Buying a hotel room in Spain:
Gemma Caballé Fabra
Department of Private, Procedural and Taxation Law,
Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain
Purpose –The “condohotel”is a type of condominium,which is most commonly used in tourist buildings,
such as hotels, where investors can buy a privateroom/unit and offer it to a hotel company, which manages
the “condohotel”andoffers the units to guests through an accommodationcontract. According to the Spanish
regions called autonomous communities that provide a special legal framework for “condohotels”, room
owners are also permitted to use their unitsfor a speciﬁc period. However, residential use is prohibited. In
exchange, the hotel company pays a part of its proﬁtto those owners. This paper aims to analyse how the
“condohotel”regime works in Spain and what the main weaknesses are that explain its limited success,
despite the importance of the realestate and tourist sectors and the popularity of the condominium regime in
Design/methodology/approach –In this paper, the complex concept of “condohotel”isexplained. The
role of the participating partiesis examined along with the supplementary legal regimes thatare applied to
identifythe reasons why it has had a limited success and how its regulation could be improved.
Findings –This paper identiﬁesthe changes that are needed to address the relativefailure of this regime in
Spain, as “condohotels”canbe an attractive type of alternativeaccommodation for someone interested in hotel
services or forretired people who want to stay some months of the year inthe beautiful and sunny Spain with
all the amenitiesof a hotel or for those who need to live in a place for a few months for work reasons.
Research limitations/implications –This paper identiﬁes differentcontracts to cede private units to
hotel company. However, further research is necessary to identify which contract is the best option or if it
could be a mixture of them.
Originality/value –The “condohotels”facilitate becoming an owner of a hotel room or unit of another
touristestablishment under the condominium regime.However, the unit can only be used for tourist purposes.
Despite this limitation, “condohotels”might potentially be used not only as a secondresidence or a tourist
solution but also as a temporal housingsolution or as an investment to obtain some extra income. Thus, it is
worthwhile improving the legal frameworkand offering more legal certainty to the parties that intervene in
Keywords Housing, Tourism, Property, Hotel
Paper type Research paper
The term “condohotel”is a combination of the words “condominium”and “hotel”. This
concept exists in countries like France and Portugal(Van der Merwe, 2015, p. 58) and also in
the USA, Australia and some countries in Latin America (Munar Bernat, 2010, p. 324). A
“condohotel”is a hotel establishment in which rooms or private units belong to different
This article has been possible thanks to the project funded by Sabadell Bank Foundation (call of
2016) with the title “The legal regime of condohotels”and also thanks to the Spanish Ministry of
Economy and Competitiveness of the Government of Spain (call of 2017): “Vivienda colaborativa”.
Reference of the project: DER2017-84726-C3-1-P. This topic was presented at the ENHR (European
Network for Housing Research) Conference in Tirana (2017).
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Received9 May 2018
Accepted22 August 2018
Journalof Property, Planning and
Vol.10 No. 3, 2018
© Emerald Publishing Limited