US Hotel Giant Hyatt Moves Into Barcelona’s Agbar Tower

US Hotel Chain Hyatt Moves Into Barcelona's Agbar Tower

US Hotel Giant Hyatt Moves Into Barcelona’s Agbar Tower

Hyatt has landed in Spain, and Barcelona’s landmark Torre Agbar is its first perch. The US hotel chain – renowned for its architecturally stunning hotels around the globe – has reached an agreement to buy the eye-catching tower alongside Emin Capital investment group for somewhere between 150 and 200 million euros.

Currently owned by Spanish water treatment company Grupo Agbar, Torre Agbar has become one of Barcelona’s most famous architectural icons since its inauguration in 2005. Hyatt intends to remodel the gherkin-shaped building into a world-class hotel in the heart of the Catalonian capital.

Hyatt is just the latest American hotel group to open new lodgings in the city, joining others like Stamford, Connecticut-based Starwood Hotels and Resorts, which opened the Barcelona W Hotel in 2009.

MADRID KEEPS PACE

The strength of Spain’s tourism industry makes the country’s hospitality sector an attractive option for foreign investment, with Barcelona a favourite due to the city’s popularity as a destination for tourists as well as for events and conventions.

But Madrid, traditionally a business destination, is one the rise. Hyatt’s latest high-profile acquisition in Barcelona mirrors that of the Canadian Four Seasons hotel chain in Madrid. The company announced earlier this year that it will open its first hotel in the Spanish capital in the iconic Canalejas complex. The Four Seasons Hotel Madrid will be the latest addition in the group’s expansive portfolio of unique heritage hotels throughout Europe, which includes buildings ranging from the 15th to early 20th centuries, from London to Istanbul.

Steps from Madrid’s central Puerta del Sol, the new hotel will be housed in 19th century bank buildings and feature a 215-room hotel, luxury residences and a luxury shopping centre. The restoration project will be undertaken in partnership with Grupo Villar Mir and is expected to cost 500 million euros.

SPANISH TOURISM GOING STRONG

Long a hotspot for international and continental visitors, Spain’s tourism industry continues to grow, despite the global economic downturn. In 2012, the country registered a total of 57.9 million tourists, a 3 per cent increase over the previous year. Equally heartening was the news that visitors spent 5.9 per cent more than in previous years, amounting to 55.7 billion euros in revenue.

The month of August saw an upsurge in tourism, with the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism registering a record-breaking sum of 8.3 million international visitors as well as a rise in domestic tourism. Given that the country’s tourism industry has a history as a reliable driver of the Spanish economy, it’s no surprise that more and more North American hotel chains are planting roots in Spain.

For more information on investment in Spain’s hospitality sector, contact corporate law firm Argali Abogados 

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