Gabriel Escarrer, the CEO of Meliá Hotels International. | Pere Bota


Meliá Hotels International plans keeping hotels in Magalluf open up to the start of December because of an automobile congress to be held at the Palacio de Congresos. Over October and November, some 18,000 people will attend this. Meliá's CEO Gabriel Escarrer says that this will help in lengthening the season.

During a guided tour of the Palacio, Escarrer explained that because the number of people attending will exceed the capacity of the adjoining Meliá Palma Bay Hotel (with 260 rooms), visitors will be accommodated at other hotels on Palma's Paseo Marítimo and in Illetas and Magalluf.

He stressed the close cooperation with Palma town hall, noting that without this it would have been very difficult to have opened on 1 April. He also said that no losses are expected during this year and that the company expects to generate profits in the second and third years.

There are now sixteen events confirmed and four major congresses, the first of which - for immunology - will be in May and have 240 people attending.

The director of the complex, Ramón Vidal, highlighted the design of the architect Patxi Mangado. "Each step that visitors take in the Palacio has been thought out." For example, therefore, from the exterior corridors the sea can be seen but not the traffic on the Paseo Marítimo. Mangado, unable to attend because of an injury, sent a video message in which he said that the Palacio will be a fundamental element in Palma's economic activity.

One auditorium has 471 seats, but there is the bigger Illes Balears auditorium with 1,981 seats. The youth orchestra "Estamos cuerdas" performed during the visit in order to demonstrate the acoustics.

Elsewhere, there is the exhibition hall, which occupies 1,600 square metres, the restaurant zone, the terrace and the connection with the hotel's VIP zone.

Vidal explained that the design of the Palacio was inspired by Palma's bastion and walls and that the exterior cubic forms, which act as sound and thermal insulation, mean that natural rather than artificial light can be used during the day. The total area of the complex is some 57,000 square metres.