Melia Hotels International: Pioneers Once Again in Albania

Caribbean News…
01 June 2023 11:48pm

7 hotels in 24 months in the Balkan, and more ideas from CEO Gabriel Escarrer

By Massimo Terracina

Imagine a cool and sunny morning breakfast at the end of May at “Level” one of the restaurants of the brand new Meliá Dürres, sipping a coffee with Gabriel Escarrer, the CEO of Melia Hotels International, the worldwide known hotel chain that has continued its expansion with the second generation, represented by Gabriel.

The subject of the chat is the presence of Melia in Albania, a country among the fastest growing destinations on the European tourist scene. And it is precisely here, as before in other places such as Cuba, Montenegro, Croatia that the hotel company invests, with the foresight of the pioneer, in the tourist potential, committed to guiding the development of the hotel sector, as it has already done.

"I realized, after seeing firsthand the enormous potential of the country and its commitment to the development of international tourism - explains Escarrer - that together we can build a new success story in the Mediterranean and I am also extremely grateful for the trust that our partners have placed in our company to make this dream come true".



The Spanish Melià Group aims to consolidate its presence in the country's most important destinations with a pipeline that will open 7 new hotels in Albania in 24 months. The agreements developed also open the door to future growth opportunities that would make Albania one of its strongholds in the Balkans and consolidate its leadership in the Mediterranean.

Melia: 1600 New Rooms in Albania, Launch for a Destination

"We plan to develop seven structures in Albania, thanks to the totally effective collaboration of Prime Minister Edi Rama (also present at the preview ed.) - continues Escarrer - and local investors such as the Dulaku family. More precisely, after the inauguration of the Meliá Dürres we will proceed with the Gran Meliá Tirana, a 5-star hotel with 125 rooms that should open in 2025, part of an iconic architectural project in the heart of the city. The Gran Meliá Tirana will be our flagship hotel which will help consolidate the recognition of the brand in Albania".



Dürres, the second largest city in Albania, offers one of the widest, softest, livable, best equipped and most beautiful beaches in the country. Right here the Melià group will also open the Sol Tropikal Dürres in 2023.

On the Albanian Riviera, Meliá has already announced the Hotel Altea Meliá Collection, in Palasa Beach, a luxury hotel with 142 rooms and suites, including spectacular beachfront villas.

The Meliá Dürres is a spectacular five-star resort on Gjiri I Lalzit beach with 455 rooms and 10 villas, as well as a wide range of facilities and services. Together with the ownership of Meliá Dürres, Concord Investment Group, Meliá Hotels International will mark with this hotel a real evolution in the hotel offer in the area, offering the quality and experience of the Meliá Hotels & Resorts brand, one of the best brands of the Group itself, the XIII hotel chain in the world, with 350 hotels with a capacity of 87 thousand rooms, in 35 countries divided into 4 continents!

Returning to the development plans, the new agreement includes a Sol by Meliá hotel in Golem, a coastal city very close to the capital Tirana, and currently one of the main tourist destinations in the country. The Sol Fafa Golem will be a large, state-of-the-art beachfront resort with 460 rooms. Dedicated to family holidays, it will offer a wide variety of services, including numerous restaurants and bars, swimming pools and spaces for children.

The second new hotel will be Eliza Hotel Affiliated by Meliá, a modern 46-room hotel in Tirana, currently under construction and scheduled to open later this year.



The third will be the Tomorri Affiliated by Meliá Hotel with 120 rooms, located in Berat in south-central Albania, a city that has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2008. The hotel will be part of a complex that includes a new casino and is expected to open in 2024.

Albania welcomed over 5.6 million international travelers in 2021. The country's 400 kilometers of coastline, washed by the Adriatic and Ionian seas and combined with the mountainous geography of much of the country to form a wild natural environment that makes the country an extremely diverse destination.

"The history of our company, of our family is a journey that has lasted for 67 years - Escarrer proudly adds - today we are oriented on a path of sustainability to give back to nature what we had and in fact our policies towards the environment have awarded for seven consecutive editions the Corporate Sustainability Assessment (CSA) award assigned by Standard & Poor's Global as "best hotel chain for sustainable development"".

And It Doesn't End There

In fact, a project is in the works in partnership with the mallorquín tennis player, Rafa Nadal. "Rafa has been a friend for over 20 years and one evening at dinner we shared a concept: what do we like about hospitality? – concludes Escarrer – from this question the project for the ZEL brand was born, (“Paradise” in Mallorcan dialect) whose first result will be the opening on July 1st of a hotel on the Palmanova beach in Majorca.

The essence of this project is the "Mediterranean flavor" that we would like to bring to at least 20 establishments over the next 5 years, 80% in pure vacation spots, 20% in cities with a strong vocation for well-being which is the core of our idea. All between Europe, Southeast Asia and the Caribbean".



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