Challenging to optimise hotel assets in Spain’s mature market: José Antonio Castro

by | Sep 22, 2019 | Chains, Experts

José Antonio Castro, Director of F&B at HIP.

Even in a developed, mature tourism market like Spain, there are destinations with hotel assets that are left behind, says José Antonio Castro, F&B Director at Hotel Investment Partners.

If anyone knows hotel development and operations in Spain, it’s them. 

Hotel Investment Partners (HIP) has 65 hotels — with 19,019 rooms — located in the country’s top tourist destinations, with 71% of them located beachfront and 92% of them vacation hotels operated by the sector’s leading brands: AC Marriott, Ritz Carlton, Barcelo, Melia and Lopesan, among others.

The hotels are in unique and exclusive locations, most of them in the Canary Islands, followed by the Balearic Islands and the mainland.

On the sidelines of TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Barcelona, José Antonio Castro, F&B Director at HIP, spoke exclusively with TOPHOTELNEWS on how the company is now aiming to reconceptualize and transform hotels operations to maximize efficiency. 

How HIP became the biggest hotel owner in Spain

José: Hotel Investment Partners (HIP) is an investment company specialized in holiday hospitality. For the moment, HIP is set in Spain, mainly on the islands in Baleares, Canarias and some part of the Mediterranean Coast. Nowadays, HIP is the biggest hotel owner in Spain with 65 assets. Our main challenge is to continue expanding and growing. In the future, we will target markets around the Mediterranean like Portugal, Greece or Italy. However, we will always continue investing in Spain. 

Challenges of hotel development in Spain

José: The drawbacks and advantages of hotel development in Spain are actually the same. Even though we have a long way to go, Spain is quite developed in terms of hospitality. There are lots of professionals and lots of important hotels. As we are part of such a mature market, there are destinations with assets that might have been left behind and aren’t as well developed as others. It is here that we feel we can help. We believe we can make such assets compete and them renovate them. 

Strategy behind an impressive portfolio

José: Since the end of last year and due to our association with Blackstone, we have 45 assets that used to belong to Hispania. We analyze each and everyone of them, creating renovation projects and refurbishing them to improve their results.

Right now, there are more than 20 ongoing renovation projects. They all share the same aim: improve RevPAR, modernizing and optimizing operations. This way, the hotels can offer clients a great experience with the best operators in the market. 

The Ritz Carlton Abama in Tenerife is currently in our portfolio. We try to keep this hotel among the top hotels of Europe by reinvesting in it every year. In my area, which is F&B, we have been investing ever more since we have 3 Michelin-starred restaurants. 

José Antonio Castro was a delegate at TOPHOTELWORLDTOUR Barcelona 2019. To attend, address or sponsor our boutique hospitality networking events around the world, contact TOPHOTELPROJECTS Head of Global Events & Conferences Kayley van der Velde.

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