Monthly Archives: February 2015

Health tourism, a travel option on the rise

Health tourism or medical tourism is one of the new products for travellers that the industry has on sight. As well as investments. Many hotel chains, mainly the ones that count with hotels located in the centre of Madrid and accommodations in Barcelona for long stays close to the main hospitals and districts close to health resort, have decided to make the most of this motivation which, after the last european directives regarding to health measures, has opened a new path for the hospitality industry.

The hotels in the centre of Madrid have been welcoming tourists  for years travelling to the capital to make the most of a few relaxing days and receive health or beauty treatments in one of the most prestigious clinics in the country. Cosmetic surgery, medical check-ups or second opinions, participation in patients conferences… The motivations for health tourism are increasingly varied.

Nevertheless, it is very important not to confuse it with active or healthy tourism, which have been one the main poles of attraction for travellers in Spain. Healthy tourism is based on all the packages of sports activities, gastronomy and spa escapes attracting all types of travellers. Medical tourism, on the other side, hides a clear sanitary motivation and the traveller, in this case, organizes the whole trip around a medical appointment or concrete health treatment.

Palma, a privileged sanitary destination

With some of the best plastic surgeries and fertility clinics of the country, Palma has been at the top of the Spanish sanitary destinations for years. Many hotels in the centre of Palma have been specializing in this segment, offering special packages for accommodation near to clinics such as Rotger, Juaneda, IBI or Palma Planas.

It allows them to break up with the excessive seasonality of tourist activity of the capital of the Balearic Islands, which tends to concentrate its greatest amount of visitors during summer months, as the major part of the travellers related to health tourism prefer winter or spring seasons to get treated. The decrease in activity of the clinics and specialists during summer months could also explain this trend.

Barcelona and Madrid

Even if Palma is a special case being a major holiday destination as well as an important destination in the european medical tourism map, Madrid and Barcelona are still the top ranking cities in health tourism.They have the most renowned public care centres in Spain, some of the cutting-edge research centres and clinics of all types, capable to attend any health condition.

“Health travellers” usually plan their stay in one of the hotels in the centre of Madrid and Barcelona, to be as close as possible to the hospital or clinic where they are getting treated, but also because it allows them to be near museums, recreation and leisure areas and all means of public transports: patients and the people they travel with agree that both medical and recreational motivations matter when planning their stay.

No clear numbers

Talking about health tourism was still taboo a few years back, being seen as a way to take advantage of Spanish public health service in order to access unauthorized medical treatments in their home country or at a prohibitively high price. But, with the change in european politics, the Spanish government started to see it as a competitive asset and as a new niche for the touristic sector, most important driver of economic growth.

For now, according to various studies and reports coming from the administration, there are no concrete numbers to measure the extent of health tourism over the global tourism sector and what it could represent in the future of hospitality industry in Spain (and its complementary offer).

Quito: Business travel destination

The capital of Ecuador is one of the most visited destinations in Latin America.  Although its heritage is one of the main attractions, it boasts a significant economic activity, so it has become an important city for business travellers. In the last years, hotel trade has substantially increased, so those who are planning a business trip to Quito have many options to choose from.

MODERN AND HISTORIC HOTELS

As Quito has preserved a big part of its historic places, it is divided into two areas: the modern and the old part. The Old Quito is characterized by offering luxury hotels, many of them situated in colonial-style buildings, very attractive for those in search of unique hotels, without leaving behind the importance of offering quality services and facilities. As for modern hotels, there is a wide range of hotels with avant-garde architecture located right in the centre of the city, as is the case of the hotel chain Dann Hotels.

Dann Cartlon Quito Hotel

Dann Cartlon Quito Hotel

PLACES TO STAY

If you like colonial style, Patio Andaluz boutique hotel is the place. It is an impressive building situated right in the heart of the city, offering rooms designed under international comfort standards, with services specially targeted at those who use to stay in 5-star hotels.

On the other hand, if you look for a modern accommodation, Swissôtel Quito, located in the commercial area of the city, has a beautiful décor where the combination of sobriety with modernity prevails. Its rooms offer many facilities such as air conditioning, mini-bar, cable TV, Wifi. Besides, it has gym, spa with hydromassage bath, tennis and squash courts, and five restaurants offering the best of the Swiss, Japanese and French cuisine.

If you travel to Quito for business, do not miss to stay in a hotel, there are many business hotels waiting for you.

Adults Only hotels and destinations

In the last years, tourism has been looking for new markets and this is how, a few years ago, Adults Only hotels appeared. This is a sector with fans and detractors. Nevertheless, among the customers of these hotels we find many parents escaping during a couple of days from children.

Adults Only hotels are a trend which is rapidly gaining in importance worldwide and hotel chains have not fallen behind in this respect. This types of hotels without children were created in the Caribbean in 70’s, because of the increase of romantic trips and honeymoons that boosted the creation of all inclusive hotels for couples.

FROM BEACH PARADISES TO URBAN TOURISM, A COMPLETE RANGE DESIGNED FOR ADULTS ONLY

The term “Adults Only hotels” was not very known until the last decade when accommodations specialized on this type of public began to appear, hotels focused on couples enjoyment, relaxation, luxury and quietness.

These hotels are designed to go beyond the destination, since they offer a different selection of products and provide added value to couples, groups and honeymoons. It is worth mentioning the hotel chain Sol Hotels which offers a wide range of hotels specialized in romantic trips.

These hotels are recommended to adults and couples wanting to enjoy the holiday without children. Their location is usually in paradisiacal beaches and places offering special attractions such as clubs, spas, discos and futuristic infrastructure, so they become the perfect option for enjoying leisure time with quality services.

A TREND GAINING IN IMPORTANCE IN THE “ADULTS ONLY” HOTEL TRADE

Those who use to visit these hotels can also choose charming hotels without many rooms located in diverse and dispersed areas, in contrast to the resorts which are more focused on beach tourism.

The minimum age to stay in these accommodations is generally 16 years old.  These hotels are characterized by the quality customer service: ideal to plan a holiday as a couple or to enjoy a romantic escapade. The quietness, the paradisiacal locations, the rooms with beautiful views and the gastronomy will make the moments in these Adults Only hotels an unforgettable memory.

 

Grand Travellers

It is one of the most comprehensive travel proposals that has been designed by the Spanish hotel chain, Iberostar Hotels and Resorts. Although they have been working on this for many years and the hotels have been open for some time, they have never stopped growing and incorporating new services, currently offering an accommodation range of almost unfathomable plans and modalities, the most specialized within the market.

One of the most emblematic and well known is the Grand Hotel Mencey, a five star hotel in the centre of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, where famous people such as Liz Taylor have stayed and which even today continues to transmit the essence of tradition and elegance which converted it, some years ago, into benchmark for hotels around the island.  Recently incorporated is a unique gastronomic area with the most extensive cookery classroom in Tenerife and a gourmet restaurant that will not leave you indifferent.

With similar characteristics is highlighted the Grand Hotel Budapest, always in fashion but more so since appearing in the film of Wes Anderson, which has been nominated for this year’s Oscars.  Although the hotel in the film was pure fiction the name has gone around the world and the Iberostar hotel in the centre of Budapest, has received more visits that ever. The experience, more than fame, is of luxury, a 5 star hotel in the most emblematic area of Pest, especially indicated for top executives and travellers who like their own special spaces together with the most exclusive services. Essential, in the case of the Mencey, is the gastronomy: their restaurant offers the best Spanish cuisine in Budapest.

However, without a doubt, the Grand destination par excellence is Costa Adeje in Tenerife.  We return to this dream island and we go to the south, to one of the most visited tourist areas in the world, not only for the services but also for the climate and landscape. In Costa Adeje, Iberostar has located two of their most exclusive hotels in Tenerife: the Grand Salome and the Grand Hotel El Mirador. Both meet the requirements to be selected amongst the best beach resorts of the world and specifically the Salome also has advantage of being attached to the best All Inclusive hotel in Spain: the Iberostar Anthelia.

Suites, VIP zones, personalized attention concierge style, exclusive spaces, elite sports, gourmet gastronomy….To be a Grand traveller implies being ready to enjoy some of the choicest vagaries of life, immerse yourself in a special ambience and allow yourself to be pampered at every step. An experience that without a doubt is not for every day but that should be lived at least once in a lifetime. And if you can, of course, you should return!

Recommended hotels to escape to in Spain

When you travel, the most important choice is the destination.  Enjoying the landscape, the street life, shopping, monuments, bars, restaurants, culture, nights… But there are also trips that are made just to rest and relax, and, in such cases, the accommodation is the most important part. They are usually shorter breaks where the goal is to amuse yourself and have time for all those things that you usually postpone.

There are accommodations for all tastes, but there are some that few can resist. If you do not think of your budget, the first option that comes to mind is to spend four days in a luxury hotel in Majorca, for example, or in one of those historic hotels in Madrid that transport you to another time and allow you to experience the city in a completely different way.

Actually, there are hotels that can be a destination in themselves, hotels that you do not want to leave. Even at low prices if booked in low season. This is the case of the spa hotel in Playa de Palma, Royal Cupido, an Adults Only hotel that pay special attention to detail so that guests can enjoy their getaway without leaving the hotel. Spa, lounge area, terrace and Beach Club overlooking the sea, design rooms, gourmet restaurant… It also organizes interesting events open to the public all the year round.

Another accommodation designed to surprise is the Petit Palace Museum, a boutique hotel in the centre of Barcelona located in the old modernist house Garriga Nogués, with a reform worthy of appearing in top magazines of interior design in Spain. With free wifi and computers in the rooms, hydromassage shower and many faciltiies, it is perfect for combining relaxation and destination. Or for a romantic getaway to the centre of Barcelona.

As for urban hotels, we also would outstand the Palladium Hotel, an accommodation in the centre of Palma, perfect for a shopping break or a business trip to the Balearic capital: design rooms, views of Paseo Mallorca, a few metres away from the harbour and the sea and situated next to the main shopping street of the city. Moreover, it is a really affordable hotel for all it offers.

And, thirdly, Las Letras Hotel in Madrid, just opened by Iberostar Hotels & Resorts chain after a careful refurbishment. The improvement in both design and facilities is enough reason to choose it as it combines all the advantages of a hotel in the centre of Madrid with the comforts of a complete holiday resort. A must visit in a gourmet getaway to Madrid or a business trip, but also suitable for a weekend with friends in the capital.

For wellness trips and health tourism, our proposal is a all inclusive hotel in Marbella: Marbella Coral Beach which is, precisely, an accommodation to enjoy every day, as it offers all the facilities you can need: wellness area, varied cuisine, events and Beach Club, relaxation areas and bars in which to enjoy a cocktail overlooking the sea…

The last recommendation is dedicated to golf lovers: an all-inclusive accommodation in Isla Canela to get away from it all for months. It is a beach resort accommodation offering all type of services, several accommodation boards and luxury facilities. Only its architecture and its perfect integration into the landscape of this beautiful area of Huelva are worth a visit.