Paradores Expanding Beyond Spain’s Borders
If you have travelled in Spain you have probably noticed some gorgeous properties known as Paradores. Paradores deTurismo is a State-owned company with eight decades of history, which currently manages 95 highly individual properties across mainland Spain, the Canary Islands and Portugal.
The Spanish state-owned hotel company Paradores de Turismo has opened its first ever hotel outside of Spanish territory, in neighbouring Portugal. Located in Penalva do Castelo and managed in conjunction with the Visabeira Group, the five-star Parador Casa da Ínsua heralds the launch of Paradores de Turismo’s new franchise model – a new concept which it hopes to roll out both within Spain and in other international markets to help grow its brand.
"Paradores de Turismo is committed to establishing a sustainable, self-financing franchise model, with a view to growing the brand both in Spain and abroad," says Angeles Alarcó, President of Paradores de Tourismo.
The new franchise system will see Paradores de Turismo partnering with new hotels that share its brand standards, values and vision, from providing excellent customer service to ensuring profitability. Franchisees will have to have a minimum rating of four stars and, like the majority of Paradores’ properties, will be housed in unique and historic buildings.
As one of the largest and most established hotel brands in Spain, with 700,000 members registered in its ‘Amigos’ scheme, Paradores deTurismo can offer franchise partners a wealth of experience, support and potential business.
Speaking about the new Parador Casa da Ínsua, Angeles Alarcó says: “This is a fantastic opportunity to bring together two great institutions:Paradores de Turismo and one of the leading business groups in Portugal, the Visabeira Group. This joint effort will create an historicalParador, which will be the model for future franchise partnerships.”
Parador Casa da Ínsua
The five-star Parador Casa da Ínsua is a stately Baroque building originally built in the 18th century by Luis de Albuquerque de Mello Pereira yCáceres. An historic property with a modern outlook, the 35-room hotel blends well into its beautiful surroundings, with its impressive gardens boasting tropical, French and English influences and 32 varieties of camellia.
In addition to all the standard facilities expected of a five-star hotel, including a swimming pool and a gym, Parador Casa da Ínsua is home to a number of unusual additional attractions. From its very own cheese factory where its signature ‘Serra de Estrela’ cheese is crafted by hand and a wine cellar where the famous wines of the Dão region can be tasted, to an on-site museum and old blacksmith’s!
For guests wanting to explore beyond the hotel and the charming town of Penalva do Castelo, the medieval walled city of Viseu famed for its Roman fortifications and 16th Century Cathedral, is just 25km away. The Serra da Estrela mountain range is also nearby with 375km of paths to discover on foot, bike or horseback, while the city of Oporto is little more than an hour's drive away.