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4-story luxury hotel complex planned on Valladolid’s Calzada de los Frailes

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Calzada de los Frailes. Photo: Courtesy

A major hotel chain is breaking ground on Valladolid’s historic Calzada de los Frailes to build an 84-room, four-story luxury hotel with a shopping mall.

The project is unusual for Valladolid, where hotels are chiefly locally owned. But El Gran Encomendero is owned by the InterContinental Hotels Group, owner of the Holiday Inn.

It’s even more striking that the large project is destined for the historic Calzada de los Frailes, a cobbled street with historic, small-scale properties.

Built in the 16th century, the 500-meter-long street connects the city’s main plaza with the former Convent of San Bernardino de Siena. While some residences remain, the passageway has been increasingly occupied by trendy boutiques and restaurants, the center of Valladolid’s tourist activity.

With this announcement, the Vignette Collection brand will debut in the Americas with a restaurant, roof bar, spa, fitness center, and 1,600 square feet of meeting and event space. The 6,000-square-meter property will have 45 meters of frontage, but exactly where it will be built and what it will look like was cnot disclosed. Construction begins in February 2023 and continues for two years, the developer says.

A Santo Secreto shopping plaza will include 12 shops and 10 eateries on the first floor. The design will include green areas, water features, and spaces for art exhibitions.

El Gran Encomendero begins construction in early 2023 and represents an investment of 150 million pesos. Around 1,000 jobs will be generated between construction and its eventual daily operation, said Minister of Economic Development and Labor (Sefoet) Ernesto Herrera Novelo.

Under the ownership of Grupo Alves, El Gran Encomendero will be the first branded hotel in the Valladolid community. An on-the-rise destination for international leisure travel, business events, and weddings, Valladolid recently received the Pueblos Magicos designation from the Mexican Ministry of Tourism for efforts to protect and preserve its cultural heritage.

The city anticipates attracting even more volume following the construction of the government-funded Mayan Train line which will connect it directly to Mérida and Cancún.

“Valladolid’s deep history and coveted location make it ideal for El Gran Encomendero,” said Erick Alvarez, CEO of Grupo Alves. “We are confident that this beautiful and luxurious property will quickly become the regional destination for travelers, and we look forward to working with IHG to turn our vision into a reality. I’d also like to thank Lic. Ernesto Herrera Novelo, Secretary of Economic Development and Labor for the State of Yucatan, for overseeing the signing of our franchise agreement.”

Each Vignette Collection hotel features a name reflective of a unique element of its history, character, or location. El Gran Encomendero design will take inspiration from Pedro Sierra Lina’s book, “Trilogia Sobre la Casa del Encomendero de Valladolid.”

Paul Adan, Senior Regional VP, MLAC, IHG Hotels & Resorts, said, “With nearly 200 hotels open or in the regional pipeline, Mexico remains a fast-growing priority market for IHG. El Gran Encomendero is a distinctive and ideal introduction to the Americas for our Vignette Collection brand, and the first of many we hope to bring to this market and the world in the coming years. We welcome the opportunity to lead this project forward alongside the fantastic team at Grupo Alves.”

Following the brand’s launch in August 2021, the first Vignette Collection hotels include Hotel X Brisbane Fortitude Valley in Australia and Sindhorn Midtown Hotel Bangkok in Thailand.

IHG anticipates opening more than 100 new Vignette Collection properties during the next 10 years, including a recently finalized signing for the collection’s tenth global property near Victoria Falls in Zambia, Africa.

Valladolid is 25 miles west of the Chichén Itzá ruins and in the proximity of the Balam archeological site and multiple cenotes.

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