After Europe debut, ALG plans next steps

Hilton Curacao
The former Hilton Curacao will reopen in December as the Dreams Curacao Resort, Spa & Casino. Photo credit: Hilton

Apple Leisure Group had a strong start to 2019, signing six new management deals through its affiliated AMResorts brands and soft-opening the first Secrets-branded property in Spain ahead of the official July inauguration.
The AMResorts collection of brands comprises 66 all-inclusive resorts in its portfolio with an additional 23 branded properties, representing nearly 9,000 rooms in various stages of development. This development pipeline will increase AMResorts’ available room inventory by 40 percent, supporting ALG’s expansion strategies.  
The first-half signings include the Now Emerald Cancun in Mexico, which opened in June with 427 rooms as a rebranding of the former Grand Oasis Sens. The Breathless Cancun Resort & Spa in Mexico has 429 rooms, while the Sunscape Akumal Beach Resort & Spa—a rebranding of the former Grand Oasis Tulum along Mexico's Riviera Maya—will have 360 rooms when it opens in October. The Dreams Acapulco Resort & Spa in Mexico will have 605 rooms when it opens in November; the Dreams Curacao Resort, Spa & Casino—formerly the Hilton Curacao—will have 286 rooms when it opens in December; and the Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic will have 500 rooms when it opens in February 2020.

In April, the company announced deals for the Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa and Breathless Cancun Resort & Spa, both opening in 2020, and Breathless Tulum Resort & Spa set to open in 2021.

The new deals mark several milestones for the company, including the first Dreams Resorts & Spas-branded properties in Macao Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, and the popular Mexican destination of Acapulco, as well as the first Sunscape-branded property in the Riviera Maya region of Mexico.

“Mexico and the Caribbean remain the backbone of our portfolio. Both regions exhibit solid market fundamentals, with the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s latest arrival report showing that 20 Caribbean destinations have already reported considerable growth in 2019,” Javier Coll, EVP/chief strategy officer of ALG, said in a statement. “These positive market conditions, combined with ALG’s unmatched network, give us great confidence in both the short- and long-term potential for the region.”

Continued European Growth

In December, ALG signed an agreement to purchase a majority share in Spain's Alua Hotels & Resorts, integrating the 3-year-old hotel chain into ALG's European division. Under the agreement, ALG took on management responsibilities for more than 4,000 rooms in 16 hotels (12 of which are Alua-branded) across Spain. Javier Águila, CEO of Alua Hotels & Resorts, became president of ALG’s European division (Apple Leisure Group Europe) in March, overseeing the portfolio and working alongside Jordi de las Moras, managing director of the European division. 

ALG opened the Secrets Mallorca Villamil Resort & Spa, AMResorts’ first Secrets-branded property in Spain, earlier this month. Following a €3.5 million renovation, the all-inclusive property now has 162 rooms and suites, a renewed food-and-beverage program—including four restaurant and five bar concepts—a heated outdoor pool, a gym and a spa.
“Secrets Mallorca Villamil is proof of just how serious we are about our European growth. This new property not only sets the standard for future AMResorts branded properties throughout Europe, but also raises the bar for the region’s all-inclusive sector,” said Javier Aguila, president of ALG’s European Division.

Late last year, ALG and Grupo Inversor Hesperia (GIHSA) formed a "strategic alliance" to operate GIHSA's four Spanish resorts under AMResorts brands. ALG will oversee sales and marketing of two properties under the adults-only Secrets Resorts & Spas brand and the other two under the family-friendly Dreams Resorts & Spas and Amigo Resorts brands. At the time, GIHSA planned to invest €20 million in reflagging the four properties. In January, Coll said ALG was looking to grow its European portfolio to 35 hotels and 10,000 rooms across the continent by 2021, and was eyeing destinations in Greece and Turkey. The group’s expansion into Europe has "exceeded all expectations," the company said in a statement, and further growth is in the works.

Looking Ahead

While the development team continues to sign new deals, progress on properties already under construction or renovation continues to move forward as planned. Out of the nearly 9,000 rooms in the development pipeline, AMResorts plans on delivering more than 2,500 rooms by the close of 2019.

This momentum will continue into 2020, with the openings of Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa and Dreams Macao Beach Punta Cana, both scheduled for the first half of the year.