Setbacks for Spain’s first seven-star hotel

THE Junta de Andalucia has told the promoters of the first seven-star hotel in Spain, planned for Almuñecar, to legitimize their building license.

According to regional government delegate Maria Jose Sanchez, who met with the local mayor, Trinidad Herrera, the Junta de Andalucia will not hinder the creation of the Bahia Fenicia complex as long as it abides by the law. She explained that the promoters will have to complete the administrative report for the hotel, which the town hall, led at the time by Juan Carlos Benavides of Convergencia Andaluza, approved without all the necessary documents.

Earlier this summer, the Junta informed Almuñecar that the project violates legislation as it should have been approved by the Junta de Andalucia tourism department before the license was granted, just days before the Town Hall was informed of tourism’s negative report for the project and before the local elections on May 22.

The promoter, Banyan Tree, presented documents which classified the hotel as a ‘five-star luxury superior’ category, which is the highest allowed in Spanish law. However, they requested a special dispensation from the Tourism Department to be officially named as a seven-star hotel.

The plan was for the hotel and phase one, with some 50 private apartments, to be completed in 2013 and for phases two and three to start running in 2014 and 2015.

The hotel will be built in the area known as ‘El Peñon del Lobo’. It will cost approximately €230m and be built on 13,341 square meters, will feature 200 luxury rooms, a spa, and integrated environmental gardens. Services such as limousines, a helicopter and a private butler will be available.

A further 32,428 square meters will be for residential housing, with apartments of up to 500m2, each with a private pool on the terrace. Owners will be able to get a professional cook, room services and all the services available at the hotel.

By Jennifer Leighfield

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