Environmental criticism of new hotel of Mercadona founder

by Lorraine Williamson
new hotel plans for Mercadona owner

MADRID – Although the new landscape hotel being promoted by Mercadona owner Juan Roig will be built on a sustainable basis, it is subject to environmental criticism. 

The Vivood Hotel is located in the old social club of Cerro Alarcón in the Madrid region. It is located on the shore of the reservoir of the same name. Consequently, various environmental groups have expressed their criticism. For example, the group Ecologistas en Acción denounces that the city council “hides the permit” and refuses to “provide information” about the hotel complex, “which has already been granted the building permit”. The environmental organisation fears that the new hotel, together with the increased nautical activity, “will hurt the flora and fauna in the area”. 

Environmental impact 

The Ministry for the Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge (MITECO) has admitted the accusations made by the environmental group Verdemorillo. He filed a complaint “to warn of the potential environmental impact of the project.” Vivood, according to Verdemorillo, will have to wait “at least until the favourable resolution of the permit to start building”. 

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Andrés Samperio, mayor of Navalagamella, the municipality where the plot is located, assures that providing the project plans to ecologists is impossible due to data protection law. Samperio also accuses the association of “misrepresentation”. He emphasises that the old social club has been abandoned and therefore has a deplorable appearance. In that respect, he says, the new project is an opportunity to restore the environment. 

Successful concept 

The company’s landscape hotel concept has been successfully operated for seven years in the town of Benimantell in the province of Alicante. Angels Capital, the investment company of Juan Roig of Mercadona, owns 20% of the capital. 

The goal of Vivood is to set up three more new hotels in the next five years. This will involve an investment of more than €75 million in Spain, Portugal and their islands. The group is already looking for new locations no more than 100 kilometres from major airports – Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Bilbao, Málaga or Tenerife – and is not excluding other European destinations such as Lisbon. 

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