Barceló and Meliá had gone head to head in the first tender bid for the Palacio de Congresos. | Archive


There are to be three bidders to manage Palma's Palacio de Congresos convention centre complex. Two of them are the same ones who went head to head when the previous tender was put out, the award for which was eventually annulled. They are Meliá Hotels International and the Barceló Group via its business events' division. The third is the only one of the three which is not Majorcan: the Barcelona-based Hotusa hotel group.

It is almost as you were therefore, with Barceló (who won the original tender) again bidding, despite the issues that cropped up, of which the award being annulled was one. Another was that Barceló had at one point appeared to have pulled out of its agreement to manage the complex, citing changes to the terms of the tender.

It had been anticipated that there would be a fourth bidder, AC Hotels by Marriott, based in Madrid. A few weeks ago its president, Antonio Catalán, said in Palma that the Palacio was a "wonder" and that the company would be a bidder. He added then that the partnership with Marriott would assist greatly in the marketing of the Palacio and looked forward to organising numerous events, given that a great number of presidents of European companies have homes in Majorca.

For whatever reason, AC's name was not among the bidders when the deadline expired for the presentation of bids.

Stipulations for being a bidder included having had experience of managing at least five hotels similar to the Palacio hotel in the past five years and of managing two convention centres. A 50,000 euro deposit was also required, substantially lower than had been demanded under the previous tender.

The bids will now be considered by the tender board, and an announcement of the award is expected to be made before the end of the year.

The minimum price for renting the complex will be 1,585,000 euros a year, with the winner able to do so for fifteen years which can be extended by three more.