The Sofia hotel in Barcelona reopens as a Grand Hyatt after a 20 million renovation

The Barcelona hotel market continues to add new international brands in the luxury segment.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
02 April 2024 Tuesday 16:22
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The Sofia hotel in Barcelona reopens as a Grand Hyatt after a 20 million renovation

The Barcelona hotel market continues to add new international brands in the luxury segment. This time, with an emblematic establishment such as the Sofia hotel, a five-star hotel with 465 rooms that was previously the main asset of Joan Gaspart's group. The hotel has just reopened as a Grand Hyatt, one of the most valuable brands of the American giant Hyatt (eleventh hotel chain in the world with 1,297 establishments and 311,170 rooms).

The Spanish fund manager Blasson Property Investments, in alliance with the insurance group Axa, bought the hotel a year ago for 180 million euros from the Canadian fund Brookfield, which had incorporated it into its portfolio with the acquisition of the Selenta chain from businessman Jordi Mestre in 2021. Until now the establishment was managed by Selenta, which in turn had a franchise agreement with Hyatt under the Unbound Collection brand.

After an improvement process in which the new property has invested around 20 million euros, according to market sources, the hotel has been repositioned as Grand Hyatt, the second of this brand in Spain (there was only one more in La Manga, in Murcia). This is one of Hyatt's most exclusive brands, recognized worldwide, which is expected to increase room nights for the MICE segment by up to 26%. The sector believes that this new banner will bring greater visibility and global reputation to the hotel and the destination Barcelona, ​​which will probably increase the national and international interest of event organizers (it is estimated that the repositioning has already brought about 20 business events additional). This will translate into a 20% growth in the average daily rate of this hotel for the business segment.

The establishment also hopes to advance in the vacation sector, for which it has strengthened its service offering. Thus, it will incorporate a total of four restaurants (now it only had one open). One of them will be Leña, by chef Dani García, which will open at the end of this year. It will also add a spa managed by the Catalan group Natura Bissé, the first of its kind in Spain. In this way, the Grand Hyatt hopes to diversify its clientele and also attract a local audience. To make these changes effective, the hotel has hired one hundred new workers, adding to the 300 people it currently employs.

The reopening of this asset is part of Hyatt's growth strategy both in Spain and throughout the European market. In Catalonia it now has two establishments, the Grand Hyatt and the Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower, in alliance with Hesperia. According to market sources, it will soon add another asset to its Catalan portfolio: the Miramar hotel in Montjuïc, which the Socimi Atom bought along with the La Florida hotel from the Lebanese investor Joseph Boutros El Khoury this January.

In total, Hyatt has 50 hotels in Spain (about 13,000 rooms), 26 of which are located in the Balearic Islands - a large part of its portfolio in the country comes from the purchase of Apple Leisure Group. But the chain, directed in Europe, Africa and the Middle East by the Catalan Javier Águila, wants to continue expanding and is fully identifying opportunities. The new Grand Hyatt in Barcelona is an important piece in this process.