Interview: How Azora has kept itself busy despite 'challenging year'

Despite being one of the biggest names in Southern European hospitality real estate, Azora, like many of its competitors hasn’t found life easy in 2023. It did manage to get a deal over the line in March when it bought the former Tryp Chamartín hotel from Meridia Capital for €34.6 million.

Hospitality Investor recently caught up with Javier Arús, senior partner at Azora with responsibility for the hospitality and leisure platform. It sounds very much like Azora has got more deals in the pipeline and we should expect 20224 to be a busy one for the firm.

You can watch the whole interview above but below are some highlights.

On the challenges faced in 2023

JA: [We're] probably one of the few, not the only but one of the few, let's say, sub asset classes within the real estate environment that has performed well during 2023, that has been capable of absorbing the impact of the increase in interest rates.

On the potential for the bid-ask spread to narrow

JA: I'm not anticipating there's going to be distress in the industry next year because interest rates overall [are] very healthy. So it will be more transaction driven  by more certainty. And also you will need to be creative in how you bridge the gap.

On the destinations Azora is keeping a close eye on

JA: We like very much the fundamentals of the business in the Greek market. So having access to some of the Greek assets with the right operating partner … We're also looking actively into mountain resorts. So increasing our exposure in the French Alps, Swiss Alps, it's something that we're really also pursuing.

On the trends Azora is watching

JA: We're strong believers in that proximity concept, because I think today, in general, the consumer wants to get experiences, and probably they cannot, or they don't want to travel very far to get that experience. So if you offer that within two hours drive from your main cities across European destinations, I think that's a very attractive value.