Rafael Nadal is teaming up with Meliá to open luxury hotel In Spain next year

Rafael Nadal Zel hotel

Zel’s debut property in Mallorca will be eventually joined by 20 others across the globe

From luxury catamarans to million-dollar Richard Milles, Rafael Nadal is clearly a man of great taste. Now, he’s turning that discerning eye to hotels.

The world-famous tennis star has teamed up with Meliá to create a new hotel brand called Zel. As both Rafa and Meliá hail from Mallorca, Spain, the new hotels will have a distinctly Mediterranean flair.

“As a Spaniard, a Mallorcan and a global traveller, the launch of our hotel brand is a project that I have had in mind for a long time,” Nadal said in a statement. “Zel is synonymous with feeling good at all times, enjoying life and the way we live it throughout the Mediterranean.”

Rafael Nadal Zel hotel
If all goes according to plan, Zel will debut in Mallorca in 2023

To that end, the first Zel will reportedly debut in Mallorca in 2023. The plan is to then open more locations on the Mediterranean coast, before expanding into Europe, the Middle East, Asia and America. The focus will be on destinations that attract discerning, well-heeled travellers in areas where Meliá already operates. For the unversed, Meliá currently helms more than 350 hotels in 35 countries under various brands. The Zel team says it intends to open more than 20 hotels in the next five years.

Rafael Nadal Zel hotel
The Zel team has ambitious plans to open more than 20 hotels in the next five years.

A true celebration of the Mediterranean lifestyle, Zel will connect guests with nature, highlight delicious local cuisine and showcase the region’s architecture. Meliá’s CEO Gabriel Escarrer says the new hotel offering will also provide a new take on “wellbeing.” You can imagine that, as a pro tennis player, Nadal would prioritise health.

The Mallorca property will have a courtyard at the centre that flows seamlessly to the terraces, rooftop and beach club. The “informal design” packs plenty of Mediterranean charm and character to give the feel of a home away from home. Naturally, you can expect epic panoramic views of the stunning surroundings, too.

Guests will be able to partake in a variety of health and wellness experiences to rejuvenate both the body and soul. You can organise group exercise classes or choose to work with a personal trainer (maybe Rafa will make an appearance?). Another highlight will be the hotel’s “pop-up corners,” which will offer handicrafts and tastings by Zel’s local partners.

Rafael Nadal Zel hotel
The hotel intends to be a true celebration of the Mediterranean lifestyle

“I’m confident that Zel will be a great success and will achieve considerable growth and be enjoyed by all of our guests, which in the end is the reason we are creating it,” Nadal adds.

Well, they do say confidence is key.


This article was first published on Robb Report USA