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PHOTO: The Iberostar Cala Millor opened as the chain's 14th hotel on Majorca. (photo courtesy of the hotel)
For decades, the southern coast of Spain has been one of the most popular tourism destinations in the world. Even as the Spanish economy experiences its winter of discontent, the country can at least count on prosperous summers from short-haul European beach lovers and long haul travelers from the Americas and elsewhere who go more for the cultural splendors of Andalucia.
In recent years, Spanish islands have begun to really boom as well. The Balearic Islands, especially Ibiza and Majorca, have given Spain popular Mediterranean isle options and the Canary Islands offer something very different, but also located in the Atlantic.
The hotel companies have been actively building and restoring to follow the market. Majorca's Hotel Galatzo Majorca reopened as a Maritim Hotel, the Sheraton Mallorca Arabella Golf Hotel performed a multi-million dollar renovation, the Park Hyatt Mallorca became the island's first Hyatt and over on Ibiza, a new Hard Rock Hotel has taken center stage.
In May, the four-star 171-room Iberostar Cala Millor opened as the 14th hotel operated by Iberostar on Majorca. The hotel, which is owned by tennis great Rafael Nadal, opened near the protected nature area of Punta de n'Amer on the island's east coast. Each of the hotel's rooms has a terrace or balcony, telephone, air conditioning and satellite TV. The hotel has a wide range of services on its grounds, as well as a nearby Miniclub for children aged four to 12 and a golf course a couple miles away. The hotel itself has a buffet restaurant, snack bar, outdoor pool with a sun terrace and a spa with a wet zone, which offers various choices of relaxing treatments and massages.
Iberostar will also open its first "Grand Collection Hotel" on Majorca next May. The 63-room five-star adult-only hotel will be located on Portals Nous cove, in the municipality of Calvia and will be the company's 15th hotel on the island. The hotel is currently under construction. Slated to include a more environmental approach, the new accommodations with feature such details as an innovative curtain wall system that will allow for efficient temperature control. There will also be a "biospa," a luxurious wellness center designed around sustainability complete with a Turkish bath and sauna.
PHOTO: The Sant Francesc Hotel Singular resides in an original manor house from the 1880s. (via the hotel's Facebook page)
In March, the 42-room Sant Francesc Hotel Singular opened near Palma de Majorca's historic city center after a total renovation. The building is an original manor house from the 1880s. The hotel's dining options include Quadrat Restaurant & Garden as well as the Lobby Bar and Patio Mallorquin. The hotel also has a rooftop terrace, pool and spa. Rates begin at €195 ($215), for this member of Small Luxury Hotels.
The Canary Islands
The Canary Islands have been on a separate tourism track from the Spanish mainland and Spain's Balearics in the Mediterranean. Popular with in-the-know European clientele for a long time, the Arab Spring in 2011 caused a surge in business as Europe's Egyptian Red Sea traveler sought new beaches without the bother of political problems. Next year, Hard Rock International will open the 637-room Hard Rock Hotel Tenerife.
This week, the 334-room Riu Palace Tenerife reopened as a five-star hotel following a €26 million ($28.7 million) renovation with a new infinity pool, a relaxation area and an original "beach zone" in the garden. The top to bottom renovation lifted the property into the five-star level.
The rooms were all remodeled in lighter colors and feature new furniture, 43-inch flat-screen TVs, electronic safes, and fully renovated bathrooms with walk-in showers. Key areas of the hotel have also been redone, such as the lobby and reception area, as well as the main restaurant and the cocktail lounge, which now has an expansive terrace facing the sea.
On the grounds, the entire aquatic zone has been redesigned to create three swimming pools, including the infinity, in addition to a children's pool and an indoor pool, all of them heated in winter. A new "chill-out area" near the pool has been created, and in the garden a beach area where guests can relax and sunbathe.
James Ruggia is executive editor covering Europe, Pacific Asia and rail travel for TravelPulse.com.
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