Unveiling the Pic hotel…
Call us visionary, call us naive, or call us borderline insane...but we're opening our own hotel.
Yes, our own hotel.
Looking to put our money where our mouth is, we’ve embarked on the initial stages of building and running our own hotel on Portugal’s Silver Coast.
In the first steps of a 3-year project, we’ve purchased land a 10-minute drive from Nazaré beach (if you’ve ever seen the vids on social media of surfers riding MONSTER waves off Portugal, this is where) as we bid to tap into Portugal’s rocketing popularity with tourists.
With plans already drawn up with architects (and planning permission approved), the initial project will be a 7-bedroom, luxury boutique hotel – with additional plans to expand to a 14-bedroom establishment as lodges are added further down the line, along with a fine-dining restaurant. Of course, it depends if we nail the 7-bedroom part, as to whether we expand to 14…
David Barrett, MD of Pic PR, said of the move: “We’ve been living and breathing hotels for the past 7 years, interacting daily with hotel owners, GMs and senior hoteliers, so are well versed in the trials and tribulations – at least in part.”
He continued: “It’s been a vision of ours for a number of years – so we’ve been gleaning insight wherever we can, and are now ready to take the plunge. With 3 ½ years to go until our tenth anniversary, our plans are to open the hotel to mark the occasion. All being well, and this not being a massive mistake where we sink without trace, we hope to create a thriving hospitality establishment from scratch.”
He added, “Unsurprisingly, the running of the hotel itself won’t be thrust upon the experienced marketers within our team – we’ll be calling on the skills of other professionals i.e. a GM, housekeeping, waiting staff and more, as the project progresses. However, Pic PR will be completely managing the communications campaign, like we do for all our hospitality clients.”
The prospective hotel’s location, just outside the town of Alcobaça, was chosen thanks to the emergence of Portugal – and Lisbon in particular – as a popular destination for both UK tourists and those from the wider world.
The fact that Alcobaça (and neighbouring Nazaré) are an easy commute from Lisbon and Porto airports was a key factor, as well as the areas surfing popularity. With Lisbon an hour’s drive away, and Porto two hours, the hotel is in a prime location to appeal to tourists flying into either airport.
Furthermore, as Lisbon proceeds with plans to build a second airport catering predominantly for budget flights, the demand for accommodation is set to rise exponentially.
David Barrett said: “A new hotel is emerging in Lisbon practically every week, which serves to underline the level of demand. The second airport is only going to increase that. The Algarve has long been associated with Portuguese tourism, however the country has so much more to offer and the Silver Coast is a perfect location from which to entice the prospective tourism boom, tapping into those venturing into Lisbon as well as those uncovering the previously somewhat overlooked delights of Porto; a real gem of a city.”
While Nazaré, thanks to its enormous Atlantic waves, is synonymous with the surfing community, the surrounding area is also rich in cultural heritage, with Alcobaça itself host to a magnificent monastery, which, alongside its associated church, were the first Gothic buildings built in Portugal.
With Pic PR having lots of hotel clients, including the Feversham Arms and Black Swan in Helmsley, the Calcot Collection, Storrs Hall in the Lake District, Headlam Hall, the Kings Head in Cirencester, Altis Hotels – a luxury group of 5* hotels in Portugal – and HOSPA, the association for Hospitality Finance, Revenue and IT Professionals, along with many more, we’ve got a solid background in hospitality, which we’ll be looking to utilise to full effect with the Pic Hotel.
David Barrett said: “While we’re not an agency that deals exclusively with hotels, it is our forte and our specialist offering, having worked with a broad range of establishments across the UK as well as internationally.”
He continued: “We know this isn’t easy and we’re not underestimating the expertise of experienced hoteliers. Far from it – it’s our appreciation for the challenges of the hospitality industry, as well as its potential, which has encouraged us to take the plunge and embark on this exciting new venture.”
He concluded: “Our ultimate aim is to prove that we (Pic PR) can market a hotel to such an extent that it becomes a very profitable business, even if it’s started from scratch in a relatively underappreciated location. We’re confident we’re the first marketing agency to undertake such a venture – so time will tell as to whether we’re incredibly naïve or visionary pioneers. Building starts at the end of the year, and the branding process will start at the same time.”
Wish us luck…