Wednesday, 17 January 2024, 11:43
The Malaga-based chain with the most hotel beds in the city, Soho Boutique Hotels, is gaining momentum and considering new horizons. After being rescued in 2021 with a post-pandemic 30-million-euro loan from the Solvency Support Fund for Strategic Companies, the company is working on an ambitious expansion plan with which it hopes to add between ten or twelve establishments this year.
The Malaga-born president and founder of the group, Gonzalo Armenteros, said that Soho Boutique is looking at new assets to manage in key locations, not only in Spanish cities but also abroad. Armenteros said that the focus is centred on Morocco, where they already have a presence, and Italy, a market they have wanted to enter for some time, although the ideal conditions have not been met until now.
Armenteros said that 2023 had been a "record" year and that this new financial year begins with good prospects for the company, with an expectation that "we can surpass the records of 2023” bearing in mind “the uncertainties that are opening up with the different war conflicts, with the increase in the price of energy, or the general rise in costs derived from the increase in inflation".
In addition to the opening of an apartment building in Madrid, in the heart of Gran Vía, Soho Boutique also plans to open a four-star hotel with fifty rooms in a "super prime" Barcelona location. And after the success of the only hotel establishment they have in Santander, the chain is considering a second four-star hotel in the Cantabrian city.
The Malaga-based group also plans to open three- and four-star holiday hotels in the Almeria town of Roquetas de Mar and Matalascañas in Huelva. The chain already operates two holiday hotels on the Costa del Sol under the Moon Dreams brand, the Calabahía, in Cala del Moral, and a three-star hotel in Fuengirola.
Outside Spain, Armenteros said that the group will continue to grow in Morocco, where they already have a presence with both the Soho Boutique brand and the Moon Dreams brand in three establishments in Tangier, Casablanca and Tetouan. "We are going to increase the portfolio with at least five more establishments, both four-star and some five-star," Armenteros said, without giving more details about the assets to be managed. He also pointed to Italy as the market in which "we want to go all out and where we are focusing our attention".
The group started out with its first hotel in Calle Córdoba, the seed of a chain that is now a leader in Malaga city, managing more than a dozen hotels and more than 1,100 beds, with two major milestones such as the five-star Castillo Santa Catalina in El Limonar and the emblematic Soho Equitativa. "We are looking at a couple of other projects, some of them luxury," Armenteros said, adding that the chain closed 2023 with 44 hotels with a total of 2,200 rooms and a workforce of 750 permanent employees.
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