As Spanish conquests of America go, the recent invasion of the Big Apple by three of Spain’s largest hotel companies has been a lot quieter and substantially less hostile than the land grabs by the conquistadors of old. Yet the moves have been swift and aggressive. Within a three-month period earlier this year, Melia Hotels International, Riu Hotels & Resorts and Iberostar Hotels & Resorts all planted their first flags in New York. With the trio of properties totaling almost 1,200 rooms, the hoteliers are looking at the most lucrative U.S. market as a beachhead from which to expand further into North America and outside their comfort zone: tropical, all-inclusive resorts. Riu opened the $310 million Hotel Riu Plaza Times Square in March. A block west of Times Square, the property features a high-ceilinged lobby and massive windows that offer skyline views. A few weeks later, Melia made its New York debut with the Innside New York NoMad (NoMad stands for North of Madison Square Park, the trendy Chelsea neighborhood that’s home to Redbury and Edition). With an indie-chic, whimsical vibe; this new boutique hotel sports a celebrity-chef-helmed restaurant — the Impero Caffe by Scott Conant of Food Network and Scarpetta restaurant fame. Least conspicuous of the three is Iberostar, which debuted its U.S. operations on June 15 when it opened its 70 Park Avenue, a 205-room Murray Hill property that is located in a largely residential neighborhood, with a smaller, quiet lobby resembling an entrance to a private apartment building more than that of a busy hotel. To read more at Travel Weekly, click here.