Hotel InterContinental Madrid acquired by Lebanese investor

The InterContinental hotel in Madrid, one of the most emblematic hotels in the capital of Spain, has a new owner. The Lebanese investor Toufic Aboukhater has purchased, through his company Mansion Services, a portfolio of seven hotels currently operated by the U.S. chain in various European capitals. Among them is the InterContinental De La Ville (Rome), the Hotel Carlton in Cannes (Cannes) and now the InterContinental hotel in Madrid.

The management of the hotel will remain with the hotel group, which signed a contract for 30 years, as part of its strategy to manage hotels without owning them. Five years ago, investment bank Morgan Stanley opted to diversify into the hotel sector and, in addition to the acquisition of the InterContinental Hotels it also acquired ten Hilton hotels for €556 million.  With the economic crisis, the company has chosen the opposite approach and, last February, they sold the Hilton hotel in Barcelona to Westmont Hospitality Group for €40 million.

The Hotel InterContinental Madrid, which was built on the site of the 18th Century palace of the Marquis of Merit, was the first international hotel in Madrid. Opened in 1953, the Castellana Hilton, as it was then called, was the favourite of Hollywood stars like Ava Gardner, Sophia Loren, Gina Lollobrigida, Tony Curtis and Gary Cooper. It became part of the InterContinental chain in 1973 and it has been refurbished twice in the last decade. The first time in 2002 when the work cost some €32 million. Six years later, the hotel chain spent €1.6 million to add four presidential suites (130 square meters) and a royal suite (400 square meters). Today it is a five star hotel with 302 rooms.

The hotel sector in Spain again seems to have whetted the appetite of some investors in recent months. Another Lebanese investor, Boutros El-Khouri, has acquired the Triangle Princesa in Madrid, and the hotels Miramar and La Florida in Barcelona and the Chinese group HNA purchased 20 percent of Spanish hotel chain NH.

Paseo de La Castellana is Madrid’s most desirable location for foreign hotel chains. Currently, the InterContinental is the only international hotel on La Castellana. The other hotels are all managed by Spanish hotel chains like Sol Melia, NH, Hesperia, West, AC, Silken, Abba and Hotusa.

This entry is filed under Madrid Hotels.