Melia continues international asset-light expansion plan

Spanish hotel group Melia has set ambitious targets to open and sign more hotels and resorts internationally, as it looks to build a more nimble business based around its luxury brand portfolio.

Spanish group Melia expects to open 20 hotels during 2024, and add a further 30 to its development pipeline.

The growth commitment came in May 2024, as company executives revealed a strong first quarter performance across the Melia hotel portfolio, where revpar improved by 15.6%. The group’s confidence for the year has been underlined by a double digit growth in summer bookings for its Spanish resorts.

Looking to new markets

Among areas targeted for growth were Mexico, where Melia will double its presence in the next two years, and across Southeast Asia with a focus on Thailand and Vietnam.

Recent additions to the portfolio include the opening of Melia Ibiza, the rebranded Sol Beach House Ibiza. In a spectacular setting overlooking the coast, the refurbished 285 room hotel has become the group’s first adults-only hotel on the island. And Melia has just signed its first hotel on the island of Sardinia. The 139 room Bellevue Sardinia Resort will be joining the Affiliated by Meliá in the coming months. The soft brand already supports more than 70 independent hotels worldwide.

Summer 2024 will see Melia launch the second Zel branded hotel, in Zel Costa Brava. The brand was developed with international tennis star Rafa Nadal, and launched its first hotel in Mallorca, with great success. Zel Costa Brava will open in June close to the iconic Tossa de Mar, just 33km from Girona-Costa Brava airport, and a 109km ride from Barcelona. The 214 room hotel will provide guests with facilities to enjoy no less than 46 different sports, if they wish. Later in the year, a further Zel property is planned for opening in Mexico. Zel Punta Cana is being converted by Melia’s local development partner, Gaalata Group.

Launching in Laos

Pipeline additions include the signing of the group’s first hotel in Laos, where The Grand Luang Prabang will experience a year long upgrade and rebranding makeover before joining the Melia Collection. Once the palace of a Lao prince, the distinctive property is just the one of a kind place that makes Melia Collection hotels and resorts so distinct for guests. The 75 room hotel is spread among eight different buildings, all located on lush riverside in Luang Prabang with a central palace building that dates from the 1920s.

Among recent signings are a new hotel in Cayo Coco, Cuba which with 566 rooms will operate as a five star all-inclusive property under the name Melia Costa Rey. In addition, the group has added eight hotels in Malta. Also in the works is a Gran Melia in Dubai, with the 379 room Gran Melia Port La Mer expected to open in late 2025.