DEUCE MAGAZINE 2007
Juan Carlos Checks Into Hotel Ferrero
US Open 2007
by James Buddell|
Step inside Hotel Ferrero...
The front door of the old cottage opens onto the feet of the Mariola Mountain; the sun lights the sky blue of the exterior. It is an ideal place to find peace, away from the hubbub of modern life.
Most people would keep the location a secret, for fear it would become a tourist trap upon their next visit. But its owner is different.
Juan Carlos Ferrero first visited the cottage with his coach Antonio Martinez in the summer of 2002 and eventually bought the property and land totaling 120,000 square metres in the Valencia municipal of Bocairente four years ago.
“My coach and I were thinking of doing something important after tennis so we started to think about hotels,” Ferrero explained. “We wanted something close to the [Juan Carlos Ferrero] academy. We looked for a long time and finally found an old house about 15 minutes away from the academy. It was perfect."
Credit for the find must go to Martinez, his coach since the age of 10, who “pushed” Ferrero into buying it.
Martinez said, “I spotted the cottage between Onteniente and Villena and always admired the house. I’d driven past it regularly for 25 years! Juan Carlos bought the property, but it took him about two years to become enthusiastic about it.”
Both were 100 per cent involved through every stage of the renovation.
Ferrero employed Luis Sendra, a local architect and friend, to give the Masia Can Giner a new life while protecting the original structure. Sendra had previously helped build a modern house in the Equelite-Juan Carlos Ferrero Tennis Academy in Villena, where Ferrero moved to train at the age of 14.
“We started building the new structure three years ago,” said Ferrero. “But if often had to stop for three or four months to make new rooms, as the planning permission for the re-building made the process very slow, very slow.”
While the Spaniard flew around the world, from tournament to tournament, Sendra took care of the construction and Carlos Sierra’s Estudio M de I shaped the interior with elaborate designs and decoration.
“It was impossible to use my experiences of staying in a lot of hotels during my tennis career,” said Ferrero. “It is a small hotel, but there were thousands of things to decorate. I decided on some things of course… little things!”
After three years of work and seven million euros of expenditure, Hotel Ferrero was opened to the public in early July 2007. Both Ferrero and Martinez were ecstatic. “We are really satisfied, it was beyond our expectations,” said Martinez.
Situated 50 minutes from Valencia, the hotel boasts 12 luxury suites of which six have a terrace and private Jacuzzi. Wood and stone materials complement the individual coloring of each suite that house plasma television screens in the bed and bathrooms.
Natural light seeps into the library in one of the hotel’s towers, while guests can also enjoy the swimming pool, spa and fitness room. In the evening two restaurants: El Gavarra and El Goku offer guests the opportunity to taste a variety of cuisine.
The hotel provides a perfect vista, whether it is from the well-kept gardens to the tennis or paddle courts. Prices vary from 250 to 990 euros per night, for the 90 square-meter Suite 24 that also includes a dressing room, fire place and a bath tub at the feet of the bed.It can also cater for up to 500-people events and in the near future Ferrero is thinking about holding a tennis exhibition.
He’d also like to link up with his other business interests, such as the Open de Tenis de la Comunidad Valenciana – an ATP tournament that kick-starts the start of the European clay-court season each April.
Of course Ferrero is still a fearsome competitor on the court. At 27 years of age he has no plans to hang up his racquets just yet, but he remains excited about his new business venture and possible future career path. For now though, Ferrero is keeping his cards close to his chest over his next project.
“I think the career of a tennis player is very short and of course we have to think in the future,” he wisely commented. “I don’t know what is next. My tournament in Valencia is very important to me – that is where I was born – and is also one of the important businesses I want to develop in the future.
“We are thinking of new projects, new business. Just thinking. Maybe we’ll plan for a big gym in Valencia, but we’ll see."
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