And…2016! Iberostar’s year begins

Every beginning of the year our expectations are really high. Projects, improvement purposes, plans…The energy of a new beginning and resetting the counter to zero help us to better start these new challenges. In the case of Iberostar Hotels & Resorts, commonly appearing in our posts, 2016 seems to open the doors to a great transformation, which can potentiate the long sought-after quality change, in which they invested so much for months.

In this 2016 touristic season, Iberostar includes some new great assets to its portfolio, which did not happen for a long time. This new bet changes completely the Company brand history: we do not just talk about Iberostar as beach resorts for families in Tenerife, Mallorca or The Caribbean, but as luxury hotels and boutique hotels in the centre of Madrid or other big European capitals like the mythic Grand Hotel Budapest.

All these changes and challenges are heavily asking for a short analysis, especially taking into account that January is the month of Fitur (Madrid’s International Tourism Fair) and it is time to talk about tourism, tendencies, numbers and tourism industry projects.  

Iberostar Grand Hotel Budapest

Iberostar Grand Hotel Budapest

Experiential Resorts

The idea of experiential tourism is not new at all, but it is now when hotel chains are increasingly taking it into account. Now the trendiest offer is: athlete hotels, kids’ hotels that seem theme parks, Only Adults hotels like oasis of relax…It is possible to stay at hotel X, as if it was the holiday destination itself. Therefore, I have 4 free days and I want a relaxing escape at a Spa hotel in Tenerife, but I do not want to stay at any hotel, I want to stay at Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey. This is an example of today’s thought. Why? Why would someone like to stay at that hotel and not at a cheaper one at the same destination? Because the travel experience is the hotel itself. In this particular case, it consists of enjoying 4 days of 5-star customer care in the oldest Spanish hotel, a spa hotel in Tenerife with all of the colonial charm and really modern spaces and facilities, which include spa, gastronomic restaurant, the best culinary classroom in Santa Cruz de Tenerife, nightlife atmosphere…


Iberostar made great efforts to promote and renovate Grand Mencey hotel and now it is trying to do the same in all its Grand hotels, which we list you below so you can understand the tendency that these strong luxury resorts are following in our country (previously more related to The Caribbean holidays):


IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Mencey

IBEROSTAR Grand Hotel Mencey


New formulas, more destinations

In addition to this new luxury bet, Iberostar has already demonstrated its purposes of devoting this year to introduce its offer in destinations and places still uncovered by them. This is the case of the new hotel in Santa Eulalia, Ibiza, an only adult’s hotel with chill out, free Wi-Fi, All Inclusive option and golf course in the nearby (the only one in Ibiza). Another new incorporation is in Costa del Sol, even though the destination already includes some hotels of the chain, Iberostar chose a beach close to Marbella, where there is not any chain hotel. We are talking about El Saladillo beach and the hotel is already in the market under the name of Iberostar Costa del Sol.

Madrid is one of the last and biggest bets of this hotel firm. The first urban hotel of the group: a hotel in Madrid’s Gran Vía, offering high quality gastronomy (in fact, restaurant El Trapo is run by the famous chef Paco Morales) and a trendy rooftop in the big city. Although it seems a luxury hotel, it actually is a 4-star hotel, which services are addressed to business customers and couple getaways, as well as to provide a different and original place to Madrid society, where to have a good time and not just an accommodation.

At the moment, this urban hotel line is more developed in other European destinations as Budapest, one of the big capitals where Iberostar has already been working for a long time. Barcelona is still not included in the portfolio, but we prefer not to discard it, taking into account the last chain steps. In this way, we leave the door open for this city, which is in fact one of the most tempting to open a hotel now: tourism figures in the Catalan capital are one of the most positive and optimistic, if we analyse their historical evolution. Barcelona is never a mistake.

Internal improvements

Opening new hotels is a development method, but Iberostar also detected the importance of working with its own resources and optimize them. This is reflected in the investment of the chain in recent months, in the mature tourism area of Playa de Palma, where it has 3 of its best hotels in Mallorca. Renaming, spaces and facilities renovation and services improvement resulted in a consolidated offer in Mallorca with more modern accommodation concepts: Only Adults, High quality All inclusive, experiential hotels…
Iberostar Bahía de Palma is one of the best examples of this renovation, previously called Royal Cupido, now one of the most complete Only Adults hotels in Palma. See view suites, bay view terraces with pools, spa, luxury beach club, restaurants, exclusive themed animation for couples and groups of friends…Everything at reduced prices in relation with Playa de Palma accommodation offer and establishing a high-level hotel network for all budgets.

Holidays in…Barcelona, Madrid or Sevilla


Today we are going to review most desirable destinations of 2016. We looked for urban, rural and beach tourism references to make our selection. Multiple offers and price advantages available now: early booking, Let’s go!

Let’s start by the capitals…You choose

Vacaciones en Barcelona


This city is always one of our favourite destinations, a must in our directory. We can enjoy the Catalan capital all year round thanks to its cultural offer. By the end of January, music lovers could organize a Barcelona city break to attend one of the few concerts performed in Spain by Foals, a trendy brand at the moment.

For those who enjoy art and design in a different way, there are also interesting plans the beginning of the year in Barcelona. For example, Macba offers a great experience to live with children. We are talking about Espacio Mutante, similar to Carlos Bunga work by Toni Hervàs. It is possible to admire the temporary exhibition of Nitrato de Xavier Ribas until 6th March.

In the list of accommodations for your Barcelona getaway, we included some perfect options for art lovers, such as Vincci Bit and Vincci Gala, both at affordable prices at the first months of the year. Also, central hotels like Catalonia Sagrada Familia or Catalonia Atenas, both in the area of Sagrada Familia. Not to mention Catalonia BCN Plaza, one of the trendiest hotels in 2016.  

Vacaciones en Madrid


From one capital to another, and city break approaching: Madrid will always be a good plan. The city offers all year round a wide range of leisure, relax and business options, which anyone could easily organize its tailor-made travel with. A plan that cannot be missed this January and February is visiting the city and tasting the typical cocido madrileño, eating some tapas, go drinking some beers and enjoying a play. Gastro-cultural escapes to Madrid are now more famous than ever because gastronomy is becoming increasingly important in the capital and stands out from the rest.

We must highlight some famous places like Mercado de San Miguel, the traditional tascas in Barrio de Las Letras or the must-see cavas, where we can find most of the modern tapas bars in the city.

Our accommodation proposal meets with our gourmet escape plan: gastronomic hotel IBEROSTAR Las Letras, in the heart of Gran Vía; Vincci Soho and Vincci Soma; the most exclusive Petit Palace as Embassy Serrano and Lealtad Plaza, or boutique hotels like Posada del Peine, the oldest in Madrid at Plaza Mayor, where you cannot miss tasting a delicious squid sandwich.
Vacaciones en Sevilla


This is the best moment to visit Sevilla, if you do not want to feel the so common hot flashes. Prepare your luggage, go out and feel this city’s magic. Madrid’s cultural agenda is full of great plans that you will love. Apart from tablaos, which are always the perfect choice to live the most authentic Sevilla and its music, you will have the possibility of seeing some exhibitions like Pedro de Campaña in the Museo de Bellas Artes; Pabellón de la Navegación -at Isla de la Cartuja- which comprises an interesting sample of Egyptian art called “Ramsés, rey de reyes” and, in its last days -closed on 24th January- we can see at Muelle de las Delicias the famous Terracota Army.

If you finally choose an escape in January, February and March, we suggest you to check  hotel Petit Palace Santa Cruz, hotel Marqués de Santa Ana and Canalejas Sevilla. You can enjoy free hotel services like free Wi-Fi at affordable prices in the centre of the city.


Mallorca prepares a luxury 2016

More and better. Mallorca is rapidly changing its 70’s label of mass tourism model. The island is working on a complete renovation: its mature vacation areas, like the spa hotels in Playa de Palma and the beach resorts in Magaluf are being fully renewed, promoted mostly by the island major hotel chains, which emerged and grew during the 60’s and 70’s touristic boom until becoming large multinationals.

In addition to this complete makeover oriented towards the most exclusive and luxurious accommodations, and a strong commitment to themed hotels of wellness, golf, leisure and families, Mallorca is changing its cultural offer, style and soul as a holiday destination. Over the years has maintained its reputation as one of the planet’s most coveted island, and now is trying to recover the values that have made Mallorca what it is today. Authenticity, nature, outdoor sports, quality services, folklore and tradition on the Mediterranean shore.

Gastronomy is also suffering a great conversion, changing from the typical combined dish and fast food for foreigners to gourmet dishes in which local products play the most important role.  In fact, some hotel chains as Garden Hotels established agreements with breeders from the island in order to offer meat from locally raised cattle in all their hotels with restaurant in Mallorca. The same applies to the agricultural food, especially the ecological one, with great potential in Mallorca.  A growing number of accommodations are offering healthy and high quality gastronomic service. Luxury hotels are at the Forefront in this sense -as this food remains very expensive- and make special related offers.  Some of them like the new Iberostar hotel in Portals Nous, have focused on that, requiring restaurants which comprise the island complementary offer to catch up with the circumstances.

In Palma, the capital, is where we can better see this change, because tradition and native culture prevails more on its inland villages and in Sierra de Tramuntana. The city is recovering its origins, its old city town, where many boutique hotels and extremely luxury hotels have emerged maintaining the charm of this Mediterranean city. We can find several shops, small inns, terraces and restaurants on its surroundings with a varied gastronomy offer, prevailing tradition and high quality products. This allows to increase prices and initiate a change -there is still much to do- from economy of scale to exclusive economy.

Other areas like the one from Playa de Muro and Alcudia hotels are still deeply attached to a more quality mass tourism. Therefore, in the north coast of Mallorca we can find a jumble of accommodations: “All inclusive” hotels surrounded by shopping boulevards and restaurants addressed to foreigners. Nevertheless, there are an increasing number of proposals considering this new Mallorca and trying to give visitors an added value, stylish ambience and sophistication lost over the years. Elegant beach clubs with luxury gastronomy and cocktails, more high category hotels, accommodations settled on old palaces and traditional beach houses, charming restaurants with Michelin star, spa hotels or special services for athletes, theme resorts, 5-star apartment complexes…The change has started but it may not be as fast as we want.

Natural: it is difficult to give up on winning effortlessly. The new Mallorca requires significant investments that not everyone in the tourism industry can afford -especially after this recent crisis years-. However, the threat of other Mediterranean destinations growth has had a profound effect and the actions taken by those who can afford them easily, have ended up engulfing many others. The reinvestment of profits in improvements -although modest- is increasingly seen at hotels even from small chains. Foreign capital contributions are becoming important: most of those new boutique hotels in the centre of Palma are the result of foreign investment groups (Nordic, Russian and Germans), which buy fincas and restore them with luxury designs and materials, and then sell them to upper-class groups living now with the middle-class tourist on the streets and beaches of the island, overbooking its hotels.

But let us not delude ourselves. Everyone should be welcome in Mallorca and the goal should not be to transform the island in a place reserved for high class people, but to become a role model of mature destination that grows, progresses and keeps an optimal quality standard in both luxury and cheaper segments, since a peaceful coexistence is essential and enriching in both directions.

Travelling to Colombia? Do not forget to visit Popayán

There are places not showing on the guides first pages, which hide thousands of possibilities to enjoy and discover things, experiences and feelings that whisper the authenticity of a destination and a country.  This is the case in Popayán, also known as Colombia’s Ciudad Blanca, which has never been the main focus of foreign tourism promotion, however it is one of the most magical places you can find in this wonderful Latin American country.

Its colonial atmosphere, art and heritage inherited from multiple civilizations with a particular Spanish influence makes Popayán a perfect destination to spend some days of cultural vacation. Among the mandatory visits is Puente del Humilladero, famous because of its arches and its spectacular fault in the centre of the city. Although it is not exactly the same as the original, as it was badly damaged by several earthquakes, it has been carefully renewed, becoming a sight worthy of being admired and photographed.

Puente del Humilladero

Puente del Humilladero

Popayán museums are also a great attraction.  otro de sus grandes atractivos. Casa Mosquera stands out specially because comprises a complete file, and an area exclusively dedicated to a museum and a traditional hotel. Negret museum is an essential element of Colombian culture, particularly in Cauca’s area. The name of Edgar Negret collects all the artist’s work, one of the best in the country. The Ibero-American Modern Art Museum is one of the most complete in Colombia, including famous international artists’ works as Picasso, Rivera, Chillida…

The Arquidiocesano Museum in the city includes very valuable pieces of worship for the more religious people. More than dozens of temples and sanctuaries are scattered throughout the districts, centre and outskirts. Making a tour to see some of the most representative ones is a great opportunity to understand local devotion to their gods: the temples of San Agustin, Santo Domingo, San Francisco, Las monjas

Lastly, there is a must visit in Popayán: see Morro del Tulcán to admire some of the best samples of Pre-Colombian art.  Also famous is the Pirámide, so called because it seems a construction, but it is a hill with briquetting slopes.

Accommodation options in Popayán are varied, from diverse hotels to hostels and guesthouses. One of the best equipped hotels is Hotel Dann Monasterio Popayán which not just is exceptionally located in an area of outstanding natural beauty, but it was built on top of a former Franciscan convent. With colonial influences, a wellness area, large gardens, pools…it offers rooms in Popayán and suites to accommodate couples and families with children. For booking with discount in Dann Monasterio Popayán, please visit the official hotel website, as it allows you to book directly without intermediaries and at very reasonable prices.

Dann Monasterio Popayán Hotel

Dann Monasterio Popayán Hotel