Marriott International is to open the W Ibiza next summer, the latest luxury flag to eye the island, which last year saw a spike of investors, drawn by rising RevPAR and the changing reputation of the island once known only for its partying.
Owned by Inversions Hoteleres Ebza S.L., W Ibiza will be located in the beachside neighborhood Santa Eulalia del Río. “We have been present in Ibiza since 2010 with a variety of W music events and partnerships, so we're thrilled to be finally opening a W Hotel on the island,” said Anthony Ingham, global brand leader, W Hotels Worldwide.
According to JLL, total investment volume in Ibiza reached more than €253 million in 2017, more than three times that of the previous year. Investment funds and private-equity groups were the dominant force, accounting for 66 percent of transactions, followed by 17 percent by high-net-worth individuals, with the remainder made up of 12 percent anonymous investors and 5 percent REITs and SOCIMI (a Spanish REIT).
Interest has continued into 2018. Last month, footballer Lionel Messi bought the 52-room luxury Hotel Es Vive on the Figueretas beach. The property will be rebranded under his MiM brand, managed by the Majestic Hotel Group. The Art Deco-style hotel was originally a hostel, but was renovated in 2014.
Fellow footballer Christiano Ronaldo announced last year that his Pestana CR7 brand was also seeking up to four hotels on the island, particularly in Ibiza City, Santa Eulalia del Rio and Playa d'en Bossa.
“Ibiza has historically had the reputation of a party island, mainly on the South, but at the same time the Northern part of the island has been a Bohemian getaway, beloved by yoga practioners and hikers, owing to its beautiful scenery; cerulean beaches, hidden coves, cliffs and mountains," said Jurrian Dompeling, associate, European transactions at JLL's Hotels & Hospitality Group. "Ibiza boasts one of the highest RevPARs in Spain. However, luxury supply has been relatively limited, so hotel owners and investors take the opportunity of upgrading their properties to serve the increased demand.
“In addition, over the last years the local government has taken some actions in order to make tourism on the island more sustainable, as for example promoting it more as a family destination by restricting the nightlife, capping the number of hotel beds and having stricter rules governing holiday rentals and Airbnb.”
Dompeling expected demand to rise. “Ibiza has always been a sought-after destination, and as a result of the governmental actions and the luxury demand growing over the years, we see most of the [international] operators being extremely keen to position their luxury brands on the island, which has already been proven by the recent arrival of, for example, Nobu, Curio by Hilton, Sir Hotels and the announcements of hotel projects like 7 Pines, Six Senses and W.”
With both brands and footballers eager to play in Ibiza, investors and developers can expect the island’s hotels to go ever more upmarket.
Katherine Doggrell is an editor at Hotel Analyst, the U.K.-based news analysis service for hotel investors.