The main difference between Finca Cortesín Hotel, Golf & Spa and any other venue holding a European Tour event is, without a doubt, the hotel and its service. There might be numerous other magnificent courses hosting tournaments such as the Volvo World Match Play Championship but almost certainly none have the same kind of luxury hotel, so close and convenient for players, offering so many and such meticulously-maintained services.
In addition to the actual hotel itself, there are adjourning private villas featuring the same, or even better, services and amenities as if they were – in fact – a hotel suite.
For hotel manager René Zimmer, the proximity of the course and the luxury of the hotel provides added value to a resort such as this one which aims to be a reference point, a flagship establishment, in southern Europe.
“Having the golf course so close is vital, because the players can walk to the clubhouse from their villa or suite. They don’t need any transport, and that helps the organisers of a tournament of the Volvo World Match Play Championship’s magnitude.”
It’s clear that the players feel very comfortable. What comments have you received from them?
This is the third year Finca Cortesín has been the venue for this major tournament and, right from the start, the visiting golf stars’ opinions have been very, very favourable towards us. Some were pleasantly surprised at how well they and their families were treated here. Nothing comparable to other tournament venues. Many were sad to have to leave after the competition.
In the hotel we have various kinds of accommodation. On the one hand, we have 67 suites throughout the three buildings that comprise the complex: central, cloister and Olympic pool area. And, on the other, we have various private villas that form a part of the Finca Cortesín real estate project.
All the suites have four-metre high ceilings and the basic ones, the junior suites, extend over at least 52 square metres. The others, the executive suites, range from 98 to 180 square metres, which gives an idea of the hotel’s palatial proportions. Four of our suites, located in the main building, also have their own private pool which, of course, enhances our guests’ privacy.
What are the villas like?
They are truly exceptional homes and are decorated by Ana and Cristina Calderón, who also decorated the hotel suites. They all have four bedrooms en-suite, lounge area with fireplace, fully-equipped kitchen, porch, and private garden and pool.
Naturally they also have the same services as those available in the hotel: butler, cleaning, 24-hour room service, maintenance, etc. During the tournament, they are home to the players who have come with their families and friends. The villas are available for rent or purchase, always with the added value of including the hotel services.
The Spa and your gastronomy are also in a class of their own…
Definitely. The Spa takes up 2,200 square metres, dedicated to relaxation, beauty, wellbeing and looking after your body. We have seven treatment and massage rooms; a superb 25-metre heated pool, treated with salt; a thermal area with Finnish sauna and Turkish bath; a relaxation area; and, after the heat, nothing better than a cold session in the 10-degree pool or the snow cave, at minus-12º, the only one in Spain. The gymnasium, completely outdoors and with six-metre high ceilings, has a huge variety of latest-generation equipment, as well as a personal trainer.
Would you say it’s the best spa on the Costa del Sol?
I wouldn’t want to be so conceited but taking into account our amenities, features, services and the products we use, unique in Spain, I can certainly say that we are one of the best in Spain.
As for the gastronomy, last year we hired Lutz Bösing as executive chef – he has had a long and successful career both in and outside Spain. He worked previously at La Bobadilla, for example, and always at Michelin-star level. He’s in charge of managing and coordinating all the hotel’s gastronomy and, with his contribution, success is assured. Bösing cooks in the El Jardín restaurant, where he offers the finest Mediterranean cuisine in a stunning ambience, next to the 1,000-year-old olive trees in our gardens.
In addition to El Jardín, we have three other restaurants of the highest level. Schilo is run by chef Schilo van Coevorden, renowned within and outside our borders for his extraordinary fusion cuisine, mixing Asian, Arabic and European flavours. During the high season we also work with chef Andrea Tumbarello, who manages the Don Giovanni Cortesín restaurant. Andrea runs Don Giovanni in Madrid and has been elected the best Italian chef in Spain.
Then there is the Beach Club where, between Easter and October, you can enjoy traditional Andalucian cuisine next to the sea, always with the high level of Finca Cortesín quality and service.
This is a grand deluxe hotel and obviously it’s not going to be cheap. Do you have a good occupancy rates? Is there sufficient demand for a hotel of this category?
Since the inauguration in March 2009 – this is our third season – we have been very satisfied because, fortunately, each year we exceed our expectations of occupancy and profitability.
Personally, I don’t believe it’s an expensive hotel. You could even say the rates are low considering the quality we offer. Everyone knows that at Finca Cortesín we have set the goal of being one of the major hotels in Europe, and we are achieving that. To that end, we have invested in infrastructure, in human resources, in training, etc. We are working hard to provide the best to our clients, and I don’t believe anyone leaves thinking they’ve paid more than they’ve received in return. Proof of that is in the fact that most clients return.