By Emma Mitchell •
Published: 16 Sep 2023 • 13:18
Marina d'Or. Credit: www.marinador.com
Families looking forward to a holiday at the Marina d’Or complex on Spain’s Valencian coast have woken up to last minute cancellations of reservations from this Sunday, September 17th.
The Oropesa del Mar mega complex in Castellón boasts a five-star and several four-star hotels, as well as a saltwater spa and a number of leisure complexes.
The resort, dubbed a ‘vacation city’, has something of a checkered history financially. Founded by Jesús Ger in 1983, the complex was bought out four years ago by American investment group Farallon, who paid off debts amounting to over one hundred million euros.
Following the pandemic, Farallon put substantial investment into updating the complex and preparing it for the tourist industry reopening. This summer it was announced that the family run Fuertes group empire were joining as shareholders and that the management of the complex would be taken over by Hoteles Costa Blanca who are one of the main tour operators in the Valencian Community with over 12 hotels in the region.
Off-season periods of shutdown have been part of the commercial strategy of the owners who are fully focused on profitability. In addition to a long hiatus due to pandemic restrictions, there had been two-week shutdowns for ‘technical reasons’ in 2019 and 2021. Outside of the holiday high season the complex has focused on sports tourism.
This weekend sees the Mediterranean Epic triathlon being held at the complex with around 750 of the participating athletes staying at the resort’s hotels. It appears that the announcement of closure has been timed to coincide with the wrapping up of that event.
Last year there was a move to cease operations between mid-October and February, but this year’s announcement of closure on September 17th has come completely out of the blue and leaves holiday makers to this family resort scrambling for refunds and alternative vacation plans.
Shocked tourists have been receiving emails and phone calls in the last day from the reservations department of Marina d’Or hotels informing them that, “We have proceeded to cancel your reservation and manage the refund of the amount paid.” Cold comfort to those who had flights booked and time off work organised.
It’s understood that Marina d’Or have been approached by a number of Spanish newspapers but have declined to comment on the situation.
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Emma landed in journalism after nearly 30 years as an executive in the Internet industry. She lives in Bédar and her interests include raising one eyebrow, reckless thinking and talking to people randomly. If you have a great human interest story you can contact her on email@example.com
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