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Lionel Messi buys luxury hotel in Sotogrande, then promptly fires all the staff

It’s being reported that Paris St. Germain footballer Lionel Messi has bought a luxury hotel and then promptly fired the staff working there. Messi’s MIM Hotels Group has bought the Hotel Marítimo de Sotogrande on the marina in San Roque – the sixth propery acquired by the group. Sotogrande is a high-end holiday destination and, given that the Argentine is well-known for his business acumen, is perhaps not a surprising purchase. However, what has happened next has been somewhat more newsworth; all the staff – 40 in total and some of which had worked there for decades – are said to have been fired. In a statement to the media, the mayor of San Roque (Cádiz), Juan Carlos Ruiz-Boix, has gone on record as saying: “The hotel has a regular clientele, with families who spend the Summer there for more than 20 years and we are not going to allow the first decision to be the dismissal of great professionals, men and women who have the support of this mayor and who must be incorporated into their jobs.” It is believed that the non-continuous permanent workers were fired in December, along with severance pay, but some reports suggest that the action taken may contravene EU labour law. The mayor has indicated that since then the City Council has been trying to contact the group to try to “analyze what happened” and arrange for these workers to get their jobs back. The property is being renamed MIM Sotogrande Club Marítimo and will open its doors and its 45 rooms in April, according to the company’s press release.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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    1. I’m guessing that Messi will have to pay some big compensation packages too?

      Those may be possible in football when you’ve got global media sales. I’m not sure that the hotel business is that afloat with cash.

      Or will Messi be putting his hand in his pocket for the pay outs?

  1. This is such bad publicity. Many regular guests will go elsewhere and potential new customers won’t be impressed either.

  2. Having been a regular client of this hotel for many years I will be very upset if the long serving staff are not there. I doubt if any replacements will be as good and dont understand the new owners logic in making this decision.

  3. I doubt that this is the first time that new owners have sacked all the staff after a take over. Has Messi’s name made it a headline?

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