MY “FETISH” HOTELIERS

Andrés Saravia & Marc Rahola, Hoteliers for the Fun of it.
By Pablo Burgués
Photo: Maria Andreu

Another year, another interview with Diego Calvo; CEO, Co-founder, human being and top dog at Concept Hotel Group. This time we’ll be chewing the fat about Andrés Saraiva and Marc Rahola, two guys who are almost as nuts as he is about hotels.

Howdy Diego, what do these two gentlemen have in common?
“Both of them have shaken up the hotel sector, bringing enormous added value to their products through art.”You’ll have to forgive me, but I’m a smalltown boy, so you’ll have to explain this to me nice and simple… “In their hotels, as well as sleeping and eating like a fucking boss, you are surrounded by art wherever you go.”

Now I got ya. Tell me, in four sentences who is Andrés Saraiva is and why you like his work so much.
“Saraiva is first and foremost an artist, and a renowned graffiti artist who ran out of walls in his native Paris in 2011 and decided to set up Hotel Amour. The building became his new blank canvas, and with the collaboration of other friends and artists he designed and decorated one of the most inspiring and coolest hotels I’ve ever slept in. And I’ve slept in a few.”

Are you the kind of person that takes the hotel bathrobe with you as a souvenir?
“Taking things from a hotel always seemed kinda lame for me, but I did take one thing from the Amour, something that I always carry with me… I was lucky enough to meet Andrés in person and I liked his work so much that I got a tattoo on my left arm of a heart designed by the man himself.”

What about Marc Rahola?
“Marc is crazy about art, a hotelier with the soul of a gallery owner, an art patron…. His hotels stand out because they are continually hosting concerts and exhibitions. He also has some great initiatives aimed at helping emerging artists, such as the OD Awards, an annual prize which I had the honour of being a member of the jury in the latest edition. As if this wasn’t enough, he also loves rock ‘n’ roll like me and he even had his own band in the 90s called Occam Kepler, with whom he played in legendary concert halls such as KGB and Ars Studio.”

When are you gonna get a tattoo designed by Rahola on the other arm?
“Hahahahaha, I haven’t had it done yet, but don’t rule anything out with me. I’m a very passionate guy and if I like something, I love it to death, to the point of getting a tattoo.”

Apart from your body, are there art spaces in your hotels?
“Of course, in Dorado we have a permanent exhibition of some of the most amazing photos in rock history. Paradiso has its own gallery that is open to everyone. When I was a kid the only way of seeing artwork by international artists was by getting a plane to Madrid, London, Paris… at Concept Hotel Group we are doing our bit to enable locals to enjoy the work of world class artists without leaving the island.”

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