El Castillo, Ronda

Alvaro Siza Will Design Castillo 5 Star Hotel

In Ronda news today, Alvaro Joaquim de Melo Siza Vieira, internationally renowned architect from Portugal, and 1992 Pritzker prize winner, has been chosen as lead architect on Ronda’s newest hotel project, the 5 star El Castillo hotel in Plaza Duquesa de Parcent.

Alvaro Siza was in Ronda on Friday to meet with the mayor and other interested parties, and to hear opinions on what the new hotel should do for Ronda. As well he presented a conceptual idea of his design, though planning consent is still underway and construction unlikely to begin until at least 2012 assuming the new zoning plan for Ronda’s Casgo Antiguo is approved by the Junta de Andalucía this year.

The new hotel, at this stage to be known as “El Castillo Ronda” takes in all of the land, buildings, and original castle foundations of the old boys school in Plaza Duquesa de Parcent. It will comprise over 200 five star rooms and a conference centre for over 2000 delegates.

The project is expected to cost 50 million Euros, and will also include the church of María Auxiliadora which will house a public spa and a new tourism office. A new public carpark will also be built to help relieve parking problems in the city.

The original castle is Roman in origin, but was completely rebuilt in Moorish times as Ronda’s Alcazaba (military citadel), and following the reconquest by Christian Spain became the military headquarters of Spain’s imperial armies in Ronda until the Napoleonic invasion, at which time the entire structure was destroyed to prevent Spanish nationalists taking and holding Ronda.

Readers of Ronda Today may recall we reported on the ongoing dispute between the owners of the Casa del Rey Moro and the town hall over plans to build a smaller five star hotel within the palace, so the timing of this announcement raises eyebrows.