Less pain in Spain

In the years following the global recession of 2008, some European countries were hit harder than others, and it has taken longer for their economies to recover.

Greece’s troubles have been well documented, as to a lesser extent have those of Portugal and Italy. Spain has also been in a tough situation for several years, with economic activity dampened and a worryingly high youth unemployment rate.

In the hospitality sector, investors saw a good opportunity to pile in to distressed assets – and there were a lot of those to choose from – which changed hands for incredibly low prices as the under-pressure Spanish banks tried to recoup anything they could.

But Spain is a wonderful country, and its fundamental attractiveness as a tourist destination hasn’t changed. Lately there seems to have been a shift in investment activity from a focus on distressed inventory to frequent launches of exciting new projects and developments.

This week’s announcement of a major project in Marbella which will include a W Hotel follows other recent stories including a Nobu hotel in Ibiza, Room Mate signing a lease for a central Madrid hotel and the opening of a hotel in a converted former palace in Seville.

There is a renewed energy and optimism in the Spanish hotel market which is a joy to see – long may it continue.

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