Meli'a Hotels Receives Brand Overhaul

The Meli'a brand will undergo an overhaul based on the results of an extensive research project.

. October 14, 2008

SEPTEMBER 28, 2006. Meli'a, Spain's most recognized and international hotel brand, presents a new look. Led by a dramatic modernization of the brand's graphic identity, the overhaul will add new energy with visible improvements in the hotels' overall decoration and individual room comfort. Guests of the new Meli'a will also enjoy a modernized Royal Service treatment, new gastronomic offerings as well as increased beauty and health facilities. Details are taken care of even down to the new stylish staff uniforms. In addition, the brand will introduce new elements that stimulate the senses with lighting, music and colors. The changes are the result of an extensive study carried out by the R+D department to analyze current consumer needs and future trends.

'The results of the study clarify the need to go beyond the classic formula of predictable hotel services. The guest's stay must be a unique and memorable experience' explained Gabriel Escarrer Jaume, CEO of Sol Meli'a. The research highlighted a new pattern of behavior for travelers directly related to changes in today's society. New needs and trends appear closely tied to psychological profiles rather than demographic definitions. In this sense, the 'baby boomer' generations' desire to take care of their own self image translates into a body-conscious healthy life style and an appreciation of top brand names, the latest social trends and cultural events.

The overhaul of the brand begins with a renewed Meli'a logo which reflects a markedly Latin spirit. The tilde on the 'a' is now replaced by a virgulilla, the symbol used in the Spanish language's character '~N'. The transformation of the Meli'a brand will also affect the design of the hotels and will fuse international tendencies with elements of local culture, allowing them to remain well integrated into the local scene. The new d'ecor is fresh and welcoming, allows for harmony in public spaces and respects the individuality of each hotel.

Designed with a multifunctional spirit in mind, the rooms offer the hallmark DreaMax Bed, created with leading Spanish bedding manufacturer Flex, which guarantees a perfect night's sleep. Under the 'Triple play' IT package, guests can enjoy high speed Internet connection, an increased and personalized selection of movies, television, all for one modest price. Flat screen televisions are also one of the integral features of the rooms in the new Meli'a Hotels.

Meli'a's hallmark Royal Service, recognized by industry standards as one of the best in their category for both leisure and business travelers, transforms into The Level with added features and services. The Level's staff will take care to resolve simple requests as well as orchestrate the guest's total experience while at Meli'a. The hotels also offer Serviexpress, a service which will resolve any room needs in less than 15 minutes. Guests are invited to make note of their preferences in Meli'a's CRM database so that future stays feel more like home.

Meli'a also extends its new philosophy to its destination bars and restaurants which strive to push the limits of traditional dining. Gastronomy's finest chefs such as Dani Garc'ia, recognized for his tenure at Marbella's Calima restaurant, counsel management to ensure the hotel's dining experiences offer guests the ideal blend of tradition and innovation. Connoisseurs will also enjoy the creative proposals from Spanish chef Jacinto del Valle, one of the other key figures in Meli'a's superior restaurant offering.

Casual dining options are enhanced in the new Meli'a. New experience-based concepts are developed to assure that service, design, ambiance and music combine to make dining a memorable experience. The Gabi Club stands out for its seductive environment characterized by modern music and sophisticated cocktails, set against the background of a soothing beach and chill out zone. The bar and restaurant Meli'a Tapas features a selection of the country's best tapas in a refined Spanish setting, making it a point of reference for both hotel guests as well as local customers.

Meli'a responds to the increasing body consciousness of the traveler and offers a wide range of specialized services including gyms and spas. The fitness areas gain increased importance with new equipment from Lifefitness, worldwide leader in fitness machinery and through the 'masterclasses' given by professional experts in yoga, spinning and aerobics. To awaken one's senses, Meli'a offers Yhi Spa, made possible by the association with Iberconsulting Sport. From a simple massage to a complete health and beauty ritual, guests are offered programs designed to enhance their stays at both urban and resort hotels.

According to Luis del Olmo, General Marketing Director of Sol Meli'a 'these are just some of the significant changes to be found at Meli'a. The initiatives, which originated out of the consumer study, reflect the company's commitment to offer clients a renewed Meli'a experience, characterized by passion for life, imagination, style, design, culture, innovation and above all service'.

The renovation of the Meli'a brand forms part of Sol Meli'a's strategic plan launched two years ago which aims to re-define key brands to meet the new needs and desires of the clients.

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Food & Beverage: New Technological Innovations

In the past few years, hotel food and beverage departments have experienced significant growth. Managers are realizing just how much revenue potential this sector holds, both in terms of additional revenue and as a means to enhance the guest experience. As a result, substantial investments are being made in F&B operations as a way to satisfy hotel guests but also to keep pace with the competition. Though it has been a trend for many years, the Farm-to-Table movement shows no signs of abating. Hotel chains are abandoning corporate restaurants and are instead partnering with local chefs to create locally-influenced dining options. Local, farm-sourced ingredients paired with specialty beverages or local wine also satisfies the increasing demand from Millennial travelers who are eager to travel sustainably and contribute to a positive impact. A farm-to-table F&B program also helps to support the local economy, which builds community goodwill. Also popular are "Self-Serv" and "Grab & Go" options. These concepts stem from an awareness that a guest's time is limited and if a hotel can supply them with fast, fresh, food and beverage choices, then so much the better for them. Plus, by placing these specialty kiosks in areas that might be traditionally under-utilized (the lobby, for instance), they can become popular destination locations. Of course, there are new technological innovations as well. In-room, on-screen menus allow guests to order from any restaurant on the property, and some hotels are partnering with delivery companies that make it possible for guests to order food from any restaurant in the area. Also, many hotels are implementing in-room, voice-activated devices, so ordering food via an AI-powered assistant will soon become mainstream as well. The August issue of the Hotel Business Review will report on these developments and document what some leading hotels are doing to expand this area of their business.