It was only recently that Grupo Iberostar, one of the most important Spanish companies in the world, celebrated 60 years of history. Six decades working with its customers and employees on a journey has positioned it at the forefront of the industry with hotels in 16 countries around the world.
The owners of Grupo Iberostar have created a company that is one of success, passion and commitment to a job well done. Its history is closely linked with the emergence of tourism in Spain, and is now celebrating the sector’s excellent results from an internationally privileged position.
It was in 1956 that Lorenzo Fluxà acquired Viajes Iberia, a company founded in the 1930s, leading to his family’s first venture into the tourism industry and making that year a milestone that would mark the beginnings of what Iberostar has become today.
Expanding the business
In 1961, the Fluxá family embarked on its initial venture into the hospitality sector following the acquisition of its first hotel in Playa de Palma. That same year, Lorenzo’s son, Miguel Fluxà joined the company to focus on developing three key business areas: hotels, tourist services and package tour sales. In 1979, Grupo Iberostar opened its first international offices and laid the foundations for the international expansion of its hotel division thanks to the signing of an exclusive agreement with the tour operator Neckermann. Just four years later, the Fluxá family registered the IBEROSTAR trademark, with its familiar star logo. From then on, all the chain’s hotels included its name and by the early 1980s, IBEROSTAR Hotels & Resorts had become a firmly consolidated company.
As Miguel Fluxà explains, his father taught him something when he was 12 years old which he believes is absolutely essential: “You have to have an international vocation. Today we can be proud of having moved beyond a boundary that represents a major challenge for any hotel company, and are present in 16 countries with a portfolio of top quality hotels.”
After a period of sustained growth in the Balearic and Canary Islands, it was time to look to the international market, and in 1993, the company opened its first hotel in the Dominican Republic, followed by a hotel in Cuba. Later, in 1998, GRUPO IBEROSTAR would revolutionize the sector with the launch of its own airline, Iberworld.
The journey was proving to be a major success. The Fluxá family had channeled all its efforts into laying the foundations of IBEROSTAR as it is today. “I have always been obsessed with quality. It is our most valuable asset, as it is the most important aspect perceived by our guests and one that has positioned us at the forefront of today’s international tourist industry”, Miguel Fluxá adds.
Diversifying the Group
In 2004, the Group created Fundación Iberostar, a foundation aimed at promoting social action and education for development in Spain and Latin America. This period was also one of diversification for the Group, with the founding of the cruise company Iberojet Cruceros. One year later, the fourth generation of the Fluxá family joined the company in order to continue the family tradition. In 2009, the Travel Trade Gazette, a UK-based travel industry publication, named the company "Best Hotel Chain of the Year."
In line with its ongoing quest for excellence, Iberostar launched The Grand Collection category with the opening of the Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraíso in Mexico. In 2010, the company ventured into the area of urban hotels with the opening of the Iberostar Grand Hotel Budapest in the Hungarian capital, and the Iberostar Grand Hotel Mencey in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
In 2015, the company’s expansion plans received another boost with the acquisition of the online travel agency almundo.com, and the international travel service provider W2M. 2016 marked the latest major milestone in Iberostar’s 60-year history with the opening of its first hotel in the US, the Iberostar 70 Park Avenue, situated in the heart of New York.
Continuing the journey of success, the year 2017 features six new openings for Iberostar hotels: in Barcelona and Mallorca in Spain; in Havana and Varadero in Cuba; and in Lisbon, Portugal.
Urban portfolio began in Budapest
The urban portfolio of Iberostar includes hotels in Spain (Madrid, Barcelona, Santa Cruz de Tenerife), Hungary (Budapest), Cuba (Havana) and the United States (New York, Miami). IBEROSTAR’s urban products all share a common theme: they are housed in historic buildings, in prime locations, in the world’s leading tourism destinations.
The Hungarian hotel of the chain also complies with these requirements. In fact, the Iberostar Grand Hotel Budapest, opened six years ago in August 2011, was the first unit of Iberostar’s urban portfolio. The Spanish chain decided to come to the Hungarian capital because it is an excellent business destination. With its gourmet restaurant, a wide range of amenities and a unique design, the hotel has been upgraded by the operator to the Grand Collection – only available in the chain’s holiday resorts before.
Reflected in the interior decoration of the hotel is the history of the house and of other buildings in Budapest, especially in the area of Szabadság Square to which many of the hotel’s windows open. In the colors of the rooms, white and red dominate, bathrooms are often separated by a glass wall. The facilities and the interiors have been designed to ensure that the hotel meets the needs of both the leisure and business traveler: from flat screen TVs to iPod docks and wi-fi, there are a variety of amenities available in the rooms.