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Nobu San Sebastian facade and outside space

Nobu set to launch in San Sebastián

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Nobu set to launch in San Sebastián

Closing the year in style, global lifestyle brand Nobu Hospitality, has announced plans for its fourth Spanish hotel and restaurant, Nobu Hotel and Restaurant San Sebastián for spring 2023. This is what we know…

Nobu San Sebastian facade and outside space

With a strong focus on cuisine, local culture, and architectural design combined with an air of celebrity, Nobu Hospitality may have met its match in San Sebastián. As the capital of the Gipuzkoa region in Spain, this is a city with the most Michelin stars per square metre than anywhere else in the world, the site of Balenciaga’s first atelier, and a place that Hemingway fondly called home while writing ‘Fiesta’. A true culinary mecca, the mountainous Basque Country’s culture is reflected throughout the coastal town, where visitors are invited to hop from bar to restaurant while sampling bitesize gastronomy referred to locally as pintxo.

“San Sebastián is an exciting location for the brand as good quality food is intrinsic to the destination,” stated Founders Nobu Matsuhisa, Robert De Niro and Meir Teper.”We’re so pleased to be partnering with Javier Illán Plaza on this project and to be opening our fourth hotel and restaurant in Spain, bringing the Nobu cuisine to a new audience of residents and travellers.”

Nobu Saint Sebastian rendering

Image credit: Nobu Hospitality

Overlooking La Concha Bay, Nobu Hotel and Restaurant San Sebastián is scheduled to open in March 2023, with 20 luxuriously designed guestrooms and suites and a 98 seat Nobu restaurant offering panoramic water and city views. The fully renovated hotel sits on the site of the famed Palacio Vista Eder, constructed in 1912 and designed by renowned Spanish architect, Francisco Urcola.

Partnering with Nobu Hospitality on the new opening, is Millenium Hospitality Real Estate SOCIMI (MHRE). With an existing collection of five-star hotels peppered throughout Spain and Portugal, MHRE’s strategy places an emphasis on the careful selection of properties and their location. Based on generating value by acquiring and repositioning hotel assets, MHRE is managed by a multidisciplinary team of prestigious professionals with extensive experience in hotel investment, boasting a large portfolio of assets both under operation and in the process of being repositioned.

“The partnership with Nobu Hospitality and launch of Nobu Hotel and Restaurant San Sebastián further places the region on the map as the ultimate gourmet hotspot,” said Javier Illán Plaza, President and CEO of Millenium Hospitality Real Estate. “I’m thrilled to be working with the brand to make this opening one of the country’s most exciting for 2023, which will be embraced by residents and visitors alike.”

Named one of luxury’s 25 Most Innovative Brands by Robb Report, Nobu Hospitality has earned its position among an elite selection of global luxury brands. The natural growth of Nobu Hospitality, built on service, image, and reputation, offers the complete spectrum of hotel, restaurant, and residence management for unique projects around the world. The brands announcement of the slated opening of Nobu Hotel and Restaurant San Sebastián for the first quarter of 2023 is an exciting … and on look forward to following the progression as it unfolds.

Main image credit: Nobu Hospitality

The check-in desk at Hotel Colon, surrounding by Spanish memorabilia

‘First in’ to review the newly renovated Hotel Colón Gran Meliá

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
‘First in’ to review the newly renovated Hotel Colón Gran Meliá

In the heart of Seville, the iconic Hotel Colón Gran Meliá re-emerges from lockdown showcasing a sophisticated first impression that’s timeless design effortlessly takes it into a new era. Editor Hamish Kilburn is among those ‘first in’ to explore the newly renovated hotel – and while there, he manages to secure an interview with the interior designer behind the project…

The check-in desk at Hotel Colon, surrounding by Spanish memorabilia

With its grandeur monuments, orange tree-lined cobbled streets and a vibrant gastronomy scene, Seville is a city that will leave a lasting impression on even the most seasoned of travellers. At the epicentre of this cultural hub – just a 10-minute stroll from the The río Guadalquivir, the Torre del Oro and the Real Maestranza Bull Ring – is Hotel Colón Gran Meliá; a hotel that has been an inherent part of Seville since its iconic architecture by José Miguel de la Cuadra was first unveiled in 1929.

Some 92 years later, and the building is now a listed pillar, having majestically maintained its original neoclassical façade. Don’t let its grand structure fool you, though. It shelters a contemporary hotel that fluidly forms around a modernist central dome, made up of thousands of coloured crystals. It, as Rosana Gonzáles, General Manager of the hotel says: “Shines over the hotel bringing a new light over Seville’s history.” And it was this central part of the hotel that became the core inspiration for interior designer Álvaro Sans when he was asked to steer to the its public areas through a sensitive renovation that could meet the demands of today’s travellers.

“Seville is a unique city, the ‘Spanish Florence’, if you like.” – Álvaro Sans, interior designer.

Lobby inside Gran Melia Hotel Colón in Seville

Image caption: The central dome inside Gran Melia Hotel Colón, which is the heart of the hotel and was a significant source of inspiration for the design team. | Image credit: Meliá Hotels International

“We wanted to differentiate Hotel Colón Gran Meliá from the rest of the hotels in the city,” said Sans. “To do this, we decided to inject a healthy dose of Sevillian culture, art and feeling into the building. The strong sense of place transports guests to the destination where they can really experience the true essence of the location. Seville is a unique city, the ‘Spanish Florence’, if you like. The ‘Sevillano’ is felt in the streets and by visitors who live who live within it. There is a contagious joy of living here.”


Hamish Kilburn: How long did the project take from concept to completion?
Álvaro Sans: Two years, due to delays with Covid-19

HK:  Describe the newly renovated hotel in two words?
AS: Sevillian and timeless

HK: What’s next for the hotel?
AS: Two wonderful suites, but you didn’t hear that from me!

There is no doubt about it: the hotel’s rejuvenation has been influenced by the past. However, its hospitality offering on the other hand has been created with a worldly traveller in mind, while looking ahead towards the future. By opening up the space in the lobby, the opportunity emerged for Sans to create a new F&B proposal – a new destination bar – that is now the focal point of all first impressions, which sits under the magnificent dome. The interiors of the bar are decorated with pieces that have been curated by young local artisans. Together, they form a magical atmosphere.

Making such a drastic transformation in an iconic hotel is challenging enough, but add to this the fact that Sans was working on this project during a pandemic creates a whole new layer of uncertainty. “The delivery times of materials was a great task to manage,” Sans explains. “We had to change some furniture items because they did not arrive after five months of delay.”

Originally known as Hotel Majestic, the property was, in its hay day, one of the most luxurious hotels in Spain, built primarily to welcome international visitors of the world’s fair, Exposición Iberoamericana, hosted in Seville in 1929. Following this, world renowned figures such as Ava Gardner, Picasso and Dalí also walked its floors and fell in love with the historical building. The hotel was where famous matadors (bull fighters) used to stay ahead of crowd-drawing Corridas (bull fighting events), which arguably helped put Seville on the tourism – domestic and international – map. In fact, traje de luces (the various costumes) of the famous El Cordobes have become part of the interior design decoration, displayed behind the check-in desk, along with original flamenco dancer costumes, to add a unique sense of place for guests who are beginning or ending their stay.

Check-in desk inside Gran Melia Hotel Colòn in Seville

Image caption: The check-in desk inside the hotel features a display of memorabilia, which gives a sensitive nod to Sevillian culture. | Image credit: Melia Hotels International

As guests arrive, what was a dated red and white design scheme has been transformed into a space that feels light, elegant and welcoming. “Pure red is a colour only used in the bullfighter’s cape in Seville – it is not an emblematic colour of the city,” explains the designer. The lobby now features hues of green, ochra, gold – reminiscent of the Andalusian countryside. Wood alongside luxurious and elegant materials such as velvet, silk, leather and walnut add meaningful texture. Amongst the new services, guests can enjoy a completely new Red Level on the ground floor, the new Bar del Colón and the restaurant Abacería del Colón.

“Seville is olive green,” adds Sans. “It is a city with many cultures that have merged in a magnificent way. The hotel, therefore, had to have something that amplified this authentically.” To achieve this, Sans introduced natural materials – Andalusian Macael white marble, solid walnut wood, hydraulic concrete floors – designed and built for the hotel, in a format larger than the traditional one. “We chose olive green [throughout the lobby and public areas downstairs], to mimic hotel’s wonderful skylight,” says Sans. “Ceramics were handcrafted specially for the hotel by Isabel Parente’s workshop in Seville, in an oxidised olive-green tone and an original Mudejar design, with details of the plasterwork from the Alhambra in Granada.”

One of the gastronomy venues at the hotel, Burladero restaurant offers a wide range of Andalucian tapas that attract locals as well as international visitors. The new Abacería del Colón is a place where guests can indulge in typical Sevillan produce such as jamón, cold meats, jams and chicharrones, as well as purchasing them to bring that iconic Sevillian flavour back home.

The hotel is also part of the Virtuoso y Fine Hotels and Resorts de Amex (FHR), as well as The Leading Hotels Of The World (LHW). It comprises of 188 rooms including 24 suites, adorned with classic paintings of the Spanish Golden Age from artists such as Goya, Murillo, Velazquez y and El Greco – the giants of 16th and 17th century Spanish painting.

Suite inside Hotel Colòn Gran Melia

Image caption: If rumours are to be believed, the next chapter for the hotel will be the renovation of two suites. | Image credit: Meliá International

The newly renovated Hotel Colón Gran Meliá is a tribute to Seville’s history and culture; a space where old and new meet with incredible results. Everything is curated to the smallest detail and recalls original elements from the 1929 Exposition to make every guest walk back in the past and discover the beauty of the city. And with whispers all but confirmed from Meliá International that the hotel will unveil two new renovated suites soon, it’s clear that the Gran Melia Hotel Colón’s narrative is far from ending.

Main image credit: Meliá International

Ocean Drive Madrid hotel with pool and roof terrace in the heart of madrid

OD Hotels set to open its first hotel in Madrid

730 565 Pauline Brettell
OD Hotels set to open its first hotel in Madrid

Ocean Drive Madrid, a new design led boutique hotel under the OD Hotels brand, will be opening right in the heart of Spains capital city in February 2022, allowing guests to truly connect to the location. Pauline Brettell steps off the Plaza, and into the lobby to have a closer look…

Ocean Drive Madrid hotel with pool and roof terrace in the heart of madrid

Ocean Drive Madrid, like its sister hotels under the OD Hotels brand in Ibiza, Mallorca, and Barcelona, strives to truly connect its guests to the location they are staying in. Situated in Plaza de Isabel II, in front of the Opera Palace, and only a few steps from the Royal Palace, Plaza Mayor, Puerta del Sol and Gran Vía, means guests are in the heart of the action in Spain’s capital city, and just a short walk from the well-known neighbourhoods of La Latina, Huertas, Los Austrias, Malasaña or Chueca.

mediterranean colours with blue accents in hotel lobby at Ocean Drive Madrid

Image credit: OD Hotels

Contemporary design, elegant architecture and a Mediterranean colour palette are present throughout the hotel’s 72 guestrooms. This style continues in the airy and bright reception area, the lobby bar, and the lively restaurant with its garden terrace, where natural materials and design-focused furniture bring the social space, for both guests and locals, to life. Each OD Hotel has its own OD Sky Bar, and Madrid is no exception, with a swimming pool and terrace where guests can sip cocktails and admire the city views.

roof terrace with pool at ocean drive madrid

Image credit: OD Hotels

The hotel’s sensitive design has been created by the architectural studio of Victor Rahola and interior designer Mayte Matutes. This design is also complemented by the most advanced and sustainable technology drawing on bioclimatic measures to achieve the maximum reduction in energy demand. As a result of this combination of design and technology, the hotel was recognised in the Re-Think 2019 awards as the best project in sustainability and hotel rehabilitation in Spain.

Guests will love retreating from the city to the contemporary bedrooms, which feature full-height windows, Bower & Wilkins speakers, design classics like the Eames LCW chair, a desk, and some have their own balconies. A selection of rooms also have unique features like a record player with vinyl records, a photo printer, and a beer tap. Those choosing a corner Deluxe room, will also delight in the in-suite Taschen library for design and culture-inspired reading.

A knowledgeable concierge team will ensure the best experience in the city, connecting guests with the top places to eat, drink, shop and discover. The city is also brought into the hotel with OD’s own events, which are popular with locals and guests alike, and make it a vibrant place to be all year round. Choices like Burger Meets Gin, is a regular afterwork event with delicious burgers, premium Gin & Tonics and music from DJs or live performances; Hello Sundays! with its vinyl market and workshops; or Painting & Wine, which sees painting courses with local artists accompanied by a glass of wine. Ocean Drive Madrid will also offer spaces for co-working for guests and locals.

Drawing on their experience of hosting their own events, Ocean Drive Madrid is well equipped to arrange a wide range of private events, from large corporate launches to intimate dinners. The combination of multipurpose spaces, personalised service, technology and an ethos of always saying ‘Yes’ makes for a very successful private event.

Ocean Drive Madrid is part of the OD Hotels group, which owns six hotels in the most significant and attractive areas in the Mediterranean – Ibiza (Ocean Drive Ibiza, Ocean Drive Talamanca and Can Jaume by Ocean Drive), Mallorca (Ocean Drive Port Portals) and Barcelona (Ocean Drive Barcelona); Madrid (Ocean Drive Madrid), and an international opening is planned soon for the French Côte d’Azur (Saint Tropez).

Main image credit: OD Hotels

A contemporary suite with brushed gold lighting and bath in room

Sneak peek inside ME Barcelona

730 565 Pauline Brettell
Sneak peek inside ME Barcelona

Meliá Hotels International has announced the Spanish brand’s first five-star hotel opening in Barcelona in more than a decade, with the 164-key ME Barcelona set to open on November 25, 2021. Pauline Brettell went behind closed doors to have a look inside…

A contemporary suite with brushed gold lighting and bath in room

Situated in the heart of Barcelona, on the elegant Passeig de Gràcia, ME Barcelona is one of the city’s most anticipated openings of 2021 as it brings with it the brands trademark contemporary luxury, while taking inspiration from its exclusive location. The hotel, comprising of 164 guestrooms and luxurious suites spread over 14 floors, is completed with a statement rooftop patio and pool on the eighth floor that opens onto its distinctive skyline with iconic views of Plaça Catalunya and La Sagrada Familia. The new ME hotel is set to combine innovation, local art, music and technology in an exciting new space, inviting guests in to experience the local scene through its cultural programme, and exclusive bespoke experiences.

contemporay design in natural tones with yellow accents at Me Barcelona

Image credit: ME Barcelona

“ME Barcelona represents a step forward for ME by Meliá, along with recent major openings such as the stunning ME Dubai, the work of the late architect Zaha Hadid, and the exotic ME Cabo,” says Alba Bustamante, Global Brand Marketing Director of ME by Meliá. “All these hotels have consolidated, at an international level, the new definition of contemporary luxury close to the art and culture of the brand.”

Keeping clearly focussed on its design ethos, ME Barcelona is home to interior pieces by globally renowned designers that include Ronan & Ewan Bouroullec, Patricia Urquiola and Jaime Hayón. The stylish rooms feature neutral tones with yellow hues, clean lines, and large windows illuminating the space, all accentuated by the bright translucent bathrooms. Each guestroom presents bespoke details – from the decorative glass bottles, a design classic made by Josep Ma Jujol, Antonio Gaudí’s close collaborator, and the Oscar Tusquets tables, to the suspended bedside lamps and the vibrant Roll Club armchairs by Patricia Urquiola for Kettal. Every detail of the hotel has been thoughtfully considered and inspired by Barcelona’s love of design.

Aside from its design credentials, ME Barcelona also brings with it a unique and diverse culinary offering in the shape of BELBO, a unique space that includes three restaurants for a delicious and exclusive gastronomic experience. Terrenal, the flagship restaurant will serve dishes created with local produce; Luma is set to become a temple for the Barcelona cocktail scene; while Fasto will be a new setting to indulge in unconventional and unforgettable Italian cuisine.

The hotel has also collaborated with Manuel de la Garza, founder of Égoïste Spa, to curate a Spa and wellness centre which reflects a philosophy focused on personalisation, pampering, and luxury, where guests and visitors will enjoy tailored treatments. This oasis of wellness offers a wide range of treatments which blend ancient traditions with the most sophisticated beauty and wellness techniques. Keeping the focus on guests health and wellbeing, the hotel also has a gym with the latest Technogym equipment.

state of the art gym in ME Barcelona

Image credit: ME Barcelona

Incorporating both wellness and sustainability into the overall design was important, and ME Barcelona maintains the sustainability commitments of the brand ME as part of Meliá  Hotels International’s portfolio. As part of this commitment, ME Barcelona has consciously opted for auto-sufficient energy and renewable sources, which means the hotel will produce the entirety of its hot water supply, the rooftop pool will be heated by the same method during the winter season, and solar panels will provide the hotel’s energy, ultimately reducing the environmental impact and minimising its carbon footprint.

The clear design vision of ME Barcelona has been inspired by its location as well as the design history and energy of the city, combining contemporary art with innovative design, through the architectural work of Barcelona studio FITARQ as well as the interior design concepts and development of Mur Arquitectos and ASAH. This collaboration has transformed and created a new property and modern design that maintains all the brand hallmarks of ME.

Main image credit: ME Barcelona

A green bedroom with luxury bed inside Rosewood Villa Magna

Inside Rosewood Villa Magna, the brand’s debut hotel in Spain

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Inside Rosewood Villa Magna, the brand’s debut hotel in Spain

Set in the heart of the Spanish capital city’s distinguished Salamanca district, the reimagined icon, now Rosewood Villa Magna, represents a milestone for the brand as well as Madrid’s hospitality landscape. Editor Hamish Kilburn takes a look inside…

A green bedroom with luxury bed inside Rosewood Villa Magna

In July this year, we released the news that the Rosewood Hotels and Resorts brand was to arrive in Spain, taking over the iconic Hotel Villa Magna in Madrid. Months later, and the brand hasn’t wasted any time at all – following a comprehensive refurbishment and redesign, Rosewood Villa Magna has officially opened.

Located on Madrid’s most coveted boulevard, Paseo de la Castellana, amidst the city’s finest shopping, dining and cultural attractions, the historic property has been a beloved local landmark since it originally opened in 1972, evoking a convivial spirit and charm that captivated visitors from both near and far. Newly infused with a dynamic design scheme that honours the original hotel and the vibrant city in which it sits while simultaneously incorporating contemporary style and comforts, as well as elevated amenities, world-class gastronomic experiences and an unmatched standard of service, the revived Rosewood Villa Magna has been carefully conceived to usher in a new phase of ultra-luxury hospitality to the city of Madrid and Spain at large.

facade of Rosewood Villa Magna in Madrid

Image credit: Rosewood Villa Magna

“At long last, we are thrilled to formally introduce Rosewood Villa Magna as Madrid’s most extraordinary place to stay, gather, dine and delight,” said Charles Morris, Managing Director of Rosewood Villa Magna. “Working together with our brilliant partners, we were careful to preserve the historical nature of the property, while at the same time adding a modern and residential design ethos and intuitive service style that is synonymous with the overarching Rosewood brand. It is a joy to be able to welcome visiting guests and the local community alike to join us as we celebrate this new beginning and the bright future ahead!”

“Madrid is the ideal destination for Rosewood to plant its flag in the beautiful country of Spain.” – Radha Arora, President of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts.

“With its thriving culture, rich history and robust art and culinary offerings, Madrid is the ideal destination for Rosewood to plant its flag in the beautiful country of Spain and we are especially thrilled to bring the brand to this dynamic city with the relaunch of the iconic Villa Magna hotel,” said Radha Arora, President of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts and co-chief development officer of Rosewood Hotel Group. “Rosewood Villa Magna is the latest demonstration of the brand’s guiding A Sense of Place philosophy: a transformation of a famed 19th century building into a contemporary gathering place designed for both travellers and residents, that further embraces the local surroundings in all aspects of the project from architecture to service to food and beverage experiences. We’re immensely proud to open our doors today and provide a new and discerning destination for our affluential explorers to enjoy.”

A team of talented designers completely refurbished Rosewood Villa Magna, showcasing a clear commitment to contemporary design, architecture, landscaping and art, while subsequently channeling the original spirit of the Anglada Palace, the 19th century building which was the first to occupy the hotel’s supreme site, as well as the original Villa Magna hotel.

Renowned Spanish architect Ramón de Arana led the remodel of the building’s striking façade and entryway into the hotel, adding a sense of grandeur to the arrival experience via a striking staircase and a pair of reflecting pools that draw attention to the centuries old, 30-meter-high cedar and carob trees adorning the property. The property’s iconic gardens have been transformed by prolific landscape designer Gregorio Marañón to underscore and maximise the privileged green spaces that the hotel enjoys in the heart of the city. A significant number of trees, bushes and plants, including species original to the old Anglada Palace, have been planted to create distinctive outdoor areas across the expansive grounds, many adorned with pergolas, sculptures, fountains and other furnishings to facilitate myriad settings in which to gather in groups or relax on one’s own. The robust assortment of leafy species further allows for the property to continuously evolve over time, as they adopt different chromatic tones in the different seasons of the year.

Revived interiors have been brought to life by Australian firm BAR Studio. The refreshed accommodations and public spaces pay homage to the original palace and hotel, securing a powerful sense of familiarity and nostalgia amongst legacy guests and local visitors, while infusing a new, contemporary character throughout the building that answers to the expectations of travellers today. True to Rosewood’s guiding A Sense of Place philosophy, wherein the destination inspires each element of the property, subtle references to traditional Spanish architecture, art, design and culture can be discovered through the patterns, fabrics, materials and colour palettes that comprise the hotel. Complemented by the use of stone, iron and glass materials across all of the different rooms, the result is a truly unique visual experience that sets the hotel apart from the existing hospitality landscape. The interior design is complimented by the hotel’s extensive art collection that has been selected and commissioned by English firm ArtLink. Many of the pieces serve to tell the stories of the fascinating personalities who walked the corridors of the original Anglada Palace, while others are reminiscent of Madrid’s overarching aesthetic and Spain’s signature fashions, including a standout, specially commissioned work by Jacky Puzey in the lobby.

Expertly designed to evoke the essence and sentiment of the Salamanca district’s finest private homes, the guestrooms, suites and signature suites are among the crown jewels of Rosewood Villa Magna. The 154 accommodations, consisting of 101 guestrooms, 49 suites and four signature suites, have been built to balance the ambiance of a contemporary Spanish villa with the signature aesthetic of the original Villa Magna hotel. The exterior of the façade frames each guestroom with an avant-garde touch, while inside, a chromatic colour palette provides a muted background to give preference to the room’s large windows overlooking the Paseo de la Castellana, allowing the striking views to take centre stage. The clean, simplistic style is blended with modern luxuries, including bath amenities by Maison Caulieres and the linens by Rivolta Carmignani, and a residential feel for the utmost in 21st century hospitality.

Nowhere is this expert design more evident than within the hotel’s signature suites. Named after and inspired by the original Anglada Palace, Anglada House is the hotel’s largest suite, located on the top floor and featuring two bedrooms, dedicated living and dining rooms, a private gym and sauna and an expansive private terrace. Also located on the top floor is Salamanca House, which includes a bedroom, living room, dining room, dressing room and full bathroom and can be combined with adjacent rooms to create up to a four-bedroom accommodation and the largest private terrace in the capital, stretching 140-square-metres.

The hotel’s four distinct dining outlets come together to create the city’s newest and most discerning destination for inspired culinary experiences, delightful to all palates, for all occasions. Each outlet and offering references local influences, with a focus on unmatched quality and service and menus committed to sustainability and the freshest ingredients. From authentic Spanish tapas on the terraces and in the gardens, to casual business lunches and post-work cocktails, to formal events and celebratory evenings out, there are countless opportunities for guests to enjoy exceptional food and beverage with friends and family.

Headlining the hotel’s food and beverage program as its signature restaurant, Amós is helmed by Michelin-starred chef Jesús Sánchez and is poised to quickly establish itself as a highlight of Madrid’s culinary landscape. The thoughtful interior design concept and accompanying terrace, brought to life by Spanish architect Alejandra Pombo, creates a space that is both stunningly special and supremely comfortable in which to enjoy an inspired menu that brings together the unique offerings of Northern Spain’s Navarre community and Cantabrian Sea. Revolving around an eye-catching open kitchen, Las Brasas de Castellana is the hotel’s all day dining destination, serving everything from classic tapas and small plates to more elaborate meals. The dedicated bar and lounge concept, Tarde, was meticulously designed to reflect the warmth and spirit of an English club through an elevated atmosphere that is equal parts cultivated, casual and cool.

Rosewood Hotels & Resorts currently manages 27 one-of-a-kind luxury hotels, resorts and residences in 16 countries, with 25 new properties under development, including hotels in destinations such as Amsterdam, Rome and Mexico City.

Main image credit: Rosewood Villa Magna

Hard Rock Hotels arrives in Madrid

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Hard Rock Hotels arrives in Madrid

Music, art and culture… turn up the volume as we welcome, Hard Rock Hotel Madrid, the brand’s first Spanish city hotel… 

Sheltering all the ingredients to make an exceptional lifestyle hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Madrid marks the brand’s debut property in a Spanish city. Located at the Golden Triangle of Art in the Spanish capital, the hotel is the newest addition to an international portfolio and compliments the brand’s recent growth throughout Europe.

The Hard Rock International brand is one of the most globally recognised companies with venues in 68 countries spanning 239 locations. The group’s hotel portfolio has properties in Asia, North America, South America, The Caribbean, the UK and Europe. Following the launch of Hard Rock Hotel London, – and ahead of an expected touch-down in Budapest – the brand’s latest arrival is in Spain’s capital, Madrid.

“Hard Rock Hotels has always felt very in tune with the vibrancy and spirit of Spain. It is one of the reasons we introduced the brand to Europe with Hard Rock Ibiza in 2014, followed by our Tenerife hotel shortly after” said Dale Hipsh, Senior Vice President of Hotels, Hard Rock International. “As our first Spanish city hotel, Hard Rock Hotel Madrid brings a distinctly different personality to our beach resorts. Our guests will discover art, music, history, culinary excellence and culture at their fingertips – all brought together through Hard Rock’s curated and entertainment-infused hospitality.”

Image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Madrid

The new hotel caters to both business and leisure travellers, with 161 contemporary rooms and suites (from 18 sq. metres) offering diverse views, so guests can take in the lights of Madrid, or retreat from the city with a room overlooking the lush garden. Additionally, over 2,000 sq. metres of event space including garden and rooftop venues set the stage for world-class immersive events.

At the heart of the property, guests will find a dramatic architectural hanging guitar sculpture above the welcoming, amber-hued sofas of the lobby. Vibrant artwork is featured throughout the hotel, including a life-size pink ‘Las Meninas’ adorned with Rosalía lyrics, inspired by Diego Velázquez’s masterpiece hanging in the Prado Museum and mural in GMT+1 bar inspired by the La Movida movement in Madrid.

The colourful artwork is complemented by a thoughtfully curated memorabilia collection that showcases Madrid style and culture, as well as international music legends. Hard Rock Hotel Madrid is now home to over 70 pieces of memorabilia, with notable pieces including an acoustic guitar from Madrid-native singer-songwriter, Antonio Vega; blue denim jeans outfit worn by Elvis Presley during an NBC TV special in 1968; and platform boots worn by David Bowie.

The property’s premier location in the Triángulo de Oro del Arte, is surrounded by the Reina Sofia National Museum, the Prado National Museum and the Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum. Within walking distance, guests can explore the historic art nouveau train station (Atocha), the Royal Botanical Garden, and the charming Lavapiés and Embajadores neighbourhoods.

The hotel will be a draw for travellers and locals alike as it is home to unique bars and restaurant concepts including the brand’s signature restaurant Sessions, with interiors by Rockwell Group, and RT60, a spectacular rooftop bar offering craft cocktails, a jamón carving station with cheese and unbeatable 360-degree views of the city to the beat of live DJ sets. Sessions, with its open and airy terrace, overlooks the hotel’s garden and serves a unique take on classic Spanish cuisine with unexpected culinary delicacies on the menu, whilst the GMT+1 lobby bar offers drinks and light fare throughout the day. The Green Room, a private chef’s table serving an exclusive menu to no more than six guests is set to open in September.

image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Madrid

image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Mimage credit: Hard Rock Hotel Madridadrid

Lifestyle consultant and international restaurateur, Maria Font Trabocchi, has played a crucial role in bringing the gastronomy at Hard Rock Hotel Madrid to life with her distinct Spanish spin. As the woman behind, Fiola, Fiola Mare, Sfoglina and Del Mar in Washington D.C. and across the United States, Maria has built a career’s worth of successful restaurants based on excellent quality and hospitality.

“I am honoured to be working with Hard Rock Hotels to bring my knowledge, experiences and personal take on restaurants to the capital of my home country,” said Trabocchi. “The hotel is incredibly well-located, and we are confident that it will soon become a social hub and meeting spot for residents in the city as well as visitors. The restaurants offer beautiful surroundings, the food is vibrant, and we look forward to the chef breathing his own emotion and energy into the restaurants now the hotel is officially open”.

The property also encompasses an outdoor swimming pool, Body Rock® fitness centre and Rock Om®, which fuses the ancient practice of yoga with the rhythm of a custom DJ-curated soundtrack for complimentary, in-room yoga sessions.

Main image credit: Hard Rock Hotel Madrid

Four Seasons Mallorca

Four Seasons to expand portfolio in Spain with project in Mallorca

730 565 Hamish Kilburn
Four Seasons to expand portfolio in Spain with project in Mallorca

Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts is to expand its portfolio in Spain with a seaside resort on the Mediterranean, which is said to focus on sustainable development and preserving natural environment. Here’s what we know…

Four Seasons Mallorca

Following its arrival in Spain in 2020, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has announced that it is working with private equity investment company Emin Capital to open a 110-key hotel in Mallorca.

Originally opened in 1929, the existing hotel will undergo extensive renovations before it is unveiled as a Four Seasons experience in 2023. The property is located on a 3,000 acre plot of the Formentor Peninsula, offering access to a pristine beach, as well as a functioning vineyard a short five minute drive away.

“We are very excited to continue this momentum and expand our presence in this important market with a resort in Mallorca, offering guests a unique Four Seasons experience in a top European destination,” explained John Davison, President and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts. “It is a privilege to work alongside Emin Capital to create a new vision for this exceptional property and we look forward to a successful partnership for many years to come.”

Formentor is a landmark of Mallorca in a key and unique setting in the Mediterranean,” added Jordi Badia, Chairman and CEO of Emin Capital. “For Emin Capital, the goal of our investment was to protect both, and to reinvigorate the resort with a great luxury brand such as Four Seasons. We are committed to implementing sustainable and green initiatives in our revitalisation of this property, while maintaining an exceptional design, facilities and renowned service.”

Mallorca is the largest of the Balearic Islands in the Mediterranean, can be accessed via ferry or a short flight from Barcelona, with additional direct flights from many European cities. Mallorca’s natural beauty and easy accessibility long established the island as a top tourist destination for European and international travellers. Mallorca’s turquoise waters, limestone cliffs and lush greenery make the picturesque island one of the world’s most sought-after destinations.

All of the 110 rooms and suites will offer balconies with sea and forest views, allowing guests to soak in their beautiful surroundings. The renovations will be overseen by architects Estudio Lamela and SCT Estudio de Arquitectura, with interior designs by Gilles & Boissier.

At the vineyard a short five-minute drive from the resort, guests can enjoy exclusive programming, including farm-to-table activities. The resort will also include an indoor restaurant, beachfront restaurant and café, and a poolside bar and grill. Additional onsite activities will include tennis courts and beautiful spa facilities.

The project has been designed to respect and protect its natural surroundings through various environmental initiatives, such as the restoration of native vegetation and planting, reduced water consumption, rainwater harvesting and the use of grey water for landscape irrigation, heat recovery systems, solar power through use of solar panels, and food waste management systems. Other initiatives include the use of electric vehicles and low energy consumption through a very considered design approach.

Four Seasons’ new project in Mallorca will become the second Four Seasons offering in Spain following the recent opening of Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Madrid in September of 2020.

Main image credit: Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts

Byblos Hotel on Spain’s Costa Del Sol to join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt

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Byblos Hotel on Spain’s Costa Del Sol to join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt

Following extensive renovations, the iconic Andalusian resort will join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand and mark the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Southern Spain…

The former iconic Byblos Hotel in Mijas on the Costa del sol, which has been closed since 2010, will be redeveloped to join The Unbound Collection by Hyatt.

The news was announced after a Hyatt affiliate entered into a franchise agreement with a wholly owned subsidiary of Intriva Capital European Principal Investment Fund I LP (“Intriva”), a European private equity fund.

Expected to open in early 2022 (the same year as Conrad Hotels & Resorts is slated to debut in the Costa del Sol) in one of the country’s most visited regions, Andalusia, the luxury 200-key resort will mark the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Southern Spain.

“The illustrious past and distinctive architecture of the hotel make it a perfect fit for the brand.” – Nuno Galvao Pinto, regional vice president of development Europe, Hyatt.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Intriva to redevelop and rediscover the splendour of this famous building and welcome it into The Unbound Collection by Hyatt portfolio,” said Nuno Galvao Pinto, regional vice president of development Europe, Hyatt. “The illustrious past and distinctive architecture of the hotel make it a perfect fit for the brand and we expect it to be a truly exceptional addition this collection of storied hotels. We look forward to further growing this exciting independent brand across Europe, inviting guests to create story-worthy experiences at unforgettable properties.”

Traditional Spanish interiors inside guestroom

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Since its original opening in 1986, the hotel has been known as a hideaway for jet setters and royalty alike. The iconic blue and white building will be restored as a luxury resort reflecting memories from a golden age of travel, attracting independent-minded guests seeking a sophisticated yet unscripted experience. Behind its new Andalusian latticework, the Byblos Hotel will offer moments that inspire visitors to create their own stories and enjoy Southern Spain’s distinctive lifestyle with its lush gardens, pools, bright spaces, and unique interiors. The hotel will offer an abundance of luxury amenities including a health club and spa, indoor and outdoor pools, a cinema, and a night club, family facilities including a kid’s club, and exceptional conference spaces for private events and business meetings.

The food and beverage venues at the hotel will incorporate and reflect Andalusian culture with a rooftop bar offering guests stunning views of the Sierra de Mijas mountain range. It will be located adjacent to two 18-hole golf courses, originally designed by Robert Trent Jones, making the resort an excellent base for guests looking for a golfing retreat.

Image credit: Hyatt Hotels

“We are thrilled to team-up with Hyatt on this exciting project, restoring the iconic hotel to its former grandeur on the Andalusian coast,” said Tom Saunders, head of post-acquisition, Intriva. “We look forward to working with the local community to bring a new luxury resort to the area, underlining our commitment to the European leisure and hospitality sector at this challenging time. The hotel has a rich and exciting past that we intend to bring it to life once again supported by Hyatt.”

The announcement signifies a major addition to The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand in Europe and marks the first Hyatt-branded hotel in Southern Spain. As the third most visited region in Spain in 2019[1], Andalusia represents a key opportunity to expand the Hyatt brand’s footprint in Southern Europe and to tap into the growing popularity of the region with tourists.

The resort will join other Hyatt-branded hotels in Spain, including Hyatt Centric Grand Vía MadridHyatt Regency Hesperia MadridHyatt Regency Barcelona Tower, and Hotel SOFIA Barcelona, which is part of The Unbound Collection by Hyatt brand.

The Unbound Collection by Hyatt gives guests the freedom to create their own story-worthy experiences at unique properties around the world, whether it’s a historic gem tucked in the heart of Paris, like Hôtel du Louvre, or a spectacular architectural monument such as Parisi Udvar Hotel Budapest. Additional properties within The Unbound Collection by Hyatt in Europe include Hôtel Martinez in Cannes, Hôtel du Palais Biarritz, Nish Palas in Istanbul and Great Scotland Yard Hotel in London.

Main image credit: Hyatt Hotels

Conrad Hotels & Resorts to debut in Spain

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Conrad Hotels & Resorts to debut in Spain

Conrad Costa del Sol, Spain’s first Conrad Hotels & Resorts property, is slated to open in early 2022…

Hilton has announced the signing of an agreement to open the Conrad Costa del Sol – a 194-key luxury resort set to bring ‘a new level of contemporary luxury’ to the Andalusian coast.

Owned by Markway Inversiones S.L., a company of the Platinum Estates Group, the property will be managed by Hilton and is set to open at the beginning of 2022, and will mark the Conrad brand’s arrival in Spain.

“The Costa del Sol is an incredibly popular destination with holidaymakers from all over Europe and beyond, thanks to its year-round good weather, expansive beaches and stunning scenery,” said Carlos Miró, Hilton’s Managing Director of Development for Spain and Portugal.” This property – our first Conrad Hotels & Resorts property in Spain – represents an important step for Hilton, as we look to expand our footprint of luxury properties across Europe. We look forward to welcoming guests to this stunning hotel.”

Roshni Mohinani, President of Platinum Estates ltd. added: “We are delighted to announce our agreement with Hilton to operate this hotel under the prestigious Conrad brand, and we look forward to continuing to work closely with our valued partners in the local community to bring this project to life. The beautiful Costa del Sol continues to attract domestic and international tourists alike, and we see great potential for investment in this area.”

The new hotel will join a collection of award-winning Conrad Hotels and Resorts spanning five continents. Each property features contemporary luxury experience, intuitive service and infinite connections with local culture, powered by the latest innovation.

The new hotel will join a collection of award-winning Conrad Hotels and Resorts spanning five continents. Each property features contemporary luxury experience, intuitive service and infinite connections with local culture, powered by the latest innovation.

Conrad Costa del Sol will be no exception, boasting stunning sea views from its vantage point in the Andalusian hills, with spacious contemporary guestrooms and expansive luxurious facilities including a large spa with indoor pool, multiple outdoor pools, two bars and a high-end restaurant. The Costa del Sol’s vast coastline, which is home to more beaches than any other area of the Andalucía region, is a five-minute drive away.

“This property, which exemplifies the contemporary design, beautiful facilities and connection to local culture with personalised experiences which guests expect from the Conrad brand, is a fitting first entry into Spain.” – Nils-Arne Schroeder, Global Head for Conrad Hotels & Resorts.

“From Bora Bora, Koh Samui and The Maldives in Asia to the Algarve and Istanbul in Europe, the Conrad brand is renowned for its award-winning hotels and resorts,” explained Nils-Arne Schroeder, Global Head for Conrad Hotels & Resorts. “This property, which exemplifies the contemporary design, beautiful facilities and connection to local culture with personalised experiences which guests expect from the Conrad brand, is a fitting first entry into Spain. We aim to bring the sophistication of the Conrad brand to key locations all over the world and we are looking forward to introducing our unique luxury to the Costa del Sol.”

The Costa del Sol attracts millions of international and domestic tourists each year, with visitors drawn to its sandy coastline, glamourous harbours and charming remote villages. The area benefits from excellent rail and air connections to the rest of Spain, Continental Europe and the UK from Malaga, which is located just over an hour from the resort.

The Conrad Costa del Sol will join a portfolio of exquisite luxury hotels across the world, including Conrad Algarve – home to Gusto by Heinz Beck, Conrad Maldives Rangali Island and Conrad BaliConrad Bora Bora and Conrad Koh Samui.

Main image credit: Hilton Hotels

SNEAK PEEK: Inside Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid

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SNEAK PEEK: Inside Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid

The iconic Hotel Ritz, Madrid is expected to reopen later this year as the Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid, following the most extensive restoration in its 110-year history…

The statuesque property, which will become Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid later this year, was designed and built under the supervision of legendary hotelier César Ritz, and first opened its doors in 1910.

An extensive restoration is underway to significantly enhance the hotel’s facilities and services, while maintaining its unique character, encapsulated in the Belle Époque style of the original building.

Spanish architect, Rafael de La-Hoz, has been instrumental in providing the context for the historical restoration, while French designers, Gilles & Boissier, have overseen the interiors with the aim of increasing the property’s appeal to local and international guests alike while celebrating César Ritz’s pioneering spirit.

The re-design of the public spaces has focused on restoring the hotel’s many fine interior architectural features, while incorporating a number of valuable artistic pieces from the property’s collection, including crystal chandeliers, antique paintings and sculptures.

Image caption: Rendering of the restaurant inside the hotel | Image credit: Mandarin Oriental

Image caption: Rendering of the restaurant inside the hotel | Image credit: Mandarin Oriental

The hotel has always been an integral part of society in Spain’s capital, and has been host to royalty, politicians, corporate leaders and celebrities. It is situated within the ‘Golden Triangle of Art’, an area defined by the most important museums in the city – the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofía Museum of Modern Art. The property’s location within a prestigious residential area close to Madrid’s financial and commercial district and to El Retiro Park,  adds to its appeal.

“The meticulous restoration is designed to ensure that this legendary property is once again recognised as one of Europe’s greatest hotels,” said James Riley, Group Chief Executive of Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group.  “We are confident that the local community will be even more proud of this historic landmark, and we look forward to providing our guests with memorable experiences, in majestic surroundings, all underpinned by Mandarin Oriental’s exceptional service.”

Gilles & Boissier have created a sophisticated design for the hotel’s new guestrooms, encapsulating a classic but contemporary residential style for the 153 rooms including 53 suites. Within the suite inventory, there are several one-of-a-kind speciality suites, featuring unique design elements inspired by the hotel’s historic connections to the city, Spanish culture and art. A spacious Royal Suite and the Presidential Suite feature magnificent views over the Prado museum. Located in the top floor turrets are two new suites, each with private balconies and views over the Prado Museum and Lealtad Square.

Image caption: Rendering of the Royal Suite, designed by Gilles & Boissier | Image credit: Mandarin Oriental

Chef Quique Dacosta, one of the most celebrated chefs in Spain, was appointed to design, develop and oversee all culinary operations at the hotel’s five restaurants and bars.

The hotel’s new leisure and wellness facilities include a heated indoor swimming pool, a vitality pool, experience showers, a steam room and a contemporary fitness centre. A dedicated treatment room has been designed as a hidden sanctuary, providing a range of exclusive local and signature beauty and massage treatments.

As one of the most iconic buildings in the Spanish capital, Mandarin Oriental Ritz, Madrid is ideally placed for memorable social events. The ballroom and functions spaces, with their large windows facing the Prado Museum will be beautifully restored and designed to ensure the hotel is once again the venue of choice for weddings, private dinners and parties.

Main image credit: Mandarin Oriental

Meliá Hotels International’s INNSiDE announces brand relaunch

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To cater to millenials’ evolving lifestyle, Spain’s largest hotel brand, Meliá Hotels International, has announced a brand launch for INNSiDE in 2019… 

At the Spanish International Tourism Fair, FITFUR, Melia Hotels Internaitonal announced that it will rebrand INNSiDE to bring a stronger leisure and wellness offering to its portfolio.

With the reinvention of INNSiDE, the Spanish hotel brand is preparing to adapt its business strategy to captivate the younger generation of business and leisure travellers, taking the brand from urban into resort destinations.

Meliá Hotels International is the only group out of the 20 leading global hotel companies that was initially founded in leisure, and 50 per cent of its business remains in the resort sector. The group has recognised an opportunity to target millennials in the mid-scale lifestyle category by expanding into resort-led destinations, where the lines between work and leisure are becoming more fluid. Consumers are looking for flexibility and freedom when they travel, and ultimately hotel brands that fit seamlessly with their lifestyle.

“Relaunching in 2019, INNSiDE by Meliá will offer a range of design-led lifestyle and resort hotels.”

INNSiDE will boast 22 hotels, with plans to expand into resort locations in Europe and Indonesia, including Fuerteventura, Mallorca and Bali, as well as urban locations in Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Relaunching in 2019, INNSiDE by Meliá will offer a range of design-led lifestyle and resort hotels, to give guests more freedom to relax and explore, whether they are travelling for work or leisure. The brand will focus its strategy on sustainability, holistic bleisure, music and local culture, to introduce initiatives that target millennials. The properties will provide a space and place that embraces the local culture and creates environments where guests can work, workout, rest and play. To encourage them to discover new neighbourhoods, guests will have access to INNSiDE city guides, with local sights and wellness tips.

INNSiDE by Meliá is set to be a flagship for sustainability for Meliá Hotels International. The new brand will use recyclable materials throughout properties, work with hyper-local suppliers and guarantee no single-use plastic. The launch of the refreshed INNSiDE at FITUR features #TheArtofECO, an art installation by sustainable Spanish artist Jorge Penadés. The installation has been created entirely from plastics collected from guests at INNSiDE Palma Bosque, supplemented by additional plastics contributed by attendees of FITUR.

The lifestyle hotels will provide spaces to disconnect and rest body and mind, with state-of-the-art fitness suites, the latest digital fitness software and on-site swimming pools. Daily Yoga classes will be available at beach locations and weekly at urban locations. DJs will play throughout the lobby and poolside, from noon to night.

Rooms will be renovated to provide cosy in-room amenities, including bathrobes, slippers and flip flops, a luxurious coffee machine, complimentary minibar, with fresh juices and local beer. Smeg fridges will be available to Superior+ guests, packed full of healthy treats, drinks and snacks. Superior+ rooms will also have high-end sound systems, complimentary streaming services and complimentary bike rental to encourage guests to explore the local area. Guests will be able to relax in a hammock in resort locations or a hanging chair in urban destinations.

To read Hotel Designs’ exclusive interview with the Executive Vice-Chairman & CEO of Meliá Hotels International, Gabriel Escarrer Jaumeclick here

Main image credit: Meliá Hotels International/INNSiDE

From Concept to Completion: Restoring a 19th-century house to create Plaza 18 (part one)

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Hotel Designs has vowed to follow interior designer Nicky Dobree as she works towards opening the soulfully restored doors of Plaza 18. In the first article in the series, Hamish Kilburn exclusively catches up with Dobree to establish the plans for her first hotel project… 

Up until now, Nicky Dobree has been known and celebrated for her talent in restoring luxury ski chalets, villas and contemporary residential interiors. In 2003, her first chalet conversion, a 300 year old alpine farmhouse, was followed by Grand Designs Abroad and described by presenter Kevin McCloud as the “ultimate James Bond pad” and in so doing set a new benchmark for chalet design. Moving on from 007’s ideal alpine bachelor estate, Dobree has recently turned her attention to the luxury hotel design scene – in particular to one building in Andalucía.

Inspired by the classicism of a heritage building and the surrounding Spanish region of Andalucía, Plaza 18 has become one of the most anticipated openings this year. Set in the historic white town of Vejer de la Frontera (Vejer), featured on forbes.com, the hotel which will shelter just six luxurious, individually designed bedrooms is the conversion of a listed 19th Century merchant’s house. The project, a collaboration between Dobree and Vejer’s principal hotel La Casa del Califa, is expected to turn one of Vejer’s landmark properties into one of the finest boutique hotels in Andalucía.

“There will be comfort and elegance through every door.”

The building, which dates from 1896 and stands on the foundations of an ancient 13th C Arab house, is being restored using entirely organic building materials including traditional lime-based mortars, wooden floors and natural stone and marble. “There will be comfort and elegance through every door, a place to feel at home, a place to re-connect and re-discover,” says Dobree who describes her first hotel project as a home hotel’. “There is no one dominant material,” adds Dobree. “I have retained the existing black and white Andalucian tiles and mixed them with timber and stone. Large black doors with bespoke feature brass handles open onto the six individual bedroom suites, each of which has been personally curated.”

“There are many challenges, but over and above the planning constraints, the space is disproportionate.”

With the design world watching, and with just six bedrooms to play with, this project has been quite something, “There are many challenges, but over and above the planning constraints, the space is disproportionate,” explains Dobree. “It has a huge central patio and elegant sweeping staircase leading to an amazing roof terrace that overlooks the castle with views across to Morocco. It has meant that we have had to be creative with planning the space for the individual guest suites.”

I have come to the conclusion that hotels are only at the edge of the curve when they bravely break the mould of what is considered, at the time, as being conventional. It is therefore a relief to hear that Dobree is planning on ‘Breaking the rules’ – her words not mine – in order to create this timeless, luxury hotel. “I want to add layers of soft furnishings to create a home,” she explains. “But above all, I want the hotel to be true to its heritage and I want it to retain its soul.” To do this, Dobree has worked to retain and repair original features using local craftsmen to restore the glass ceiling, stairs, balustrade and even the wrought iron gate. “I see myself very much as a curator of the building whilst making it comfortable for living in today,” she adds.

Quick-fire round

Hamish Kilburn: What’s your favourite colour this season?
Nicky Dobree: Burgundy

HK: Where’s next on your travel bucket list?
ND: Lebanon

HK: What’s worse, bad lighting or bad wallpaper?
ND: Bad lighting

HK: What is one item you cannot travel without?
ND: An Adaptor

HK: Can you give us one easy way to brighten up your interiors?
ND: With cushions

HK: What’s the largest misconception about you? 
NB: That I am an extrovert


“As with everything, it is all about timing,” Dobree says when I question her as to why she has waited until now to commit herself to the venture and step into hotel design. “I have wanted to design a boutique hotel for a while and was fortunate when this opportunity arose that we were able to embrace it.”

As I learn more about the awaited Andalucían jewel, I can’t help but wonder how similar this hotel will be from some of Dobree’s previous projects. “There are similarities, Plaza 18 is all about elegance and comfort, using the local vernacular in the design and celebrating the local culture,” Dobree explains. “It is what I endeavour to achieve in all my projects.”

And with that, Dobree’s task continues as she prepares to enter a new design chapter in her already celebrated career.

Lounge by Pool - Hotel La Vida - PGA Catalunya Resort - Girona - Spain

Bryan O’Sullivan Studio unveils its latest hotel design project: LAVIDA Hotel

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The Bryan O’Sullivan Studio announces its latest hotel design project, LAVIDA Hotel in Girona, Spain, situated within the world-leading PGA Catalunya Resort

LAVIDA Hotel is an expertly designed, contemporary and convenient gateway for golf and activity enthusiasts alike. Aimed at those looking to discover the natural beauty of the local area through wide-ranging activity options, from golf, cycling and hiking to trekking, horse-riding, boat trips or exploring nearby Girona, the design Studio has created a distinctive contemporary aesthetic without compromising on a design-led space in which to relax. The result is a fresh and modern hotel that provides all the comforts needed for weekend getaways and trips for groups of friends.

Set over three floors, LAVIDA Hotel has fifty standard double rooms that can be configured as twins, each featuring sweeping golf course views from private balconies, Bella’s – a bar and restaurant area, plus a large covered outdoor terrace with swimming pool. The curved design of the building ensures that each bedroom has an uninterrupted birds-eye view over the golf course.

Working closely with Barcelona-based architects GCA, the team at Bryan O’Sullivan Studio has ensured that all the spaces provide guests with everything they need to enjoy a seamless experience. Throughout the hotel, there are nods to the local vernacular to keep a sense of place, interwoven in the contemporary design framework.

The project has been fun to deliver, and we’ve kept the outdoors experience front of mind

Room 39 - Hotel La Vida - PGA Catalunya Resort - Girona - Spain

Room 39 at Hotel La Vida – PGA Catalunya Resort – Girona – Spain

The hub of LAVIDA Hotel is the main bar and restaurant, Bella’s, which creates a laid-back atmosphere for socialising. With a pared back material palette of concrete, warm woods and bright furniture, the decoration is immediately both modern and welcoming. Bespoke laser-cut metal screens divide the main seating areas, whilst an open pizza kitchen adds to the vibrant, busy atmosphere, serving classic dishes for dinner including pizza and antipasti made with the freshest ingredients.

The focal central bar is beautifully finished with local marble and monochrome cement tiles.

“We’ve absolutely loved designing the interiors of the public spaces and guest rooms here at LAVIDA Hotel,” said Bryan O’Sullivan. “The project has been fun to deliver, and we’ve kept the outdoors experience front of mind. We hope this comes through in our designs for the visitor experience. It’s important for us at the Studio to combine our highly aesthetic approach with exceptional functionality. We believe we’ve created a hotel that will be vibrant for years to come.”

Bella´s Bar at Hotel La Vida - PGA Catalunya Resort - Girona - Spain

Bella´s Bar at Hotel La Vida – PGA Catalunya Resort – Girona – Spain

Beyond the bar is a covered outdoor lounge space, with a stylish outdoor pool and sunbathing decks, all of which overlook the golf course. Guests will find plenty of relaxed seating areas, in a bright colour palette of yellow mixed with relaxed grey, and comfortable cushions overlooking the beautiful countryside surroundings.

The bright and stylish aesthetics continue in the bedrooms, with a fresh palette of aquamarines and sea greens, inspired by the Mediterranean Sea, and bespoke hexagonal floor tiles reflecting the traditional coloured cement tiles local to the Girona region in Spain. All the bedrooms are carefully designed including details such as specially designed golf storage, making the rooms highly functional as well as stylish. The full-length glass windows echo PGA Catalunya Resort’s overall design aesthetic of connecting the interiors with exteriors and bringing guests closer to nature.

Swimming Pool at Sunset at Hotel La Vida - PGA Catalunya Resort - Girona - Spain

Swimming Pool at Sunset at Hotel La Vida – PGA Catalunya Resort – Girona – Spain

Original artwork brings the room to life with an abstract aerial view of the golf course, designed by the Bryan O’Sullivan Studio. Guests have full control of music and audio entertainment within the bedrooms via Bluetooth, adding to the personal feel.

David Plana, CEO of PGA Catalunya Resort said, “We are delighted to have worked with the Bryan O’Sullivan Studio to bring to life the concept of LAVIDA Hotel. Contemporary, stylish design is key to the Hotel. The Bryan O’Sullivan Studio has delivered smart and precisely designed rooms and interiors, which, coupled with the stunning natural surroundings and extensive activity options at PGA Catalunya Resort, provide an ideal home away from home for the adventure-hungry activity enthusiast.”

The resort, which last week announced new luxe villas is on track to becoming Catalunya’s the finest luxury offering.

W Ibiza confirmed for summer 2019

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Marriott International subsidiary W Hotels Worldwide has confirmed that it will open a 162 room W Ibiza in Summer 2019 in Santa Eulalia del Río.

Owned by Inversions Hoteleres Ebza S.L., W Ibiza will have a beachfront location with three distinct design concepts for dining, drinking and relaxing, complemented by a rooftop sunset bar and adults only WET Deck (the brand’s signature take on poolside entertainment). A second WET Deck will have direct access to the beachfront promenade and Santa Eulalia beach.

There will also be a 4,000 square foot Away Spa with seven private treatment rooms and the brand’s signature FIT gym.

W Ibiza will join a portfolio of more than 50 W Hotels around the world, including recently opened locations W Shanghai – The Bund and W Goa.

Spain is on track to have four W Hotels by 2021, with the opening of W Madrid (2019), W Ibiza (2019) and W Marbella (2021) slated to join the W Barcelona. In total, W Hotels says it’s on track to have 75 hotels globally by the end of 2020.

“With its playful energy and bohemian spirit, Ibiza is an ideal destination and perfect match for W Hotels,” said Anthony Ingham, Global Brand Leader, W Hotels Worldwide. “We have been present in Ibiza since 2010 with a variety of W music events and partnerships, so we’re thrilled to be finally opening a W Hotel on the island that we know our guests love. Following the success of W Barcelona and the forthcoming debuts of W Madrid (2019) and W Marbella (2021), W Ibiza will remix the expected and provide a new take on the (in)famous island.”

Meliá to open new hotel and shopping centre in Magaluf

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July opening of Calvià Beach Plaza Hotel and Momentum Plaza latest upmarket development in Majorcan party resort.

The latest stage in Meliá Hotels International’s seven-year €250 million investment in Majorca’s hugely popular Magaluf resort will open in July in the form of the Calvià Beach Plaza Hotel and Momentum Plaza shopping centre, creating 150 jobs in the process.

Momentum Plaza will occupy almost 5,000 square metres of land on the site of the old Jamaica Hotel. The area has been converted into an open space, with recreational areas for residents and tourists, alongside a large, modern shopping area which will host a range of major international fashion retailers and restaurant brands.

The centre will be open all year round, which Melia says demonstrates its drive to develop Magaluf as an all-season destination.

Brands set to enter the Momentum Plaza so far include Mango, Springfield, Italian Loft, Koala Bay and Starbucks. The shopping centre will also offer almost 200 underground parking spaces to accommodate both tourists and residents from other parts of the island.

Hanging Pool

Meliá Hotels International will also open a new hotel to replace the old Jamaica Hotel. Calviá Beach Plaza will open in Summer 2018 and will feature avant-garde architecture and an innovative “hanging” pool, suspended between the roofs of two buildings. The sides and bottom of the pool will be transparent, creating a spectacular sight for visitors below and giving bathers magnificent (terrifying?) views over the sea.

Mark Hoddinott, Company Vice President of Real Estate, said: “This will be the place that Magaluf was missing: A space to be used by both residents and tourists, who will no longer have to leave Magaluf to find quality shopping and dining facilities. It will also raise the bar for shopping in the destination, which has historically suffered from a shortage of quality shops, something that will no longer be the case with the arrival of Momentum Plaza.”

Beatriz Ley, Director of Momentum Plaza, said: “The residents of Magaluf are as important to this project as the tourists. The Momentum Plaza has been designed to further enrich the superior quality facilities provided by the La Vila shopping centre and Katmandu Park, developing the area as a tourist destination and of course to revitalise Magaluf for its own residents. Momentum Plaza aims to become the major leisure destination for Magaluf for residents and visitors to enjoy that will combine shopping with an extensive programme of activities, entertainment and culture for 12 months of the year.”

Gabriel Escarrer, Executive Vice President and CEO of Meliá Hotels International, said: “The opening of the new Calviá Beach Plaza hotel and Momentum Plaza is the last major milestone of a bold project, which is closely linked to our family and our origins. Our aim is to return a lot of prestige prestige and quality to Magaluf and after seven years of activity and major investments, I can now say that we are extremely proud of the changes that have happened in the destination, which is once again sustainable for its community and attractive for investors.”

Ikos Andalusia to open in May 2020 after €150 million investment

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Opening follows acquisition of the Costa Del Sol Princess on Spain’s Costa Del Sol.

Ikos Resorts has acquired the hotel Costa Del Sol Princess, in Estepona on Spain’s Costa Del Sol – its first acquisition in the Iberian Peninsula.

Renamed Ikos Andalusia, the site is scheduled to open in May 2020 off that back of a €150 million investment, with the aim of becoming Spain’s ‘leading luxury all-inclusive resort’.

Set on a beachfront site in Estepona, close to Marbella and a 60-minute drive from Malaga Airport, Ikos Andalusia will provide more than 400 luxury rooms and suites on 70,000 m2 of landscaped gardens and leisure facilities alongside 14,000m2 of beach front.

In addition, the hotel will house eight restaurants, sports and theatre facilities, a spa, indoor and outdoor heated pools plus an Ikos Deluxe accommodation area.

This will be the fifth Ikos resort, following recent expansion including Ikos Dassia, opening in May 2018, on the island of Corfu and Ikos Aria, opening in 2019 on the island of Kos, in Greece.

Ikos Andalusia is owned and operated by Ikos International SCA, and managed by general partners, Andreas A. Andreadis and Mathieu Guillemin backed by leading international investors such as Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Oaktree Capital Management LP and Hermes GPE.

“Estepona has always been a landmark destination for travellers seeking an ideal balance of sun, sea, lifestyle and culture. We are therefore excited to introduce our unique all-inclusive experience and the amazing Infinite Lifestyle promise to Spain by transforming the existing property within the sustainable framework of Ikos Green,” said Antonis Avdelas, Chief Sales & Marketing Officer of Ikos Resorts.

MarBella Hotels unveils design inspiration behind MarBella Nido Suite Hotel

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The newest addition to the MarBella Hotels family, MarBella Nido Suite Hotel & Villas, is set to open on the 5th May 2018.

Situated adjacent to sister property MarBella Corfu Hotel located in Agios Ionnis Peristeron, next to the renowned Zavitsianos Estate, all of MarBella Nido’s suites boast 180 degree views of the Corfiot straits. Taking inspiration from Corfu’s triple heritage (British, French and Italian) both in the architecture and the design of the hotel, MarBella Nido blends traditional elements with the simplicity of modern design to offer a unique and authentic experience.

Design Inspiration
The design inspiration behind MarBella Nido was to faithfully recreate the feel and atmosphere of an early twentieth-century village with architectural details taken from Corfu’s Old Town. Designed by M-Agiostratis, the architectural style reflects its long Venetian heritage with multi-storied buildings and continuous arches echoing a traditional Venetian loggia. Continuing on from the village feel, rooms are scattered in small residential buildings with courtyards, a multitude of porticoes and quaint alleyways never losing sight of or obstructing the view of the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean Sea.

MarBella Nido combines design elements inspired by Corfu’s triple European heritage, with stylish modern elements effortlessly blending tradition and luxury. In order to achieve this, special attention has been paid to all architectural details, which include traditional French railings and Venetian lime based paints.

Lobby and Orangery
The open and welcoming reception area evokes the feel of a courtyard, with monolithic chequered style flooring and fruit trees, and is at the heart of the MarBella Nido complex. The lobby area is dominated primarily by comfortable sofas and large armchairs facing a grand marble fireplace and the light floods into the room through huge arcade windows with views of the glistening sea. Velvet chairs and custom-made bronze and green oasis Tinos marble top tables were carefully selected by the interior designers. Combined with a lobby bar, made from hand-carved recycled wooden panels and oasis marble, the area is elegant and welcoming. The mirrors above the fireplace are handmade, created by Dominic Schuster, experts in creating bespoke distressed and aged ‘antique’ mirror glass, using an eighteenth-century technique.

Located adjacent to the Lobby, with a greenhouse feel, the Orangery provides a calming and peaceful space to relax in and take in the soothing sounds of the sea as well as learn about the hotels’ spectacular gardens. They are surrounded by ancient olive groves, bursting with indigenous plants such as lavender, rosemary, jasmine, thyme, wild rosebush as well as other varieties.

MarBella Nido will offer a range of individually designed 70 junior suites, deluxe suites and luxury villas all with stunning views across the glistening waters of the Ionian Sea. All suites and villas will be contemporary in design with neutral tones, offering sleek and elegant furnishings combined with the local Corfiot aesthetics.

Sneak Peek: MarBella Nido, CorfuSuites and Villas
All MarBella Nido’s suites, from the Junior Suites, to the Deluxe Suites, to the Grand Terrace Suites, are designed to offer guests the utmost sense of luxury, relaxation and tranquillity. Combining modern elements with a warm blend of wooden and traditional features the suites echo Corfu’s natural charm and that of a traditional Corfiot estate making guests truly feel at home during their stay. From the nineteenth-century style armchairs and solid oak stools to the more modern, though handmade, metal and wooden bedside tables, each object has been carefully designed to match this aesthetic. All fabrics used are the finest linen and velvets sourced from world renowned brands including Designer’s Guild, Osborne and Little and Manuel Canovas. Furthermore the en-suite bathroom features a glass walk-in shower with unhindered views of the sea. The private terraces attached to the suites with colourful tiles, outdoor infinity pools and Jacuzzis, give each suite a warm and intimate feel.

Meanwhile the MarBella Nido villa accommodation, set amongst lush vegetation, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Ionian Sea, will offer privacy and space in an expansive area of 120sqm. The villa offers 50sqm of indoor space and 70sqm of outdoor space with a mixture of handmade and modern furniture and a private pool.


Kempinski Hotel Bahia, Estepona, Spain

Kempinski Hotel Bahia, Estepona/Marbella announces exciting redesign plans

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The five star Kempinski Hotel Bahia in Estepona, Marbella is delighted to announce that the redesign of their lobby and culinary venues will begin at the end of this year, as part of an extensive investment in the hotel.

The Management Team and Architects, Akos Bara, have ambitious plans to create modern, elegant and opulent public spaces, embracing the very essence of Kempinski Hotels, Europe’s oldest luxury Hotel Collection, synonymous with luxury travel worldwide.

The redesign will run from December 2017 to March 2018, and for the comfort of guests, the hotel and spa will be closed from the 11th of December 2017 until the 16th of February 2018.

Closing during this period is necessary due to the impact on public spaces. “Guest experience is paramount to us and we do not wish to dilute it, therefore during the most invasive part of the redesign we have decided to close our doors”, explained General Manager Carla Lopes. “I’m extremely proud to lead this project and we will return to the market in a stronger position as we unveil a contemporary, luxurious environment that also celebrates our hotel’s heritage and beachfront location.”

With a completion date set for March 2018, the hotel will be fully operational for the Easter season. The reimagined culinary venues will boast in vogue dining concepts and the resplendent new lobby will be an elegant space, with every detail anticipated for, positioning the hotel as a leading player within the Costa del Sol when welcoming guests from all over the world. The redesign is part of a wider investment and forms part of the company’s long-term vision for the resort.


Marcel Wanders

In Conversation: Marcel Wanders – Grand Portals Nous

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He has been dubbed the ‘Lady Gaga’ of design – a moniker I’m not entirely convinced Marcel Wanders fully appreciates – and has been a big name in the industry for more than two decades; his ‘big break’ coming via the ‘Knotted Chair’ in the late 1990s.

But from his Powerhouse studio in Amsterdam with the help of his team of designers, Marcel has realised hundreds of projects – including some notable ones in the hospitality sector. One of the most recently completed is the IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Portals Nous in Mallorca, and about which Hotel Designs caught up with the charismatic and accomplished artist for a short chat…

As I call Marcel, he is relaxing with a cappuccino having just spent a week in Mallorca – the home of his latest hospitality project with IBEROSTAR. After our short introductions and a brief aside about the Mondrian Doha – another of his recent mammoth undertakings – I ask him how he got involved in the Grand Portals Nous. He tells me he is ‘super-excited’ about the project and how much it is going to impact the region’s hospitality scene.

Marcel Wanders - Grand Portals NousHe is not wrong. The property sits atop a stunning beach and Marcel has used this luxurious setting to bring about a truly Mallorquin style through his use of transparencies, whites and reflective surfaces. From the lobby’s bouquet motif to the boundless luxury of the hotel’s 66 rooms, four penthouse suites and five themed suites, guests are truly in for a treat.

“We’ve been working on this project for a long time, it has taken a while to complete this project and the whole building process. We’ve worked for eight years with the developer to create this wonderful place that it has become. It really is a jewel in the crown of the Iberian Peninsula. It has been great to be part of it,” he tells me.

Mallorca is a place close to Marcel’s heart. He clearly adores the place, having completed a similarly spectacular residential project on the island in 2009. I ask him what his inspiration was for this hospitality project.

“As a guest, you want to feel that you are in Mallorca – this beautiful Spanish island. The scenery and views are amazing. So, it was really important for me to make something authentic, that felt like it belonged there in that locale. That can be a difficult thing to achieve – but we wanted to do it in a new way, we didn’t want to do something that had been done before, it needed to be contemporary, modern yet at the same time international.

“It was a challenge to create something ‘of that place’ and authentic, that also delivers that unique Mallorquin character. We spent a lot of time sourcing materials, finishes and architectural features specific to the island – not to mention we had colour palettes that are really special; there is a winter and a summer palette. So the inspiration was definitely from the surrounding area. Guests go there to relax and hang out, but they also want to be excited about the place. For me, all of this was critical when it came to designing the space,” he adds.

Marcel’s attention to detail even went as deep as the design of the hotel’s logo. “Part of that ‘local inspiration’ process was creating a logo – its design inspiration was local flowers found on Mallorca, which bloom in early spring and herald the start of the season and I’m really happy that the bouquet logo celebrates that fact.”

Marcel Wanders - Grand Portals NousMarcel’s work has been carried out around the world on various sectors, so what is it that interests him about designing for hotels? “I have to say that in all things that the team does, we like to do projects where the design is ‘major league’. By that I mean projects where the design is integral to the success of the project. Of course, that comes into every project to an extent, but often people go somewhere because they have to go there. We want to create spaces that people visit because they really want to go there,” he says.

I ask Marcel how it differs from other sectors he has worked in and he enthusiastically tells me why he finds hotels ‘amazing’ to work in. “You get the freedom to really go hard with the design – unlike in a private residence where you might have to quieten that creative streak, create something a little more subdued and which ultimately is less visible to the world. Hotels are definitely our ‘sweet spot’ so to speak, a chance to show off creativity.

“As a designer you really have to be the best you can be, and as it’s a public sphere anybody who uses that space ‘owns’ that space. Therefore a lot of people will see your work, so it’s wonderful to create something a lot of people will use and enjoy.”

Marcel then talks about his early years as a designer and how that mass appeal is part of the appeal. “Starting out in my career as a designer, if we take the example of designing a coffee cup – you work for a long while to make that cup look wonderful and special, and then thousands of people can enjoy it, that’s important to me. It’s nice if one person is really happy with something you’ve created but it’s amazing when you create something of value for a lot of people – and hotels are exactly that.”

With his huge, worldwide reputation for creating statement, high-end interiors Marcel could be forgiven for running away with his vision, but that attitude has never been part of his make-up.

“I think hotels are actually very democratic. With this project – sure, it’s a five-star hotel and if someone wants to stay there for a week, they have to take quite a bit of money. But a person can also enjoy that space by just having a coffee or a drink with friends – I think that’s really cool.

Marcel Wanders - Grand Portals Nous“I remember when I was a kid, I would see spaces and think that’s a great space – like an expensive shop for example, you walk in with only a hundred bucks for the month and everything on sale is five hundred bucks. You’re priced out. But there has never been a hotel I felt I couldn’t go in, because I thought to myself I can always order a cappuccino, I can be a customer here – it was something I appreciated and have tried to do with this project.”

Having also spoken about his Mondrian Doha project, I ask Marcel what the future holds and if there are any exciting projects on the horizon.

“Yes, in fact, Doha was another project we spent a lot of time on and to have two openings in such a short space of time, it makes it look like the team and I do a lot of hotels, but in truth we only started on hotels in 2005 or so and we’ve only completed six or seven hotels in that time. So, it’s not a huge hospitality operation that we’ve created. We try to only do very prestigious projects that take a long time to get right; that require a tremendous amount of detail and research. We definitely pick and choose, but those half-dozen hotels, in the end, have really made their mark as a result – they are special places.”

Does Marcel think there is too much uniformity in hospitality design? “It’s nothing against designers of some hotels, but there’s already so many in the same style – I don’t feel there’s a need for yet another one. We always try to do something really different that stands out and that gives guests a genuine experience. It’s not always easy to find the clients, operators or developers who share that vision of creating something that hasn’t been seen before,” he says.

‘Creating something that keeps the guests coming back for more’, I suggest…

“Yes, exactly – keep the guests coming back! It’s wonderful to get new guests – but no hotel or hospitality client can survive on unique customers alone. Clients have to go away and spread the word, show photos to their friends – and that’s why I was delighted to stay at the hotel last week, I spoke to fellow guests about it and they were suitably impressed; not just with the design but with the service levels which are genuinely excellent. The operator knows exactly what its doing, so I’m super happy and I’m sure the business will grow fast,” Marcel concludes.

With his mercurial touch on show, I can only agree with him – it’s a wonderfully striking property and will be a Mallorquin gem for years to come, I’m sure…




Based on an interview in September 2017

Hotel Jardín Tropical – Tenerife completes refurbishment

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Christmas has come early for those looking for one of the best hotel experiences in Tenerife, thanks to a major refurbishment of the stunning Hotel Jardín Tropical.

Situated in Costa Adeje in the south of the largest of the Canary Islands, the exclusive hotel overlooks the Atlantic Ocean with stunning views towards the neighbouring island of La Gomera and benefits from Tenerife’s constant year-round sunshine and temperatures of around 23°c.

But a recent investment programme at the 390-room hotel has now made the premium experience even more enticing ahead of the December 1, 2017 relaunch, just in time for a sun-drenched festive season for those looking to escape the UK winter.

The new-look hotel’s interior style has been overseen by Barcelona-based Jaime Beriestain, who was awarded the prestigious AD Espana Interior Designer of the Year in 2016 and has an extensive portfolio of previous clients at some of the most salubrious hotels around the world.

Hotel Jardín Tropical - Tenerife completes refurbishment

Hotel Jardín Tropical - Tenerife completes refurbishmentHis vision has gained huge acclaim and the Hotel Jardín Tropical project has created a chic, personal touch, while retaining its unique personality in its spectacular setting.

Aside from the new look, there is also a fresh take on luxury. The Club is a fabulous new five-star experience with exclusive features for guests who prefer an extra layer of comfort with 90 rooms and suites, exclusive hotel areas and a host of features to enhance any stay to an even higher standard.

Hotel director Saad Azzam said: “We look forward to welcoming our guests to the relaunch of Hotel Jardín Tropical and we are sure it will go beyond all expectations in terms of service. We believe we offer the very best hotel experience in Tenerife.”


Photos: The Azalea Group

Main Lobby - Nobu Barcelona

Nobu Hospitality announces Nobu Hotel, Restaurant in Barcelona

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Globally established luxury lifestyle brand Nobu Hospitality, founded byNobu Matsuhisa,Robert De Niro and Meir Teper, and Selenta Group, a Spanish real estate and hotel group owned by Jordi Mestre, is delighted to announce their continued European expansion into Barcelona, Spain.

Set to open by the end of 2018, as part of a multi-million Euro refurbishment of Gran Hotel Torre Catalunya, this property will be an integrated mix of a Nobu Hotel and Restaurant reflecting the innovation and imagination that has become synonymous with the name Nobu.

The property will continue to be part of the Selenta Group collection. The partnership agreement with Nobu Hospitality gives rise to the shared management of the new establishment.

Capturing the unique essence of the famous European city whilst reflecting the brand’s core aspirational lifestyle offering. The fourth European hotel and third Spanish property from the highly recognised brand, the 250 rooms and suites along with its meeting rooms, event spaces and Nobu restaurant will be under a long-term management contract with Nobu Hospitality.

Nobu London & Ibiza

Nobu Hotels introduces London and Ibiza properties

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Nobu Hospitality, the group founded by renowned Chef Nobu Matsuhisa, Academy Award winner Robert De Niro, and Hollywood producer Meir Teper, is pleased to announce the opening of the first two European Nobu Hotels in London & Ibiza.

Nobu Hotel Shoreditch London, located in London’s artistic quarter, offers 148-guest rooms and suites, special event and meeting space and London’s newest Nobu Restaurant and Bar. Crafted to suit the energy in Shoreditch, our new Nobu Hotel and Restaurant draws from the area’s creative and industrial vibe.

Nobu London & Ibiza
Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay is like nowhere else in Ibiza. On the shores of Talamanca Bay, the resort offers 152-rooms and suites, two private seafront pools, the new Nobu Restaurant Ibiza, in addition to other restaurants, spa, and boutique shopping. The design reflects an idyllic barefoot luxury style, crafted for couples and families alike.

Nobu London & Ibiza“We are very proud to open the Nobu Hotel Shoreditch and Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay, each with partners who have great vision and passion to create something different and special,” said Trevor Horwell, Chief Executive Officer of Nobu Hospitality. “With London and Ibiza opening, we are continuing our European growth where we plan to announce further special Nobu Hotels in distinct locations.”

Hotel Círculo Gran Vía

Hotel Círculo Gran Vía, Autograph Collection opens in Madrid

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Autograph Collection Hotels, part of Marriott International, has welcomed its third distinctly independent property in Madrid with the opening of Hotel Círculo Gran Vía.

The magnificent neo-classical building is the former home of the Merchants and Industrialist’s Circle and has been transformed into a boutique, adults-only hotel and casino following a multi-million euro renovation. Offering 71 stylish rooms and suites, Hotel Círculo Gran Vía joins an ever-evolving ensemble of more than 110 Autograph Collection Hotels around the world that are independent, one-of-a-kind and share the brand’s values of vision, design and craft.

“We are delighted to bring new life to this iconic building in the heart of Madrid,” said John Licence, VP Premium & Select Brands Europe, Marriott International. “With its grand architecture and carefully curated design that nods to the building’s rich history, Hotel Círculo Gran Vía, Autograph Collection evokes the spirit and heritage of this captivating city and embodies our Exactly Like Nothing Else brand philosophy perfectly.”

Hotel Círculo Gran Vía is located on the world-famous Gran Vía, a lively street lined with magnificent buildings and delightfully quirky Art Nouveau and Art Deco facades. Built in the 1920s, the building was a meeting place for intellectuals of the famous Bilis Club, a literary society “without rules, directive board or address.” The property’s history prevails throughout with classical features showcasing the grandeur of the time.

The hotel’s design aesthetic is inspired by the building’s historic role as a gentleman’s club. Muted colours, textured fabrics and aged wood are artfully combined to balance the majestic with the contemporary. A photographic art exhibition entitled “Memories of Gran Via” composed of 175 historic pictures is displayed throughout the guestrooms and public areas offering a fascinating perspective on Madrid in decades past.

One of the hotel’s many highlights is Casino Gran Vía, the most famous casino in Madrid featuring traditional Baccarat, Poker and Black Jack tables as well as American Roulette. Another highlight is the stunning Royal Hall, a grand and atmospheric space dotted with sumptuous furnishings, which serves as the hotel’s living area where guests can relax, read and enjoy a drink.

Hotel Círculo Gran Vía, Autograph Collection is the brand’s third charmingly independent hotel in Madrid, joining Hotel Palacio Del Retiro and Hotel Santo Mauro.

Six Senses Ibiza

Six Senses Ibiza opening 2020

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Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas has announced the latest addition to their portfolio, Six Senses Ibiza. Set to open in 2020, the resort will be tucked away on the peaceful northern tip of Ibiza in the crystalline Cala Xarraca Bay.

With its unobstructed westerly sunset views, dramatic rocky beach and picturesque seafront with yacht access, this full-service resort, spa and residential community dances to the beat of a new mantra: transformative wellness to nourish the body, mind and soul.

Chief Executive Officer Neil Jacobs of Six Senses Hotels Resorts Spas said: “We”re very excited to open our first resort, spa and residential project in Ibiza, a project that celebrates wellness, sustainability and community spirit. This third European property complements our sister resort in Portugal”s Douro Valley, residential project in Courchevel, France and seven fabulous spas in France, Greece, Spain, Switzerland and the UK.

Six Senses has signed a management agreement with Beach Box Ibiza to open the resort in 2020 as a benchmark in innovative design, unique entertainment concepts and eclectic dining experiences. “We could not be more pleased to work with Beach Box Ibiza on this truly creative project,” said Jacobs

Six Senses Ibiza will offer 134 guest accommodations across a 25-acre site including fully appointed Townhouse Suites, Deluxe Pool Suites with private decks, Beach Cave Suites and two extraordinary six-bedroom Mansions. Available for a handful of residential buyers are nine captivating private villas located above the resort with expansive sunset views. Every aspect of the property”s physical design will facilitate the feeling of community and the activities and amenities offered to guests will focus on learning and experience.

Ibiza Axel Beach Hotel

Axel Beach Ibiza – How to turn a bland hotel hallway into a virtual surround gallery

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The Axel Beach Hotel Ibiza has obtained a degree of modernity and distinction with Tubbo – an attractive transparent gallery of 60m that receives the guests in the entrance and accompanies them through the lobby and main hall.

Open on the 15th of May, the hotel Axel Beach has focused on latest trends in interior design for its 89 rooms – but was missing a touch of innovation in its lobby and common areas.

It has obtained an original and trendy look with the installation of this gallery, that creates a translucid tunnel decorated with multiple led lights that accompanies the guest in their journey through the lobby and main hall. The result is what the owners call the ‘Axel experience’.

Ibiza Axel Beach HotelTubbo is an innovative product of the Spanish company Capotex. It is a structure with metal arches covered by transparent and resistant polycarbonate sheets that creates a gallery of modern and elegant design. The structure creates both resistant indoor and outdoor spaces with a diameter per module of 3.6m that can extend in length from 2m ad infinitum.

Ibiza Axel Beach HotelThe trendy Tubbo structure is strengthened with its customization such as led lighting, screen-printed impressions and projections, as it is predicted to do in the Axel Beach Ibiza. Another of its great advantages is that it can be installed without anchoring to the ground, therefore the installation process is clean and quick.

Ibiza Axel Beach HotelWith Tubbo, Axel hotel has been able to reform, in a record time, an expressionless hallway into a visual experience that captivates guests from the moment they enter the hotel.

Tubbo galleries are used in more than 12 countries in terraces as restaurants, bars and spas, garden shelters or outdoor sport tracks, smoking areas, pop up store, even cruise port and building connections.

Ibiza Axel Beach HotelAxel Hotels is an international hotel chain focused towards the LGTBI community, with a heterofriendly philosophy, such as, spaces that are conceived, developed and thought for the LGTBI community but open to everyone.

W Barcelona

Iconic W Barcelona completes multi-million euro room renovation

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W Barcelona, an iconic flagship of W Hotels Worldwide, part of Marriott International, has unveiled a multi-million euro transformation of all 473 guest rooms and suites, along with the addition of Europe”s first W Sound Suite (a music studio and writers room, now available at four W Hotels around the world).

The award-winning in-house design team at W Hotels partnered with London-based design studio Bowler James Brindley to reimagine the hotel, inspired by the 24/7 energy and privileged location on the shores of the buzzing Barceloneta.

Combining the personality and cutting-edge style of a boutique hotel with distinct positioning, W Hotels has created an entirely new segment in the hotel industry. W hotels provides the insider access to what’s new and next, offering a unique mix of cutting-edge design and passions around design, fashion, music and fuel.


Ana Garcia Maldonado

Q&A: Interview with Taylor Wimpey Spain’s Ana Garcia Maldonado

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It’s not a property’s location or indeed what it looks like from the outside, interior design is just as vital when choosing a perfect holiday home abroad to relax in style.

Ana Garcia Maldonado is leading Spanish developer Taylor Wimpey España’s highly experienced head of interior design who has worked independently with developers for almost 15 years.

Forget dated wicker furniture and terracotta colour palettes, the design of Taylor Wimpey España’s abodes are very much on trend and well thought out. Ana frequently attends all furniture and decoration fairs to maintain a creative flow of ideas and to keep up to date with Spanish design. Working alongside Taylor Wimpey España’s head architect, Pablo Live Sanchez and also her husband, Ana shares her trade secrets and what is it about interior design that she enjoys so much…

Q. What is your vision for the interior design of Taylor Wimpey España homes?
In all Taylor Wimpey España homes the first premise is quality, comfort, and an aesthetic mix of modernity and elegance that pleases a wide range of buyers. Our goal through decorating is to offer not a house, but a home.

Ana Garcia Maldonado - Taylor Wimpey SpainQ. What influences you in your design choices?
I try to follow and respect the line drawn by the Architecture Studio, which since the landmark Avalon development on the Costa del Sol, has been modern lines without leaving aside comfort and warmth of a home. When choosing colours and furniture, we usually take into account factors such as the name, location and even logo of the development, as each of them have their own identity.

Q. What are the key materials / pieces of furniture / brands / colour palettes that you are using for Taylor Wimpey España interiors at the moment?
We always look for functional furniture with light lines that does not detract from the spacious feel of each property. We like wood or matte finishes, natural tones and textures such as linen and cotton. For the walls we prefer a large canvases or mirrors, wallpapers with personality but still discreet, and playing around with the same colour tones in a single environment. We use an endless number of national and international brands in furniture, fabrics, papers, carpets, lighting, and choose brand depending on the budget we are allocated.

Q. What should owners avoid interiors wise when furnishing their holiday homes?
From experience I know that many clients give much more importance to furnishing the terrace than to the rest of the house, without taking into account the inclement weather. So my only advice is to equip the house with the same degree of comfort on the inside as the outside.

Q. Finally, how do you find working so closely with your husband on the architectural side?
It is a true privilege. We help and complement each other whilst enjoying our work. Can you ask for more?!

Visit taylorwimpeyspain.com for more information.

Amàre Marbella Beach Hotel Unveils New-Look Spa

Amàre Marbella Beach Hotel unveils new-look spa

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Now open for the spring and summer season with a fresh, new look following a winter facelift, Amàre Marbella Beach Hotel looks and feels better than ever, and you will too after a visit to its new-look Spa.

The Amàre Marbella Spa by Germaine de Capuccini has also had a refresh this winter, emerging with calming interiors, a relaxing colour palate and subtle new lighting.

Enhancements to Amàre Marbella’s Spa include a restful new colour palate and lighting throughout public areas and treatment rooms, revamped changing rooms and reception area and new flooring in the water zone.


Virgin Limited Edition is excited to share the first images of its newly-opened villa, Son Balagueret, situated on the Son Bunyola Estate

Opening of Virgin Limited Edition’s Son Balagueret this summer

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Virgin Limited Edition is excited to share the first images of its newly-opened villa, Son Balagueret, situated on the Son Bunyola Estate.

The new villa is Son Bunyola’s latest addition following the opening of the first two villas, Sa Terra Rotja and Sa Punta de S’Aguila in summer 2016.

Son Balagueret is spread over three floors and includes a secluded central Courtyard, a private heated swimming pool and panoramic views over the estate and the dramatic coastline.

The villa sleeps up to 6 people in three bedrooms, one of which is located in a unique and historic turret dating back to the 13th century. Rates start from £11,300 at today’s exchange rate for a 7 night stay.

The private estate, with its own gated entrance, is over 700 acres and is located in between Esporles and Banyalbufar on the Northwest coast of Mallorca. At the heart of the estate is an original Finca building dating back to the 1800s surrounded by vines, citrus fruit trees, almond and olive trees.

United Investments Portugal and Bespoke Hotels joint venture

Bespoke Hotels, United Investments Portugal announce joint venture

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United Investments Portugal (UIP) is delighted announce its entry into an inaugural European partnership with Bespoke Hotels International, Bespoke Hotels Portugal & Spain. With plans to develop and manage luxury properties across Portugal & Spain, under the management of Bespoke Hotels.

United Investments Portugal (UIP) is part of the IFA Hotels & Resorts (IFA HR) consortium and investment partnership, a worldwide leader in the development of hotel and residential resort projects, with operations extending across the Middle East, Europe, Africa, North America, and the Indian Ocean.

The announcement comes on the back of IFA Hotel Investments’ growing relationship with Bespoke Hotels International across Dubai and the Middle East, which has seen the Bespoke brand applied to significant sways of IFA’s portfolio of over 3,000 residential units, mixed use developments, and hotels in the region. This arrangement was the first of its kind to see an internationally-backed brand to enter Dubai’s newly formed Holiday Homes sector, and has resulted in a deepening relationship between IFA HR and Bespoke Hotels, with plans to develop further projects across Dubai and the Gulf Region.

“We are thrilled to enter into this partnership with UIP and to be strengthening our relationship with IFA and UIP”, commented Bespoke Hotels CEO, Haydn Fentum. “We have enjoyed considerable success when allying our brands in the Middle East, and hope to carry this momentum into the Portuguese hotel market, which has experienced notable recent growth.”

“We are pleased to announce this joint venture and partnership with Bespoke Hotels International”, added Carlos Leal, Director of United Investments Portugal. “UIP remain committed to expanding and diversifying our portfolio, in Portugal and Spain. We are confident the benefits of this partnership including Bespoke’s operational, management and distribution platforms will contribute to experiencing this growth together.”

Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa and Nobu Hospitality are unveiling exciting plans to launch the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Marbella

Nobu Hotel and Restaurant opening in Marbella

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Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa and Nobu Hospitality are unveiling exciting plans to launch the Nobu Hotel and Restaurant Marbella at the five-star resort’s exceptional location in southern Spain.

Nobu Restaurant Marbella will launch in May 2017, with the opening of the Nobu Hotel Marbella following in spring 2018 at the luxurious Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa on the ‘Golden Mile’. This new partnership between Nobu Hospitality and Puente Romano is set to create a spectacular next-generation lifestyle resort, and a holistic destination experience for all guests.

Nobu Restaurant Marbella, the first Nobu to open in Spain, will sit at the heart of Marbella’s dining scene, joining Puente Romano’s magnetic gastronomic offering of ten individual restaurants including the two-Michelin star ‘Dani Garcia’. Envisioned by Jean-Pierre Martel, one of Spain’s most cutting edge interior designers, in collaboration with StudioPCH Malibu, Nobu Restaurant Marbella will balance comfortable simplicity with natural materials and textures, consistent with the recently refurbished resort’s contemporary aesthetic.

Launching in spring 2018, the new Nobu Hotel Marbella will be distinguished by its bespoke Nobu guestroom design and sensual touches across the elegant hotel rooms. Guests can look forward to priority access to the Nobu restaurant, a private swimming pool, and Natura Bisse amenities. Nobu Matsuhisa’s exclusive in-room dining menu will be available around the clock to serve Nobu dishes to guests of Nobu Hotel Marbella who wish to make the most of the flexibility to dine in the privacy of their rooms or at the edge of the private pool.

The launch of the new hotel at the Marbella property will also see Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa entirely transformed into an all-suites resort. 184 recently refurbished suites set across 27 beautifully designed Andalusian villas, will offer access to the resort’s famous amenities and Six Senses Spa, as well as the new Nobu experience.

Further details, designs and images to be released in spring 2017.


W Marbella set to open next year

W Marbella to debut on Spain’s sizzling south coast

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W Hotels Worldwide, now part of Marriott International, has announced the signing of W Marbella and The Residences at W Marbella. Scheduled to open in 2021 and developed in partnership with Sunrise Inversiones 2015, W Marbella will be located on the pristine golden sands of Playa Real de Zaragoza, just a short drive from the energetic nightlife scene of downtown Marbella.

W Marbella will offer 200 spacious guestrooms, including 26 suites and an Extreme Wow Suite – the brand’s extravagant take on the traditional Presidential Suite. The hotel will feature a vibrant bar and a signature restaurant; an AWAY spa complete with a beauty salon and juice bar; FIT state-of-the-art workout facility; and two WET pool decks. For those looking for an extraordinary venue for their next meeting, W Marbella will provide five ultra-modern meeting rooms along with a covered terrace, measuring more than 10,000 square feet, ideal for outdoor parties and events.

The Residences at W Marbella will boast 100 low-rise, condominium apartments and villas available for purchase. The W-branded beachfront Residences will offer owners access to all of the hotel’s amenities and services, including preferred reservations at the hotel’s restaurants, bars and lounges; in-residence dining and STYLE housekeeping services, as well as a private pool and the brand’s signature Whatever/Whenever service promise.

With the opening of W Marbella in 2021, Spain will be the only country in Europe to boast three W Hotels, joining the acclaimed W Barcelona, which redefined Spain’s hospitality scene since it opened in 2009, as well as the forthcoming W Madrid, slated to open in 2019. W Marbella will be the fourth W Escape in Europe, a newly created portfolio of W Hotels located in ski, sand and entertainment destinations around the world, that make the traditional ‘resort’ a last resort.

W Marbella will join the brand’s robust portfolio of 50 hotels around the globe, including the recently opened W Las Vegas, W Goa and W Punta de Mita, as well as the soon-to-open W Shanghai, W Tel Aviv, W Madrid, W Panama and W Dubai – The Palm. W Hotels is on track to reach 75 hotels by 2020.

Student Hotel

The Student Hotel group expanding across Europe

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The Student Hotel group, pioneers of hybrid high-quality co-living, co-working hospitality and student accommodation to open in the Netherlands, Italy and Spain.

The Student Hotel will increase its European portfolio to 16 properties following the introduction of three new locations by 2019. Hotels in Eindhoven (already open) and Delft will add to its business in the Netherlands, which includes two properties in Amsterdam and one in Rotterdam, The Hague, Groningen and Maastricht. Delft is due to open in September this year.

Plans are agreed to open a third property in Italy as Rome joins Florence and Bologna, while Madrid marks The Student Hotel’s entry into the Spanish market.

Student Hotel

While the buildings are all different, they share a mix of contemporary student rooms, hotel rooms and co-living studios. The ground floors are accessible to the public and house study areas, meeting rooms, TSH Collab – co-working space for start-ups and local business – restaurant, bar, games room, gym and garage to house guest bicycles.
Charlie MacGregor, The Student Hotel’s CEO and founder, says: “Wherever we are, The Student Hotel connects students and hotel guests with start-ups, freelancers and the local neighbourhood. This expansion into new markets is just the start, expect many more acquisition announcements as we aim to fulfil our goal of 41 hotels by 2021.”

The group’s first co-living and co-working Spanish location will be in the heart of Madrid at the “La Imprenta” building, the former printworks at Cuesta de San Vicente 28. The building, which has been empty for 10 years, will be transformed into a 300-room hotel set to open in September 2019.

The Student Hotel Madrid is near to the city’s Gran Via, close to Principe Pio metro and Suburban railway stations, and within walking distance of the Complutense and Politécnica Universities, plus other learning centres including ICADE, ICAI and IED.

Student Hotel

The third Italian property will be located in the heart of Rome’s San Lorenzo district, an up and coming area popular with artists, artisans, writers, intellectuals and actors.

The group has acquired a site in Viale dello Scalo S. Lorenzo, which currently houses two buildings. It will refurbish one and demolish and rebuild the second to create the 649-room Student Hotel Rome, scheduled to open in August 2019. Construction will begin in February 2018.

The Student Hotel Rome is a short walk from Sapienza, the city’s main university where 113,000 students are enrolled, and 15-minutes walk from the main train station, Termini.

The 342-room Student Hotel Delft is a central location right on the Station Delft and the future Van Leeuwenhoek quarter. The most striking part of the hotel is the open front facing the station and park development. Designed by KCAP Architects & Planners, construction is scheduled for 2018 with the opening slated for summer 2019.

Student Hotel

Now operational, The Student Hotel Eindhoven is a complex with 400 rooms located next to Central Station and adjacent to the campus of the Technical University Eindhoven, the renowned Design Academy Eindhoven and the city centre. The site is part of a larger redevelopment project, Light Courts, which was dormant from 2008 until The Student Hotel became the first investor to kick start the project in 2015.

European Expansion
The Student Hotel will add eight properties to its current eight-strong portfolio by 2019. The four new announcements join Florence, Maastricht, Bologna and Berlin as properties that will open between 2017 and 2019 to bring the total number of Student Hotels in operation or in development to 16.

In Paris, where The Student Hotel operates under the Melon District brand, the property has been refurbished and will rebrand as The Student Hotel Paris this summer.

In Barcelona the Melon District properties will be refurbished and brought in line with The Student Hotel, focusing on international students and study abroad groups. It will launch in September this year.

By 2021 The Student Hotel plans to have 41 properties across Europe that will offer 17,550 rooms and over 620,000 square meters of co-living and co-working space in the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, France and Germany.

The Student Hotel seeks out and develops dormant and unloved buildings that, once renovated, bring positive economic and social benefits to their neighbourhoods. Each property is open to the community at large and encourages people who live and work in the hotel, or in the neighbourhood, to use its connecting space and facilities.


Nobu Ibiza Bay

Nobu Ibiza Bay opening this summer

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The Balearic Island’s most exciting new luxury five-star resort, Nobu Hotel Ibiza Bay, a member of the globally recognised Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH), is set to open on 30th June 2017.

Located on the shores of Talamanca Bay, the sophisticated yet fun loving beach retreat will be like nowhere else in Ibiza.

Ibiza Bay is designed to be the ultimate playground for grown-ups. The Ibizan style rooms and suites, two private seafront pools, restaurants, spa, boutique, adult and family experiences have been carefully curated to provide guests with the finest, authentic island escape, without ever having to leave the resort.

Offering four restaurants and a pool bar, Ibiza Bay is a food lover’s paradise. There are no fixed agendas; breakfast is served at guests’ leisure and spontaneous lunches blend into vivacious nights.

Nobu Ibiza Bay

From the sexy, immersive and fun culinary options to the 152 rooms and suites, every detail at Ibiza Bay has been designed with the guests’ comfort in mind. Inspired by the colours of the island, rooms are decorated with soft furnishings, natural wood, and artisan ceramics, using a colour palette of whites, golds and blues. Tasteful details like mother-of-pearl inlay and hand-blown pendant lights lend a lavish yet comfortable feel to the rooms. Floor-to-ceiling windows and open terraces mean guests will wake to the scent of wild jasmine and fall asleep to the sound of the crashing waves, whilst luxurious Natura Bisse amenities offer pre-and post-beach pampering.

The expansive Presidential and Royal Suites boast grand terraces overlooking the Mediterranean, an outdoor Jacuzzi, sprawling living room and private bar. Accommodation options vary from Cool and Deluxe rooms to Junior and Grand Suites.


Iberostar App

Tech Focus: Iberostar launches new App for guests

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In line with the digital transformation of the hospitality industry and the brand’s commitment to providing guests with the most innovative products, IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts launched its newIBEROSTAR APP application, a phone app for guests that will enable them to enjoy their experience at the hotel to the fullest.

The Majorca-based chain is constantly evolving and continues to invest in the improvements of its products and services to offer the best experience to all its guests. This effort is seen in projects such as the development of the new app, opening new channels of communication between the hotel and its guests.

The new tool is an app designed and developed entirely by the company and will therefore not depend on other products on the market. The platform will be open to future innovations, and has the capacity to incorporate new functions such as opening room doors or as a payment platform, positioning it at the forefront of the industry and as a unique benefit for Iberostar guests.

Designed to make the browsing, search and booking process simpler and more efficient, as well as enabling guests to select the experiences they wish to enjoy during their stay at the hotels, the IBEROSTAR APP includes:

  • Three intuitive sections including bookings and access to the web check-in service that will make the arrival procedure even faster and more convenient
  • The IBEROSTAR Experience, includes an interactive map that provides guests with access to all the hotel’s services and facilities, as well as full details of the gastronomy options, from booking a table at any of the restaurants or consulting the room service menu and ordering dinner to their room
  • The e-concierge function, whereby users can contact the hotel staff at any time, and employees can chat with guests in real time and resolve their needs and requests. The app also offers users the chance to make the most of their stay by taking advantage of services such as the late check-out, luggage storage or even checking courtesy room availability
  • The app also includes a timeline indicating the various events and activities available on-site each day. Users will have the option to save these activities on their mobile calendar and can share on social media, providing a global view of everything that is happening at the hotel in real time

With the launch of this new app, the three stages of Iberostar guests’ travel experience are covered: ‘before’ with the online booking and check-in options; ‘during’, thanks to the wide range of services available and important guest information; and ‘after’, as the app is also a new lasting communication channel between the company and its customers.

The app has already been tested at ten Iberostar hotels in Spain and the Caribbean and will gradually be incorporated into the company’s other hotels during 2017. Iberostar APP is available in Spanish and English and can be download for free through App Store and Google Play.

Construction Begins on Magaluf Shopping Mall & Melia Hotels International's Newest Hotel

Construction begins on Melia Hotels International’s newest hotel

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Melia Hotels International, Calviá City Hall and the Balearic Government has begun construction of a new hotel and shopping mall in Magaluf, Mallorca, which marks the next phase in the repositioning of the destination.

Leading Spanish Hotel Group, MHI is supporting the venture by investing the largest private investment of €45 million (£37.8 million) and will oversee the creation of a new central social hub. It will further contribute towards the area’s international positioning and enhance the profitability and sustainability of Magaluf’s tourism industry.

Set for completion in 2018, the complex will include a modern hotel, underground parking space for 200 cars and more than 5,000m² of retail, food & beverage outlets and terraces, which will be located parallel to Magaluf’s beachfront. It will offer professionals and families holidaying in Magaluf and wider Mallorca, as well as residents, the opportunity to enjoy a variety of new quality international high-street retailers and F&B outlets to encourage visitors to spend longer in the destination.

Following a public-private sector cooperation agreement, the Calvia Beach regeneration project was launched in 2012. As part of the initiative, Melia Hotels International has renovated all hotels in the area, totalling more than 3,500 rooms, through the introduction of new brands and experiences. MHI’s achievements have received international recognition, as well as generating the best results for Magaluf in the Company’s history.

MHI’s new four-star hotel will be the only new-build property to be added to the Company’s Magaluf portfolio. Situated next to Magaluf’s promenade, the hotel will provide state-of-the-art facilities, more than 270 rooms, rooftop and upper terrace hanging pools with views over the Mediterranean, plus a restaurant at street level open to both guests, tourists and locals.

The Calvia Beach project is a strategic scheme for the Company as the conversion of its hotels have allowed MHI to improve business results, as well as having a positive impact on the image of the destination, the revival of visitor facilities and the creation of new jobs. The hotel launch is expected to create 200 jobs and will boost local consumption of existing or new leisure amenities.

ONLY You Atocha Madrid

New Madrid property ‘Only YOU Hotel Atocha’ opens its doors

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New Madrid property, Only YOU Hotel Atocha has officially opened its doors bringing an authentic slice of New York to the Spanish capital.

The launch of the new urban-style hotel welcomes a unique range of events, including a pop up gin bar (in collaboration with Seagram’s Gin) featuring the four most famous cocktail bars from the Big Apple, including highly acclaimed The Dead Rabbit. The four-month launch period also features an authentic jazz residency from renowned US jazz label Blue Note, a barber shop reminiscent of Frank’s Chop Shop, located in the lower east side of Manhattan, and gastronomy created by New York based Michelin star chef, Bryce Shuman.

Madrid hotel Only You Atocha to open in November

Officially inaugurated on 1 December 2016 by Spanish actress Mónica Cruz, the new urban-style hotel faces Atocha railway station, one of the city’s major transportation hubs, overlooking the Paseo Infanta Isabel and Alfonso XII street, close to Madrid’s spectacular Retiro Park. At just a few metres from Madrid’s main station and within walking distance of the best city attractions, its strategic location is ideal for visitors who can explore the city on foot, including Madrid’s famous Golden Triangle of Art (including the Prado, Reina Sofia Museum and Thyssen – Bornemisza Museum), as well as many of the capital’s historic sites.

ONLY You Atocha Madrid

The décor of the hotel bears the hallmark of prestigious Barcelona-based interior designer Lázaro Rosa Violán, who has created a welcoming, warm and sophisticated space that blends industrial and Mediterranean styles and materials. The spectacular lobby area offers different spaces and concepts to enjoy during the day or at night featuring exhibitions and events and a bar and café designed to welcome visitors and locals alike.

ONLY You Atocha Madrid

The hotel includes 205 elegant rooms, spread across seven floors as well as a gym with a personal trainer service and running club, multi-purpose rooms for business guests and multiple dining options.

ONLY You Atocha Madrid

As well as typical New York cuisine and cocktails, Only YOU Hotel Atocha also offers a gastronomic journey through Latin America to Asia and back to Europe. ‘Trotamundos by Spoonik’ brings a menu developed by resident chef Javi Mora, in collaboration with Spoonik Club chefs Jon Giraldo and Jamie Lieberman, insignias of fusion cuisine. ‘The Bakery by Mama Framboise’ offers sweet temptations as well as savoury sandwiches and other baked delights in the style of a New York deli, whilst ‘YOUniverse’ is a terrace and restaurant located on the seventh floor, offering breakfast with a view and a modern terrace to enjoy wonderful views of the Spanish capital and good music with the resident DJ.

ONLY You Atocha Madrid

The Atocha addition to the Only You Hotels portfolio joins Only YOU Boutique Hotel Madrid in the Spanish capital, and represents Palladium Hotel Group’s strategy of increasing its urban portfolio in Europe’s main city destinations. The hotel’s central location and contemporary design will suit both leisure and business travellers.


Mercer Hotel Sevilla

Sneak Peek: Mercer Hotel, Sevilla

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The Mercer Hotel Sevilla is a new landmark hotel of 12 rooms and suites, which opened last week (25 November 2016).

Casa Palacio Castelar, has been chosen because of its prime location set in the heart of the historic centre of Sevilla at 26, Calle Castelar. Within minutes, guests can reach emblematic and historic points of interest, as Torre del Oro, La Giralda, the Cathedral, Real Alcazar and Real Fábrica de Tabacos.

Mercer Hotel Sevilla

Each Mercer Hotel has a uniquely distinctive look and feel that is based on the location and history of the building and destination. The new hotel in Sevilla is a perfect example of the philosophy in creating a hotel that offers a discreet and reassuring elegance that is imbued with timeless luxury.

Mercer Hotel, Sevilla

“Our formula is to combine the cultural heritage of our hotels with service that is entirely focused on satisfying the needs of our guests. This creates a distinct personality in the historical buildings and the unique design within them,” says Mr. Pedro Molina, Proprietor of Mercer Hoteles.

Designed in an intimate bourgeois palace, Casa Palacio Castelar, dates from the mid 19th century, the noble staircase is, in some respects, a centerpiece and inspiration for the project. The same detail in the moldings is a subtle detail that has a huge visual impact and can be found throughout the 12 unique guest rooms and suites in the hotel.

Mercer Hotel, Sevilla

“The soothing colour scheme that has been chosen for the accommodations ranges from a pale blue verging on grey, to the lightest sea foam green that is enhanced by deeper, richer teal accents. The overall effect is opulent yet entirely understated,” says Amanda Molina, Projects and Communication Manager at Mercer Hoteles. Rooms will feature some of the finest furniture collections from the Poltrona Frau, Flexform, and Cassina to name a few.

Mercer Hotel, Sevilla

In the typical Andalusian style, a centre courtyard is the very heart of the hotel and in this instance the common spaces on the ground floor include the lobby, restaurant and cocktail bar. To create a space which could be utilised year round, the project started with a very strong architectural element – a modern vision of the classic chandelier, created by Cruz & Ortiz who were responsible for the rehabilitation of the hotel, while Amanda Molina is the interior designer of the hotel.

Mercer Hotel, Sevilla

The colour schemes carried through the public areas are more dramatic than the guest rooms with deeper tones for the restaurant in shades of gold, moss greens and a neutral taupe. The cocktail lounge is more vibrant and reminiscent of the colors of Sevilla: mandarin orange and russet reds with gold accents. Although the spaces are intimate, they offer very high ceilings allowing the ability to create a very dramatic effect, while keeping the scale human.

Mercer Hotel, Sevilla

The rooftop terrace features a plunge pool and lounge area perfect for sun bathing and enjoying refreshing cocktails. As the sun sets, a transformation takes place converting the rooftop into a starlit patio, making it the perfect place to enjoy an evening glass of sherry.

Hotel Jardines de Nivaria

Tenerife’s Hotel Jardines de Nivaria reopens after €13.5m refurbishment

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Five-star Hotel Jardines de Nivaria, considered one of the most luxurious properties in the south of Tenerife, has just re-opened following a €13.5 million (£12 million) investment which has seen a comprehensive modernisation of the lush resort.

Improvements include the refurbishment of all rooms, a brand new gym and the relocation of gourmet restaurant, La Cúpula, which now features panoramic views over the island’s coastline.

Hotel Jardines de Nivaria
After a five-month refurbishment period, all rooms at the property have been given a fresh new look, most of them using creams and warm coloured interiors designed by Stone Designs. They all now feature new furniture, artwork, wooden floors, baths and showers and modern equipment to offer guests greater levels of comfort – plus glass-railing balconies for even better views. The refurbishment of the whole new complex was designed by architecture firm ImpulsARQ.

Hotel Jardines de Nivaria
Award-winning restaurant, La Cúpula is one of the refurbishment’s main beneficiaries. Now perched on the fourth floor of the main building, the eatery boasts incredible panoramic views over the blue Atlantic Ocean thanks to the venue’s new floor-to-ceiling windows.

Hotel Jardines de Nivaria

Also benefitting from a similar makeover is the hotel’s main restaurant, Solandra, boasting a contemporary look and a brand new wine bar, yet maintaining the same excellent standards of quality and delicious food.

The layout of the pool area has been modified to make more room for guests who enjoy being in the sun and having a snack and drink at the new-look Cascada poolside bar. The property’s subtropical gardens with palm trees and beautiful waterfall are still in place, as well as the two swimming pools – a heated one filled with salt water and a freshwater pool.

Finally, the gym has also been refurbished from ‘top to toe’ to make it more spacious and now includes a sauna and Turkish bath. A brand new spa, currently being refurbished, will open in early 2017 with an even greater choice of massages and treatments.


Madrid hotel Only You Atocha to open in November

Madrid hotel Only YOU Atocha to open in November

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Palladium Hotel Group is expanding in Madrid with a new property adding to the group’s wider diversification and expansion over the last few years.

After the success of Only YOU Boutique Hotel Madrid which opened in September 2013, the group has now reinforced its commitment to the Spanish capital with the launch of a new centrally-located property, Only YOU Hotel Atocha, opening in early November 2016.

The new urban-style hotel is a conversion of a historic 19th century building that faces Atocha railway station, one of the city’s major transportation hubs, overlooking the Paseo Infanta Isabel and Alfonso XII street, close to the Madrid’s spectacular Retiro Park.

The décor of the hotel bears the hallmark of prestigious Barcelona-based interior designer Lázaro Rosa Violán, who has created a welcoming, warm and sophisticated space that blends industrial and Mediterranean styles and materials. The spectacular lobby area offers different spaces and concepts to enjoy during the day or at night featuring exhibitions and events and a bar and café designed to welcome visitors and locals alike.

The hotel includes 206 elegant rooms, spread throughout seven floors as well as a gym with a personal trainer service and running club, multi-purpose rooms for business guests and multiple dining options.

The Atocha addition to the Palladium portfolio joins Only YOU Boutique Hotel Madrid in the Spanish capital, and represents Palladium Hotel Group’s strategy of increasing its urban portfolio in Spain’s main city destinations. The hotel’s central location and contemporary design will suit both leisure and business travellers.

Park Hyatt Mallorca - Serenitas Spa

Park Hyatt Mallorca unveils Serenitas Spa

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Since its opening on 1st June 2016, Park Hyatt Mallorca is now home to the Serenitas Spa, an exclusive day spa and wellness centre, at the heart of the resort.

Taking inspiration from the island’s azure seas, abundant nature, fragrant aromas and Mediterranean breeze, Serenitas Spa draws on Mallorca’s rich history and cultural heritage to offer guests an unforgettable wellbeing experience. Serenitas Spa is a peaceful oasis, surrounded by landscaped gardens and gorgeous views of the Serra de Llevant Mountains.

Embraced on arrival with aromas of lavender and rosemary, guests can choose from a wide variety of authentic treatments that draw on the hotel’s rural Balearic locale. Treatments incorporate the island’s minerals, herbs, fruits, salt and water, with ingredients such as pine, lavender, almonds, olive oil, citrus and aloe vera. Signature treatments are based on healing ingredients dating back thousands of years and all treatments are individually tailored to meet the needs of every guest. Each treatment is devoted to the complete wellbeing of the body, mind, spirit and soul.

Park Hyatt Mallorca - Serenitas Spa

Bespoke wellness programmes can also be created incorporating activities such as trekking, yoga, Pilates, fitness, water-based activities and nutritive food care.

Serenitas Spa features seven treatment rooms, including two couples treatment rooms, each with their own terrace and bath. Additional features include a room with an alpha quartz sand bed (the only one of its kind on the island), sauna, steam rooms, sensory showers and vitality pool. Guests can also enjoy the Serenitas Spa lounge, a calming relaxation room that opens onto a beautiful outdoor terrace with breath-taking sea and mountain views.

Park Hyatt Mallorca - Serenitas Spa

Dedicated to providing a truly memorable and holistic spa experience, Serenitas offers uncompromised attention to detail in an atmosphere of peace, calm and serenity. Every element of the spa has been created to evoke traditional Mallorcan authenticity and hospitality. Local traditions and philosophies are seamlessly integrated with acclaimed international brands such as ESPA, time honoured rituals and contemporary techniques.

Michael Schmid, General Manager at Park Hyatt Mallorca, says, “We are delighted to unveil our Serenitas Spa. Guests from all around the world can look forward to an enriching wellbeing experience. Serenitas will offer guests a genuine sense of place, the finest, locally inspired spa treatments, world renowned spa brands and exemplary personal service.”

For the more active, a state-of-the-art 24-hour Fitness Centre offers the latest training equipment.

Midmost Hotel Barcelona

Midmost Hotel opens in Barcelona

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The Majestic Hotel Group has announced the opening of Midmost Hotel Barcelona.

Meaning, “in the exact centre,” Midmost is centrally positioned in the city’s “Golden Triangle,” between Plaza Catalunya and Plaza Universitat. Under five-minutes from Las Ramblas, the hotel’s location speaks to Barcelona’s modern culture with nearby health-conscious restaurants, art galleries, and contemporary museums. Embracing the values of the eclectic neighbourhood, modern simplicity and vintage style go hand in hand to create a hotel with a distinctive personality, in tune with the guests who stay there. In addition to a terrace bar and rooftop pool, the boutique property comprises 56 rooms and suites.

Midmost Hotel Barcelona

Housed within a nearly 100-year old building, the Midmost Hotel stands squarely at the intersection of old and new. Historical elements such as the 1919 façade and an original iron staircase were preserved in the design process, while new touches like an industrial-style front door and custom light fixtures provide modern sophistication. A nod to the property’s Mediterranean locale, the interior colour scheme is predominantly white and blue, accented by golden tones and bathroom floors lined with Catalan tiles.

Midmost Hotel Barcelona

The Midmost rooftop offers a backyard-feel with lush tropical plants, terrace beds, wood benches, and comfortable seating areas.

Owned by the Majestic Hotel Group, Midmost Hotel Barcelona enjoys the benefits of nearly 100 years of experience shared by its sister property Majestic Hotel and Spa Barcelona.


Curio - Gran Hotel Montesol

Curio makes Spanish debut in Ibiza

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Curio – A Collection by Hilton announced this week the opening of Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza, Curio Collection by Hilton. The upscale, one-of-a-kind hotel is Hilton Worldwide’s first property on the island of Ibiza. Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza is part of Hilton Worldwide’s Curio brand, a rapidly-expanding global collection of distinctive upscale and luxury hotels.

Originally established in 1933, Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza is steeped in history as it was the first purpose-built hotel on the island and has been declared an asset of cultural interest by UNESCO. With its opening as part of the Curio collection, the property has been fully refurbished while maintaining its neo-colonial facade. The hotel’s 33 elegant guest rooms have been decorated by famed interior designer Lázaro Rosa-Violán and most rooms offer views of the old town and harbour.

Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza


Cafe Montesol sits on the ground floor of the hotel and has been a hub for social life in Ibiza since it was originally established in 1933. It is known among local residents as a place to gather and socialise while enjoying Spanish Mediterranean cuisine and tapas specialities, and can accommodate up to 300 guests. Its cocktail bar is the perfect place to lounge while enjoying a refreshing drink and its street terrace overlooks Vara de Rey Boulevard.

Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza

“Each hotel selected to join the collection is hand-picked for its distinctive character and Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza is no exception to this as it joins 23 Curio hotels open around the world, including Reichshof Hamburg in Germany which was the first Curio hotel to open in EMEA,” said Dianna Vaughan, senior vice president and global head, Curio – A Collection by Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton. “We are delighted to add this property to our growing portfolio. With its prime location, bespoke concierge service and top restaurant, the hotel is ideal for travellers to Ibiza.”

Photos: curiocollection3.hilton.com

Room Mate Hotels

Room Mate Hotels opens fourth Barcelona hotel

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Room Mate Hotels, the award-winning hotel chain founded and chaired by Kike Sarasola, has opened its fourth hotel in Barcelona.

Room Mate Anna is located in Passeig de Gràcia, better known as the Quadrat d’Or, the ‘Golden Square’ of Catalonian modernism and is the heart of life and culture in Barcelona.

The hotel offers 81 rooms in four categories: basic, standard, deluxe, and junior suite. Notable features include a terrace and a circular rooftop pool with views of Barcelona landmarks such as the Agbar Tower and the Gaudi masterpiece Casa Batlló.

Room Mate Hotels

Room Mate Anna has been designed by renowned interior designer and antiques expert Lorenzo Castillo, who previously worked with the group on Room Mate hotels in New York and Florence. Guests of Room Mate Anna can enjoy the services found in all Room Mate Hotels, such as breakfast served until noon and the innovative free WiFi Service WiMate, which provides free WiFi for guests not only in the hotel itself but also throughout the city.

Sarasola, president and founder of Room Mate Hotels says, “Barcelona represents one of our key business areas and the city is a global tourism destination, which is why we are firmly committed to opening two further hotels by 2017.”

Room Mate Hotels

In designing Room Mate Anna, Castillo has created a scheme that reflects the Catalonian Mediterranean roots of Barcelona and pays tribute to the sea, the sun and the tropics. Bursts of bold colour are a notable aspect of the hotel’s design scheme, incorporating the hues of the Catalonian landscapes, such as the turquoises and aquamarines of Palamós, and the earthy and green tones of the cypress trees of Empordà.

In the rooms, the Mediterranean Sea is the central theme, as seen by the use of bright red Trapani coral and giant shells. Wardrobe doors and headboards are fashioned from Venetian blinds and slatted shutters; the coloured marble floors add a further design dimension. A fresh, contemporary look is created by the use of white fabrics with accent colours such as red, blue, black and green.

Room Mate Hotels Barcelona

There is bespoke furniture in natural woods and wax finishes, made with traditional methods, in updated and modern designs. Colour and brightness is further highlighted with the addition of metals such as brass plus wall lamps and giant skylights in the dining room of Room Mate Anna.

With 23 establishments and a presence in six international markets, the chain plans to open eight additional hotels throughout 2016 and 2017 in cities that include Rotterdam, Florence, Rome, Paris and Madrid. This will allow the company to grow its size and reach a total of more than 4,000 rooms, while establishing its global presence.

La Isla y el Mar, Lanzarote

Project Spotlight: Laufen’s work at La Isla y el Mar, Lanzarote

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Now a benchmark among Spain’s most renowned architects and interior designers, the boutique hotel La Isla y el Mar in Lanzarote, part of the Martínez Hermanos Group, has chosen the design, quality and exclusivity of Laufen’s products for its bathrooms.

Situated in the town harbour of Porto del Carmen and built by the architect José María Pérez Sánchez, using the island’s natural materials – such as volcanic stone – the design of this 4-star hotel manages to perfectly combine art and modernity, thereby achieving an intimate atmosphere.

Its 81 suites are equipped with exclusive, custom-made basins from Laufen, especially made for this project in Sentec – a solid surface material manufactured by Laufen, which has exceptional physical and microbial durability and is particularly suitable for hotels and public buildings delivering unique features that contribute to creating an elegant and avant-garde atmosphere which emanates throughout the hotel.

Laufen's work at La Isla y el Mar, Lanzarote

As the architect Pérez Sánchez stated: “The washbasin is the main component in all of the hotel’s bathrooms. It is displayed to the customer as if it were perched on a rock, which supports and frames it. The plants emerging from the rocks complement it. Although it may at the moment appear of secondary importance, the customer can also see the basin reflected in the floating mirror.”

The architect thus emphasizes the challenge of finding a piece that unites the high demands of its users. “A large surface for the customer’s items, a separate space for the amenities, and sufficient interior space. Laufen gave us the opportunity to make a basin for the hotel La Isla y el Mar with a material that could be adapted to the project,” he added. Sentec is a material that is unique, highly robust and recyclable.

Laufen's work at La Isla y el Mar, Lanzarote

Furthermore, all the bathrooms of La Isla y el Mar have the distinctive Kartell by Laufen design with slim shower trays, also made of Sentec, together with the orange-coloured accessories from the same collection, endowing them with the chic and sophisticated touch characteristic of Kartell by Laufen.

Implemented by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba (ps+a, Milan), the collection unites two signatures of international standing – Laufen and Kartell. Since it was launched nearly three years ago, it has been successfully presented all over the world with more than 500 points of sale in over 40 countries. The first single-brand shop of this collection was inaugurated last year in Milan and was a great success.

Laufen's work at La Isla y el Mar, Lanzarote

The bathrooms of the boutique hotel are complemented by a WC from Laufen’s Palace collection. Realised by the designer Andreas Dimitriadis (platinum design), they pay tribute to the outstanding properties of ceramics. The WCs of this series are ergonomically shaped and have a concealed mounting for a sophisticated finish.

A commitment to sustainable development and the protection of the environment is another one of the values shared by Laufen and the La Isla y el Mar hotel. For Laufen, which offers solutions that, among other things, contribute to saving water and energy, it is a priority to be involved in projects designed to protect the environment, and the cooperation between this Swiss company and this new hotel is one example of this.


GROHE Experience Suite, Mallorca

Project Spotlight: GROHE opens first Experience Suite in Mallorca

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From this summer onwards the five-star hotel, IBEROSTAR, in Playa de Palma will be home to the first GROHE Experience Suite in Mallorca.

The new suite spa is located on 7th floor of the hotel and allows guests to enjoy a spacious outdoor area with outstanding views of the local beaches. It has a large and bright bedroom-living room, a large terrace with an outdoor bathtub and a first-class GROHE bathroom to enjoy a private spa experience.

The suite is equipped with the latest GROHE technologies and has been designed to provide a luxurious sensory experience for the customer.

Shower area: F-digital Deluxe
The immersive shower area has been designed to take the spa experience to the next level. Equipped with an exclusive F-digital Deluxe shower cabin, the area features a large rain shower head, chromotherapy, side massage shower sprays, ambient music and different types of steam generators, including hammam or Turkish bath, for the ultimate indulgent showering experience.

The F Digital Deluxe can be controlled by a programmable touchscreen panel or app to ensure that guests have full control of all functions, including water temperature and pressure during their shower.

Project Spotlight: GROHE opens first Experience Suite in Mallorca
Bath area: Allure range

The bath area is divided into two spaces: an interior bathtub featuring a GROHE Allure collection striking waterfall spout, and a beautiful outdoor bathtub to enjoy the climate and spectacular views of Mallorca.

Toilet area: Sensia Arena
The GROHE Sensia Arena completes the full spa experience in the suite. The innovative shower toilet incorporates the latest in Japanese technology to deliver maximum personal hygiene.

The Arena is much more than just a bidet and WC combined, and is packed with state-of-the-art features, such as a touchscreen remote control allowing you to save your favourite cleansing settings. The Sensia Arena also comes with innovative features such as an air-infused shower spray, a rimless bowl, automatic lid opening and automatic flushing and rinsing using GROHE sensor technology.

The GROHE Experience Suite in Mallorca represents the brand’s concept of the bathroom, understood as a private space for relaxation, comfort and intimacy. By creating this exclusive suite, GROHE consolidates its prestige in the hospitality industry in Spain and reaffirms its commitment to Mallorca, a market where GROHE opened a new showroom last October.


Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques

Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques opens in Madrid

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The 5-star Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques in the historical and artistic heart of Madrid has opened its doors.

Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is located in the renovated building that was previously the well-known Hotel Ambassador, on the former site of two important buildings: the convent of Santo Domingo and the palace of the Dukes of Granada de Ega y Villahermosa.

Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques
Among the collection of Leading Hotels of the World, Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques is based on the legacy of works by Diego Velázquez. A total of nine reproductions inspire each of the suites and public spaces. Art has become the essence of this majestic building, in which the modern exists harmoniously with original 19th century features, such as the Isabelline facade, the spectacular central wrought-iron and wooden staircase and the cloister with its glass dome, which is now the hotel lobby. Another major attraction is its Historical Garden, perfect for discovering the avant-garde range of cuisine.

Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques
Stylish and sophisticated, the 180 rooms boast the latest technology, as well as a Nespresso coffee machine, a mini-bar and a wide range of Clarins beauty products.

Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques
Meliá Hotels International is committed to the luxury segment within the Gran Meliá brand with its two new openings of Gran Meliá Palacio de los Duques and Gran Meliá de Mar in Spain and the forthcoming addition of Gran Meliá Nacional Río de Janeiro in Brazil. All of these feature its characteristic RedGlove Service; “the combination of the tradition of the white glove and the elegance of the red carpet with the intrinsically Spanish passion that inspires everything we do”.

Photos: www.melia.com

Puente Romano - Villa Pereza

Puente Romano, Marbella launches villas for summer 2016

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Luxury resort Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa in Marbella, has announced the launch of three deluxe new villas for summer 2016. Complementing the resort’s recent refurbishment of its facilities and guestrooms, the new villas combine authentic Andalusian design with modern luxury to provide a sumptuous retreat from which to explore the resort’s world-class facilities.

Ideal for families, Villa Margarita incorporates three bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchenette with dining area for up to six guests, entertainment room, and private pool with a dazzling backdrop of white Dolomite rock landscaping and hanging bougainvillea.

Puente Romano Villa Margarita
Just moments from the beach, the four bedroom La Pereza villa features a large private landscaped garden with outdoor dining area and a pool. Two bedrooms offer spectacular sea views, whilst the master bedroom’s ensuite bathroom features a deep soaking Jacuzzi, double vanity and rain shower with sea views.

The vision of interior designer, Jean Pierre Martel, La Pereza’s sophisticated design presents Greek marble throughout, blended with soft sand beiges, natural tones and warm greys reminiscent of beach pebbles and shells to reflect the property’s shore-side location. Guests can explore the locality in luxury too, with the use of a Mercedes A-Class.

Puente Romano Villa Margarita

Opening later this month and perfect for those travelling in larger groups, Villa Armonia is a five-bedroom property offering sea views as well as a beautiful spacious private garden and pool.

Located on the famous ‘Golden Mile’ on the south coast of Spain, Puente Romano Beach Resort & Spa is situated between Marbella and Puerto Banus, just 45 minutes from Malaga airport. The resort imitates a traditional beachside Andalusian village, and is surrounded by tranquil sub-tropical gardens.

Guests may choose from nine restaurants offering gastronomy from all over the world and 2 Michelin star cuisine, as well as extensive health & leisure facilities including the Tennis & Fitness Club – one of the most prestigious in Europe which has hosted several major international tennis tournaments.

The premier location of Puente Romano allows guests to enjoy a day on the beach with an abundance of water-based activities. Several swimming pools overlook the Mediterranean, and those seeking relaxation can visit the Six Senses Spa to choose from a wide range of therapies and treatments.


Camp de Mar

93 rooms freshly renovated at Steigenberger Camp de Mar

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93 rooms at the five-star Steigenberger Golf & Spa Resort Camp de Mar on Mallorca, operated by RIMC, now boast a resplendent new look following completion of the initial phase of renovation measures. The end result is modern, light and airy rooms, all of which feature high-quality furniture.

Renovation works in the lobby and Atrium Bar will be undertaken next, also in a predominantly Mediterranean style. In addition to this, there are plans for a small shop in the entrance area.

93 rooms freshly renovated at Steigenberger Camp de Mar

We are delighted with the results of these first renovation works at the Steigenberger Golf & Spa Resort Camp de Mar,” said Marek N. Riegger, Managing Partner of RIMC International Hotels & Resorts. “We offer a fabulous location at the very heart of the beautiful coastal landscape of Mallorca, and our guests can expect stylishly furnished rooms and suites and a range of regional culinary delights from the numerous restaurants at the resort,” he added.

93 rooms freshly renovated at Steigenberger Camp de Mar

Conversion works for the whole of the restaurant area will get underway at the start of winter season. The SPA will gain a new thoroughfare so that hotel guests can more conveniently access the outdoor pool and garden facilities. The final phase of the project will involve adding a new playground to the children’s area.

Hotel Carlton - Luxury Hotels Group

Luxury Hotels Group welcomes one of Spain’s most distinctive hotels

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Luxury Hotels Group is delighted to announce the latest addition to its growing portfolio – in the heart of Bilbao, Hotel Carlton is a five star hotel with a story to tell.

Bilbao is synonymous with the iconic Guggenheim Museum thanks to world-renowned architect Frank Gehry, but the Hotel Carlton was an icon long before this modernist masterpiece. With an imposing beaux arts façade and equally alluring interiors, it’s seen everyone from Albert Einstein to Ava Gardner stay in its rooms and suites since it opened in 1926, and was the base of the Basque government during the Spanish Civil War.

Hotel Carlton Bilbao - Luxury Hotels Group

The first hotel in Spain to boast en-suite bathrooms, the Carlton’s high ceilings, marble floors, plush fabrics and natural silk duvets exude elegance, complemented by bold contemporary styling. Rooms and suites combine a real sense of history with every modern comfort, making the hotel ideal for discerning travellers looking for an authentic, upscale experience. The unique appeal also extends to twelve versatile event spaces, ranging from the sweeping Azul room for up to 200 theatre-style to the atmospheric La Cristalera – an elliptical hall illuminated by a stunning stained glass dome – a memorable setting for cocktail receptions, press conferences or product presentations. The Salón Aránzazu, which harboured the government during Civil War bombardments, now hosts smaller meetings and intimate private dining experiences.

Hotel Carlton Bilbao - Luxury Hotels Group

Bernadette Koltai, Luxury Hotels Group’s Vice President, said: “Luxury Hotels Group is all about individuality, and they don’t come much more individual than the Hotel Carlton. It’s the antithesis of formulaic branded hotels typically found in provincial cities and has a genuinely interesting story. We’re delighted to strengthen our presence in Spain by working with such a distinguished hotel.”

Sales Manager of Hotel Carlton, Silvia Varea, said: “The Carlton Hotel is proud to be partnering with such a dynamic, forward-thinking British company as Luxury Hotels Group and we trust that this is the beginning of a successful business relationship.”


Park Hyatt Mallorca

Park Hyatt Mallorca now open

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Park Hyatt Mallorca, located on the relatively undiscovered north-eastern coast, has opened to become the first Park Hyatt resort in Europe and the first Hyatt hotel in Mallorca.

Set in the exclusive Cap Vermell Estate, and designed in the style of an authentic Mallorquín village, the secluded setting offers guests a unique and tranquil environment. The new destination offers 142 luxurious guest rooms including 16 exquisitely designed suites. Rooms are complete with private terraces that feature stunning views of the verdant Canyamel Valley or Balearic Sea.

Park Hyatt Mallorca

“The opening of our first Park Hyatt European resort marks a significant milestone for Hyatt and underlines our commitment to meaningful and strategic growth in this region where we know our guests are traveling,” said Peter Fulton, group president for Europe, Middle East and Africa, as well as Southwest Asia for Hyatt. “Park Hyatt hotels are internationally renowned for their understated luxury and sophistication, and we are pleased to bring this experience to the Mediterranean.”

Luxury facilities at Park Hyatt Mallorca include a landscaped poolside terrace featuring three swimming pools, two of which are heated, and a separate children’s splash pool.

Park Hyatt Mallorca

Guests can also enjoy access to the superb facilities at Cap Vermell, including a beach club just a 10-minute walk away. The estate’s country club, scheduled for completion in July 2016, boasts paddle ball courts, two tennis courts, an indoor heated swimming pool and outdoor pool. Within 15 minutes of the hotel, guests will have a choice of four superb golf courses, including a full 18-hole course adjacent to the resort.

Park Hyatt Mallorca is home to the Residence, housing a selection of elegant meeting rooms and a purpose built show kitchen that open onto a beautiful Mallorquín courtyard. The Residence is styled with fine furniture and artistic flair to create a visually impressive, yet functional meeting space. A stunning 225sqm ballroom offers an extensive terrace and access to a landscaped garden with a gazebo overlooking the valley.


PGA Catalunya - Hotel Camira

New £25m Hotel Camiral set for PGA Catalunya Resort

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The team behind the world-leading PGA Catalunya Resort, near Barcelona, Spain, has confirmed that a new five-star hotel will open at the resort in June, following an investment of €33 million.

Hotel Camiral will be a stellar addition to the world-class facilities already on offer at the Costa Brava resort, a European Tour Destination featuring Spain’s number one golf course.

In addition to its two championship layouts, The Stadium Course and Tour Course, PGA Catalunya Resort is an international centre of excellence for training and coaching and is home to Europe’s largest chipping and putting green, the Sergio Garcia Junior Golf Academy and the Dave Pelz Spanish Golf School. The new hotel has been created by the critically-acclaimed interior designer Lazaro Rosa-Violán. The 149-room luxury hotel will combine contemporary design with striking urban-chic interiors to compliment the modern, low-density development that has made PGA Catalunya Resort one of the most sought after golf destinations in the world.

June 2016 sees the soft launch of the hotel, which will add three new dining options to the resort, including the new à la carte 1477 restaurant, a lounge bistro and a pool-side bar – all specialising in produce from the local area and taking inspiration from the gourmet scene on PGA Catalunya Resort’s doorstep.

PGA Catalunya - Hotel Camira

Hotel Camiral will also offer an extensive programme of experiences, from local activities and outdoor pursuits to cultural tours of nearby Girona and Barcelona that can be arranged through its exclusive concierge services.

The new hotel follows a programme of investments at the resort which started in 2010 with extensive upgrades to the Stadium Course, including changing the grass type on its fairways to resilient, drought-resistant Bermuda grass – the same variety used at Augusta National, home of The Masters. PGA Catalunya was subsequently ranked among the World’s Top 100 Golf Courses (Golf World) and voted 2015 Golf Resort of the Year for Europe (IAGTO).

David Plana, PGA Catalunya Resort’s CEO, said: “The hotel is the first element of our three-year, €53 million development plan, which will also see a new vineyard, sports facilities, an equestrian centre and a man-made recreational lake added to the resort – all of which underline our continued commitment to ensuring PGA Catalunya Resort maintains its status as a leading global golf destination.”

Less than an hour from the vibrant metropolis of Barcelona, 20 minutes from the beaches of the Costa Brava and just 15 minutes from the historic town of Girona, Hotel Camiral will be the perfect location for golfers, sports enthusiasts, culture aficionados, foodies and their families.


Mercer Hotel Sevilla

Luxury Mercer Hotel Sevilla opening summer 2016

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Mercer Hotel Sevilla, opening in the summer of 2016, is the new luxury landmark hotel set in the heart of the historic centre of Sevilla.

Casa Palacio Castelar, has been chosen because of its prime location in the city and the ability to create a beautiful small luxury hotel from a building that dates back to the early 19th century.

“Sevilla has a long and rich history and the city’s architecture is a reflection of that past. I believe in integrating the old and new – it is my passion and vision for all Mercer Hoteles,” says Mr. Pedro Molina, creator and owner of the hotel brand. The Mercer’s interior design team has embedded their fingerprint in each hotel selecting every detail: furniture, lighting, art, textiles and colour palettes, all creating the inimitable Mercer Style.

Guests seeking an exclusive experience can immerse themselves in a distinctive setting. Like a jewel box, Mercer Sevilla is comprised of 12 luxurious rooms and suites. Visitors will find an elegant ambience, breakfast service in the bright courtyard, and a seductive rooftop terrace and pool.

Mercer Hotel Sevilla

Ibiza Hotel - Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza to join Curio portfolio

Hilton Worldwide adds historic Ibiza hotel to Curio portfolio

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Hilton Worldwide has reached a franchise agreement with Grupo Avintia to bring Curio – A Collection by Hilton to Ibiza’s historic town centre. The 33-guestroom Gran Montesol Ibiza hotel will welcome guests all-year-round and is set to open this summer, marking Hilton’s debut on The White Isle.

Patrick Fitzgibbon, senior vice president, development, EMEA, Hilton Worldwide said, “Ibiza is the perfect location to welcome Spain’s first Curio. The island has a considerable reputation as an upscale summer destination and is world renowned as one of Spain’s most frequented and vibrant destinations. Gran Hotel Montesol will be one of the few internationally branded hotels on Ibiza, and as a part of the Curio collection it will benefit from Hilton’s prime commercial engine while maintaining all of its unique character and charm.”

Established in 1933, the hotel was the first purpose-built hotel established on Ibiza and was used as a military barracks during the Spanish Civil War. The building is recognised as a site of heritage and cultural interest by the Spanish Ministry of Culture and many of the hotel’s historic features, such as its characteristic neoclassical white and yellow façade will be retained as part of the new designs.

Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza will have a restaurant on the ground floor as well as a rooftop terrace that can be used as an exclusive meeting space for business travellers. Part of the restoration and the interior of the hotel will be designed by prestigious Spanish designer Lazaro Rosa Violan.

Dianna Vaughan, senior vice president and global head, Curio – A Collection by Hilton and DoubleTree by Hilton, said: “With its fascinating history and elegant look-and-feel this landmark hotel is a sought-after addition to the Curio collection. The well-balanced synergy of the island’s legendary nightlife and its long history make Ibiza the perfect location for a Curio hotel.”

Areen Hospitality completes first renovation phase at Westin Palace Madrid

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Award-winning design practice Areen Hospitality has completed the first phase of the 467 guest room renovation of the iconic Westin Palace Madrid, one of the oldest and most prestigious hotels in Spain.

This latest appointment adds to Areen’s growing reputation within the international hospitality sector, offering clients both interior design and procurement on an integrated basis from a single supplier.

The design concepts allowed a fresh interpretation of the hotel’s classic heritage and location, alongside a more contemporary and revitalising ambience to be created for the interiors of its guest rooms and suites.

Westin Palace Madrid Guestroom
As Andrew Linwood, Head of Design, Areen Hospitality, explains: “Leading international hotels, such as the Westin Palace Madrid, are increasingly looking at renovation opportunities to maintain brand values and provide guests with the standard expected. Their investment provides a great return, in terms of both customer experience and building brand loyalty.

“We’re delighted to have been appointed on this latest renovation project which follows on from our success on the refurbishment of Sheraton hotels in Zagreb, Bucharest and Stockholm.”

Edition hotel Barcelona

EDITION hotel planned for Barcelona to open in 2017

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Marriott International in conjunction with Ian Scharger and KKH Property Investors have announced their plans to open a new EDITION hotel in Barcelona in 2017. The 100-room hotel will be in the Ciutat Vella district, close to the Cathedral of Barcelona and nearly adjacent to the iconic Santa Caterina Market.

“We are delighted to announce what will be our third EDITION Hotel in Europe, debuting in one of the most sophisticated and vibrant cities in the region,” said Dan Flannery, global managing director of EDITION.

“EDITION continues to thrive following the recent and iconic openings of London, Miami Beach and New York City, and we couldn’t be more excited about the potential for the brand throughout Europe,” said Mr. Flannery.
Ian Schrager, chairman and chief executive officer of Ian Schrager Company, commented, “I am proud to further the global expansion of the brand with this incredibly exciting project in Barcelona. The city represents a great, cultural epicentre of Europe, making it an ideal location for the region’s newest EDITION.”

The unique project will encompass a total transformation by Office of Architecture in Barcelona – OAB (Carlos Ferrater Studio), of an existing office building into a modern and contemporary luxury-lifestyle hotel with a casual yet timeless feel co-created by Ian Schrager and famed Spanish designer, Lázaro Rosa-Violán. The space will include three distinct restaurant experiences, along with an activated lobby space, club and rooftop bar area.

Now open in New York, London, Miami and Istanbul, EDITION Hotels has marked the next chapter in the lifestyle hotel story. This delicate balancing act encompasses, for the very first time, not only great design and true innovation, but also great personal, friendly, modern service as well as outstanding, one-of-a-kind food, beverage and entertainment offerings “all under one roof”. The authenticity and originality that Ian Schrager brings to this new brand coupled with the global reach of Marriott International results in a truly distinct product that sets itself apart from anything else currently in the marketplace.

Each hotel with its rare individuality, authenticity, originality and unique ethos reflects the best of the cultural and social milieu of its location and of the time. Although all of the hotels look completely different from each other, the brand’s unifying aesthetic is in its approach and attitude to the modern lifestyle rather than its appearance.

Future hotels are planned for Sanya, China (2016), Bangkok (2017), Abu Dhabi (2017), Shanghai (2017), Times Square (2018), West Hollywood (2018), Reykjavik, Iceland (2018), Bali, Indonesia (2018) and Dubai (2019).

Hotel Oscar, Madrid

Hotel Oscar, Madrid (Patrick Goff)

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Many things can drive the genesis of a new hotel chain, but mostly it is driven by personal views of owners. Room Mate was a response by three friends in Madrid to their inability to find an hotel that satisfied their view of what an hotel should be. Setting out objectively to list what they were looking for they created the first Room Mate Hotel. Following a well-trodden path, they looked for city centre ‘location, location, location’. They wanted creative design and value for money, personal service without unnecessary extras, just a good breakfast.

The formula worked and there are now a dozen hotels in Europe, the US and South America, each with its own personality and each with a person’s name to reinforce the sense of them as individuals. Oscar is the latest of the four Madrid Hotels, opening in a Bauhaus building in Chueca. Lead designer on Oscar was renowned Spanish Interior Designer Tomas Alia.

Hotel Oscar, Madrid

Photo from Hotel Oscar website

The designs for Oscar are youthful, bold and avant-garde, the overall image is sensual and sophisticated. The designer uses subtle variations of finish and texture to enrich the visitor experience.

The designer tried to create walls of contrast, using different materials to bring different qualities. In the public areas the lighting plays a principal role in softly changing the colours and subliminally transforming the space.

Hotel Oscar, Madrid

Photo from Hotel Oscar website

There are 75 rooms and suites arranged over seven colour–coded floors, which look out over the Plaza Vazquez de Melia. The predominantly white bedrooms all feature cool contemporary furniture and striking design flourishes such as bright block colour, bold patterns or giant monotone photographic images. If you want a night in, or a bite to eat before you go out and party, there is a restaurant, cocktail bar and rooftop terrace bar with plunge pool.

With curling organic forms allied to light and subtle colour accents Oscar breaks away from the vernacular to introduce a new aesthetic.