On this occasion we want to share with you the interview with J. Miguel Bordera, Manager of Med Playa Hotel Riviera and General Manager of Med Playa Hotels Costa del Sol. We would like to thank him for taking the time to answer our questions and sharing with us his vision of the future of the Med Playa Hotel Riviera.
J. Miguel Bordera, a “young” 64 year old, studied Tourism and Hospitality at the Management School of Tourism in Valencia (1967-1970). He began to work as a receptionist at Hotel Goleta Ibiza. Later in Benidorm he worked as a Front Office Manager at the Hotel Regente and in 1975 came to the Costa del Sol to manage the Hotel Bali in Benalmadena Costa. He soon took over the management of the Hotel Riviera, and two years later (1986) when he joined the Hotel Pez Espada in Torremolinos, he was awarded the position of general manager of the hotels in Costa del Sol and the Manager of the Hotel Riviera , both of which positions he still holds today.
What tourism opportunities does Costa del Sol- Benalmádena offer?
The Costa del Sol offers a wide range of possibilities for any tourist or traveller which comes to visit the area. There is a wide range of accommodation and leisure facilities and it is considered as one of the major tourist destinations in the world. The Costa del Sol’s beaches cover an area of more than 100 kilometers and offers highly attractive places such as Nerja, Málaga, Torremolinos, Benalmádena, Fuengirola, Marbella and Estepona. In addition there are some beautiful villages situated inland which are well worth a visit, highlighting among some of them, Ronda and Antequera for its uniqueness and cultural wealth.
What is the history of the Hotel Riviera?
The Hotel Riviera opened in 1964 with the official rating of 5 stars. It was at that time, along with the Hotel Pez Espada, also of the Med Playa group, one of the leading hotels in the area and one that most directly contributed to the launching of the tourist destination ‘Costa del Sol’ which became a tourist reference worldwide. All this, at a time when travelling was only available to very few people.
The chain added the Med Playa Hotel Riviera to its portfolio in 1984. At this time, the Riviera was rated as a 4 star hotel, a category which it has continued to maintain. During the the past 29 years ,Med Playa has managed not only to maintain its good reputation and high standard of services, but as well to improve its facilities having undergone constant refurbishments, especially those which took place in the years 1991, 1998, 2005 and the most important of all, the refurbishment which just been completed this year in 2013.
What are the major changes the customer will notice in the “new” Riviera?
The most important work that has been carried out during winter (November 1, 2012 to April 30, 2013, six months), is that the hotel has had a total refurbishment .We can highlight in particular the following areas:
a) Revamp of all rooms (190), including air conditioning, terrace doors, furniture, cabinets and bathrooms. Installation of new lighting with LED lights which are energy efficient. New “king size” mattresses, flat screen TV 32 “, minibar, kettle, etc.. with laminated flooring (parquet) and new curtains.
b) Improvement of fire safety facilities, placing smoke detectors in all rooms and BIEs on all the floors of the hotel.
c) Exterior painting of the facade of the hotel. Placing new LED lighting on the terraces of the rooms.
d) Refurbishment of all public areas (lobby, bar and lounges), with modern and comfortable furniture and new lighting.
e) Replacement of the main restaurant furniture. Modernisation of the central buffet and show cooking area. Building a “Tapas Buffet” for customers to enjoy attractive traditional Spanish tapas every day.
f) Construction of the new restaurant with the a la carte service. This is the “Araucaria Restaurant”, a cosy dining space, specialising in Mediterranean and international cuisine that will delight those who prefer to have a more relaxed and intimate dinner.
g) Construction of a new lift leading directly to Araucaria Restaurant and sports court (mini golf, french bowls and shuffleboard).
h) New chill-out terrace next to the main bar with parasols and furnishings creating a relaxed atmosphere. Renovation of the pool terrace and gardens. Placement of new handrails and pavement.
j) Construction of a new Spa & Wellness including dynamic pool, spa, jacuzzi, sauna, steam bath, massage room and gym.
k) Refurbishment of the interior staff rooms and kitchen facilities (floor, ceiling, walls, etc..).
What qualities do the staff of the the Hotel Riviera offer?
The Hotel Riviera staff is well qualified. We are proud of our staff’s professionalism although some are very young, most of them already have extensive experience in Customer service. Their main strengths are being courteous and friendly, which is well recognised in surveys and customer feedback found on social networks. If I had to highlight something, I’d say that what I value the most is the enthusiasm they show and personal contact they have to ensure that our guests have an excellent holiday.
What were the most challenging problems you faced during the refurbishment?
Throughout the past six months whilst the building work has been taking place, we have encountered all sorts of problems. A major problem has been to successfully skim the walls of the rooms and remove the artex painting, which was more difficult and time consuming than expected. Another problem that we have faced has been the difficulty to provide each room with the new aluminium and soundproof glass enclosures of the terraces, measuring approx. 2.60 x 3.20 metres and weighing 500 kilos each enclosure. Finally, the third problem, which we anticipated was the installing the whole building with new water pipes, sewage, air conditioning, electricity, telephone, TV, wifi, etc.. which has resulted in thousands and thousands of metres of new pipelines and cables ensuring that we have all the facilities completely up to date.
What is the vision of the future of the Hotel Riviera?
The Hotel Riviera is now, one of the best hotels on the Costa del Sol for its unbeatable location near the beach and seaside promenade, for its close proximity to Port of Benalmádena, with its fantastic leisure options. The comfort of its rooms and lounges. Its modern facilities, excellent cuisine, including tapas buffet and a la carte restaurant, both included in the half board price. It has a variety of services generally offered in the hotel (Spa-Wellness, Fitness, Sports court, terraces, pool, daily entertainment, etc..), As well as the professionalism and excellent treatment of our employees, there is no doubt that this is one of the best deals in the area at a very reasonable price which offers very good value for money.
Based on everything previously mentioned, it is clear that the Hotel Riviera is at a great advantage, having been totally refurbished , and together with offering great facilities, our position is much stronger than of most of the hotels in this category amongst our competitors. This allows us to think that the future of the hotel is very encouraging, both in the short, medium and long term. Our specialisation as “Hotel recommended for Couples and Adults” allows us to hold a stable position in a rising market, which has more followers every day. Offering a high standard of maintenance , which is a customary in the Med Playa chain, together with a competent team of staff, we can predict a great future.
Benalmádena Costa, May 17, 2013