Meliá Hotels International has set the date for the opening of the new Palau de Congressos de Palma (Convention Centre) and its adjoining hotel, the Meliá Palma Bay. On Saturday, 1 April, the company will open the doors on what its Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gabriel Escarrer, expects to be the best Convention Centre in the Mediterranean, with the potential to earn Palma a place among the top 50 destinations for international congresses and conventions.
Last October, when Meliá Hotels International was chosen to manage the new Palma Convention Centre, the company began the countdown for preparing this key infrastructure for Palma de Mallorca. In the recent edition of FITUR in Madrid, Escarrer committed the company to making its best efforts to open in April, and thus begin to generate business, congress and convention activity for the city as soon as possible.
To make it possible, assisted by the Palau Board of Directors, formed by Palma City Hall and the Balearic Islands Government, dozens of members of Meliá’s technical, operations and marketing teams have been familiarizing themselves with the facilities for several weeks and planning how to begin operations.
The Palau de Congressos de Palma (Convention Centre) enjoys one of the best locations on Palma’s Paseo Marítimo seafront, only five minutes from the airport, the cathedral and the historical heart of the city, and offering spectacular views of Palma Bay. Amidst the light and the Mediterranean Sea, the building designed by the prestigious architect Francisco Mangado rises, in his own words, “as a special place in which the landscape, sea and design merge with extraordinary intensity, making it a focus of influence and genesis for the city.”
Versatility and functionality
The Grand Auditorium can host more than 1,900 people and is the “jewel in the crown” of the building, unique in the Balearic Islands and internationally. This immense auditorium has the finest acoustic conditions, comfort and versatility, given that it can be divided into two smaller auditoriums with 1.249 y 729 seats to host several events simultaneously.
The Small Auditorium can host events for up to 462 people and is equipped with the same technology as the Grand Auditorium. It is also connected to the Exhibition Area, allowing it to perfectly combine exhibitions with presentations and all types of events.
Both auditoriums provide the latest technology in their technical and translation booths as well as other features such as dressing rooms between the stages, providing maximum versatility and support for hosting events of all kinds (musicals, conferences, exhibitions, etc.) in the Palau.
The Exhibition Areas occupy a total of 2,340m2 and consist of a huge ground floor (1,640m2) with a height of 11 meters and a mezzanine floor measuring 700m2 with a height of 7.6 meters for smaller exhibitions or as a complement to the main ground floor area. This set-up guarantees efficiency in the management of the spaces, which the Meliá team believes will be able to accommodate all of the different trade fairs and exhibitions that may take place in Palma. Together with the lobby areas, the ground floor of the Palau provides a total surface area for exhibitions of 3,000m2 with direct external access.
The lobbies are located at different heights and in strategic areas such as the access to the Grand Auditorium and the Small Auditorium, and mostly face the sea, with panel-glass walls providing abundant light and breath-taking views of Palma Bay. These spaces are another great feature as their architectural beauty is accompanied by their functionality as an area for exhibitions, cocktails and coffee-breaks, group lunches or dinners, among others. The space alongside the Grand Auditorium measures 2,300m2, while the annex to the Small Auditorium measures 1,100m2. There is also another 1,000m2, space with a terrace which gives visitors a chance to enjoy the great weather in Palma overlooking the sea.
Maximum versatility and functionality is also on offer in the two smaller conference rooms on the upper floor with spectacular views of the bay, both of which can be divided into 8 totally independent spaces measuring 80m2 each, surrounded by large transit areas suitable for exhibitions and other events.
The Convention Centre is connected to the Meliá Palma Bay Hotel through its middle floor, symbolizing the bond between the convention facilities and the hotel, essential in a destination as popular as Palma de Mallorca.