Open Jaw

Investment In 4 Brands Spell Boom Times For Barceló

Barceló, Royal Hideaway, Occidental & Allegro dish out fun for everyone

There’s a tangible sense of renewed energy and momentum at Barceló Hotel Group.

With roots in the travel industry dating back to 1931, the Palma de Mallorca-based company acquired its first hotel in 1962. In 1985, it had its pick of the best location on Punta Cana’s Bavaro Beach, and selected two kilometres of it, now home to the Barceló Bavaro Beach Resort, a complex of five distinct properties.

Today, the Barceló Hotel Group offers 4 brands, 109 hotels and 33,000 rooms in 20 countries. The big news from the company is the evolution of those four brands, which was spurred by the August, 2015 acquisition of Occidental Hotels, representing 11 properties and over 4,000 rooms.

Barceló Bavaro Breach Resort

The decision was made to embark on a multi-brand strategy, featuring the Barceló, Royal Hideaway, Occidental and Allegro flags. The diversification has allowed the company to focus in on specific audiences, part of an all-inclusive trend to offer different experiences to different demographic groups.

“Now we’ve got a different brand for different types of clientele. We’ve got the big mega-resorts and we’ve got the small hotels, and everything in between too,” says Rick McCauley, Barceló’s Senior Director Sales & Marketing & MICE Canada. “It just depends what the client wants.”

For Transat, Barceló’s biggest Canadian tour operator partner, the hotel group’s evolution is more than welcome.

“It’s really interesting to have a brand partnership for a product that travel agents can get behind, said Transat Commercial Director Nicole Bursey, knowing that regardless of needs of their client and what demographic they’re dealing with, that they can look to a Barceló property and find something that’s ideal."

As the portfolio stands today, about 48% of rooms are represented by the Barceló brand, 40% by Occidental, 7% Royal Hideaway and 5% Allegro. Here’s a quick sketch of each:

Royal Hideaway Luxury Hotels & Resorts:

Transat features the Royal Hideaway Playacar near Playa del Carmen in its Luxury Collection. This is a true 5-star property with all a la carte dining. It welcomes adults 18 and over into a world of sumptuous style and sophistication, curated with careful attention to detail.

Barceló Hotels & Resorts:

Guests with a taste for the opulent will love the gourmet cuisine, pampering spa services and other unique features of Barceló Hotels & Resorts. Parents and children can have splash fights at the pirate-themed water parks while couples can celebrate their love with a moonlit massage on the beach.

Occidental Hotels & Resorts:

A trusted brand with a reputation for laid-back luxury, Occidental Hotels & Resorts provides comfort and relaxation in a decidedly Mediterranean setting, reflected in the design, spa, specialty restaurants and inviting rooms of each property.

Allegro Hotels:

Allegro Playacar

Delivering fun and freedom to savvy, budget-minded travellers, Allegro celebrates the joy of vacations and captures the essence of its destinations. Each hotel blends seamlessly into its surroundings with authentic local touches. With plenty of activities to keep everyone entertained, Allegro is an ideal choice for families.

Transat Best Sellers

Occidental is a big seller for Transat, even more so after Barceló has poured $130 million into renovations in the past year.

“The key hotels for Transat are Occidental Punta Cana and the Occidental at Xcaret Destination,” says McCauley. “We’ve put about $30 million into those two hotels – they are essentially new hotels. And we’ve also changed some of the Barcelós to Occidentals to better reflect their offering.”

Those changes mean the addition of both the Occidental Tucancun and the Occidental Costa Cancun to the Transat program.

Another interesting new option for Transat customers this year is the Barceló Montelimar, on Nicaragua’s Pacific coast near Managua. The destination was already served with an air Transat flight from Montreal, but a new weekly flight from Toronto this winter has opened it to a broader audience.

Open Jaw visited this property on two occasions, years ago with Transat, when Montelimar was under different management. It’s a wonderful place for a low-key beach vacation with lots of options for fascinating excursions in a nation where mass tourism is still in its infancy. McCauley described the destination as being like “Costa Rica 30 years ago.”

Just as Barceló’s rebranding has made it easier for agents and their clients to find the perfect resort choice, Transat’s Sun Collections play a similar role in narrowing down the large field of all-inclusive choices.

Montelimar

“The full range of Barceló product is represented throughout the various Collections that we offer including Famili, Solo, Sun Savvy, Luxury, Adults and Distinction,” says Bursey. “And together with Barceló we offer aggressive rates.

One more thing before we move on to take a closer look at each of the Barceló brands. Barceló Partner Club offers members exclusive benefits and perks that can be redeemed for stays. There are regular promotions that up the ante as well. To join, simply register at barceloagents.com or send an e-mail to: Barcelóagents-usa@Barceló.com.

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