Tuesday, 18 July 2023, 12:43
The top-end Guadalpín Banús hotel in Marbella has not had any kitchens or dining rooms in operation since 3 July due to a dispute over the ownership of different parts of the establishment. On the same day, hotel staff and the operating company had to adapt to a new way of working in order to continue offering the breakfast and lunch service to their guests: the bar located by the swimming pool now acts as a dining room.
Almost two weeks later and the situation remains the same. However, it is allowing for relative normality at the hotel, which is still 80 per cent full, although there have been a few booking cancellations. Remaining guests have been offered discounts to make up for the inconvenience. "We are trying to provide the best possible service," says the director of the Guadalpín Banús, Ramón Pons.
Following the closure of the kitchens and dining rooms, a letter was sent to guests explaining the court decision and the new service model for breakfast and meals at the swimming pool. They were also offered help in finding alternative accommodation without any additional charge if they were not satisfied.
"There have been some cancellations, but none of the current guests have left. We are offering significant discounts on the price of accommodation, and we continue to work very hard to offer a good service," Pons explained.
All the hotel's 200 employees are still working and a 24-hour room service is still being offered. "At the moment we are still waiting for a solution, but we cannot rule out a future ERTE [furlough] to adjust the staff. We had three restaurants operating at full capacity, with almost 300 dinners a day, and we have gone to offering about 70 dinners,” Pons added.
The Guadalpín Banús hotel, developed by Aifos and initially operated by a company wholly owned by the developer, started insolvency proceedings in 2009. This has led to the staff being affected by a dispute between the hotel operator, Grisoma Hotelera SL (Grisoma), and the owner of some of the premises located in basement 1, SPV Spain Project 17 SL (SPV).
Although the hotel continues to operate after the launch, there have been moments of tension as the SPV firm claims that there are spaces it owns that have been used, such as corridors and bathrooms.
Pons pointed out that "they are constantly trying to provoke the hotel staff" and added, "It is a very sad situation because a lot of work has been done to save this establishment and reposition it at the highest level after the insolvency proceedings.”
Now, the operating company is waiting for the judge to enforce an order issued on 30 June which recognises that all the properties that make up the hotel form part of the operating unit, in this case Grisoma. "This closure is a mistake that must be rectified," the director stressed.
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