InterContinental Hotels Group (IHG) will expand its presence in Europe with the opening of a new Crowne Plaza brand hotel in Barcelona, the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Center.

The new hotel, which will represent the first Crowne Plaza property in the region, is part of a franchise agreement signed with Hotel Fira and will open during the first quarter of 2014 .

Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Center has 276 rooms, 3,000m² of meeting space including conference and meeting facilities, as well as a new Wellness Centre, fitness room and VIP club lounge.

Located in the city centre, the hotel is close to the Fira Barcelona Convention Center next to Plaza Espana Square.

IHG Spain and Portugal development director Hylko Versteeg said that Barcelona is a key city for the group in Europe and the Crowne Plaza brand is the right fit for the area.

"Hotel Fira is the perfect partner to help IHG continue to grow in Spain."

"The property’s fantastic facilities and central location will provide the hotel with a competitive advantage and Hotel Fira S.A.U is the perfect partner to help IHG continue to grow in Spain," Versteeg added.

Hotel Fira managing director Enrique Escofet said, "Being part of the Crowne Plaza brand fosters reliability and consistency in the international hotel market, which will not only benefit our hotel guests, but also Barcelona as a destination for business and tourism."

IHG has over 600 hotels in Europe under brands such as InterContinental Hotels & Resorts, Holiday Inn and Holiday Inn Express.

Currently, the group operates 82 Crowne Plaza Properties in Europe, and also has 12 additional properties in the pipeline expected to open during the next three to five years.