First Of Its Kind

A resort like no other, intu Costa del Sol is set to redefine the model of the retail destination and become an extraordinary place where even the most demanding of guests meet the most exciting experiences. Here, RLI sits down with Ian Sandford, Project Director to learn more about this fascinating scheme.

Bringing together the best in latest global trends, thinking, innovation, hospitality and content, intu Costa del Sol is an entirely new type of global resort, designed to ensure that every single visitor is able to create lifelong memories from their visit. The 800M euros project is ideally located in one of the most stunning, ready-made tourist attractions – the Andalusian coastline in Spain, in the north of Torremolinos (Malaga). Set to open in 2023, it aims to be at the forefront of sustainability – one that is committed to improving and enriching people’s daily lives, society and environment. “Our integrated approach across multiple different services, elements and uses means that it is impossible to label this project, we’ve had to re-write the book,” explains Ian Sandford, the Project Director of intu Costa del Sol.

“Combining everything within an environment incorporating natural elements, and providing end-to-end entertainment from the moment the guest decides to visit the scheme, through to the moment they share stories afterwards with their friends and family, will be key to our success.” As part of a bespoke design across 235,000sq m GLA there will be over 20 different leisure and hospitality operators, plus an array of different F&B concepts positioned around the resort, igniting the senses in more than 70 restaurants. Guests can also enjoy a range of adrenaline-filled activities, relax in the cinema complex, be entertained in the 5,000- seat concert venue or take in the 365-days-a-year show programme (day and night).

They can even blow off steam on a 400sq m ice rink, immerse themselves in reimagined classic games including e-gaming and virtual reality and enjoy the tranquil setting of the aquarium or the family-themed circus venue. After all that, they can then retire to the international grade hotel to recharge for the next day. “Different environments and particularly our eight distinct ‘neighbourhoods’ will provide different atmospheres, different gastronomic experiences, world-class events and services, all set in and around curated natural gardens and environments wrapping every part of the resort,” explains Sandford.

When it comes to the retail element itself, Sandford says to expect the unexpected! Representing the future with its unique mix of tenants and concepts in an unforgettable location, intu are already in advanced negotiations with over 50 brands. As a team, intu has a strong commitment to create richer, happier communities through the delivery of this project. With its framework of biophilic design, sustainability and transport in multiple different forms, the company aims to create the most sustainable space ever seen in the world in Costa del Sol. So what does Sandford feel will differentiate intu Costa del Sol from other developments?