Monthly Archives: July 2015

Luxury turned into a hotel

We talked lately about the luxury hotels, the 5-star hotels and the additional categories this industry had created to give a plus to those 5 stars hotels and make them even more exclusive. Today we’re going to talk about some of these jewels spread around the country and that always seek to give a unique accommodation experience.

The location in these cases isn’t important: a deluxe hotel is, no matter where it is, because those who look for these hotels doesn’t care too much about the destination, since they trust the hotel will give them all the experiences they’re looking for without even leaving the building. Besides, it is natural that this type of hotels located in the best areas, downtown but exclusive zones in town, or in the mountains, away from all the noise, like some of the hotels you can find in Majorca, in the beautiful settle of the Tramuntana Mountain.

Spa and wellness service, high cuisine (renowned chefs, even Michelin star) VIP service, suites and superior accommodations with bedroom plus private relax area, furnished terraces (some of them even have a Jacuzzi) great views, resting areas, bars, and cultural entertainment (theatre, opera, musicals and dance performances). Today, these elements are essential in order to speak about a deluxe hotel or luxury.

One of the big hotel chains that bet for this kind of deluxe and luxury hotels is the Iberostar, mentioned before thanks to its 5 star hotels in Costa Adeje, like the IBEROSTAR Anthelia or the recently categorized IBEROSTAR El Mirador into a Big luxury hotel, the emblematic Grand Hotel Mencey or the Grand Hotel Salomé. One of the greatest exponent, which is not a beach destination, is one of the last acquisitions in Madrid, an urban hotel, high class, sobriety and distinction. The IBEROSTAR Las Letras is 4 star accommodation located in the Gran Vía that really looks like a 5 star hotel and that invite us to rediscover the capital. Decoration, architecture and services, the perfect combination that turns the hotel into a Madrid reference when it comes to quality accommodation. Competing from the beginning with other similar hotels like the Catalonia Las Cortes (located close to the hotel) the Petit Palace Art Gallery or some NH and Barceló around.

A novelty without being is the Vincci Hotels, a hotel chain characterized for ennoble in every one of its hotels the accommodation concept in Spain. One example of these luxury is the Vincci Selección Estrella de Mar, a 5-star hotel in Marbella that will leave you jaw dropped. But if we speak about the Vincci portfolio, in the deluxe hotel category, the offer is endless: Vincci Costa Golf, Vincci Selección Buenavista, Vincci Aleysa or Vincci Envia among many others.

The Vincci sign is not only the exquisite deluxe services, the modern technologies for resting or the gastronomic style that defines each hotel. Its big sign is the cared and selected taste for design. Using incredible forms to create all kind of environments and atmospheres, the hotel chains has, in fact, buildings that we can call authentic living museums, where staying is like living inside a unique contemporary artwork.

 

Cadiz and Marbella: luxury for all publics

It is impossible read Marbella without thinking of luxury, glamour, party and famous people. The high-standing tourism capital of Malaga is still the meeting point of some of the most sophisticated celebrities in Europe: politicians, businessmen, cinema and TV figures… And anonymous tourists that want to pamper themselves and immerse in this exclusive paradise of relaxation, quietness and beach.

Cádiz, in turn, is a destination growing in a natural way, very controlled and respectful with the wonderful environment it offers. In the last years, they are working on a quality tourism that we can now notice especially in places such as Chiclana, Roche and La Barrosa beach. Less famous than Marbella, but equally exclusive, Cádiz is the fashionable destination for those in search of sun, beach and sophistication.

Golf lovers

The Golf Valley is one step away from Marbella, in the mountain range and next to beautiful villages.  It is one of the must-visit destinations in golf tours and is gaining more and more followers. In this areas we can find some of the most important golf hotels in Spain, most of the with a 5-star category and golf courses that receive year after year all types of competitions for all levels. Luxury wellness services and gourmet gastronomy are the complementary mainstays of this hotel service that has been a turning point.

Golf hotels in Chiclana doesn’t have anything to envy of them. Although it is truth that golf tradition is less strong in this part of Cádiz than in Marbella, the opening of new and complete golf courses in front of the beaches and coves or next to natural parks and marshes offers an added value, increasing the demand on accommodations for golf lovers in the entire coast. In Huelva, for example, golf hotels in Isla Canela have become an international reference.

Beach and relaxation

You can find all inclusive hotels in Marbella all around the municipality, although the most sought-after and recommended ones are situated in front of the beaches of this Andalusian coast. There are many family hotels, although the tendency of specialized accommodations is growing: for children, Adults Only, for sport lovers… Beaches are authentic oasis of relaxation, with all types of services and a varied gastronomic proposal for all publics.

In a similar environment, more natural and less crowded, we find the spa hotels in Cadis which have significantly improved their services and facilities, targeting at a higher quality segment, with personal attention and more specialization according to the needs of different customers. They are usually located in the surroundings of Sancti Petri, La Barrosa beach and Roche coves, and a few of them are also situated in the centre of Cádiz.

5-star service

Even 3 and 4-star hotels in Marbella and Chiclana can boast a luxury service. Besides offering affordable prices, these hotels which are not deluxe, are working to increase their service quality, adjusting their rate and experience without giving up the increase of their business. In short, taking care of customer. In this way, everyone win: guests enjoy an impeccable space with affordable rates, but with a 5-star personal attention.

 

Hotels, children and competitive economy

Hotels for children are gaining ground to the traditional family hotels. More specialised in the little ones, with services conceived for their fun, entertainment and even learning, this type of hotels are attracting those parents in search of an accommodation where children can really make the most of their holiday. The advantage of these hotels for children is that they also provide spaces for adults, in a more independent way than family hotels where everything is mixed and more impersonal.

This model has been created in order to open a business sector and reactivate the competitive economy of the hotel trade, which has been at a standstill with beach and urban hotels until some years ago. Now, small and huge accommodations have understood that focusing on a specific public profile is more profitable than being a Jack of all trades.

Being competitive in a trade as developed as this, where innovating is difficult because almost everything has been invented, has led hotel chains’ managers to create spaces more and more adapted to a specific traveller model. In the case of hotels for couples travelling with children, the clear tendency is to offer attractive services for the little ones, since it is the key of the choice parents make when opting for an accommodation. If hotel has pools with water games, if it offers specialised instructors with different mini clubs according to ages; if it is an all-inclusive hotel for children with spaces for adults, then that’s the one.

The big losers are those hotels who have opted for remaining in the past: they have opened a spa, they have improved the gastronomy… but concept is the same: a beach hotel where guests, with children, alone, with friends, with couple, share a space, services and life during a few weeks.

Such a mixture of profiles leads often to a dissatisfaction from all the guests: couples look for a quiet space that families with children cannot guarantee. A perfect example of a successful All-inclusive resort that hasn’t lose its essence is the chain Olé Hotels, which has renovated its portfolio and is offering an interesting option of accommodations specialised in children: Galeón Ibiza, Tropical Tenerife y Olivina Lanzarote are a few examples of this.

Melià has been one of the pioneers, dedicating its line Sol Hotels to some very specific travellers segments: hotels for friends, hotels for children and hotels for couples and adults. Although they also have hotels for seniors and other minority profiles, the most successful project has been the Flintstones Hotels, famous all around the world because of their concept, which seems more a theme park than a fashionable family accommodation.

They are not expensive accommodations, nor luxury hotels, but they allow hotel managers to charge higher rates according to this type of hotels: Do you want to find what you are looking for?  Well, you have to pay for it. Competitive economy raised to the highest power. The concept of being in the club where all people like you is, where you get what you really want, just that. No more, no less.

In hotels for children this concept has worked as well as in Adults Only hotels, their natural antagonists and eternal competitors.  It was criticized because people said that couples escaped from noisy children… but it is not just about that, it is about the possibility of being in a place where you enjoy all the services and facilities you need. You pay for it. It’s that simple and that complex, because not all the hotel managers can lose a part of their public in order to get a more specialised one: it requires a considerable investment in services, refurbishing and, of course, marketing.

It is not easy for urban hotels in Madrid and Barcelona which have to find room for a specialization that usually don’t fit in their essence of accommodation for business people or for all types of tourists that want to spend some days in the city. Limited spaces, incapacity of giving up the rest of public to turn into hotels for children and how unnecessary it is: urban travellers, with or without children, don’t want a hotel to spend many hours, but a space to rest after entire days discovering the destination. Undoubtedly, this is a very different perspective from coastal hotels.

Nevertheless, there are chains trying to achieve this successfully. Chains specialising in boutique hotels, such as Petit Palace, that has created accommodation spaces for children in some of its hotels in the centre of Madrid: rooms with bunks in Gran Vía, ideal to share with parents, adjoining rooms, laptops, games, internet connection, iPad, video games, welcome gifts, children’s breakfasts…

Combine everything is complicated.  Being successful and competitive, is even more difficult. But it seems that this sector is still trying and this is just the beginning. We have to be attentive to see its development and glimpse the ending.

Dine in Morro Jable

One of the most wonderful things in the world is to travel by taste. Gastronomy is mandatory when you want to know deeply about the culture of a destination, about its essence. It is also true that there are cities and places where the culinary culture isn’t quite strong, but today is not the case: Fuerteventura, the fishing village of Morro Jable to be precisely, the perfect settlement for the fine dining lovers, the sea food and the Canary Wine

This town, located southern in Fuerteventura, is a traditional fishing settlement, with one of the older ports of the island still open nowadays. From this port, little ships come and go sail by the locals who fish and bring the food directly to the local restaurants, not only the town but also the Jandia hotels area and the whole Pájara town.

Some of the best places to eat are precisely there, next to the port, with a view to the Atlantic Ocean, with excellent terraces where you can look at the waves and taste along with the best service and tranquillity delicious typical dishes like barbecued fish or Canarian wrinkly potatoes.

Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace

Iberostar Fuerteventura Palace

The whole coastal area is full of restaurants and despite the great variety and number, they’re full almost always. Because of that, it is suggest that if you want to spend the day in Morro Jable or just drop by to eat, make a reservation beforehand.

If you’re staying in any of the family hotels in Jandía Beach or Calma coast, you can book in the local restaurants from the hotel, since they know the area, and will give you good suggestions and advices for the best ones.

Between the most famous restaurants in Morro Jable, La Laja restaurant stands out, located over the sea, with fresh fish. It may not have a wide menu, but all its options are first class dishes, the services is well rated by the diners. According to the reviews in Tripadvisor, the best thing is the dish, the simplicity of cooking it –leading all the attention to the ingredients above its elaboration- and the price, the lovely view to the ocean from the restaurant’s terrace is also a plus.

La Farola del Mar is also a culinary reference in Morro Jable: located just a few steps from the port, with a sea view, with a Canarias sealike decoration and a flavoured menu with an Atlantic touch, the service is amazing, the dishes are always fresh and the place is really comfortable. Its specialty is fish, but they also offer a variety of meats and Fridays they have paella. Just like the other, it is best to book beforehand at least if you want to sit in one of the tables in the terrace with a beautiful view to the Atlantic.

Coronado is another excellent restaurant. The dishes are as good as the other, and it also has an exclusive Chill out terrace over the Atlantic with a pool, perfect to relax. The diners also love their wide and selective wine list, with some of the best Canarias broths, along with an outstanding service.

From the beach hotels in Jandia, Morro Jable is about 3 km away, and you can get there by taking a nice walk on the beach, crossing Gaviotas beach and the famous Matorral beach, with the lighthouse and the Jandía Mountain chain as a background.