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Burgeoning economy results in active hotel market.
Brazil isn’t the only country in Latin America that is coming into its own
as major business and cultural center. Colombia and Ecuador are rising
on the tide, and perennial favorites like Costa Rica, Peru and Argentina
are enjoying the tourism lift as well. Hotel companies are chomping at
the bit to take advantage of these burgeoning markets, with some
industry firsts coming to the fore: an all-inclusive Westin property in
Costa Rica, Rezidor making a stylish entry in Brazil and Sofitel breaking
into the market in Ecuador. Here are the highlights…
Westin Resort & Spa, Playa Conchal (Playa Conchal, Costa
Rica)—Starwood introduced its first all-inclusive resort in
May: the family-friendly beachfront
Westin Resort & Spa in Playa Conchal
at the former Paradisus Playa Con-
chal. There are 406 guest rooms in
thatched-roof bungalows on property,
plus, golf by Robert Trent Jones II.
Casamar Marriott Panama Resort (San Carlos, Panama)—This five-star resort within the
master-planned resort community of Casamar on
Panama’s Pacific Coast is set to open in 2013.
Situated on the beach, the hotel will have 180
guest rooms, a free-form pool, spa, restaurants,
in addition to the community’s stand-alone restaurants, retail spots, sports club and more.
Sonesta’s first hotel
in Ecuador opened in
June with 112 hotel
rooms in Guayaquil,
the country’s largest city and the gateway to
the Galapagos Islands.
Hilton Bogota (Bogota, Colombia)
—This hotel in the heart of Bogota near the
city’s entertainment, cultural and financial hubs
is set to open in March with 245 hotel rooms. A
fitness center, lobby bar overlooking a heated
outdoor lap pool, and restaurant are among the
The Panamera (Panama City, Panama)—This luxurious
Waldorf Astoria property will open next June in the heart
of Panama City with 130 hotel rooms and 188 apartments. A lounge bar, sushi bar, swimming pool, gym,
spa and art café galleries will be among the on-site
amenities, with all of Panama City’s dining, shopping and
entertainment venues just steps away.
Sheraton Bijao Beach Resort (Santa Clara,
Panama)—At press time, this all-inclusive resort
was scheduled to open in November with 294 guest
rooms on a sprawling Pacific Ocean beach. The fam-
ily-friendly hotel has a kids’ club, game room, spa,
gym, tennis and beach volleyball courts, watersports,
swimming pool, karaoke and more, with golf nearby.
Cartagena Marriot Hotel (Cartagena de Indias, Colombia)—The 278-room Cartagena
Marriott Hotel will open in 2014 as the brand’s third hotel in Colombia in the Boca-grande neighborhood of Cartagena, whose historic city center is an UNESCO World
Heritage site and sits directly on the Caribbean.
Pullman Sao Paulo Ibirapuera (Sao Paulo, Brazil)—This property marks the debut of Pullman
in Brazil. Located next to Ibirapuera Park (site of
the Museum of Modern Art and Art Biennial), the
hotel is steps from Jardins, Itaim, Moema and
Vila Olimpia, and with easy access to Paulista,
Ibirapuera and Iguatemi shopping centers.
Westin Lima Hotel & Convention Center (Lima,
Peru)—The first Westin hotel to open in South
America, this 301-room hotel debuted in May in the
San Isidro section of Lima, the city’s financial and
shopping areas, as a notable new addition to the
city’s skyline. For business, the hotel has the largest
meeting and convention facility in Peru, which is
also a great venue for weddings and social events.
Hotel Missoni Ilha de Cajaiba (Cajaiba, Brazil)—
The Rezidor Hotel Group will mark its entrance
in Brazil with the 2012 opening of this 118-room
hotel. The luxurious, eco-friendly hotel will be in
the resort development on the island of Cajaiba,
with a private beach, swimming pool, golf, a
sports center, marina, retail and heliport.
InterContinental Nordelta Tigre (Buenos Aires, Argentina)—
Uniquely located in Buenos Aires’ master-planned community,
Nordelta (a village of restaurants, residences and shops), this
modern hotel opened in July with 149 guest
rooms, a spa, fitness center, indoor and
outdoor pools, two restaurants and a bar.
A marina and watersports at Rio Lujan,
plus an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus-designed
golf course, are all close at hand.
JW Marriott Hotel Cusco (Cusco, Peru)—Next year will see the
debut of this luxury property in Cusco at the entry to Machu
Picchu. The 153-room hotel will be built around a colonial
church with a design influenced by Inca heritage and the Inca
artifacts that have been found on the site.
Amenities will include a spa, restaurant
and lounge, and the hotel will be the first
Marriott property to have in-room
supplemental oxygen systems to help
guests manage the high altitude.