A few years ago, many regarded Magaluf as the worst tourist destination in Spain – ahead of places such as Benidorm and Lloret de Mar and synonymous with nothing but partying and boozing. Despite the region still hitting the headlines with balconing deaths, fights and alcohol-fueled excess, the Magaluf of seven years ago has nothing in common with today’s Calvià Beach – the holiday resort’s new brand name chosen by Melia International.
Magaluf is the essential place for many parties. Live music, several major tourist attractions and a large beach make this a popular spot on the island. […] Magaluf
Six years after our meeting with Melia CEO, Gabriel Escarrer, we asked Mark Hoddinott (54), Chief Real Estate Officer at Melia and person responsible for the Calvià Beach project how he sees the development of the project and if it has come to fruition yet.
“It was a controversial project from the start, even at Melia, and most didn’t really believe in it,” says Hoddinott who is from Oxford and has been with Melia since 1998 and so knows the company well. “Magaluf became a real problem for Melia and we had to do something. With the support of the government and in association with a further British investor we reached a critical mass in Magaluf and were able to initiate a change.”
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During the tourism boom of the 60s and 70s, Magaluf rapidly developed into a top holiday destination. The fast growth brought the hoteliers considerable profit and many jobs for the local economy and, with this, immense added value. But quantity soon became more important than quality and the destination became a problematic party capital – the tragic effects of which can be seen in the number of young fatalities.
Much effort is being made locally to shake-off the excessive party image of Mallorca to transform into a luxury tourist destination. […] Party Tourism in Mallorca
The ideas and inspiration for the transformation into Calvià Beach came from Fort Lauderdale, Miami Beach and Barcelona – all having been successful in their rehabilitation. For one of the project’s first milestones, inspiration also came from the Caribbean and the award-winning Nikki Beach Club. “When we presented our project to them they were really impressed and within only a day they accepted the offer of opening a Nikki Beach in Magaluf.” The Nikki Beach did brilliantly and the first step, of getting a more sophisticated public interested in Magaluf, was a resounding success.
With the gradual conversion of the Sol brand hotels, which were until that point all the same, very different groups were targeted. The Melia Sol Wave House and Melia South Beach hotels further enhanced the desired image of a new lifestyle in Magaluf. In collaboration with Katmandu Park, a family hotel was then also established in Magaluf which was quite unique. “People said that we were crazy to open such a hotel in the middle of a party capital,” said Mark. Finally, Melia Calvià Beach became a hotel which is ideally suited for business conferences and events. Now, whenever the Palacio de Congresos in Palma is full, Melia hosts conferences in Calvià Beach.
The hotel chain Meliá dominates the white-sand beachfront of Playa de Magaluf with several of the most popular and modern hotels offering wonderful views. […] The Top 9 Hotels in Magaluf
The figures of this exceptional regional development project show that Melia has so far invested more than 230 million euros. Today, more than 60% of the hotels in Calvià Beach are four-star or more, from 2011 to 2017 revenue increased by 90%, the season has been extended by 20 days and around 30% more jobs have been created. The most recent Calvià Beach milestone, the Momentum Plaza which opened in June 2018, is intended to appeal also to residents and make Magaluf more attractive year-round and further strengthen the positive development. This, too, has been a success and nearly all the restaurant and bar premises have been leased. Momentum Plaza also incorporates the Hotel Calvià Beach The Plaza which, like to the shopping centre, will be open throughout the year.
The beach resort of Magaluf has two main shopping centres called Momentum Plaza and Centro La Vila. Close to the beach promenade along Playa de […] Magaluf: the transformation of the ugly duckling […] Magaluf: the transformation of the ugly duckling
It has been particularly difficult to get other businesses such as restaurants and clubs to accept the much-hoped-for image change and invest in it. However, the hardest thing has been establishing the change, from Magaluf to Calvià Beach, in people’s mind and getting them to accept it. “Approximately 80% of the necessary investment has been made. You could say that we have managed to positively change the target group by around 50%. But when it comes to the image change, this is only at 20%, perhaps 30%,” says Mark summing up the development’s current status. So, while the ‘ugly duckling’ is transforming into a swan, no-one has really noticed yet.