More signs of increasing activity in the tourist sector have emerged recently, and there seems no end to the increase in the number of hotel rooms and apartments that are coming onto the market, particularly in Funchal. The latest hotel renovation to be announced concerns the landmark Santa Maria in the centre of Funchal, with a perfect location halfway between the “old” and “new” parts of the city, on Rua João de Deus. The hotel opens it’s doors next year under the name of “Turin Santa Maria Hotel”. As the name implies this is an investment by the Turim Hotels Group, which has 18 hotels on the mainland, 11 of them in Lisbon.
The group has acquired the old Santa Maria hotel, which closed around eight years ago – a building that dates from 1964, which will be completely refurbished to look something like the artists impression opposite. The new hotel will have 100 rooms and is expected to be rated 4-Star. An investment of about €10 million is being made on the project.
Pestana Casino Studios
At the other end of town Pestana are undertaking another project on what was a car park alongside the Casino Park Hotel. The “Pestana Casino Studios” is in another ideal location, just at the top of Santa Catarina Park, above the Casino/Congress on the Avenida do Infante. Apparently the €3.5 million development is what is termed a “multimodular” design, which takes about a third of the construction time compared to a traditional hotel. As a result there will be 77 rooms operating from as soon as September this year.
In an another ambitious worldwide expansion, Pestana plans 22 new hotels over the next 4 years in 8 countries. This will add 4,000 rooms to the existing stock, with more than 110 hotels and 15,000 rooms in 21 countries.
Ribeira de Santa Luzia
Still on a construction theme it has been announced that €3.8 million will be spent on the final section of the Ribeira de Santa Luzia. The “reconstruction and regularisation” of one of the channels that famously could not cope during the floods of 2010 will cost €1.9 million this year and has a budget of the same again next year. It does seem like a lot of progress has been made on this project recently, but this could be due to some of the screens coming down.
Ferrari 360 to be auctioned in Machico
The Diario reports that a Ferrari 360 Challenge model is to be auctioned by the tax authorities in Machico with a starting price of €12,078 euros. If it stays at this price it will be something of a bargain as there are identical models of the same year (2003) on sale for more than €200,000. Any of our more prosperous readers have until August 31, to submit their bids on the electronic auctions page of the Financas portal. The sale of the Ferrari follows a process of execution in connection with a partner of the aviation company Fly Mi,