Presentation of the Zel hotel brand in Madrid on Wednesday. | Juan Luis Ruiz Collado


On Wednesday at the Fitur tourism fair in Madrid, it was announced that the first hotel of the business venture involving Rafael Nadal and Meliá Hotels International will be in Palmanova. The CEO of Meliá, Gabriel Escarrer, unveiled plans for the hotel, which will see the Innside Cala Blanca being rebranded and redesigned; the brand name is Zel.

The agreement between Nadal and Meliá was made public in the middle of last month. The intention is to create a new hotel brand inspired by the Mediterranean lifestyle. The goal is for 20 Zel hotels within a four to five-year period, with locations including London, Paris and Madrid as well as the Mediterranean coast.

Hallmarks of this venture will be a passion for outdoor living and high-quality gastronomy. Architecture and design will create spacious and bright spaces with a connection to nature, the sky and the sea - a celebration of Mediterranean lifestyle. On video during the presentation, Nadal said that he was instantly attracted by "this new concept" that he has since developed together with Meliá. "I am confident that Zel will be a story of success and growth and that it will be enjoyed by all who go to the hotels, which is ultimately the reason for its creation."

Escarrer said that the design of a "unique brand" is materialising. Travellers will "fall in love" with it and the brand will "surprise the new generations". "We are happy to be able to collaborate, as partners in this project, with an icon on a personal and sporting level such as Rafa."