Amancio Ortega, founder of Inditex and one of the richest men in the world, has acquired the Senator Playaballena hotel located in Rota (Cádiz). The businessman, through his family office Pontegadea, has paid around 25 million euros to take over this establishment of the family group Hoteles Playa, in an operation closed in December, according to industry sources.
The four-star hotel is located in a tourist area called Costa Ballena, between Chipiona and Rota, where there are apartment complexes for the upper-middle class and a golf course. The establishment is intended for family tourism and has 324 rooms, a spa and a small water park.
In this way, Ortega continues to fatten his real estate portfolio. The founder of Inditex enjoys a fortune of 57,840 million, according to Forbes, and through Pontegadea it invests a large part of the dividends obtained thanks to the textile group in real estate assets for rent. It controls properties valued at 15,163 million, according to the company’s accounts for 2019, the last available year.
Of this portfolio of properties, a small part corresponds to hotel properties, with a value of between 5% and 10% of the portfolio, which represents an investment of up to 1,500 million. By type of property, the greatest weight falls on purchases of office buildings (around 60%) and retail (more than 30%).
The investment pattern is usually that of large office or commercial properties located in the best areas of the main cities of Europe and the United States, which offer the entrepreneur secure income, but also have relevant hotels in New York, Chicago, Miami or San Francisco. It also carries out smaller and less well-known operations, with a more opportunistic profile such as the acquisition of the establishment from Senator in Rota, which will continue to be operated by the same brand through a property rental contract.
The Beach Hotels group has 36 establishments and 8,505 rooms, which places it as the sixteenth Spanish chain by size, the one with the largest presence in Andalusia and the number 166 worldwide. The group, whose main brands are Senator and Playa Hoteles, was created in the town of Garrucha (Almería) in 1967 thanks to its founder José María Rossell Recasens, who together with his brother began to operate the Costablanca hostel and Los Arcos pension with the aim that the German tour operator Berliner Flug Ring included that area in its flight routes to attract the first foreign tourists.
The stain spread rapidly through Andalusia, where the group has hotels in six provinces (Seville, Huelva, Cádiz, Almería, Granada and Malaga) and also spread to urban destinations. Near the destination now sold to Ortega, it has the Senator Cádiz Spa, in the capital of Cadiz.
In 2001, the group inaugurated the only Senator in Barcelona and in 2002 it did the same in Madrid, with the opening of a store in Gran Vía. Currently, it has three properties in the capital (two in the center and one next to the Baraja’s airport). Another important milestone for the company was the entry into the Balearic Islands, where it has two hotels.
The group had a turnover of 156 million in 2018, the latest data available, and owns 47% of its hotels.
Like the rest of the Spanish hotel chains, which have a strong presence in the Caribbean, the Beach Hotels group has two major resorts in Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic) and has not yet managed to get the five-star, 1,044-room Senator Riviera Cancun Spa Resort into operation, as it was inaugurated weeks before the coronavirus health crisis broke out in early March 2020.
NH. One of the first Pontegadea operations was the purchase in 2002 for 91.4 million euros of a portfolio of four hotels in Spain operated by NH. Even Ortega entered the capital of the brand, which has already been resold to HNA.
NY. Among its hotel operations is the acquisition in 2016 of the one located at 70 Park Avenue in New York, a four-star establishment with 205 rooms operated by Iberostar.
Eurostars. In Chicago, it acquired the 216-room Eurostars Magnificent Mile in 2019 for 172.5 million.
Epic. In Miami, he renovated the old 52-story Dupont Hotel, now under the Kimpton Epic brand, a five-star luxury establishment with 411 beds.
San Francisco. Also in San Francisco, in 2017, a property in Pacific Place for various uses (also commercial) was built for 395 million, where the Zelos, of the Viceroy chain, is located, with 198 beds.
Sandra Ortega. The eldest daughter of Inditex’s largest shareholder, Sandra Ortega, is also a relevant hotel investor, in this case through the operator Room Mate, owned by businessman Kike Sarasola. Through Rosp Corunna it is the second largest shareholder in the company.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.