In 2017, the company acquired 11 new hotels, entered in Turkey and Bolivia and allocated €30 M to capital investment. BlueBay Hotels currently has 52 hotels around the world, 23 of them are in Spain. The company bases its growth on a management model built around the customer and based on 5 axes: integration, flexibility and adaptation; team training; multiple business models; innovation, and international presence.
BlueBay Hotels, the eighth Spanish hotel company by international presence and the 10th largest hotel group regarding hotel rooms , strengthens its presence in Spain with the addition of a new hotel in Majorca, where the group already has four other hotels. The recently renovated Sky Bel Hotel By BlueBay (****) is in Cala Rajada and has 35 Majorcan-style rooms intended for adults. The hotel also has an outdoor pool and is just three minutes from the beach.
“We’ve started the year just as we finished the previous one: growing and strengthening our presence in Spain. We’re delighted to announce that we’ve increased our presence in Majorca, where we already had four hotels. With this new addition, 23 of the group’s 52 hotels are in Spain,” said Ramón Hernández, CEO of BlueBay Hotels, in a meeting with the media at the company’s stand at FITUR 2018.
Also, “in 2018, BlueBay Hotels plans to allocate €60 M to capital investment (CAPEX) to improve hotel facilities and services in several destinations, and this will allow us to renovate 2000 rooms in our portfolio of hotels,” said Jamal Satli Iglesias, Chairman of BlueBay Hotels.
A year of consolidation in destinations and opening up new markets
BlueBay Hotels reached 22,736 beds in 2017. The group currently has 52 hotels in 27 destinations spread across 15 countries. Furthermore, the company allocated €30 M to capital investment (CAPEX) to improve its facilities and services last year.
In 2017, BlueBay Hotels’ continual expansion focussed on new destinations and strengthening the company’s presence in markets where it was already operating, including Spain.
Turkey and Bolivia were the new emerging markets. BlueBay Hotels is the first Spanish company to open in the Latin American country and decided on Bursa to set up operations in the Ottoman country. The Bolivian city of Oruro, home to the Hotel Eden by BlueBay (*****), has excellent potential for tourism development, while the Turkish metropolis of Bursa, where BlueBay Hotels has entered with two luxury hotels Ataturk Palace by Blue Diamond (*****) and BlueBay Grand Celik Palace (*****), possesses an impressive cultural and touristic legacy.
Furthermore, BlueBay Hotels has strengthened its presence in markets such as Mexico with the addition of six new establishments in Mexico City - Hipólito Taine by BlueBay (****), Aristóteles 140 by BlueBay (****), Oklahoma by BlueBay (****), Aristóteles 225 by BlueBay (****), Royal Colonial by BlueBay (****) and Tennyson by BlueBay (****) – and has extended its tourist offer to the urban environment.
The management model, the core of BlueBay Hotels’ growth
In his presentation, the CEO of BlueBay Hotels highlighted the importance of the management model as a strategy for the group’s growth. “Our management is built around the traveller, their well-being and happiness. The tools we develop to improve the management constantly are essential to position our group’s hotels as leaders in their influence areas,” explained Hernández.
The axes around which the management of Bluebay Hotels is based on are 1) integration, flexibility and adaptation, 2) team training, 3) multiple business models, 4) innovation in the company’s DNA, and 5) international presence.
The model established by BlueBay Hotels regarding integration, flexibility and adaptation is defined in its ability to incorporate multiple business models in the group, which range from establishments owned, to hotel management and franchising. The CEO of BlueBay Hotels also emphasised the company’s ability in adapting to the operational needs at a local level. He underlined the fact that “each market has specific characteristics and needs. Our management model features some key parameters, but the local manager’s knowledge is fundamental in positioning our product competitively.”
Team training is another of the management model’s fundamental aspects and encourages the implementation of managerial or administrative skills according to the profile “but always with the goal of providing the most suitable technical and emotional skills to carry out their work professionally,” he said. In this regard, the growth registered by BlueBay Hotels in 2017 required bringing in new professionals in strategic areas such as finance, operations, sales, and systems, among others.
BlueBay Hotels ability to manage multiple business models is possible thanks to two factors: its swiftness in adapting to each destination, and identifying opportunities for improvements and growth, both in new destinations and those where the group wants to consolidate its presence.
The CEO explained innovation is another of the management model’s point of reference and described it as “a fundamental part of our DNA”. “It’s based on the incorporation of new marketing, IT and developing the 10-point “InnoBBación” plan we announced in2016.”
Regarding international presence, the enterprising nature of BlueBay Hotels fosters the identification of destinations that offer potential for growth. Markets such as the United States, the Middle East and North Africa are flagged as places of interest for adding new hotels to the Spanish group in 2018.
InnoBBación strategy achievements
InnoBBación is one of BlueBay Hotels’ pillars of growth. The group participated as a dynamic agent for innovation in more than 25 national and international events. It also took part in the co-creation of products for the tourism sector to promote growth based on innovation using design thinking and travel product canvas tools.
This focus on innovation also has an internal use, with BlueBay Hotels offering executive mindfulness and emotional intelligence courses to its team of professionals. “Providing excellent service is only possible if our team has professional and emotional tools,” said Hernández.
As part of this innovative spirit, BlueBay Labs commenced operations in 2017. The lab, based in the Hotel BlueBay Beach Club (****) in Gran Canaria, was launched with the idea of it being an on-going centre for experimentation. BlueBay Hotels also signed an agreement with the University of Malaga (UMA) to provide students on the Tourism Degree course with training to develop competitive and innovative tourism professional profiles.
Investment for improving the product
BlueBay Hotels spent €30 M in 2017 on updating and improving its products and plans to invest a further €60 M in 2018. One of the major improvements planned for 2018 is the second phase of renovating the BelleVue Club Mallorca (***), which will involve the refurbishment of 450 rooms and also improvements to internal and external facilities. Significant improvements will also be made to the BelleVue Vistanova in Majorca, with the complete renovation of 198 rooms and the reformation of the common areas and facades.
One thousand rooms will be completely renovated at the BlueBay Grand Esmeralda***** in Rivera Maya, Mexico, and a further 250 rooms will get a makeover at the BlueBay Villas Doradas**** in the Dominican Republic. Both hotels will also have new restaurants and improvements will be made to several common areas.