Iberostar will Add 1,500 Rooms to its Portfolio in 2019

24 January 2019 – Expansión

Grupo Iberostar is continuing with its expansion plans and intends to add seven new hotels to its portfolio this year, containing 1,500 rooms in five countries. The new establishments will open in Palma de Mallorca and Madrid, in Spain; in Monastir and Sousse, in Tunisia, where the Spanish hotel chain already has a presence; as well as in Istanbul (Turkey), Rome (Italy) and Lagos (Portugal), where the group will make its debut.

The company, which opened 13 establishments last year, explained that 2019 is going to be “key” for the consolidation of the projects it has underway in Los Cabos and Litibú (Mexico) and for others, which are more advanced, in destinations such as Montenegro, Aruba, Albania and Cuba.

The chain, which is owned by the Fluxá family, owned 96 hotels around the world containing 31,720 rooms at the end of 2018. In Spain, the company owned 35 hotels and 9,888 rooms at the end of last year.

In terms of operational data, Iberostar closed 2018 with revenues of €2.659 billion, which represented an increase of 9% YoY, and it created around 4,000 jobs (…).

Original story: Expansión (by R.A.)

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

The Ruggieri Family Acquires a Hotel in Mallorca for €70M

5 December 2017 – Eje Prime

The Ruggieri family is continuing to back Spain. A month after announcing the stock market debut of its Socimi Elaia Investment Spain (EIS), which has been trading on the Alternative Investment Market (MAB) since 2 November, the French family has acquired a hotel in Mallorca for €70 million. The operation has been carried out through Lagune, an investment vehicle specialising in tourist and healthcare real estate assets, which is owned by the clan’s holding company, Grupo Batipart.

The hotel, located in the Mallorcan area of Cala Romántica, has 267 rooms and will be operated by the chain Iberostar. The intention of Lagune is to completely remodel the establishment to increase its category rating and turn it into a four-star property.

The establishment is the first that the investment vehicle has acquired in the hotel sector in Spain, although it already owns 16 healthcare residencies in the country. It purchased those properties at the beginning of this year and entrusts their management to the nursing home firm DomusVi.

Currently, the Ruggieri family controls other assets in Spain, through EIS (in which it holds a 66% stake) in Madrid, Barcelona, the Costa del Sol, Mallorca and the Costa Brava. In Europe, the family office owns a real estate portfolio worth around €1 billion, located in France, Italy, Germany and Spain.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hotel Chains Invest €2.5 Billion to Reposition Their Portfolios

23 August 2017

Meliá, Barceló, RIU, NH, Palladium and Iberostar redouble their investments to reach new markets, reinforce the presence of their premium brands and raise prices.

The hotel chains are taking advantage of the boom in tourism and profits from recent years to invest in upgrading their assets. The Spanish groups have launched investments of about 2.5 billion euros in recent years and are planning to increase them further to reposition their asset portfolios, boosting their premium segment to attract clients willing to spend more on better accommodations.

With these measures, the hotel groups are seeking to boost profitability and enhance operational efficiency by focusing more on prices than on occupancy, where they have little room for growth. In addition, companies are looking to enter new markets, diversifying risks should the current cycle change.

One of the most active in the repositioning of its assets has been Meliá Hotels. The company allocated 260 million euros last year to the maintenance and refurbishment of its establishments around the world. The firm has emphasized the improvement of its hotel portfolio in Spain. Specifically, in the last five years, it has invested €500 million with its partners to upgrade its Spanish hotels, of which more than €200 million have gone to Magaluf (Mallorca).

For its part, RIU invested $500 million dollars last year in the purchase, construction and renovation of hotels and plans to allocate more than $400 million in 2017 for the complete renovation of six hotels and further openings. In recent years, the chain has renovated 13 hotels with a cumulative investment of $200 million projects in Spain alone.


With regards to new openings, the RIU hotel group plans to open its first hotel in Madrid in 2019. The company chose the Edificio España for its arrival in the Spanish capital, where it will invest between €380 million and €400 million, including the price paid to Baraka for the purchase of the asset last June.

Iberostar is another of the hotel groups that has launched an investment program to open new hotels and update some of the establishments in its portfolio. In 2016, it opened hotels in new areas such as the United States and Ibiza. In addition, as part of its policy of reinvesting profits, in 2016 it dedicated more than €90 million to the hotel renovations and plans to allocate more than 300 million euros in partial and total renovations by 2018.

For its part, Palladium has opted to grow in the Caribbean and reposition its presence in the Spanish islands. The hotel group belong to the Matutes family last year allocated 80 million euros to Hard Rock Tenerife and will invest 450 million euros up to 2018 to reposition two hotels in Ibiza, remodel and expand its hotels in Rivera Maya and the open two establishments in Costa Mujeres and another in Cancun, all in Mexico.

Within the framework of its strategic plan, NH invested 200 million euros in the renewal of assets between 2014 and 2016. Investments in Spain accounted for 42% of this figure. As a result of the strategic plan, at the beginning of 2017, one of every five of the group’s rooms belongs to the chain’s premium brands NH Collection and nhow.

Similarly, Barceló has launched a new set of brands and destined an average of 100 million euros per year to reposition its product portfolio.

The Piñero Group’s strategic plan is to upgrade their existing hotels and pursue a consolidation in its main markets through the opening of new establishments. To this end, the chain has invested €50 million in the construction of a new five-star luxury hotel in the municipality of San Miguel de Abona.

Original Story: Expansión – Rebeca Arroyo

Translation: Richard Turner

Spanish Hoteliers’ Profitability Shoots Up Due to Tourist Boom


The increase in demand, coupled with an updated hotel portfolio, has led to record occupancies and has allowed large groups increase prices by double digits.

Tourism in Spain has continued its vertiginous climb of the last five years and, after beating a new record with 75.6 million international visitors in 2016, forecasts indicate that this year there could be a return to record highs with the arrival of 84 million foreign tourists, which would make the country the world leader in the sector, surpassing France.

Among the big beneficiaries of the tourist boom are the large Spanish hotel groups, which anticipate an excellent summer season and expect an increase in their revenues, thanks to high demand and a double-digit increase in prices, brought about by high occupancy rates and the modernization of hotel portfolios. Large chains have thus been able to reach prices and occupation rates last seen in 2007, and, in some cases, profitability has also reached pre-crisis levels.

Specifically, Meliá, the top Spanish hotel chain by number of rooms, which has focused on improving room rates to increase occupancy, and maximizing operating efficiency in newly repositioned hotels, is predicting a strong third quarter. The hotel group owned by the Escarrer family achieved a 15.7% increase in average revenue per room available (RevPar) in hotels in Spain up to June and plans to conclude the current tourist season with a RevPar higher than the previous year in all areas.

Holiday Rentals

Meliá points out that the best performing area is the Canary Islands, where it is registering the most significant increase in prices, and the peninsular coast. The most important market for the chain is still the British, which saw growth of 8%. By contrast, the German, Italian and Spanish market figures are below the previous year.

Regarding the Balearic Islands, although occupancy rates continue to improve, high season prices hide a decline due to the early sales in the British market and the fall in German and Russian visitors, due to the recovery of Turkey, the main competitor in last-minute bookings. Likewise, the demand for short-term private holiday homes is significantly damaging sales of regulated tourist accommodations in the Balearic Islands, Meliá says.

The Barceló hotel group anticipates occupancy rates of 94% in the Balearic Islands and of more than 90% in the Canary Islands, as well as an improvement in prices of 11% and 9%, respectively. In Andalusia, the group estimates that price increases will exceed 10%, with occupancy rates at 90% in August.

Regarding the main European markets, the United Kingdom is still the number one in the Balearic Islands, with growth of 5% over the previous year, followed by Germany, with a 6% increase, Italy (+8%) and France (+5%). Meanwhile, domestic market demand in this destination has grown 12% over the previous year and is expected to grow even more, since it is a market that does not book rooms so far in advance. Spanish tourists are also the main engine of growth for the Barceló Group in Andalusia.

The company already achieved record EBITDA and recurring net profit last year.

In the case of the Palladium hotel group, the chain has increased prices in Ibiza by 4% on average, although growth is higher in some areas such as San Antonio and Santa Eulalia, with increases of 8% and 6%, respectively. The best markets remain the British and German, accounting for 37% and 17%.

This will be the Matutes family’s first summer in the Canary Islands, since the opening of the Hard Rock Hotel of Tenerife in October. The company notes that bookings are performing very positively.

For its part, RIU Hotel & Resorts anticipates high occupancy in July and August, as well as an extended tourist season. RIU points out that, although the summer is off season in the Canary Islands, in recent years the occupancy has remained high throughout the year. In addition, it has renovated its hotel portfolio on the Costa del Sol which, together with the popularity of the destination, is positively impacting demand.

RIU is estimating an improvement of between 5% and 7% in average room rates. The firm underlines the positive performance of the German market, the increase in Scandinavian and British visitors, as well as the rebound in bookings by Spanish nationals, up 5%.


The Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands are Iberostar’s top destinations, where returns have been the highest compared to the peninsular coast, which is more dependent on the Spanish market. Together, the Fluxá family’s chain anticipates an increase in RevPar of 10% thanks to increased prices resulting from high demand and to investments made to reform and modernize its establishments.

Iberostar emphasised the strength of the British market and the Benelux area, while detecting a downward trend in the German and Spanish markets. Iberostar believes that domestic demand has not yet fully recovered. The hotel group believes that the cut in the duration of the stays during the traditional high season is still a reality in the case of the Spanish market. In addition, it considers that price increases have affected demand from families, while other segments such as couples or single adults have only continued to rise.

Grupo Piñero, with a presence in Tenerife and Mallorca, expects to reach average occupancy rates of 94% and 84% and a RevPar increase of 7% and 13%, respectively.

Regarding demand, Grupo Piñero anticipates a rebound in German and Polish visitors, and a recovery of the Russian market in Mallorca. In Tenerife, the demand by the British – the ones that contribute the most to sales – has registered a slight decrease, compensated by improved performance in other markets.

Original Story: ProOrbyt Expansion – Rebeca Arroyo

Translation: Richard Turner

Optimism Abounds Amongst Spain’s Hotel Chains

10 April 2017 – Expansión

Meliá, Barceló, RIU and other groups are hanging the “No vacancy” sign up in top destinations and are increasing their prices, thanks to the pull of the overseas market and the recovery in domestic tourism.

The tourism sector is on a roll and the main Spanish chains – Meliá, Barceló, Iberostar, RIU, Grupo Piñero and Palladium – are getting ready to break records once again. The positive trend in demand, the pull of international tourism in both archipelagos, and the recovery in the domestic market in regions such as Andalucía are allowing the hotel groups to hang the “No vacancy” sign up in some of their destinations, such as in the Canary Islands, and achieve occupancy rates of between 80% and 90% in the Balearic Islands and Andalucía.

Despite the uncertainty generated by Brexit, the British market remains a mainstay for the hotel chains, alongside Germany and Central Europe, in addition to the recovery in domestic demand.

For example, Meliá forecasts growth of more than 6% in its average occupancy rate in vacation hotels in Spain, as well as an improvement in prices with respect to 2016. The markets with the greatest pull for the chain owned by the Escarrer family are the British and Central European, whilst demand from domestic tourists continues its upwards trend.

Meanwhile, Barceló forecasts growth of 6% in its occupancy rate at hotels in the Balearic Islands, with an average occupancy rate of 81% and an average room rate of €110, which represents an increase of 13% with respect to the previous year. In terms of Andalucía, the volume of reservations corresponds to forecast occupancy rates of more than 90% and an improvement of 26% in prices, according to the company.

In the case of Iberostar, the hotel chain owned by the Fluxá family forecasts an occupancy rate of almost 100% over the Easter holidays. Iberostar highlights the good performance of the United Kingdom, Benelux and Germany, compared with countries in Eastern Europe, where demand is “more stagnant”.

In terms of room rates, Iberostar states that prices have improved moderately, by between 2% and 3% on average.

For RIU, the economic situation in the Canary Islands, with very high occupancy rates, means it has little margin for growth, however, there is still scope for increases at the hotels on the Costa del Sol, which have been completely refurbished this season. (…). In terms of the best markets, RIU highlights German tourists, as well as a considerable improvement in the number of reservations from Scandinavian and British clients, plus a 5% increase in domestic tourism.

Meanwhile, Palladium highlights the sweet moment that Ibiza is enjoying. “The season has opened early on the island, with a large volume of tourists visiting in April. This has been made possible by hotels opening early and new flight connections”. Overall, hotel occupancy rates have risen by 4%, whilst prices have increased by 2.5% YoY, for the time being, in line with the annual forecast increase of 7%.

Finally, Grupo Piñero says that its three hotels in Tenerife area already full, with an improvement in prices of between 4% and 8%.


And the euphoria of the hotel chains extends beyond Easter. The large hotel groups expect to set new records in 2017. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Saint Croix Acquires Blanco Store On c/Goya For €15M

13 February 2017 – Eje Prime

Saint Croix, the Socimi owned by the Colomer family, has won the bid to acquire the Blanco store located on Calle Goya in Madrid. The company has spent €15 million on the premises, which several other investors, including Jesús Antúnez, also bid for. Antúnez came close to winning, but Saint Croix took the prize in the end.

The Socimi owned by the Colomer family (which also owns the real estate developer Pryconsa) has spent €15.25 million acquiring the property, which has a gross leasable area of 863 m2. In other words, it has paid a price equivalent to more than 17,600/m2. The company has also acquired two parking spaces as part of the operation.

Until now, the premises were owned by the real estate arm of the former owner of the Madrilenian chain Blanco (which specialises in fashion retail), namely, Inversiones Blasol. The company, whose administrator is Bernardo Blanco Moreno (son of the founder of the Blanco fashion chain) and which was constituted in 19991 with the corporate purpose of leasing real estate assets, filed for voluntary creditors’ bankruptcy in December 2014 in Commercial Court number 10 of Madrid. The company is now in the middle of negotiating its bankruptcy arrangement.

Inversiones Blasol has several other assets up for sale, including a store on Calle Pelai, 1 in Barcelona. That establishment has a commercial area of 200 m2. Jesús Antúnez also bid for those premises, and sources consulted by Eje Prime report that he offered €4 million.

According to the most recent results filed by the company, as at 30 September 2016, the Socimi had a portfolio comprising 209 assets, worth €339.26 million. They include retail premises, such as the Zara store on Conde de Peñalver (Madrid) and several supermarkets leased to Día; office buildings such as CLH’s headquarters on Calle Titán; and several four- and five-star hotels on Isla Canela (Huelva), managed by chains such as Iberostar, Meliá and Barceló.

Original story: Eje Prime

Translation: Carmel Drake

Socimi Saint Croix Obtains €11.4M Loan From Banca March

23 January 2017 – Expansión

The listed company owned by the Colomer family, which also control the real estate company Pryconsa, has mortgaged one of its assets by way of guarantee for this loan, which has a maximum term of 14 years.

This long term loan from Banca March will allow the Socimi to continue with its business plans, which include managing properties worth more than €300 million.

Saint Croix is the vehicle through which the owners of Pryconsa, one of the few traditional real estate companies in the sector that survived the crisis, are managing their personal wealth.

At the end of September 2016, the Colomer’s Socimi owned a portfolio containing 209 assets, worth €339.26 million. They included retail premises, such as a Zara store on Conde de Peñalver (Madrid) and several supermarkets leased to Día; offices buildings such as the headquarters of CLH on Calle Titán; as well as a large portfolio of hotels, including five 4-star and 5-star hotels on Isla Canela (Huelva), managed by hotel chains such as Iberostar, Meliá and Barceló.

During the first nine months of 2016, Saint Croix earned €10.46 million, 18% less than during the same period a year earlier, after generating turnover of €13 million, down by 5% compared to the same period in 2015.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hispania Buys 3 Hotels In Ibiza For €32M

14 June 2016 – Expansión

Hispania has purchased 100% of the shares in the company Real Estate San Miguel, which owns three hotels in Ibiza – the Hotel Galeón (4 stars and 182 rooms), the Hotel Cartago (3 stars and 196 rooms) and the Hotel Club San Miguel (3 stars and 106 rooms) -, for €32 million.

In addition, Real Estate San Miguel is the owner of several apartments next to Hotel Cartago and a restaurant attached to the Hotel Club San Miguel. The assets are all located in Cala de San Miguel, on the beachfront.

Hispania will undertake major investments in these properties, depending on the final category (star rating) of the hotels and the outcomes of the negotiatios with the operators.

Investment in renovation work

Specifically, the Socimi controlled by Azora and in which George Soros owns a stake, plans to carry out a complete renovation of the three hotels at the end of the 2017 season. The initial planned investment amounts to €35 million.

The plans of the company, which debuted on the stock exchange in March 2014, involve maintaining the current operators of the hotels until the end of the 2017 season, when the management of the three assets will revert to a single operator.

Currently, Iberostar operates Hotel Galeón, whilst Stella Polaris is responsible for the management of the other two establishments. The Socimi will now analyse which hotel chain is, in its opinion, the most suitable to take on the management of its new hotels in Ibiza from 2017 onwards.

This operation, advised by Aguirre Newman, allows Hispania to strengthen its commitment to the vacation hotel sector in the Balearic Islands and, specifically, in Ibiza, where it already owns the recently repositioned Hotel Barceló Pueblo Ibiza.

Hispania also owns a stake in Bay Hotels & Leisure – the Socimi created together with Barceló in 2015, which also focuses on the vacation hotel segment – . The company’s share price fell by 4.3% on the stock exchange yesterday to close at €11.33/share.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake