GIBRALTAR has moved one step closer to having a new five-star Hilton hotel as planning permission was filed for the site of the old Caleta Hotel.
The landmark Caleta, a four-star hotel built into the cliffs overlooking Catalan Bay, closed its doors on December 31 after almost 60 years and will be demolished to make way for the new Hilton.
Plans for the new hotel were filed by the Hilton Group last week at Gibraltar’s Development and Planning Commission and include designs for a 12 storey building that will include 166 rooms as well as a dining room, ballroom and Spa.
There will also be a terrace and outdoor pool area.
The new development will also include two luxury residential blocks flanking the new hotel. Plans for the north block show it will comprise 40 apartments over eight floors that will be earmarked for professional Gibraltarian families.
However, the south block will comprise 88 apartments and duplexes over 13 residential levels which will be open to those who seek to move to Gibraltar in the finance and gaming sectors. In this way, developers hope to boost investment on the Rock.
Once approved, the project is expected to take three and a half years to complete. It has the backing of the Gibraltar authorities who welcome Hilton as the second international hotel chain to invest on the Rock.
Caleta Hotel manager Bruno Callaghan said the changes were ‘bittersweet’, recalling that it was his grandfather who opened the original Caleta Palace on the site in 1964.
Since then, the hotel has always been run as a family business and has hosted events such as Miss Gibraltar and the International Chess Festival.
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