A luxury Marbella hotel used by wealthy tourists and football clubs in training camps has been abandoned and has fallen into disrepair due to a loss of Covid business.
The Gran Hotel and Spa in Benahavis now looks like a “ghost ship,” said a resident with water in a pool that has turned green and stagnant and is now home to frogs and algae.
Lawns have not been watered and overgrown while the exterior of the building looks run down.
It wasn’t too long ago that the four-star hotel entertained the national teams of Germany and Belgium as well as Aston Villa, but now it has been unused for 15 months, since it was forced to close in March. 2020, due to the pandemic.
The summer house that functions as a bar in the water is now empty with lounge chairs casually thrown into the water.
The once pristine exterior hallways with its pristine plants are now infested with overgrown or dead shrubs.
It has suffered greatly, as have many hotels on the Costa del Sol, from the decrease in the number of tourists coming to Spain and in particular from the United Kingdom.
But this week, residents attributed the continued shutdown in part to Spain remaining on the UK government’s orange list.
A local resident explained that the Gran Hotel was the most upscale place to stay in the area.
They said: “The Gran is the jewel in the crown when it comes to hotels in Costas, but now it’s just a sad shadow of itself. The place is overgrown with weeds and the pools are only good for tadpoles and frogs.
“Many national football teams have stayed there before due to the excellent football training facilities nearby and it is also a favorite with wealthy British holidaymakers.”
They added: “There are nice hotels elsewhere in the village but the Gran is still an important part of the region and has to reopen again. It’s like a ghost ship right now.
With mainland Spain still on the UK’s orange list, that means businesses will still struggle for the foreseeable future.
A notice in Spanish on the Facebook page of the deserted hotel on March 22, 2020 read: “Dear subscribers, due to the coronavirus pandemic situation, the Gran Hotel Benahavis will remain temporarily closed.
“We appreciate your understanding and hope the situation will be resolved as soon as possible, and we can welcome you and welcome your visit again.”
In April, the hotel again posted: “For the well-being of our customers and colleagues, now is the time to stay home, helping to prevent the spread of the epidemic.”
There is no indication that the Gran Hotel with its 95 rooms will open its doors this summer and the travel company Expedia will not even accept reservations until January 2022.
It comes as a series of popular European holiday destinations have announced new restrictions for UK tourists amid growing concern over the Delta variant.
Spain, Portugal and Malta are among tourist hotspots tightening entry requirements for Britons as infections skyrocket.
The number of new reported Covid 19 cases rose to 22,868 yesterday, the highest levels since the peak of the second wave in January.
Spain, the most popular destination for Britons, said from the end of the week travelers would have to prove they were fully vaccinated or provide a negative PCR test on arrival if they were. aged 12 or over.
Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said UK Covid figures were “worrying” as the 14-day cumulative rate was “well over 150 cases per 100,000 population”.