Sol Meliá, a major operator of hotels in Spain and Mexico, is opening its first hotel in the United States.
The hotel will be the Meliá Atlanta, a 502-room hotel formerly operated by Marriott as the Renaissance Atlanta Hotel Downtown.
As the first move in a new strategy of developing hotel properties in the continental U.S., the Spanish brand will begin operating the Meliá Atlanta on October 15.
The new Meliá Atlanta will receive a $35 million dollar renovation, to be completed by 2013, to ensure that the hotel features proprietary elements of Meliá Hotels & Resorts, Sol Meliá’s largest brand.
Amenities which will be upgraded as part of the multi-million dollar renovation include a fourth-floor pool deck featuring extraordinary city views and a fitness center, in addition to Meliá’s food-and-beverage concepts, as agreed between Fundus America (the hotel’s owner) and the Sol Meliá Group.
Located at the edge of Atlanta’s downtown business district, the new Meliá Atlanta will set the footprint for Sol Meliá’s expansion within the continental U.S, according to the company. Sol Meliá says the hotel will enable it to tap into a new market while gaining consumer and guest visibility in a major urban metropolis, helping the brand win name recognition nationally throughout the U.S.
“We are thrilled to take over such hotel operations and open the Meliá Atlanta,” says Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, co-vice president & CEO of Sol Meliá Hotels and Resorts. “I believe venturing into this particular market will help with the development of numerous projects the Sol Meliá chain wants to develop in the U.S. within the next few years.”
Situated in the financial district of Atlanta, very near the city’s Technology Park, the hotel is a modern 502-room property which has easy access to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, the busiest airport in the world. The Meliá Atlanta will provide more than 30,000-square feet (2,700 square meters) of meeting space for events and conferences, as well as excellent leisure facilities and a choice of dining options, according to Sol Meliá.
“The unique quality of this location will ensure that the Meliá Atlanta Hotel will become a great destination in its own right,” says Henk Habers, president of WingField Group, the real-estate entity behind the project.
Sol Meliá says it is implementing an intensive expansion strategy as a result of its brand-equity policy, which has allowed its portfolio to expand in dynamic markets such as Asia – in which Sol Meliá has been operating for the last 25 years – as well as the Emirates and European capitals and coasts, where Sol Meliá claims to be the third-largest hotel company overall.
In the Americas, Sol Meliá now has hotels in destinations such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.
Due to the fact that the United States is a key feeder market for the region, Sol Meliá says the Meliá brand strongly wanted to plant a flag in the continental U.S. Additionally, Sol Meliá recently sold one of its midscale brands, TRYP, to Wyndham Hotel Group as part of a strategic alliance including a joint development for the new “TRYP by Wyndham” brand within major markets, including the U.S.
Sol Meliá was founded in 1956 in Palma de Mallorca (Spain) and is one of the world’s largest resort-hotel chains, as well as Spain’s leading hotel chain in both the business and leisure markets. It operates more than 300 hotels in 26 countries on four continents under its Gran Meliá, Meliá, ME by Meliá, Innside by Meliá, Tryp, Sol, Paradisus and Sol Meliá Vacation Club brands. For more information on the company, visit www.solmelia.com.