The mayor of Marbella, José Bernal Gutiérrez, was at the former British colony for the presentation of this major investment by one of the world’s most exclusive tourism firms.
The site of the new hotel, near Real de Zaragoza beach.
The site of the new hotel, near Real de Zaragoza beach. / Josele-Lanza
The hotel chain is part of the Starwood-Marriott conglomerate, the two giants of the American hotel industry who merged in September last year. In total W, which is Starwood’s luxury brand, has more than 60 hotels on the five continents.
At present the W chain has just one hotel in Spain, the famous ‘candle hotel’ in Barcelona port, and according to its website it will be opening another of the same group in Madrid in June 2019. The new luxury hotel in Marbella will therefore be the chain’s third in this country.
W originally planned to announce the plans for this new hotel during the World Travel Market last November, but decided to wait because some delays in planning permission needed to be resolved.
Although the hotel will not be in operation until 2021 its beach club will almost undoubtedly open much earlier. The company needs to start its marketing at least two years beforehand, so it has asked Marbella town hall for a guarantee regarding the timescale for granting the works licence, so the construction can begin according to schedule.
In recent weeks there has been significant progress in the town planning processes which were still pending at that time, and the developers believe the works licence could be issued by May of next year. This would mean that the first phase of the project could be inaugurated in 2019.
Work on the architectural design for this luxury project has already begun. The group paid approximately 50 million euros for the site and the 600-bed hotel and resort is expected to cost a further 300 million.
The resort will cover a surface area of 151,000 square metres on a frontline site on the Real de Zaragoza beach. According to the plans, the buildings will occupy about 35 per cent of this land, and will be no more than three storeys high. The dunes will be protected to a depth of 150 metres along the 400 metres of coast which is included in the land acquired for the hotel.
A statement issued by Marbella council this week said this investment is of major importance for the town, and is part of the authority’s efforts to make Marbella a preferential destination in the tourism sector “to attract investment which improves the well-being of our citizens and creates wealth and employment.”
HÉCTOR BARBOTTA | @barbotta / Sur in English