Last updated: 11:20 AM ET, Fri December 18 2015

Soccer Star Cristiano Ronaldo Launches Boutique Hotel Chain

Hotel & Resort | Patrick Clarke | December 18, 2015

Soccer Star Cristiano Ronaldo Launches Boutique Hotel Chain

Photo via Twitter

Soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo is trying his hand at the hotel business, announcing a joint venture with Portugal's Pestana Hotel Group that will see the launch of four boutique hotels under his "CR7" brand.

CNBC reported the 30-year-old Real Madrid star has invested $40 million in the project.

Two of the four properties will open in Ronaldo's native Portugal, while the other two are slated to open in Madrid and New York.

"The first hotel will be in Madeira and I want to be at the opening of all of them. I'm very happy with Madeira and the second being in Madrid — where I play — so it makes a lot of sense," Ronaldo told Sky Sports. "...We were considering only one hotel originally, so to start with four locations is a big kick-off. It's like playing for the first time and suddenly scoring lots of goals."

Ronaldo cited his close connection with Pestana Group CEO Dionisio Pestana as motivation to make the deal happen. "In my opinion, he's the best guy to do business with in Portugal," he told CNBC. "He's from Madeira too, so it was a good partnership. He has experience, not just in Portugal but all over the world."

"Dionisio is the number one [in hotels] and I'm the number one in football so, we have everything."

Despite a recent celebrity-backed hotel's high profile stumble and the emergence of short-term rental service Airbnb, the two-time Ballon d'Or winner (given to the world player of the year) isn't lacking confidence in his latest venture.

"I'm 100 percent sure that this is going to be different from others because of my name, the way I live, my ambitions, Dionisio's ambition too," Ronaldo told CNBC. "...Between this base of people — people who like me, the people who follow me — I think we have all the ingredients to do it."

The Pestana Group is the largest tourism and leisure group in Portugal and its hotel chain, Pestana Hotels and Resorts operates 91 hotels and more than 10,700 rooms around the world. 

Prior to now, Ronaldo's CR7 brand had been limited to fashion and fragrances. 


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