Crowne Plaza moves into Portugal - first Crowne Plaza will be in Vilamoura in the Algarve
The Crowne Plaza Vilamoura, set to open in January 2010, will be the first Crowne Plaza hotel in Portugal. The historic deal is the first franchise agreement between IHG (InterContinental Hotels Group) and the Grupo Marope, a Portuguese property and hotel owning company. The hotel will create more than 200 jobs when it opens.
Vilamoura is one of Europe's most popular destinations for tourists and golfers.
The Crowne Plaza Vilamoura will have 327 rooms and suites, and impressive conference facilities with 1,200 square metres of meeting room space. There is a 760 square metre meeting room divisible into three, a 275 square metre meeting room also divisible into three, an executive boardroom for 12 people and 22 guest rooms that have been designed for use as meeting rooms when needed. A beautiful garden with large palm trees makes the hotel ideal for hosting outdoor events.
Crowne Plaza Vilamoura will also have a variety of entertainment facilities and restaurants, including one al fresco restaurant open most of the year, a 1,000 square metre outdoor swimming pool and a driving range supervised by the hotel's golf pro.
The hotel was previously the Vilamoura Beach Hotel. The construction team stripped the building down to its original steel structure and floors and then rebuilt the hotel.
Hylko Versteeg, director of development for Spain and Portugal, IHG, said: "Since introducing Crowne Plaza to Europe more than 20 years ago it has become one of the world's fastest growing upscale hotel brands. Signing this deal with the Grupo Marope, which takes us into Portugal, is a milestone for us."
"Crowne Plaza is an internationally renowned hotel brand, popular with business travellers across the world. This unique opportunity to open the first Crowne Plaza hotel in Portugal is an exciting move for us. We are confident the hotel will draw more business and leisure travellers to Vilamoura and indeed the Algarve," explained Mario Vasco Pereira, Grupo Marope president.
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