The luxury hotel sector closes 2021 with a boost from foreign investment funds, which have starred in the main operations of the year.
International interest in the Spanish market remains strong, according to one of the latest reports by Christie & Co, which shows that general and specialized funds have been by far the most active investors in the first three quarters, with a volume that reached almost 2,300 million euros, 250% higher than the total investment in 2020.
Canada’s Brookfield fund has been one of the most active. It bought the Selenta chain, owned by Catalan businessman Jordi Mestre, for 440 million and in recent days it has announced the creation of a joint venture with the French company Experimental Group, which is committed to investing up to 350 million in buying new hotels, which will be managed by the Canadian company.
For its part, the US fund Castlelake closes 2021 as the largest shareholder in the Socimi Millenium Hospitality, after reaching an investment agreement of up to 180 million euros. The company, specialized in the development and investment in quality hotels, recently acquired the historic Vista Eder Palace in San Sebastián, which after a repositioning process will house the Nobu Hotel San Sebastián, in alliance with the hotel chain led by actor Robert de Niro.
Barcelona has also experienced an important real estate transaction. NH disposed of one of its most emblematic assets, the Gran Hotel Calderón, which was acquired by the American vehicle LaSalle for 125.5 million euros, Another European fund, in this case the Belgian Inmobel, will invest together with the Americans Fort Partners 740 million euros in the development of the Four Seasons Marbella Resort.
In the last month of 2021, the American investment fund Starwood bought the Las Dalias hotel from Iberostar, an ‘all-inclusive’ in Tenerife, in an operation that, according to the market, could be around 100 million euros.
Finally, RLH Properties, the Mexican company that owns the Rosewood Villa Magna, acquired another luxury establishment in Madrid, the former Hotel Velázquez, now converted into a five-star hotel under the Bless Collection banner, for 115 million euros.
Most of these operations have a common denominator: transactions in the urban market, concentrated in Barcelona and to a lesser extent in Madrid, with good quality assets, mainly 4 and 5 stars, and at pre-covid prices (without discount), which which has raised the average volume of investment per asset.