Grupo Soluciones to Build Four New Developments in Cádiz

4 September 2019

The Cádiz-based Grupo Soluciones has started construction on two residential and two hotel developments in Costa Ballenas, in the municipality of Chipiona, in Cádiz. The four different plots of land have a total surface area of 91,000 square meters, all near to the beach, and cost Soluciones a total of more than 50 million euros. The firm expects to invest 200 million euros over the next four years. Work began on the first residential development, known as Eleven Views.

One of the news hotels will be a 60-million-euro four-star unit, located in front of the Costa Ballena lake. The adults-only hotel will have 330 rooms and will start operating in 2023. The second will be a five-star, luxury hotel, adjacent to the Best Costa Ballena hotel. The hotel is expected to be the target of an 85-million-euro investment (including the land). Grupo Soluciones expects to inaugurate the hotel in 2022. The firm is currently looking for operators to manage the two facilities.

Original Story: Tourinews

Photo: ABC

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

RIU Opens Major Hotel on Madrid’s Gran Vía

13 August 2019

This week, RIU announced the opening of its first hotel in Madrid after almost two years of renovations and a total investment of between 380 and 400 million euros.

The RIU Plaza España hotel on Madrid’s Gran Vía has 585 rooms and 5,000 square meters of event facilities, including 17 meeting rooms.

Original Story: Expansión – R. Arroyo

Adaptation/Translation: Richard D. K. Turner

Amancio López’s New Record: Hotusa Runs More than 3,000 Associated Hotels

7 February 2019

Hotusa, controlled by the Galician Amancio López, incorporated more than 300 new establishments during 2018.

Amancio López, a Galician from Chantada, works at Hotusa Hotels’ headquarters in Barcelona. López’s hotel chain increased its portfolio through agreements with more than 300 new establishments in 2018, thus becoming the world’s largest hotel consortium and surpassing, for the first time, a total of 3,000 hotels in its portfolio. 85% of the new hotels are outside of Spain, compared to 15% in its home country.

The Grupo Hotusa independent hotel consortium, which currently has a total of 3,030 establishments and more than 275,000 rooms, has a portfolio distributed throughout a total of 71 countries on four continents. The hotel chain has 93 hotels in Africa, 490 in the Americas and 95 in Asia (including Turkey). The organisation also has a total of 2,352 hotel units in Europe, of which 974 are in Spain. Urban hotels predominate, mostly 4-star hotels and an average size of 90 rooms.

Shopping in Galicia

Last year, Hotusa finalised its acquisition of the Gran Hotel La Toja (5-star) and the Isla de La Toja hotel (4-star), two establishments that it had managed since 2015 through the Eurostars chain. It also controls the Gran Hotel de Lugo.

Among the main international markets in which the organisation has a presence, France, where it has 359 hotels, stands out as its main international presence. The group has 325 hotels in Italy; 104 in the United States and 103 in Germany. The hotel also has a significant presence in Colombia and Mexico, with 85 and 84 hotels, respectively.

Created in 1977, Hotusa employs more than 5,500 employees and a turnover of more than 1.2 billion euros. It comprises the Eurostars Hotel Company, a hotel management firm with close to 200 establishments, Hotusa Hotels (with 3,030 associated hotels), the Keytel hotel representative, with more than 1,300 affiliated establishments, and the Restel reservation centre.

Original Story: Economía Digital Galicia

Translation: Richard Turner

Deloitte: 173 New Hotels will Open in Spain Between Now and 2021

9 June 2018 – Expansión

The tourist boom and interest in the real estate sector have boosted the hotel segment. So far this year, operations amounting to €2.4 billion have been closed and an acceleration is forecast for the coming months.

Spanish hotels are standing out as one of the most sought-after assets for investors in the real estate market. The tourism boom in Spain, which recorded its fifth consecutive record year in 2017 with the arrival of 82 million international visitors, coupled with the property boom, caused hotel investment to reach maximums in 2017 of almost €3.1 billion. Moreover, the commitment from investors to these assets will allow that figure to double this year.

According to data from the Hotel Property Handbook, compiled by Deloitte, to which Expansión has had access, €3.1 billion was transacted in the segment last year, which represents an increase of 44% YoY and accounts for 22% of all the investment activity undertaken in Europe, placing Spain at the head of the investment ranking behind only the United Kingdom, which accounted for 29%.

During the first five months of this year, more than €2.4 billion has been invested, which will be added to operations currently under negotiation amounting to around €4.2 billion, which are expected to close over the coming months, according to the study.

“So far this year, we have transacted an investment volume almost as high as that signed during the whole of last year. The private equity funds are proving to be the main stars of the activity, which may even double the figure recorded in 2017”, said Javier García-Mateo, Partner at Deloitte Financial Advisory.

Loans

That is in addition to the strong appetite from traditional Spanish credit institutions to finance hotel properties, due to the momentum of the sector. Their financing spans projects under development, including remodellings, repositionings and developments. In this sense, the most active banks in terms of senior lines of credit for these assets are CaixaBank, Santander and Sabadell.

Investors are betting on mega-operations and the creation of large portfolios, which will allow them to have a diversified business and gain bargaining power over tour operators.

This trend comes in addition to the interest from Asian players in hoisting their flags in Spain. For example, the emergence of the Thai group Minor in NH Hotel Group, which has reached an agreement to purchase HNA’s stake in the Spanish hotel chain and is studying a takeover bid for 100% of the company.

In this context, the large hotel groups have taken advantage of the boom years to invest in improvements in their asset portfolios although there is still a long way to go. The opening and renovation of hotels consolidated itself in 2017, with activity involving 74 hotels and 12,500 rooms, reaching cruising speed following a significant recovery in 2015 and 2016, with projects in 120 hotels and almost 17,300 rooms.

Over the next five years, investment in work to adapt the hotel stock is expected to amount to €2.2 billion.

According to the report, 65% of the hotel stock in Spain is obsolete, with an average age of more than nine years, which makes investment in capex the main priority if operators are to handle the competitive pressures and achieve better margins.

“The strong growth in tourism in Spain contrasts with average rates that are still excessively low in the holiday segment. The renovation of obsolete projects, combined with the arrival of international operators, will allow the repositioning of an offer that ought to compete on quality rather than quantity”, explains Viviana Otero, from Deloitte Financial Advisory.

By region, the Canarian archipelago, Andalucía and the Balearic Islands are the regions that require the greatest capex spending, accounting for almost 68% of the total.

This effort has contributed to an improvement in the main performance ratios of hotels. According to Deloitte, revenues per available room (RevPAR), one of the main profitability indicators, grew by 10% last year.

New openings

The strong performance of the sector also accounts for the new promotions and project renovations underway. Over the next four years, 173 hotels are expected to be opened in Spain containing almost 30,000 rooms. “53% of those will be new projects and 47% will be renovations. It is worth highlighting the importance that rebranding is gaining as a defensive strategy against the alternative destinations of Greece, Turkey and Croatia, said Patricia Plana from Deloitte Financial Advisory.

In terms of challenges facing the sector, the report highlights the saturation of certain destinations in the summer and the problems of co-existence alongside local residents in those regions, as well as the recovery of competitor countries in Southern Europe and the rise of holiday rentals boosted by collaborative economy platforms such as Airbnb.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

In One Month, Valencia Receives Applications for Two Hotels and One Apartment Block in the City Centre

29 March 2018

Tello is requesting that the Exarchs palaces be granted protected status, whose planned rehabilitation includes a hotel.

The Valencia City Council received two requests to open new hotels in one month, as well as two apartment block developments, at least one of which is in Ciutat Vella, Valencia’s historic centre. The requests are currently open to public discussion.

One of the apartment developments is located on three lots of land in the Velluters neighbourhood, at 27, 29 and 31 Bany Street. It is an area where other similar ventures have already opened, in a run-down area of the city centre which has seen a loss of residents in recent years.

The second proposal concerns a new four-star hotel-apartment in an existing building at 28 Corretgeria and 4 Bany Pavesos. The building is a few meters from the Micalet and was used as the headquarters of a hospitality school for years.

Another hotel at 18 Ruzafa, very close to the intersection of Santa Clara Convent Street, is also open for public discussion. In this case, the hotel’s category has not yet been specified. The fourth development is another apartment block, although its location is also as yet unspecified.

The pace of the new developments is an indicator of the sector’s strength in the city. Another hotel is to be built in the Exarch’s palaces, located in Santos Juanes and La Lonja. Yesterday, the City Council announced, through the Councillor for Culture, Glòria Tello, that it intends to request that the Ministry of Culture declare the properties as being of Cultural Interest.

Dating from the fourteenth century, the mansions are part of an urban-planning project, which also impacts some sites where archaeological excavations are being carried out. The application to build a hotel on the premises led to demands by residents and institutions such as the Consell Valencià de Cultura to request that the palaces gain protected status, along with elements such as the kitchens and chapel of San Ignacio de Loyola.

While the request for the conservation of the sites is under consideration, the Department of Urban Development will formally declare the palaces of the Exarchs as a Locally Relevant Property (BRL), a transitional regime in any construction that goes beyond conservation efforts will have to receive prior approval from the Generalitat.

Original Story: Las Provinces – P. Moreno / I. Sunday

Translation: Richard Turner

 

RIU to Invest €2.5bn in New Hotels & Refurbishments Between Now & 2022

16 January 2018 – Expansión

RIU will spend €650 million this year on the refurbishment, construction and purchase of hotels, and will make investments of €2.5 billion in total between now and 2022, according to explanations provided yesterday by the group’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Pepe Moreno.

In this way, the Mallorcan chain is accelerating the rate of investment seen over the last five years, in which it committed to undertake investments amounting to €1.95 billion. Specifically, the company reached a record last year with investment of €600 million, which was €200 million more than forecast at the beginning of the year.

During 2017, RIU opened two new hotels – the RIU Dunamar in Costa Mujeres (México) and the expansion of the RIU República de Punta Cana– and it refurbished five hotels in their entirety. Moreover, in June, it purchased Edificio España from Grupo Baraka for €272 million.

RIU recorded revenues of €2.156 billion in 2017, up by 7%, and closed last year with 92 hotels, 43,135 rooms and 28,894 employees.

In 2018, the chain plans to open four hotels and undertake five major refurbishment projects.

In terms of the focus for growth, RIU wants to continue strengthening its urban business, which it inaugurated in 2010 with a hotel in Panama, and which nowadays includes six operational hotels. Moreno said that the company will continue to analyse opportunities in the main cities of North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia.

The RIU urban brand has two new projects underway: the first urban hotel in Spain, located in Edificio España (Madrid), which is expected to open its doors at the beginning of next summer (2019) and its second hotel in New York, on which work is underway, very close to Times Square, which will also be inaugurated in 2019.

In addition, the chain wants to grow in Asia, where it already has two projects under construction, in the Maldives and Dubai.

Moreno said that RIU will continue to bet on growing its owned hotels – the firm currently owns 84% of the hotels in its portfolio – and he said that the chain is not interested in growing inorganically or debuting on the stock market.

Original story: Expansión (by R. Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

HI Partners Acquires 3 Hotels in Mallorca & Málaga

26 December 2017 – Ali Market

On 22 December, Spain’s National Securities and Exchange Commission (CNMV) reported that the US fund The Blackstone Group International Partners (through Halley Bidco, S.L.U.) had finally made effective the purchase of 100% of HI Partners Holdco Value Added from Banco Sabadell, in an operation worth €630.73M (…).

Hotel Investment Partners (HI Partners) divides its assets between two subsidiaries, HI Partners Holdco Value Added and HI Partners Holdco Gestión Activa. Value Added owns HI’s larger tourist accommodations, located in premium areas and capable of generating significant returns once converted. That division owns 15 tourist accommodation establishments (grouped into 14 complexes), which are integrated into various hotel groups through management and rental contracts, comprising 3,724 rooms in total.

Meanwhile, Gestión Activa (635 units spread over 11 establishments) owns the rest of the group’s assets, most of which are smaller properties, in secondary locations, with the aim of being sold after optimising their management. As at 25 December 2017, HI Partners owned a total portfolio of 4,359 accommodation units (beds) spread over 26 hotels, according to a Census performed by Alimarket Hoteles.

New additions

Blackstone’s aim over the next few years is to position HI Partners in the Spanish hotel sector and to continue adding new assets to its portfolio in order to make it one of the largest owners in the domestic hotel market. In this sense, HI Partners has just announced the purchase of three holiday resorts. Specifically, in the Balearic Islands, it has purchased ‘Calviá Dreams’ (4E-161 beds) and ‘Barracuda’ (3E-264 beds) in Magaluf (Mallorca) and in Torremolinos, it has acquired the Malagan aparthotel ‘Pueblo Camino Real’ (4E-513 beds).

The first two assets currently form part of the Alua Hotels & Resorts portfolio (a chain that is owned in its entirety by Alchemy) (…). In fact, and in its fight to grow its portfolio, Blackstone bid this year to acquire the Alua Hotels’ portfolio; however, the Socimi Hispania (the largest hotel owner in Spain, with 11,047 beds spread over 39 hotels) pipped the US fund at the post by acquiring a batch of 7 hotels linked to Alua for €165 million earlier this month (…).

Original story: Ali Market (by Ricardo Vallano)

Translation: Carmel Drake

BNP Paribas: Hotel Inv’t Will Reach €1,300M In 2016

29 September 2016 – Diario Vasco

Real estate investment in the hotel segment is expected to reach €1,300 million by the end of 2016, according to a forecast prepared by BNP Paribas Real Estate, which was revealed yesterday at the presentation of the entity’s Hotel Report for Spain.

An economist from BNP Paribas, Ramiro Rodríguez, indicated that the forecast is based on actual figures for the first seven months of the year.

During the 7 months to July, direct investment in the hotel sector in Spain grew by 18%, to reach €996 million, compared with €840 million during the same period in 2015, according to Rodríguez, who added that this trend shows that “investors are still interested in the market”.

The report provides an overview of the Spanish hotel network, both in terms of occupancy rates, as well as investment and prices. It also gives details of the key players behind these investments – Socimis, funds, individuals…

Sources at BNP Paribas forecast that 64 new hotels will open between 2016 and 2017, primarily in the 4- and 3-star categories. Of those, 18 will be in Barcelona, 15 in the Balearic Islands, 9 in Madrid, 6 in Gerona, 6 in Málaga, 6 in Valencia and 4 in Sevilla.

In terms of prices, increases have been recorded primarily in the 3- and 4-star categories, of 4%, whilst prices for 5-star hotels have increased by 3%.

At the end of 2015, average prices amounted to €173 per room for 5-star hotels; €84 for 4-star hotels; €64 for 3-star hotels; €54 for 2-star hotels and €53 for 1-star hotels.

Original story: Diario Vasco

Translation: Carmel Drake

Sarasola Increases Stake In Room Mate To 70%

7 July 2016 – Expansión

The President of Room Mate, Enrique Sarasola, has purchased an additional 20% stake in the hotel chain that he founded in 2003, allowing him to take control of 70% of the share capital. The remaining 30% is held by Sandra Ortega, through the company Rosp Corunna.

Specifically, Sarasola has signed a contract, through his company Tafay 2000, to acquire the 14% stake controlled by Basphon Investment and the 6% stake held by Berbaz Familiar. Basphon Investment, a company owned by Pedro Agustín del Castillo, President of Binter Canarias, acquired its stake in Room Mate in 2009; meanwhile Berbaz Familiar, an investment vehicle owned by the Sanzol family, has been a shareholder since 2004.

This change allows the company to address its business plan for 2015-2019 with a more stable shareholder base, who are more focused on the “day to day” running of the company, explains Sarasola. The President of Room Mate and Bemate.com says that Basphon and Berbaz were “more financial” investors, who have identified an opportunity to exit the company and achieve a good return.

Forecasts

The Director considers that this movement is yet another example of his confidence in the company and he highlights the results achieved in recent years. Based on the company’s forecasts, Room Mate will close 2016 with a turnover of €68.3 million, which represents an increase of 22% with respect to 2015. The hotel chain generated revenues of €25.7 million during the first five months of the year, 48% more than in 2015.

Room Mate’s hotels recorded an average occupancy rate of 85.8% during the five months to May 2016, whilst its RevPar (revenues per available room) amounted to €127.30, 13.3% higher than during the same period last year.

Room Mate Hotels owns more than 1,500 rooms, has a presence in six countries and twelve cities and will open eight new hotels over the next ten months. In 2016, 65% of Room Mate’s revenues will be generated overseas.

Sarasola predicts that this summer will “break all records” and he highlights the strong performance of domestic tourism. In any case, the Director emphasises the need (for Spain) to form a new Government and he expressed his “concern regarding the Ministry of Tourism because since the Minister left, it has not been operating with the necessary degree of transparency”.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake

Hotel Revenues Soar Thanks To Tourism Boom

17 May 2016 – Expansión

Spain’s large hotel groups are preparing for another record year after figures for the start of 2016 have confirmed that the tourism boom is continuing across the peninsula. The volume of international tourists grew by 4.4% between January and April, to 16 million, which together with the successful Easter period and the continuation of the recovery in domestic demand, means that experts are forecasting a better summer season than in 2015 and another record year.

Last year, Spain received 68.1 million international tourists, up by 4.9%, which boosted the business of the main Spanish hotel chains. Barceló, RIU, Melià and Iberostar took advantage of the situation, favoured by instability in rival countries such as Turkey and Egypt, and closed 2015 with double-digit revenue growth. In 2016, profitability will continue to rise thanks to the continuation of the favourable environment and the fact that the chains are accelerating their entry into new markets, as well as remodelling their hotels.

Iberostar’s revenues soared by 29% to €1,847 million and it was the hotel chain that improved the most. The company owned by the Fluxá family will open six new properties in 2016 and will spend €90 million renovating its hotels.

Meliá’s turnover grew by 16.3% to €1,738 million, whilst Barceló generated revenues of €2,480 million in 2015, representing growth of 20.6%, and a net profit of €100.2 million, up by 116%. It was the most profitable Spanish hotel chain. This year the group expects to see improvements across all of the regions in which it operates. Specifically, its objective for 2016 includes generating EBITDA of around €326 million and a net profit of €125 million.

In the case of RIU, its revenues grew by 14% to €1,848 million. The company has announced its intention to invest €390 million in 2016 with the opening of four hotels and the complete refurbishment of another eight.

Meanwhile, last year Palladium recorded revenues of more than €500 million for the first time in its history, up by 20% compared with 2014. The chain owned by the former minister Abel Matutes plans to create 1,300 jobs in Spain and 300 in America. The group is undergoing an expansion process in Latin America, which includes opening new hotels in Jamaica and Mexico, with a committed investment of between €800 million and €900 million over five years.

According to the Chairman of Cehat, Juan Molas, who confirmed the current trend, 2016 is going to be a “very good year”, thanks to traditional markets, such as the UK, German and French and the recovery of the Russian Market, which had declined somewhat in recent years. In addition, new routes to Asian countries may boost alternative tourism besides the traditional sun and beach segment.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of Ceav, Rafael Gallego, said that some destinations, such as the Balearic Islands, Costa del Sol and Levante, are already close to overbooking. Instability in countries that compete with Spain, such as Turkey, is contributing to this record; as is the parity of the dollar with the euro, which makes Caribbean destinations less attractive; and the price of oil.

Original story: Expansión (by Rebeca Arroyo)

Translation: Carmel Drake