By Keith Loria
After acquiring Occidental Hotels & Resorts in 2016, Barceló Hotel Group decided to develop a new multi-brand strategy, which includes Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts, Barceló Hotels & Resorts, Occidental Hotels & Resorts, and Allegro Hotels.
A global hospitality company with more than 200 hotels and resorts worldwide, Barceló Hotel Group’s new structure means travelers will have access to a wider range of unique experiences better catered to their interests, from the super-luxe to the more adventurous and everything in between, according to the company.
“The refocused strategy behind the reconstruction is designed to give Barceló Hotel Group’s guests a distinctive and customized experience,” said Juan Perez Sosa, Barceló Hotel Group’s SVP of sales & marketing USA. “Barceló Hotel Group has invested $110 million in property renovations—slated for completion by December 2017, which will continue to generate an array of new jobs in the communities where we have properties.”
Taken as a whole, these brands are present in 20 countries, with 116 hotels and more than 33,000 rooms and 41 of these properties located in Latin America and the Caribbean.
“Today’s travelers are more sophisticated; they expect a higher level of service, a diverse range of exclusive options and distinctive cultural experiences,” said Sosa. “Our transition to a multi-brand strategy is responding to this changing traveler dynamic. The new structure will make it easy for guests to select the type of resort experience they want with an appropriate price point to match, all while visiting some of the world’s most desirable destinations.”
Looking at the portfolio as it currently is comprised, the hotels are distributed as follows: 7 percent Royal Hideaway; 48 percent Barceló; 40 percent Occidental; and 5 percent Allegro.
Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts features the company’s most elite and exclusive luxury resort experiences—destinations where guests experience authenticity, attention to detail, discretion and the ultimate in personalized service.
Barceló Hotels & Resorts’ design-centric, upscale hotels and resorts offer exclusive experiences, such as signature U-Spa Health and Wellness Centers. The latest generation of urban and coastal properties across the globe, the brand’s new flagship hotel is Barceló Emperatriz, which opened in Madrid in January 2016, and its Latin American flagship hotels are Barceló Maya Grand Resort and Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort.
Occidental Hotels & Resorts is a collection of distinctive properties with strong local flavor, in some of the world’s most desirable locations, including Mexico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Spain, and Prague. This brand is designed for families, groups of friends and couples, with a focus on active adventures that are authentic to each resort location, such as scuba diving and cultural immersion, according to the company. Allegro Hotels are designed for the budget-conscious traveler and are a place for guests to live life with energy, freedom and fun.
The entire transition process is expected to be completed and fully operating under the new brand architecture later this year.
“This is an ongoing strategy. As such, it will allow us to diversify more clearly and we will have the opportunity to enter market segments that are new to us,” Sosa said. “With multiple brands, it will be easier to incorporate different hotels in line with various standards, providing us with greater flexibility. Going forward, we can continue to explore the concept of ‘experiential tourism’ through themed hotels.”
Following extensive renovations undertaken at Barceló Hotel Group’s two large Caribbean resorts, the Barceló Bávaro Grand Resort (Dominican Republic) and the Barceló Maya Grand Resort (Mexico), the brand began a plan in 2016 to renovate (partially or fully) 12 of its most prominent hotels in Latin America.
“Thanks to this $110 million initiative, many of Barceló Hotel Group’s all-inclusive Latin American resorts have started the high season in the Caribbean with improved facilities,” said Sosa. “Most improvements were made in order to adapt and coordinate to the high standards of other Barceló Hotel Group brands. Additionally, Barceló Hotel Group introduced new, upgraded architecture to some properties in order to better define brand standards and guest experiences.”
One of its most noteworthy 2017 projects is the remodeling of one of the more iconic properties in of all of the Caribbean: El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, located in the heart of Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). In its day, the hotel was considered a hot spot for actors, celebrities and leaders visiting the Dominican capital. Following renovations undertaken this year by Barceló Hotel Group, the Ambassador will return to its former glory as a landmark of luxury and exclusivity for Latin American Tourism in the 21st Century. The renovations are slated for completion in Q3 of 2017.
Barceló Hotel Group’s new multi-brand strategy and plan for major capital investments are just the beginning, Sosa noted, of a prosperous growth strategy that will propel Barceló Hotel Group even further as a global leader in the hospitality industry in years to come.
“We plan on significant growth in Latin America and the Caribbean. Barceló Hotel Group’s new structure has given us an increased footprint in several countries within Latin America, including the brand’s first properties in Aruba and Colombia,” he said. “As one of the top hospitality companies in the world, Barceló Hotel Group will implement its new multi-brand strategy as we look forward to 2018, working to define the characteristics of each brand, while continuing to provide tailor-made experiences for guests at each hotel and resort.”