Hospes Maricel & Spa, building with history since the 50s

By | 11 July, 2018 | 0 comments

Hospes Maricel & Spa is an avant-garde architectural building, with natural colors and noble materials, facing the sea, with contrasts of nature and a lot of history which goes back to the 50s.

The building that today occupies the hotel Hospes Maricel & Spa was born as a hotel establishment in 1950, property of Victorio Luzuriaga and designed by the architect Francesc Casas Llompart, with a category of four stars, 80 seats and 48 rooms.

At that time it was the meeting and celebration center of Mallorcan society and hosted outstanding Spanish and foreign personalities including Montgomery Cliff, Errol Flynn and his wife (also actress Patrice Wymore), Silvia Hedges (co-owner of Benson and Hedges Cigarrettes) , Cristóbal Colón (descendant of the famous conquistador), the Luzuriaga family (owners of the hotel and the famous Luzuriaga Shipyards of Guipúzcoa), Julia Gutiérrez Caba, Lord Swanson (belonging to the British nobility and former president of the House of Lords), Mr Hall (Ex – General Director of the British Railways), Rita Pavone, etc. They were directors of the same Joan Buades Salas (1950-60) and Enric Cabrée Vilagut (1960-86). In 1986 the Maricel closed its doors.

In 2002, the hotel Maricel de C’as Català reopened its doors keeping the same elegance and sophistication of previous times, when it was one of the most prestigious hotels in Palma and a meeting place to enjoy a good drink in a quiet environment and distinguished.

The original architect – Francesc Casas Llompart

Francisco Casas Llompart (Palma 1905- Illetes 1977) was one of the main Mallorcan architects of the 20th century. The main thesis of Casas’ work was that architecture should be put at the service of people, putting comfort before luxury.

In 1948 he built the Maricel Hotel, created with a cosmopolitan spirit that was intended to house a public of international prestige. Casas opted for the sober regional style. In this way the hotel adopted the model of the palatial constructions of the city of Palma and of the manor houses of the XVI and XVII centuries.

Architecture and interior design of the old Hotel Maricel
 The original plans of Maricel date from 1948. The old hotel was an isolated building facing the sea, in the municipality of Calvià. It had 48 rooms, of which 16 were individual. In the tower there were 4 rooms, 3 for clients and 1 for staff. The style was classic and even today some original pieces are preserved.

In its former distribution, room 109 was the “bridal suite” and the current “hall” was divided into three adjacent rooms: dining room, living room with fireplace and a small game room, where customers gathered to play cards (the current library). The meeting room today was then a bar / billiard room that had a “Whiskey Corner” with a collection of more than 450 types of this drink. The style was English, with leather seats and dark tones.

Throughout its history the Maricel Hotel has had different extensions, not of its main volume but of its surroundings. In the sixties a swimming pool was added in its front part, and some bungalows (classics of the sixties) in its left part, to increase the capacity of the hotel in six more rooms.

Architecture and interior design of the new Hotel Hospes Maricel & Spa

 The project started and developed by Hospes consisted of acquiring the abandoned hotel Maricel & Spa and giving it back its splendor and life. At first, two types of actions were carried out by Hospes Design, the team of architects and interior designers of recognized prestige of Hospes: the rehabilitation and improvement of all the exterior areas of the building, accesses, terraces and swimming pool, and the total reform of the interior of the old building conserving all the areas and pieces of certain interest and quality.

In a second phase, Hospes Design has been responsible for the conception and materialization of a new building that comes to complement the original, and that provides the whole of a series of services and amenities.

The first reform revolved around a main idea: the reconstruction of the landscape as it was before the existence of the building itself and the permeabilization of the classical structure of the volume to improve the presence of the sea from any corner. Different strategies were used, the most interesting was to treat the vertical walls as immense sliding doors. This feeling of mobility, coupled with the reflections of strategically placed mirrors, has managed to enhance that feeling and the presence of the landscape.

In the exteriors the treatment was of restoration, avoiding any type of formal variation, except in the turn of the pool, whose intention was to return the original relationship of the building with the sea, which had before building said pool.

The dark corridors of the floors of the second, third and tower rooms were transformed into a space between well-lit sliding doors. The number of rooms was reduced to twenty-nine.

The volumetric cleaning of the Maricel, a consequence no doubt of the rationalist spirit of Casas, was preserved in this new stage of the history of the building. The entrance of the hotel is pseudo-classical style. The loggia or gallery, located on the south facade, is of Italian origin, with three or four semicircular arches supported by columns, an element already present in Mallorcan rural houses. Its arches and columns are Santany’s sandstone which is more compact than standard sandstone. In the main hall, pseudo-classical marble columns with smooth shafts and Corinthian capitals stand out.

Meanwhile, the railing of the staircase shows the conjunction of modernist styles and rectilinear rationalism. Light is the norm of the building. The classicism of the marbles of its soils and of the Mallorcan maquis of its walls finds a high contrast with the minimalism of its decoration.

The decoration of the rooms is based on noble materials to integrate the environment in each one of them. It is worth noting the functional and current conception offered by the bathrooms, a true luxury of art deco style with a very cozy effect. The Mediterranean character is present in all the facilities and services of the new Maricel. It is one of the few exercises of what has been called “marine architecture” existing today.

The most recent reform, which has involved the creation of two new buildings in the set: a new area for rooms (22 new), located in a building of sober avant-garde that serenely completes the stately aspect of the old hotel; and a smaller building, although not free of constructive creativity, which houses the new BODYNA.

One aspect has been essential when conceiving new buildings and their integration into the whole: the sea must always be present from any angle. From this premise, Hospes Design designed a building with 7 floors (two of them, intended for parking, underground). Of the 5 floors above ground, a first floor, the ground floor, opens diaphanous to the host. Above it, an attic that shares the same roof.

Two very Mallorcan elements and therefore very Mediterranean characterize the new building: the stone and the white color. On the roof that gives shelter to the ground floor and the loft, two parallel blocks of four floors each rise like two large arms. Both are specially oriented so that the sea is visible from all the rooms. In each of them, designed in perspective as if the guest could directly access the sea, a terrace with a pool and the warmth of the wood as a hallmark. The sea is present in each and every one of the spaces that make up the bedroom, including the bathroom, which has transparent glass.

Another of the architectural challenges of the expansion of Hospes Maricel & Spa has been the connection between the old building and the new ones. This has been achieved using the typical stone of Mallorca, the “margera”, named for its usual use in the construction of margins. With it as a protagonist, Hospes Design has designed a path between buildings that is a real pleasure in itself, because the stone and decorative vegetation make it a beautiful park in which to take a pleasant walk.

Hotel Hospes Maricel & Spa *****

Ctra d’Andratx 11 | Cas Català (Calvià) | 07181 Mallorca
T (+34) 971 707 744

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