Interview with Kevin Toral sales and marketing director at Oh Nice Caledonia

Kevin Toral who, with over 15 years’ professional experience in the tourism industry in Latin America, is in charge of opening of the hotel as sales and marketing director.

Oh Nice Caledonia

Oh Nice Caledonia is the first venture in Spain for multinational hotel chain GHL Hoteles. In its search for efficient hotel management opportunities, this leader in the hotel sector in Latin America has opted for the Costa del Sol. We spoke with Kevin Toral who, with over 15 years’ professional experience in the tourism industry in Latin America, is in charge of opening of the hotel as sales and marketing director.

GHL has more than 56 years’ experience and a portfolio of 65 hotels in 11 countries and 41 destinations, from Guatemala to Argentina. With this first project, it has become the first Latin American chain to invest in and manage hotels in Spain, with an expansion plan for the next two years to grow the number of rooms on the Iberian Peninsula.

Oh Nice Caledonia is in a unique setting surrounded by nature between the towns of Marbella and Estepona, 10 minutes from Puerto Banús and the numerous golf courses nestling throughout the area. The hotel has undergone the first phase of a renovation project and has been prepared to offer golf guests an exceptional experience through really understanding their needs.

aerea Oh Nice Caledonia

This is the first GHL HOTELES project in Andalucia and involves an investment of 3.5 million euros. What has gone into it? What changes have been made to the hotel?

The property was built in 2004 and was run by other brands and operators before shutting in the pandemic in 2020. In the second half of 2022, investment was made in the first phase of the project, which set out to refresh and renew the product. The 300 guest rooms and public areas, such as the outdoor swimming pool, function rooms and spa, have been refurbished. There will be even more overall investment in the property in 2023, with finishing touches to the guest rooms and the restaurant areas; the hotel has two restaurants and three bars.

The hotel is open at the moment and expects to be fully ready for the coming spring-summer season, and so able to reposition itself within the Costa del Sol market.

Estepona-Oh Nice Caledonia

The hotel is in the heart of the Costa del Sol, between the towns of Marbella and Estepona, one of the top destinations for both national and international tourism which attracted more than 12 million visitors in 2022. What will the sales and marketing strategy be for the hotel?

Those of us within corporate sales and marketing at GHL Hoteles have prepared for our entry into the Spanish market, fully learning about local dynamics that include features such as seasonality, countries of origin and reason for travel, demand, distribution, etc. We did this in collaboration with local consultants.

One of our aims is to set up strategic partnerships with trade associations, media, local authorities and the main tour operators on the Costa del Sol and across Spain and Europe. Likewise, in different niche markets such as sport, we will focus on golf, tennis and football, as the Costa del Sol is a significant venue for important teams and tournaments at regional, national and international level.

Habitación - Oh Nice Caledonia

We have a hotel, golf courses and beaches in one of the most visited areas of southern Spain. For those who haven’t already visited, what would you highlight about the setting of Oh Nice Caledonia? Why would you recommend someone stay at Oh Nice Caledonia?

The Caledonia has plenty of options with its spacious and comfortable rooms and its ample public areas. To highlight its superb location; five minutes from El Saladillo beach, 10 minutes from the pretty town of Estepona and 15 minutes from cosmopolitan Marbella, as well as being in a central position with excellent links by car to the rest of Andalucía. In terms of the hotel’s setting, I ought to also mention how close we are to sports facilities; football pitches, tennis courts, padel tennis and golf courses just a few minutes from the hotel.

SPA - Oh Nice Caledonia

In terms of food and drink, what options are available at the hotel?

The hotel has two restaurants; the Sierra Bermeja restaurant, mainly with buffet service, and the à la carte restaurant that will open this season. We want our guests and visitors to enjoy international flavours but without forgetting that Andalusian touch.

The Costa del Sol is one of the most popular destinations for holidaymakers and golfers. Hotel Oh Nice Caledonia has many good golf courses around it. Does the hotel have a golf desk and agreements with nearby golf courses?

Oh Nice Caledonia is perfect if you are coming to the Costa del Sol to play golf. Just a few minutes’ drive away a guest has five courses with great quality and tradition to choose from: Villa Padierna with the Los Flamingos, Alferini and Tramores courses; the legendary El Paraiso Golf Club; and Atalaya Golf & Country Club.

We have agreements with all these courses, we have a partner company acting as specialist golf concierge and our staff will be delighted to assist guests with all their requests.

Golf is one of the reasons people travel the globe, but the golf traveller is a very particular type of customer who demands all kinds of experiences and a certain degree exclusivity. Is Oh Nice Caledonia a hotel for golfers?

At Oh Nice Caledonia we are ready to provide great experiences for golf lovers; our staff have been trained to understand the needs and dynamics of this profile of visitor. The guest rooms are comfortable with ample space for golfers to store their kit and all rooms have a lounge and terrace, and some have kitchens, ideal for long stays. As I mentioned earlier, the location is ideal; for instance, with our partner Villa Padierna, a guest has direct access to that resort, and we can even arrange pick-up just a few metres from hotel reception.


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