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Hotel turnaround plan – turning failure to success, Spain

The client

Imagine a luxury hotel in the countryside of Catalonia, but within easy reach of Barcelona, operating under a highly respected international brand. Imagine it has a beautiful 17th century manor house in the grounds and a championship golf course next door designed by a world-famous golfer. How could it fail?

In fact, our client — an international hotel chain — had bought the business out of receivership, and it was continuing to operate at a loss. Something needed to be done, and they picked HSP to undertake a comprehensive study and deliver a Hotel Turnaround Plan.

What did Hotel Solutions Partnership achieve for the client?

The client welcomed the recommendations, and has begun implementing them. In particular, they’re negotiating with the parent brand to reposition the hotel within the brand. The team drew up a Hotel Turnaround Plan covering:

  • A sales and marketing turnaround strategy.
  • Asset management strategy, suggested capital expense projects and phasing.
  • Recommendations on solutions for branding and operating.
  • Recommendations on leveraging the hotel’s connections with the manor house and golf course.

HSP will be continuing to work with the client and will be happy to provide extra services, if required. We wish them all success.

Our Assessment

A team of HSP Associates was put together by hotel turnaround specialist Peter Murphy to cover the various aspects of the business that would need to evaluated in the Hotel Business Plan.

The first part of the study was done from the Associates’ desks. The client had provided data on finance, marketing, operations and assets, and this was all thoroughly assessed. At the same time, the hotel’s online presence was investigated, and a study was made of the market and competitors for the Barcelona area, as steps towards producing a Hotel Turnaround Plan.

It’s impossible, of course, to assess a hotel’s performance without experiencing it as the guests do. The team visited for a stay, making good use of their time in Spain to interview managers, staff, guests and agents; make a thorough inspection of the hotel’s departments and facilities; and investigate at first hand the possibilities and competition for tourism in the area.

The Report

The team’s report included recommendations for all of these areas, especially the marketing repositioning. The hotel has relied heavily on the MICE sector (meetings, incentives, conferences and events), but the team felt that it was missing the potential of weddings, leisure and sports tourism in the area, particularly by not fully leveraging the manor house and golf course. Several of the business’s sectors — notably IT, maintenance equipment and online presence — were in urgent need of updating, and full recommendations were made with a view to developing a Hotel Turnaround Plan.