One of the chain's hotels in Malaga. / SUR

Government gives the green light to 30-million-euro financial aid package for Spanish hotel chain

The Soho Boutique group manages 34 establishments across Spain and currently offers the largest number of beds in the capital of the Costa del Sol

PILAR MARTÍNEZ

The Spanish Government has authorised the approval of a 30-million-euro grant to help save a chain of 34 hotels, spread across Spain, managed by the Soho Boutique group.

The Cabinet has given the green light to the aid package, requested by the hotel chain, which is headed by Malaga businessman Gonzalo Armenteros. The Government said that the rescue money will be channelled through a participatory loan for the amount of 24 million and an ordinary loan of six million euros.

The hotel chain opened its first establishment in Malaga, in 2014. Six years later, in 2020, Soho Boutique was ranked number 16 among the large Spanish hotel companies, employing more than 600 people. It currently offers the largest number of hotel beds in the city.

Coronavirus crisis

However, the coronavirus crisis forced it to postpone its expansion plans in the US and Mexico, and to focus its efforts on the domestic market.

The company covers a wide geographic distribution, with hotels in Malaga, Seville, Cordoba, Cadiz, Madrid, Cáceres, Salamanca, the Asturias and Valencia.

Omicron wreaking havoc

After the aid package was announced Gonzalo Armenteros couldn’t contain his happiness: “Finally. We are very happy. The news has come at the most opportune moment, when the Omicron variant is wreaking havoc in the form of cancellations in the middle of the Christmas season.”

The president of the group, which already has 34 hotels in Spain, when taking into account the new openings such as La Equitativa, Castillo de Santa Catalina, or the most recent one in Seville, said that the Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales (SEPI) aid "will help protect the company and the more than 3,000 direct and indirect jobs at stake. We are a strategic company in the tourism sector in Andalucía, where we concentrate 27 of our hotels.”