Urban concept: hotels for living your city

The Urban Concept transferred to the hotel facilities has passed in the last years from being an avant garde trend to be almost a requirement for the main chains and tourism groups offering accommodations in the big capitals of the world.  This type of hotel, more and more appreciated and sought-after, is a bet on the future for all those who find necessary to refurbish your accommodation.

Simple lines and the typical sober style of the called business hotels, modern design, technology for resting, common areas turned into meeting spaces open to all the people from the city… Urban hotels in Spain and in the rest of Europe have greeted this concept with open arms achieving that boutique hotels in capitals such as Madrid or Barcelona and urban hotels in cities such as Valencia or Seville reach an unprecedented figure, obliged to democratize their prices and make them affordable to the middle class.

So, these hotels before reserved to important executives looking for a space full of exclusivity for your meetings are now, more than ever, within everyone’s reach, including those who live in the city: most of the hotels who have bet on the Urban Concept philosophy have tried to incorporate shops in their offer, since they provide an interesting atmosphere and guarantee a profitability beyond the traditional months with more influx of tourists.

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Before, dining in the restaurant of a hotel in your city was a luxury (and an eccentricity)  or having a drink in a bar of the same hotel -reserved details for those who had the possibility of paying a snack in 5 star accommodations such as the Ritz or Palace- but today this is so usual that the common spaces of the hotels have even turned into essential meeting places for the residents of the city. Very similar to the hotels in small cities such as the hotel next to Teatro Arriaga in Bilbao, in some European cities such as Grand Hotel Budapest or Grand Hotel Mencey in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.

The local clients give an added value to this Urban Concept , since they contribute to a more than authentic atmosphere where the foreigner find that pleasant sensation of being part of the daily life of the city.

A good method taken by chains such as Barceló is to turn their hotel in a must visit place for leisure and relaxation for the residents: one of the best examples is the hotel in Raval, where they organize a delicious Brunch every  Sunday and invite everyone who wants to enjoy it in the hotel’s flat roof , with panoramic views of Barcelona.  A similar conpcet has been applied by Petit Palace in its exclusive Embassy Serrano Hotel, the only hotel in Madrid in Serrano street, offering one of the most appreciated restaurants in the Salamanca neighbourhood.  The greenhouse, meeting point of executives and high society of Madrid.

However, we must bear in mind that not all the urban hotels or business hotels that we find somewhere about offer this category of Urban Concept.  The adaptations of this type of hotel has given rise to different subtypes. We can find the most common subtype in business hotels in cities such as Barcelona, Madrid or Valencia. These hotels have opted for focusing on making part of the society that host them, being the venue of its corporate events, products launches and all types of social and institutional celebrations.

These hotels are directly related to the classic hotels for conventions and events which still perfectly work in the main tourism areas of our country, but the difference lies in the location –generally situated in areas perfectly connected with the main access roads to the city-, their services -conceived of to suit the special needs of business travellers- and their facilities -the meeting rooms are usually smaller and designed for corporate meetings, press conferences and small receptions.

There are tens of examples of these business hotels in Madrid, as well as in Barcelona and Valencia.  There are also more examples in Seville, Malaga and in the centre of Palma de Majorca, where the proliferation of hotels with the urban concept has stood out as in any other place during the last 2 years. In the case of hotels in the centre of Palma, nevertheless, it is important to make a specification, since they are urban hotels with philosophy of boutique hotel, mainly targeted at medium-high class foreign visitors looking for a experience different from the typical sun and beach.  This formula is related to the attempts (up to now with very positive results) to turn this traditional summer city into a centre of attraction during the whole year.

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