This week we have had the pleasure of interviewing Guzmán Muela, the General Manager of the Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid.
Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid opened its doors at the end of 2019. Tell us about that time.
As you said, the Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid opened its doors in September 2019 as the first Hyatt Regency hotel in Spain, so as you can imagine, it was a very special milestone for us. Hyatt is one of the worldwide leading hotel groups, and for it to shine a spotlight on Madrid and make the old Hesperia Madrid the focal point to develop one of its most emblematic and renowned brands in the world was undoubtably a source of great pride for the Hesperia group. Before the opening, we went through an intense process involving renovation, investment and adaptation to the Hyatt Regency standards, which allowed us to come to market not only with a fully renovated hotel, but also a much higher commitment to value and quality.
Today, Hyatt Regency has three hotels in Spain, and all of them are managed and operated by the Hesperia group. A little under a year ago, we opened the Hyatt Regency Madrid Residences in Madrid, which were conceived to provide a more private and flexible setting for medium- to long-term stays. In addition, in Barcelona we have another emblematic building, the Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower, which is located in a spectacular tower designed by Richard Rogers.
Tell us about your professional career and current position in the company.
I am currently the General Manager of the Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid and the Hyatt Regency Madrid Residences, and before this I managed the Hyatt Regency Barcelona Tower. My career in the sector has been wide-ranging and I have been able to develop professionally in different markets. I started my professional career in the hotel sector alongside the Intercontinental Hotels Group, where I held various positions and roles in different hotels belonging to the chain, both nationally and internationally. Later, and until I joined the Hyatt team, I worked as Project Manager at T3 Hospitality Management, as Operations & Business Development Manager Retail Business at ES-KO International, and as Cluster General Manager at Time Hotels.
What sets you apart, or what aspect makes you proud of your company?
If we look at Hyatt Regency, it is a premium brand that is renowned around the world, and it has values and qualities that its clients recognize in any of its hotels. Here we are talking about spaces designed to create flawless experiences and perfect surroundings for organizing events or working in a stress-free and peaceful environment.
This stance was also important for the Hesperia group, as we understood that they were qualities that would bring value to our hotels, and that would allow us to reach a more varied international audience, with a clear focus on North American travellers. This is also one of the aspects that sets apart the Hesperia group in the sector; the "house of brands" concept. This means that we search for the best course for each hotel, and to do so we establish strategic partnerships with world-renowned brands, such as Hyatt or ALG, with whom we have an agreement to commercially exploit our resorts in the Balearic and Canary Islands under the brand AMResorts.
Why did you choose to become members of AmChamSpain?
As I mentioned before, Hyatt Group is an American company, and it is clearly an important market for us. This is why we believe that it is strategic for us to have this presence in AmChamSpain. We know about the organization, and we are aware of its great prestige and noteworthy network of members, so we are convinced that joining will be very positive. We are delighted to be working together and looking forward to discovering everything that we can bring to the table.
What would you highlight in the Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid’s offer?
Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid is a five-star hotel located in one of the most emblematic areas of the capital. It sits at the heart of the Paseo de la Castellana, one of the most exclusive boulevards in the city, providing access to the major fashion stores and outstanding cultural centres, like the Prado Museum.
The hotel offers, without question, a complete premium experience in the capital, thanks to the wide variety of services and activities provided within the hotel itslef, as well as the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Madrid and its incredible array of activities to suit all interests. If I had to define the hotel’s proposal in three words, I think that sophistication, high-end and comfort would fit perfectly with the image of the Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid.
With regards to services, the hotel has 169 large, bright and modern rooms, 32 of which are suites with spectacular views of the city. Those that are penthouses have garden terraces and private jacuzzis. The hotel underwent a full renovation in 2019 for its reopening with the Hyatt Regency brand. This entailed an investment of 10 million euros in a project that transports the traveller to Madrid during the Spanish Golden Age with Las Meninas by Velázquez at the fore.
One of the biggest draws of the hotel is undoubtedly its excellent gastronomy. Here is where our stragetic partnership with the sophisticated cuisine of the Dani García Group shines, having launched in Madrid thanks to Hyatt Regency Hesperia Madrid. On the one hand, Leña has revolutionized the steakhouse concept by offering unique flavors, and on the other hand, Smoked Room offers a groundbreaking and completely innovative 15-dish menu. Both concepts have become benchmark culinary experiences in the city; if you visit the capital, you cannot leave without having tasted the menu. Backing the chef’s gastronomic proposal has been a resounding success. The well-deserved recognition of the two Michelin stars awarded to Smoked Room brings added value to the hotel, and the Hyatt team is very proud to have him in the kitchen.
We also have other gastronomic options at the hotel, including the emblematic La Manzana, and the Mery Bábola Bar with an appealing selection of tapas, ideal for after work drinks with colleagues after an intense workday.