Top New Hotels in the Caribbean, Central & South America for Meetings and EventsDecember 30, 2013 By: Joe Pike, Jena Tesse Fox
For our final look at notable recent hotel openings for top-tier meetings and events around the world, here are a few selections from the Caribbean and Central & South America.
The 320-room Ritz-Carlton, Aruba resort opened last month. Amenities include four restaurants, a 15-treatment room Ritz-Carlton Spa, two swimming pools, a 24-hour casino, one of the largest state-of-the-art meeting facilities in Aruba, and the white-sand beaches and turquoise waters of the Caribbean.
For meetings and events, The Ritz-Carlton, Aruba has indoor and outdoor venues, including a 7,500 square foot ballroom divisible into three salons, a 600-square-foot Executive boardroom, two meeting rooms and several outdoor locations, including poolside decks, lawns and a beachfront reception area.
Bonus: Meeting facilities at the resort are environmentally-friendly, employing a range of green practices.
There are 55 suites that include Deluxe, Executive and Parlor Suites providing one-and-a-half baths, a living room and boutique bath amenities. Two Ritz-Carlton Suites deliver panoramic ocean views and rooms as expansive as they are elegant, distinguished by a master bedroom, a living room and a private balcony facing the sea with outdoor showers.
Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao
Curacao’s premier luxury resort, Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, formerly known as Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina, opened in January.
As the latest installment to join the Benchmark Hospitality International family, a partner of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, the resort is the focal point of the 1,500-acre Santa Barbara Plantation community. The 350-room beachfront resort encompasses Old Quarry by Pete Dye, the island’s only 18-hole championship golf course; Atabei Spa, an eco-friendly holistic retreat inspired by the island’s ancient traditions and rituals; as well as a full-service marina.
The hotel has several indoor and outdoor meeting spaces covering more than 38,000 square feet, but the largest (and, reportedly, the largest on the island) is the Arawak Ballroom and Terrace, which sprawls out over 5,760 square feet. The ballroom can accommodate more than 250 attendees for a formal banquet or 500 for a reception. The ballroom can also be divided into as many as five sections, making it flexible for groups of varying sizes and needs. Adjoining the ballroom are the Arawak pre-function area and terrace.
All 350 guest rooms, ranging from double, king and junior suites to VIP, executive and presidential suites, have views of either Spanish Water Bay or the Caribbean Sea. A private enclave of three beach bungalows is also available.
Best Western Premier Petion-Ville, Haiti
The opening of the 106-room Best Western Premier Petion-Ville marks the first U.S. branded full-service hotel to open in Haiti.
The hotel is in the business area north of Port-au-Prince and provides lodging and meeting space for financial and government institutions, humanitarian organizations, non-government organizations, and business and leisure travelers visiting the country.
The hotel has 2,500 square feet of meeting space and can accommodate board meetings for six people or larger events for up to 200 guests. (The grand ballroom measures 1,432 square feet.) High-speed Wi-Fi is complimentary throughout the business areas.
Occidental Royal Oasis, Haiti
In January, Occidental Hotels and Resorts opened the Occidental Royal Oasis in Petion-Ville, Haiti. Occidental Vacation Club, a division of Occidental Hotels and Resorts, will be an important component that allows members to visit yet another destination included in their membership.
The property covers three acres in the heart of Petion-Ville, formerly an upscale residential suburb which has now gradually evolved to become Haiti’s most important business and commercial hub. Located in one of the area’s safest and most desirable neighborhoods, the Royal Oasis is earthquake resistant and hurricane proof. The largest hotel in Haiti has 128 upscale rooms and is just a 30-minute drive from Port-au-Prince International Airport.
The hotel has two Ballrooms that can accommodate up to 300 people, and three small meeting rooms for up to 10 people. Even better, a 1,200 square meter convention center is scheduled to open nearby next year.
JW Marriott Cusco, Peru
This summer, Marriott International opened the JW Marriott Cusco at an altitude of 11,154 feet above sea level in the South American Andes.
The new-build, six-floor, landmark hotel in Peru offers 153 guest rooms, a three-meal-a-day restaurant, signature specialty bar and lounge, full-service spa and meeting space for up to 130 clients, all steps away from historical sites that date back to the 13th century and right on the grounds of a colonial monastery.
Suitable for small corporate retreats, the hotel's largest event space is the 1,442-square-foot Panaka Meeting room, with a maximum capacity of 130. Other venues include the Gallery Courtyard (872 square feet), Training Room 1 (265 square feet) Training Room 2 and the Boardroom (201 square feet). The hotel can accommodate up to 120 for a cocktail reception or 100 seated theater-style.
Wyndham Guayaquil Hotel
Wyndham Hotel Group opened the 179-room Wyndham Guayaquil in Ecuador this summer, marking the introduction of the Wyndham Hotels and Resorts brand in the South American country.
Located downtown on the waterfront, the new Wyndham hotel has a ballroom that can accommodate up to 600 people as well as four meeting rooms for up to to 30 people.