In 2018 Marbella is starting a new year which will be more than satisfying for the tourism sector.
Although there are no definite forecasts regarding the number of visitors who are likely to come to the town this year, it is known that more hotel rooms will be available for them.
The focus now is on ensuring that there is sufficient high-quality accommodation for tourists who are seeking exclusivity but also want something extra, such as a traditional, more unique type of experience.
As a result of this, investors have set their sights on the oldest part of Marbella, which is one of the town's greatest treasures.
A group of Swiss and British investors, working with the Rhône Property group, are to open four hotels in the historic town centre, at a cost of around 15 million euros.
A few days ago the firm officially presented one of these projects, the boutique hotel 'Maison Ardois', which will be in a restored 16th century mansion in Calle Ancha.
However, the group is also working on three other hotels, which are at different stages at present. An old four-storey family house in the Plaza del Santo Cristo; a building within the castle walls, and one which until a few years ago housed the Conservatory in the Plaza Puente de Ronda have all captured the attention of these investors, who want outstanding locations for their new projects.
“They wanted places which would enable clients to discover the real Marbella, the traditional, typical town which few people really know,” says Miguel Cerván, the CEO Rhône Property, the firm responsible for buying and converting the properties. “The investors who come to Marbella are looking for something special. They are aware that tourists' tastes are changing.”
These new hotels will enable clients to discover the Marbella which is less publicised internationally but is no less important or attractive for that. Between them, the four hotels will only have 50 rooms and space for 105 guests.
The two projects which are most advanced at present are the one in Calle Ancha, which could be ready by early February, and the one in Plaza de Santo Cristo. All four hotels will share some common features: boutique hotels with few rooms, which provide the luxury facilities and levels of service which their clients expect.
The project will also benefit the historic town centre, because some of the buildings which have been empty for a long time, or had fallen into disrepair, are now being restored.
For example, the Hotel Santo Cristo will reopen the doors of a large family home in one of the loveliest areas of the town centre. The Hotel El Castillo is inside the castle walls, an area classified as a site of cultural interest, and the most ambitious project, in the Plaza Puente de Ronda, used to be the home of Dr Maíz Viñals and later, between 1996 and 2011, the Conservatory of Marbella.