It is on the verge of new managementThe Manchester City team lost the European Champions League match against Barcelona last week, but there was one consolation: they were able to stay at the Rey Juan Carlos I hotel.
The GM of the hotel, Adrian Padina, was at Confex – on the Ellicis Hotels Stand. Ellicis is a hotel representation and marketing company set up by Jo Till and her sister Kate Norris. Jo has years of international hotel experience and Kate a track record in the airline business. Rey Juan Carlos I is one of their clients.
Adrian told ITCM that business at his hotel had not been badly hit by the recession in Spain, because, as a 5-star deluxe property, its clientele was multi-national, coming in from all parts of the world. However, he did say that there were signs of an upwards turn in the Spanish MICE business, although there is still a very long way to go.
Adrian introduced himself as ‘interim General Manager’. The iconic hotel, opened in 1992, is famously amongst the top hotels in Spain. It is owned by a Saudi family and is in the process of changing its management company. Until recently run by Husa Hotels, the Spanish enterprise, it is not yet clear which group will now be adding the property to its portfolio. And Adrian is perfectly aware that any new company will have the right to appoint whichever GM it pleases.
‘It is a very desirable property’, suggests Adrian. ‘It is unique in Europe as an urban resort. We have 432 guestrooms. The hotel itself has 22 meeting rooms, whilst its Palau de Congressos de Catalunya has another array of spaces as well as a conference hall that can seat 1,500 delegates. And’, he adds, ‘the complex is set in 25,000sqft of gardens in the heart of the city’.
As a city location, its high season is November to mid-February. It might be expected that the summer vacation months would be a low periodI, but it already has 80% of its rooms booked for August. ‘We sponsor the Hosted Buyer Lounge for EIBTM in November’, says Adrian. ‘That’s always a very busy time’.