From a major expansion by Apple Leisure Group (ALG) to a number of new resorts from Iberostar, there are plenty of new all-inclusive options for clients headed to Europe.
ALG’s Big Expansion
Fresh off its mega-merger with The Mark Travel Corporation, ALG has been pursuing an aggressive expansion strategy in Europe via its AMResorts subsidiary over the past year.
First up the company signed a deal with NH Hotel Group (NH), a Spanish hotel company, to bring AMResorts’ Secrets Resorts & Spas and Dream Resorts & Spas brands to Europe, as well as to introduce Amigo Hotels & Resorts, an all-new, family-friendly, three-star resort brand. That deal includes four resorts in Spain: Secrets Mallorca Villamil Resort & Spa, opening in March; Secrets Lanzarote Resort & Spa and Amigo Fuerteventura Resort, opening in May; and Dreams Lanzarote Resort & Spa, opening in November. The hotels will also offer bed and breakfast and half-board models, in addition to the all-inclusive plan.
AMResorts will oversee brand management and sales, leveraging the expanded distribution structure among travel agents it gained from the Mark Travel deal, while NH will maintain operational management of the resorts.
Next, ALG purchased a majority share in the Spanish hotel chain Alua Hotels & Resorts, integrating Alua into ALG’s European division. Alua is a hotel group launched in 2015 that manages a portfolio of 12 hotels in the Balearic and Canary Islands. The acquisition added more than 4,000 rooms in Spain to ALG’s portfolio.
While ALG’s inroads into Europe have focused on Spain thus far, the company is looking to expand into other countries in Europe, according to comments made by ALG EVP and Chief Strategy Officer Javier Coll at the International Tourism Fair toward the end of January. Further details were not available as of press time, but officials did cite Greece and Turkey as examples of destinations at which the company was looking.
All told, Coll said that the company plans to grow its European portfolio to 35 hotels and 10,000 rooms across the continent by 2021.
New Resorts From Iberostar
Elsewhere in Europe, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has also opened a number of new all-inclusive properties.
The company is planning its first hotel in Italy, the Iberostar Fontana di Trevi, with the opening date set for sometime this year next to the famous fountain in Rome. Housed in a six-story, 19th century building, the property will have 67 rooms and a rooftop terrace, as well as a mural by artist Daniel Buren.
In Barcelona, last year kicked off with the opening of the Iberostar Paseo de Gracia. Part of the company’s new urban hotel segment, the property has 119 rooms and is set in the heart of the Plaza de Catalunya. It also has a gym, rooftop pool and meetings and events spaces with 360-degree views of the city, plus a restaurant specializing in the cuisine of the Balearic Islands and Mallorca.
Finally, in Montenegro, Iberostar opened two new fully renovated hotels on the country’s UNESCO-listed Bay of Kotor. The Iberostar Herceg Novi, which opened June 1, has 183 rooms and is located on the seafront in the city of Herceg Novi. It has its own dock and a beach club with views of the bay. The second property, the Iberostar Perast, is housed in an 18th century palace that has been renovated in an avant-garde style while still retaining its original architecture. The Perast is part of the company’s Iberostar Heritage historic hotel segment, and it has approximately 100 rooms and a private dock. The hotel is also only 16 feet from the shoreline in the small seafaring town of Perast, which is home to a number of famous examples of Baroque architecture.