Pilot at Santa Ana Hostal in Cordoba

WHO IS THE CREATIVE/ARTIST individual/company that carried out this break-in action?

An international group of 12 artists with different background in filmmaking, sculpture, painting, photography, theatre and visual sectors that were selected to take part in one-week pilot session (5 – 11 March) and to work in teams of 4 people under the supervision of expert facilitators.

WHO IS THE EMPLOYER who benefited from it?    

Santa Ana Hostal, a private company, is a small hotel based in the old city of Cordoba owned by 3 brothers offering inexpensive, warm and welcoming services to their guests.

Santa Ana Hostal has 18 rooms, mainly double and triple rooms, one family room, a breakfast room and a beautiful solarium on the roof.

Clients can make reservations through Booking, Expedia and Hostal world.                                                       

WHAT was the CHALLENGE?                                                  

The hotel faces several problems:

  • the length of the stay is too short (1.8 days on average);
  • except for the period from April to May when the hotel is fully booked, there are very few bookings during the rest of the year.


Rafael Oliva, the owner of the hotel, thinks that the main cause is the inability of the city government to promote the local heritage effectively enough to attract many tourists.

The challenge is to explore how, from an internal point of view, artists could improve the attractivity of the hotel and its visibility, offering a unique experience compared to its competitors or how they could change future and past guests’ vision of the hotel.

WHAT was the GOAL?

The goal was to train artists on how to plan and present their artistic intervention proposal working on the Break-in methodology clearly explained in this handbook.

The pilot week gave artists the opportunity to test the process to plan and develop a break-in action and to analyse the impact of such a creative process on the organisation.

WHICH break-in action was presented?

Artists explored and offered solutions to the problem by using their creativity and helped the family owners to change their perspective. The four proposals presented were incomplete given the short time available but they succeeded in making the owner aware of new ideas and a new approach for future improvements and positive changes. At the end of the presentations, Rafael, the owner, stated his sincere interest in accepting all proposals and trying to “…change my approach to guests starting from tomorrow morning and be more empathic and friendly!”.

The 4 Break-in actions focused on improving the attractiveness of the hotel to tourists:

  • 1. Los Patios de todo el mundo: guests bring the seeds of a typical plant from their country to be planted in the hotel
  • 2. Tree sculpture + World Map: a collaborative installation made with the contribution of guests
  • 3. Little things for big changes: a performative process to empathise with different kinds of guests
  • 4. Hospitality revitalised: a photographic enrichment including the photos of Rafael’s family and guests shot in the city of Cordoba


Artists learned how to plan and develop a Break-in Action in a private company.

The Each of the proposals were developed using a  different creative process providing solutions and new ideas to change and improve.

It was very challenging for them to meet the expectations of the owner, Rafael, who, inspired by the artists, expressed his enthusiasm and willingness to innovate his business perspective.