Les Roches Marbella: training the future leaders of Luxury Hospitality and Tourism


As a resort city, Marbella is itself a live, real-world hotel and tourism management classroom. This unique characteristic offers the perfect context for Les Roches to develop its high-tech learning environment. Situated on a campus that hosts students of more than 90 nationalities, they all share a common goal: to be future leaders in the hospitality, tourism, and luxury industries.

The choice is not arbitrary. Les Roches is one of the best hospitality management schools in the world, ranked Top 3 (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2020) and is considered a benchmark for talent recruitment by the best hotel chains and hospitality establishments worldwide. Les Roches is, in fact, one of the few European university institutions (and the only School of Hotel Management in Spain) that receives academic accreditation from NECHE (New England Commission of Higher Education), the same association that validates degrees from top U.S. colleges like Harvard, MIT, and Yale.

The key to Les Roches’ academic excellence lies in its unique educational model, which goes beyond the traditional university experience. Les Roches Marbella has two great differential values: to provide an unbeatable combination between the Swiss hospitality tradition and the effectiveness of the North American educational system within a Mediterranean resort environment like Marbella. Les Roches offers university programs that combine theory and practice within a modern campus that simulates a real-world hotel establishment, while fomenting interpersonal skills such as multilingualism and sports. 

The institution also has a highly trained and qualified faculty from all over the world who teach in state-of-the-art facilities that encourage student involvement and interaction. From the first day, students begin learning about the work necessary to manage a hotel through both academic courses and practical arts training. This combination is proven successful and instills in them a sense of responsibility and empowerment that will guide them in their future careers.  

Les Roches Marbella: training the future leaders of Luxury Hospitality and Tourism 1

Les Roches has established its own seal of quality, one that crosses borders and which today is known throughout the hospitality industry. In fact, each semester, over 100 international hotel, tourism, and luxury companies recruit talent among Les Roches students. Graduates receive an average of four job offers upon graduation. In the words of its Managing Director, Carlos Díez de la Lastra “at Les Roches Marbella we respond to the strong demand for talent that exists in the sector, and to the increasingly complex needs of the hospitality industry, which requires highly competitive professionals, capable of making the traditional concept of tourism evolve, and to provide a transformative vision while preserving the culture of service and respect for the client, the essence of hospitality”.

To achieve this, Les Roches offers a range of innovative programs, including undergraduate and postgraduate degrees as well as a series of master’s in hospitality management.

A complete hospitality education roster

One of its most demanded programs is the 3.5-year Bachelor of Business Administration in Global Hospitality Management, which combines academic theory and experiential learning with two professional internship periods, and which provides a comprehensive education and global experience that is highly valued by the industry. The program also offers various BBA specializations, including Resort Development and Management, Digital Marketing Strategies, Hospitality Entrepreneurship and Hotel Financial Performance Management; which makes it an investment not only for those who wish to lead the hospitality sector, but also trains students for a wide range of operational careers that span across many sectors.

In addition, there is a renewed offer of master’s degrees: the Master’s in International Hotel Management, which builds on the successful postgraduate program that has trained many hotel leaders for the last 15 years, the Master’s in Marketing & Management for Luxury Tourism and the Executive Master’s in International Hotel Management (for working professionals). These graduate programs are meticulously designed to equip students with the best technical, operational, and technological tools with the objective of exposing them to a real-world managerial environment.

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Les Roches leads the future of hospitality education

As a novelty, the “Global Talent Development” portfolio completes Les Roches’ academic offer, a compilation of exclusive learning opportunities, aimed at professionals in the hotel sector, the experience economy, and other customer-focused segments. The course offers a range of subjects available to individuals and companies, divided into twelve thematic areas (finance, marketing, innovation, leadership, et al), and taught in mixed modules designed with the necessary flexibility to adapt to a busy pace of life. Also, an elite preparation, with outlined programs, a transformative approach, an entrepreneurial mindset, and a global perspective, to which a strong commitment to technology has now been added.

An example of this is “Connect”, an academic program based on the “phygital” experience that merges online and offline learning by combining 10 weeks of remote learning with 10 weeks of classroom attendance on campus. Through this system, students receive personalized advice, videos and online tutorials, and even attend wine tastings and guided tours of wineries to discover the origins of oenology, and sessions with hotel managers to learn about the challenges they face daily in their management. 

“At Les Roches we want to lead education 3.0. We are committed to a hospitality education that contemplates the sustainable integration of the transformative face-to-face experience that has always distinguished us with digital learning solutions and new technologies in the study plans. This integration includes smart campuses, virtual practices, big data, AI, and solutions based on ‘gamification’”. We understand that the application of Artificial Intelligence will not only make learning more effective but will help teachers to perform their tasks in a much more competent way.

This is a large-scale challenge that involves teachers, experts, and even brands in an alternative learning process, capable of interacting successfully and ensuring teaching that not only shapes the future reality of the hospitality industry, but also enables them to be innovative assets of the current model.

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