Azora and Palladium Create Joint Venture to Operate Luxury Hotel son the Mediterranean

9 September 2019

Azora, a Spanish real estate fund manager, announced the creation of a new joint venture with the Palladium Group, which is owned by the Matutes family. Azora will control 75% of the new firm, with the rest going to Palladium. The firm will invest in luxury hotels on the Mediterranean coast.

The company will begin with an initial investment of €225 million, including three existing assets. Those consist of two hotels in Ibiza and one in Cefalù, in northern Sicily (Italy). The first is the BLESS Hotel Ibiza, a 151-room, five-star hotel owned by Palladium. The group recently converted the hotel from a 3-star unit.  The second asset is the Fiesta Hotel Tanit, a 440-room, 3-star hotel which the firm will also convert into an all-inclusive, adults-only luxury hotel.

The hotel in Italy is the 529-room, 4-star Fiesta Sicilia Resort, which like the first two,  the firm will convert into a 5-star unit.

Azora and Palladium have committed to investments of up to 500 million euros.

Original Story: El País

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Madrid Gets Ready for the Opening of 2,000 Luxury Hotel Rooms

7 January 2018 – Expansión

The hotel market in Madrid is enjoying a happy time. After years as the ugly ducking of Europe’s capitals, with barely any major luxury brands operating in the city, 2,000 luxury rooms are scheduled to open in the city centre over the next two years. “Spain had a very moderate number of five-star hotels in comparison with other global capital cities. Nevertheless, the Town Hall of Madrid implemented a strategic plan for tourism, which boosted the image of the city as a global destination and that attracted international companies, which are taking the city to their own tourist clients”, says Javier García-Mateo, Partner in Financial Advisory at Deloitte.

“The existing luxury hotel stock comprises around 5,000 rooms and over the next few years, another 2,000 rooms will be added, of which 1,000 will be new and the rest will be in renovated properties”, adds Félix Villaverde, Manager at Deloitte Financial Advisory.

The first hotel already opened over Christmas: the US hotel chain Hyatt Hotels has returned to Madrid, specifically, to the heart of the city with the opening of Centric Gran Vía Madrid, a five-star establishment with 159 rooms – including 16 suites (…). With an investment of €30 million, Hyatt has returned to Madrid, after leaving the management of another five-star hotel in the capital in 2009: the Villamagna.

During the first quarter of 2018, another five-star establishment is expected to open. In this case, it will be the chain VP in Plaza de España. It will contain 214 rooms, spread over 17 storeys, following an investment of €90 million (…).

Projects on the lookout for a brand

Some of the other new projects planned for this year in the luxury hotel market in Madrid have not yet been defined. They involve plans for the former Hotel Velázquez and the property owned by the fund KKH in Plaza de las Descalzas.

Last May, the Salazar family sold the Gran Hotel Velázquez for around €60 million. Now, the new owner, the real estate group Didra, is looking for a hotel partner to operate the renovated property. In the case of KKH’s property in Madrid, the negotiations are more advanced. The former headquarters of the Monte de Piedad de Madrid is being renovated to open a five-star hotel and a dozen brands have expressed their interest in operating it. The Park Hyatt, The Peninsula and Saint Regis, from the Starwood group, are the favourites in the running, according to sources in the sector (…).

In addition to these projects that still need to be defined, in 2019, several luxury establishments are due to open, including, the first Four Seasons Hotel in Spain, which will open in the Canalejas complex with more than 200 rooms.

Moreover, a four-star, but nevertheless high-profile, hotel is being created by the Mallorcan chain RIU, which will restore Edificio España, in disuse for a decade, to open a modern urban hotel with 650 rooms.

Meanwhile, Marriott Starwood, the largest hotel chain in the world, has teamed up with the Indian investor Harry Mohiani to open a five-star hotel in the former Hotel Asturias, in the same square as the Four Seasons (Canalejas). That property will have 160 rooms (…).

Prices

The opening of these new luxury hotels will have an impact on room rates, which already saw a significant increase in this niche last year.

“Revenue per room (RevPar) in the five-star segment in Madrid has grown by 6.4% p.a. in recent years, almost four times more than the average in other European centres, due not only to the increase in rates but also the better performance in terms of occupancy rates”, say sources at Deloitte.

“The arrival of new luxury operators in Madrid will drive up the price of five-star hotels in the city. In fact, after carrying out comprehensive renovations, we have already seen examples of hotels that have increased their rates by 50%. The most exclusive hotels will charge €750 per night during certain periods of the year”, they add.

Original story: Expansión (by Rocío Ruiz)

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

Villar Mir Seeks 40 Luxury Brands For ‘Galería de Canalejas’

19 July 2017 – Eje Prime

More than nine million people visited Madrid in 2016. Of those, 4.6 million were foreigners. The museums, Royal Palace, Retiro Park and Santiago Bernabéu were some of the most popular attractions, although the centre of the capital took the biscuit, receiving the most visitors overall. This area is also home to the most luxurious hotels in Madrid and several more are currently being built there. Nevertheless, there is no shopping area to cater for these high-end visitors and hotel guests. And that is precisely the gap that the Canalejas complex wants to fill. And if it does so, the shopping arcade could revolutionise Madrid’s high street.

After more than ten years of abandon, the group of seven buildings located at the intersection of Calles Alcalá, Sevilla and San Jerónimo promises to become a wake-up-car for retail, especially fashion, in the centre of the capital. Promoted by OHL Desarrollos and Grupo Villar Mir, Madrid’s Canalejas Centre welcomed a new shareholder in February, with the arrival of the company Mohari Limited, in which the co-founder of Poker Stars, Mark Scheinberg owns a stake. His company purchased 50% of the complex for €225 million.

A Four Seasons hotel with 200 rooms, 22 private residences associated with the hotel, a 400-space car park and the shopping arcade will comprise the complex’s four main areas. The shopping arcade, which will link Calles Alcalá and Canalejas, will be the heart of the centre and has plans to welcome more than 2 million clients every year (of the 147 million people who move in the vicinity of the centre each year).

With a select client profile, the Galería de Canalejas will comprise a commercial space with a surface area of 15,000 m2, which will be home to more than 40 fashion, cosmetic/perfume and jewellery/watch brands (on the ground and first floors) as well as a restaurant area covering more than 3,000 m2 (on the lower ground floor).

Canalejas has already started to market the space and is getting ready to sign the first agreements with some of the high-end operators, which will take receipt of their stores in November 2018 ready to open their doors in 2019, at the same time as the rest of the complex.

There are no plans for any of the large retailers (such as Zara and Uniqlo) to open stores in the complex, given that the positioning of the centre and the space requirements of such players do not tally. According to the managers of the centre, the average asking prices for the stores are below the average for the area, given that the whole zone is conditioned by Preciados, the most expensive street in Madrid for opening retail premises.

With the aim of securing around forty brands to occupy the premises, which will measure between 40 m2 and 400 m2 each, Canalejas is looking for high-end, premium firms in the fashion, jewellery and cosmetics segments (…).

Original story: Eje Prime (by P. Riaño)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Radisson Wants To Grow In Madrid & Barcelona

30 March 2017 – Expansión

Radisson Blu – the hotel chain belonging to the Carlson Rezidor group, which is itself controlled by the Chinese giant HNA – arrived in Spain in 2009, with the opening of the Radisson Blue Hotel Madrid Prado. Three years later, it opened a resort in Gran Canaria, and just a few months ago it inaugurated its newest hotel in the country, the Radisson Blu Resort & Spa, also in Gran Canaria.

Radisson Blu owns almost 300 hotels in 69 countries. Now, the company wants to strengthen its commitment to Spain and to this end, it is analysing Madrid and Barcelona with particular interest, as key destinations for the opening of new establishments under the Blu and Red brands. “Spain represents an opportunity. We perform most of our expansion through management contracts or franchises, which means that we are not interested in leases, however the properties must always be in good locations”, explained Richard Moore, Vice President for Western Europe, the UK and Ireland at Radisson Blu.

HNA Tourism Group completed the purchase of Carlson Hotels last year and so took over control of 51.3% of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which operates in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, where it competes with NH, in which HNA also holds a stake. (…).

Moore added that the chain has studied options on the Mediterranean coast but that, for the firm to open a hotel, it “has to fit with our brand. We are proud of the way we make our brands fit with the properties and of our relationships with the property owners”.

Specifically, in the case of its most recent hotel in the Canary Islands, the chain has reached an agreement with the Norwegian family group Wenaasgruppen, which owns 24 hotels. It is the second time that the company has worked with the Norwegian group, which also owns the other hotel that Radisson manages in Gran Canaria. (…).

Moore added “There are lots of reasons why we want to have a presence in Spain and, above all, in Gran Canaria”. He said that, in the last twelve months, the number of tourist arrivals in Gran Canaria has grown by 14% and the average revenue per room (RevPar) has risen by 18% – or 15% in the case of luxury hotels -. “25 airlines fly to 142 destinations from Gran Canaria in 25 countries. It is the second most popular destination after Tenerife”, he said.

Brexit

In terms of risks to the business, Moore does not think that Brexit will have a significant impact on tourism in the islands and less so on the hotels that the group manages, which are upscale establishments (five stars) with a very diversified client base. (…).

Original story: Expansión (by Rebecca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

The Luksic Family Buys Hotel Adler In Madrid

22 December 2016 – El Confidencial

It is located on one of the most important corners in Spain. The intersection of Calles Velázquez and Goya has been home to the Hotel Adler for decades. It is one of the most ancestral establishments in Madrid, renowned for its restaurant, Nimú Bistró, and for its maximum discretion, a virtue that led it to host some of the most important business people and politicians in the country.

Reigned over by the Vázquez family, one of the most important entrepreneurial dynasties from Castilla y León, the property said goodbye to its last client this week and on Sunday, according to sources in the know, it will finish making all of the staff redundant; the employment contracts are more than a decade old in many cases.

This drastic decision is the result of the sale of the building, in an operation that began to take shape, with the discretion that characterises the Adler, four years ago, and which has been finalised this month, with the closure of the establishment.

In December 2012, the Luksic family, the wealthiest fortune in Chile and one of the most important in the world, acquired the hotel’s presidential suite by purchasing the property that houses it for almost €27 million. Nevertheless, the Vázquez family reserved the right to purchase it for five years and manage the hotel for the same period, which means that, initially, it will only receive a profit of €8.4 million from this operation.

Over the next two years, a special plan was processed to change the use of the property to retail and offices, work that was performed by Ruiz Barbarin Arquitectos (…).

In December 2015, the Vázquez family declined to exercise its call option, two years early, and sold the property for €19 million “by virtue of a contract signed with Topland Investments”, according to a statement in the audit report for the company Iova, through which the family used to control Hotel Adler.

Behind Topland Investments is Sandypoint, one of the many entities that comprises the Luksic’s emporium, whose fortune amounts to $12,100 million (€11,600 million), according to Forbes and whose flagship company is Antofagasta, the copper mining giant, which is listed on the London Stock Exchange.

Although that is the main business, the Luksic family has also been building up its hotel emporium over the last two decades, focusing above all on Croatia, where it has become the largest operator in the country through three companies: Adriatic Luxury Hotels, Plava Laguna and Istraturist.

In Madrid, by contrast, it seems to have other ideas and after obtaining approval for the special plan to change the use of the property, it is expected that the sought-after corner of Goya and Velázquez will become home to a major fashion firm, although the option of turning the building into offices has not been ruled out.

Hotel linked to a family

In 1998, the late Antonio Vázquez Cardeñosa acquired the property at number 31 on Calle Goya, with the idea of converting it into a luxury hotel, with an investment, to cover the purchase price and the renovation, of 2,000 million pesetas at the time (equivalent to €12 million at current prices).

Two decades later, the property has changed hands and use, although the Vázquez family plans to open another establishment in a new location in the capital. (…).

Original story: El Confidencial (by Ruth Ugalde)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Ayco Buys Hotel Byblos In Mijas For €60M

26 September 2016 – Real Estate Press

As a result of this operation, Hotel Byblos hopes to restore its reputation as a luxury establishment in the health and family tourism sector, focused on the world of golf.

Ayco’s representatives have communicated that the real estate group plans to completely rebuild the property, which houses one of the largest five-star luxury hotels on the Costa del Sol. They plan to retain the hotel’s characteristic features, as well as incorporate new elements, such as a health and beauty area.

The five-star Hotel Byblos Hotel is an icon of the tourism industry on the Costa del Sol, since many internationally famous personalities have passed through its facilities, including the mythical Rolling Stones and Lady Di, amongst many others.

The establishment, opened in 1986, achieved enormous international fame as an icon of high quality tourism until it was acquired by the real estate group Aifos, which then led it to ruin, until its closure on 31 May 2010. In 2009, the British magnate Lord Sugar, founder of the mythical information technology company Amstrad, acquired the hotel and considered the possibility of reopening it in 2013, but that did not end up happening.

Original story: Real Estate Press

Translation: Carmel Drake