarter of 2016, which represents the second best start to the year since the start of the crisis in 2008, and exceeded only by 2015, when activity was “exceptionally” high and investment volumes exceeded €3,000 million, according to conclusions from preliminary data published by CBRE.

Of the total investment, 78% came from international investors, which confirms that Spain is continuing to generate interest as a destination for overseas investors, according to sources at the consultancy firm.

By sector, retail and residential led the ranking, with total investments of €750 million and €645 million, respectively. CBRE highlights major operations such as the purchase of the Festival Park shopping centre in Mallorca for €100 million, and the acquisition of a portfolio of supermarkets by Invesco for €350 million.

And in the residential segment, the operation involving Blackstone’s purchase of a portfolio of 4,500 homes from Banco Sabadell for €450 million alone exceeded investment in this business segment in 2015. Other highlights included the acquisition of assets for conversion into homes, such as the former headquarters of the news agency Efe, on the Madrilenian street of Calle Espronceda and the building located on the corner of Gran Vía and Balmes in Barcelona.

In total, €365 million was invested in the hotel segment, with the purchase of Hotel Villa Magna in Madrid for €180 million representing the most significant transaction. The logistics segment also performed well with investment of €142 million, which represents an increase of 39%. The most significant transaction was Neinver’s purchase of a portfolio comprising 23 assets for €87 million.

By contrast, investment in offices declined by 70% during the period, to €178 million, due to the scarcity of available products in the segment.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BBVA’s Turkish Partner Buys Hotel Villa Magna For €180M

6 March 2016 – Expansión

Another transaction has been closed in the five-star hotel sector in Madrid. Following the sales of the InterContinental and the Ritz, now Hotel Villa Magna is changing hands. Sodim, the Holding company owned by the Portuguese family Queiroz Pereira, has sold the hotel to the Turkish group Dogus, who will pay €180 million.

Sodim, which has been advised by JLL, has completed the operation that it launched at the beginning of 2015 and which it almost closed half way through last year with the Colombian investor Jaime Gilinksi as the buyer. In the end, the deal with Sabadell’s largest shareholder was suspended because of financing problems, which forced Sodim to make contact with other interested investors and delay the transaction close.

Price

The price agreed by Dogus is slightly lower than the amount agreed with Gilinski – €190 million – but it represents the minimum amount that Sodim set when it launched the process. The Portuguese Holding company paid the Japanese firm Shirayama €80 million for the property in 2001. Years later, Sodim closed the hotel, which is located on the Paseo de la Castellana, to modernise the facilities, involving expenditure of around €50 million. The construction work did not alter the building’s distinctive pink granite façade, but it did reduce the number of rooms down from 182 to 150, as well as increase the number of suites from 18 to 50. In 2009, when the hotel was reopened, Sodim decided to take over the management of the hotel, as it had already done with the Ritz in Lisbon, and it dispensed with Hyatt, which had operated the property for almost two decades.

Brand

Despite the change of ownership, the operating structure may be maintained, given that, according to market sources, the intention of Dogus is to operate the hotel by itself, without involving any international brands, which would somewhat ruin the intentions of Marriott and Starwood, who were negotiating with Gilinksi to take over the management of the hotel.

Dogus is a giant that comprises more than 250 companies and employs 50,000 people. It is BBVA’s partner in Garanti bank. The group, controlled by the Sahenk family, sold a 15% stake in Garanti to the bank led by Francisco González in July 2015 for €1,854 million, which increased BBVA’s shareholding to 39.9% and turned it into Garanti’s largest shareholder.

Founded in 1951, Dogus has interests in the financial, automobile, energy, real estate and tourism sectors, amongst others. The group, which is listed on the Istanbul stock exchange, imports and distributes vehicles from brands such as Volkswagen, Seat and Audi, amongst others. Around 74% of its revenues are generated by the automobile sector.

In 2014, Dogus recorded revenues of €3,231 million. Its tourism division comprises a travel agency and eight luxury hotels – five of which it owns. Some, such as the Park Hyatt and the Grand Hyatt in Instanbul are managed by an international brand. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Y. Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Starwood, Owner Of Spain’s Top Hotels, Is Up For Sale

2 November 2015 – Expansión

Whatever is decided in Stamford (USA), where Starwood Hotels & Resorts has its headquarters, will have a knock-on effect on some of Spain’s top hotels. The world’s eighth largest hotel group is up for sale and whoever acquires it will enter the Spanish market in style.

Starwood Hotels & Resorts is not the largest hotel chain in Spain. Its 17 properties are a far cry from the 164 owned by Meliá, the 141 owned by NH and the 93 owned by Accord, the overseas company with the most hotels in the country. Nevertheless, Starwood’s portfolio is special because it contains historical hotels such as the Palace in Madrid, the María Cristina in San Sebastián and the Alfonso XIII in Sevilla (pictured above), as well as individual assets such as the W Barcelona, also known as Hotel Vela, and 43 rooms at the complex designed by the architect Frank Gehry in the Marqués de Riscal winery.

None of the properties are actually owned by Starwood and therein lies much of their value: since the group does not own any of these real estate assets, it does not run any of their significant risks. “Starwood has a very valuable hotel portfolio in a complicated market for international brands that work with management contracts; until now, this has made it more difficult for these brands to enter Spain, where the owners of properties prefer a rental contract”, says Miguel Vázquez, Managing Partner of Irea Hotels.

Starwood only operates three of its 17 hotels in Spain under a lease contract – W Barcelona, María Cristina y Alfonso XIII -. The rest are management and franchise contracts. This is the model used by other foreign hotel giants, such as Hyatt, one Starwood’s potential suitors. The US firm was left without any presence in Spain when the Queiroz Pereira family decided to take over the management of the Hotel Villa Magna after it was re-opened in 2009. Since then, and especially following the announcement that the Four Seasons and Mandarin will soon be operating in the Canalejas complex and at the Ritz in Madrid, Hyatt, Hilton and Marriott have shown a great deal of interest in Spain.

Several Asian candidates are also in the running to take over Starwood. They include the sovereign fund China Investment Corporation, the local chain Jin Jiang and the airline Hainan, owned by HNA.

Two of the three already have links with Spain. Jin Jiang is one of Melía’s partners in China and, after purchasing Louvre Hotels in 2014, it has a dozen lower-cost establishments in Spain. HNA’s links are even greater still: it is the largest shareholder of NH – with a 29.5% stake -, it renders support services to 11 airports after it acquired Swissport and it is negotiating the purchase of a stake in the tourism group Globalia.

Luxurious – all but one of Starwood’s hotels are five-star establishments –, well-located and well-maintained. The group invested €20 million in Hotel Alfonso XIII, which is owned by the Sevilla Town Hall, between 2011 and 2012; it spent the same on the refurbishment of María Cristina. Others, such as the Marqués de Riscal Hotel and the Hotel Vela, are not even ten years old yet.

Original story: Expansión (by Yovanna Blanco)

Translation: Carmel Drake