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  • Writer's pictureRaf De Greef

Why start a hotel in a historic building in Vélez-Rubio

Updated: Nov 6, 2023

Casa Rame, one of the most talked about historic buildings in Vélez-Rubio


First we briefly discover Vélez-Rubio

Vélez Rubio is a small agricultural municipality located in Almeria in a picturesque setting, surrounded by sierras, olive groves and fields of wheat. In short, the ideal base for tourists who love nature, walking, cycling and excursions and still want to enjoy the vibrant village life where all amenities are available.

Vélez-Rubio has dozens of bars and restaurants, several supermarkets, shops, pharmacists, doctors, schools (from kindergarten to secondary education), butchers, hairdressers, car workshops, builders' merchants, petrol stations, etc. ....

The Vélez-Rubio Museum is housed in the beautiful 18th century hospital 'Hospital Real' and has a fascinating exhibition of artefacts and ceramics from prehistory to Moorish times. Here we also find a section about the old cave paintings from the area.


The city's main monument is the beautiful Baroque church of La Encarnación, which is located on the square of the same name. The church was built in the 18th century. It has an imposing sculpted facade with the arms of the Marquises of Villafranca y Vélez, who built it. Inside, the main altar has a beautifully detailed, 20-meter-high carved wooden retablo.

Vélez-Rubio is another real Spanish municipality with a large Spanish community. As a result, you will still find delicious traditional tapas and dishes in the bar and restaurants. In addition, there are also many local festivities that are extensively celebrated.


Let's take a look at Casa Rame itself


The beautiful monumental building on Carrera del Carmen was rebuilt in 1904 by Diego Rame Cánovas, a man with an excellent and discerning taste. This is evident from the architectural design of the house as well as from the organization and the trees planted in its extensive and fantastic garden at the time. Imagine the rich decoration, crockery and other valuable objects that have enriched this mansion and that best and most clearly express the modernist influence in Vélez-Rubio.


The traditional style of domestic architecture, which was proportional, rational, symmetrical, simple and functional for the activity of the inhabitants, was perfectly adapted to the wealth and mentality of the 19th century potentates. At the beginning of the

However, in the 20th century, although this type of "stately" building was preserved in the majority, it underwent some sensitive transformations, which were not to everyone's taste. The external decoration and interior design in particular were detested by some. The house lost much of its original austerity. They broke with the straight line, the house was given more complicated shapes and ironwork around the door and finally it was enriched with color and decorative details.


The stairwell of what could become a luxury hotel in collaboration with Real Estate La Vida feliz
Staircase of Casa Rame in Vélez-Rubio

The generation that financed the "country houses" of the early years of the 20th century was not the generation that amassed the fortunes directly. There were only a few cases of new wealth accumulated through trade. Culturally, this generation is more educated and open to the fashion of the burgeoning 20th century and has more refined tastes. However, this social elite was immersed in its own class interests, so that new movements and ways of building were approached with some caution and only some ideas were adapted to a purely rural environment. The fact is that modernism, rather than a progressive style, is perfectly adapted to the representation of the luxury and power of the ruling classes of the time.


Develop a luxury hotel in Vélez-Rubio together with Real Estate La Vida feliz
One of the spacious, stylish rooms of Casa Rame in Vélez-Rubio

The symmetrical and striking facade of Diego Rame's mansion, the first with a modernist influence, consists of four floors. The balcony openings and the entrance doors are full of decorative elements. The wrought iron is twisted, wavy and finished with round or oval shapes. The joinery of the windows and balconies follows historical models. The eaves are tiled. The year of construction appears above the entrance. Inside, the stairs and decoration are the main features, leaving almost no empty space.


The stylish stairwell of Casa Rame in Vélez-Rubio
The stylish stairwell of Casa Rame in Vélez-Rubio

Even today, the mansion on Carrera del Carmen still captures the imagination of Vélez´-Rubio residents and visitors. And that is not surprising. As soon as you enter the building, you step into another time, another world. The stained glass work, the arched doors, the huge staircase that connects all floors in the center of the building. The old library where you can still find newspapers from 1933 and some paintings still hang on the wall. A prominent family clearly lived here and played an important role in Vélez-Rubio and perhaps beyond.

The beautiful library in Casa Rame in Vélez-Rubio
The beautiful library in Casa Rame in Vélez-Rubio

Travel one last time into the house at a time when it was at its most beautiful, at the beginning of the 20th century.


"The building is occupied by a lively family, the walls are decorated with paintings with natural and geometric themes and landscapes in abundance. The doors and shutters feature carved wood and the entrance combines iron with glass.

Central to the house are the oval main staircase and the columns with beautiful arches, which give the entrance a theatrical aspect. On the floors you will see a playful combination of colors, models and geometric figures. A glass gallery has been built at the back of the house overlooking a well-maintained garden with rose bushes, exotic plants, a fountain and various hedges that give the whole a playful impression. Children play in the garden, while the adults of the family enjoy being together in their beautiful lounge."


Now, be honest, isn't this a building that deserves to be restored and given a clear place within Vélez-Rubio again?


The project: "Starting a luxury hotel in a historic building in Vélez-Rubio"

During our last, recent visit to this historic building and a pleasant walk, with the owners of this building, by Vélez-Rubio, we were flooded with ideas and thoughts.

The only and biggest conclusion we could draw was: "It is a mortal sin to let such a beautiful historic building deteriorate. It must be restored to its former glory."

Soon, while eating delicious Spanish tapas on the terrace of a cozy bar at the foot of Iglesia de la Encarnacion, the thought came to mind that this should be a luxury hotel that takes you back in time.

With this beautiful, historic building you simply have all the assets at your disposal. You are in the center of a vibrant Spanish municipality, the wonderful weather, the building that attracts many curious people, the historic decor, the cellars of the building where a wellness center can easily be accommodated, the rooms that the building has, the adjacent and associated building where there is enough space for a professional kitchen, the enchanting garden that can be landscaped, the beautiful entrance hall, the spaces behind it where you can turn it into a coffee bar for both the guests and for the visitors and residents of Vélez -Rubio and which provide a beautiful view of the grand garden.

There were just too many thoughts to list.


Passage to the balcony with a beautiful view of the garden of Casa Rame in Vélez-Rubio
Passage to the balcony with a beautiful view of the garden of Casa Rame in Vélez-Rubio

How are we going to approach the start-up of a luxury hotel in Vélez-Rubio?

After discussions with the owners of this historic building, we have come under the influence of this building even more and we realize that both we at Real Estate La Vida Feliz and the owners want to restore the building to its former glory.

What is always the big problem with such projects is the large investment involved.

What is now known is that the municipality of Vélez-Rubio is behind the project to start a hotel in Vélez-Rubio and that subsidies can be applied for from the Junta Andalusía.

The first steps have already been taken!

We have a complete technical file on the condition of the building and are now in discussions with an architect to prepare a project of how we see the project.

Once this project is complete, we can have an estimate drawn up of the costs that will be incurred to restore the building to its former glory. Although the purchase of the building is not really a very expensive opportunity, the renovation of the building will be and we already suspect that the purchase + renovation will cost at least € 1,500,000. This is of course a very conservative, preliminary estimate.


A large room of Casa Rame in Vélez-Rubio of what could become a luxury hotel.
A large room of Casa Rame in Vélez-Rubio

After this, there are still many steps to go through, such as submitting the project to the municipality of Vélez-Rubio, drawing up a financial plan, drawing up a business plan, looking for qualified contractors, finding and determining the design and decoration of the hotel with the corresponding budget, and so much more. more for which will be drawn up after the restoration costs budget and step-by-step plan.


Our main concern for starting a luxury hotel in Vélez-Rubio

Of course, everyone knows that such large projects are not simply built. And certainly not financially.


What we at Real Estate La Vida feliz are looking for is a serious investor or a group of serious investors who dare to take on this challenge with us.

Are you an entrepreneur through and through? An entrepreneur who wants to take up the challenge of uniting authentic features of a historic building with modern elements so that you can work with us to create a beautiful hotel? A hotel in a vibrant Spanish municipality, where guests can be pampered and cared for down to the last detail?

Then a partnership with us and a visit to this historic building in Vélez-Rubio is definitely worthwhile.


Are you such an entrepreneur and would you like to know more about this historic building or would you like to discover the building with your own eyes? Please be sure to contact us by email at info@huisspanje.be or by telephone on the following numbers:

Nancy: +34 623 11 84 58 (NL - FR - EN)

Raf: +34 623 11 76 44 (NL - EN - ES - FR)


We look forward to meeting you, as a serious investor, to enable the start-up of a luxury hotel in this historic building in Vélez-Rubio.


Would you like to stay informed about the developments of this project? Then register on this blog and automatically stay informed about this ambitious and beautiful project.


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© 2022 - 2023 Real Estate La Vida Feliz - De Greef Raf
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