10 great new hotels in Latin America and the Caribbean
Buenos Aires Grand, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Opening in October 2012, Buenos Aires Grand is located in the city’s posh Recoleta neighborhood. It appears poised to become the city’s hippest new hotel.
The bright outdoor terrace, pretty rooftop pool and hip-looking lobby bar at least seem to auger an attention-getting launch.
Room niceties include Nespresso coffeemakers, 40-inch plasma TVs and rain showerheads.
Reserve rooms in October to take advantage of special grand opening offers.
Av. Las Heras 1745, Buenos Aires; +54 11 4372 8700; prices unavailable at time of publication; www.buenosairesgrand.com
Holiday Inn Express Maceio Ponta Verde, Maceió, Brazil
This comfortable, affordable new offering from the Intercontinental Hotels Group group is just one of the brand’s 13 hotels throughout Brazil, with five more scheduled over the next two years.
This one makes its home in charming Maceió, a popular tourist destination surrounded by beaches and lagoons.
The hotel is equally convenient to the Ruth Cardoso Convention Center and a number of area attractions, including the Museu Théo Brandão folklore museum and EcoPark Aquático water park.
Rua Gaspar Ferrari, 175 Ponta Verde, Maceio; +55 82 3194 1000; from US$90; www.hiexpress.com
Hangaroa Eco Village & Spa, Isla de Pascua, Chile
September 2012 marked the opening of Chile’s first fully sustainable hotel, and it’s clear that the creators of this 75-room glam shelter looked to the Earth for inspiration.
Design materials include grass, clay, wood, volcanic rock and cypress tree trunks, allowing the property to blend into its environment, which just happens to be one of the most remote inhabited islands on the planet.
Energy-saving efforts consist of a water filtration system, waste recycling programs, regionally sourced food and a staff that’s more than 75 percent local.
Av. Pont S/N Hangaroa, Isla de Pascua; + 56 2 957 0300; from US$1,229 for two nights; www.hangaroa.cl
Riu Palace Macao, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Couples alert: This sprawling lodging overlooking the Caribbean and Arena Gorda beach is RIU’s first adults-only accommodation in the Americas.
It reopened in August after a $14 million makeover that includes a bonus pool and swim-up bar, coffee shop and patisserie and new furniture, linens, TVs and showers in all of its 364 rooms.
On-site activities include everything from windsurfing to ping pong, and are included in the all-inclusive fee.
Still to come, for those of who feel the need to get some work done while on vacation (we won’t call you a loser -- we’ll leave that for the exasperated person you came with), is free Wi-Fi in all rooms and lobby.
Playa de Arena Gorda, Punta Cana; +809 687 4242; US$180-300; www.riu.com
Las Verandas Hotel and Villas, Roatan, Honduras
Opened in August 2012, this 400-acre resort on the pretty island of Roatan has an 18-hole golf course designed by the legendary Pete Dye.
Golf isn’t the only game in town. The world’s second largest barrier reef draws divers to Roatan from near and far.
The 36 luxury rooms and suites offer golf course or ocean views. There are also 11 freestanding villas, several with their own private infinity-edge swimming pool.
Roatan Island; + 855 224 6620; US$300-925; www.las-verandas.com
JW Marriott Mexico City, Santa Fe, Mexico City
In a city with a population of more than 19 million, it’s nice to retreat to a property as stylish as this new entry from Marriott.
World-class design is highlighted by artworks commissioned for the hotel from artists like Carlos García de la Nuez and Jan Hendrix.
There’s a 24-hour fitness center, temperature-controlled outdoor pool, spa with separate men’s and women’s lounges and an upscale Italian restaurant featuring the wines and cuisine of the Piemonte region.
Av. Santa Fe 160, Col. Santa Fe, Mexico City; + 52 55 5292 7272; from US$180 per night; www.marriott.com
Westin Playa Bonita, Panama City, Panama
Visitors to Panama City can get a beach fix at this recently opened $100 million high-end resort 15 minutes from downtown, where views from rooms are either of the surrounding rainforest canopy or the slow-moving flotilla of ships lining up for the Panama Canal.
The massive new spa (not open as of this writing, set to open soon) includes three vitality pools, a eucalyptus spa imported from Finland and something called a pediluvio that soothes and exfoliates your feet as you walk a path of smoothed river stones lined with jets of pulsating water.
Two greenhouses supply the hotel’s multiple restaurants and bars with tomatoes, melons, peppers, anise and mint.
Kilometer 6 Camino a Veracruz, Panama City; +507 3 04 6600; US$190-470 per night; www.westinplayabonita.com
Casa Andina Select Miraflores, Lima, Peru
Anyone doing business in Lima will want to take note of this months-old Peruvian-owned corporate hotel in the city’s Miraflores district, which encompasses everything from modern office towers to pre-Inca ruins.
In addition to three meeting spaces, you’ll find a business center with computer work stations and secretarial support.
Guests can take advantage of an on-site spa, sun terrace and rooftop whirlpool.
Calle Schell 452, Miraflores; +1 866 990 9491; US$105-215; www.preferredhotelgroup.com
Beach House, Grace Bay, Turks and Caicos
Elegant and intimate.
Those two words describe this new boutique hotel (formerly the Turks and Caicos Club) launching in October along beautiful Grace Bay Beach.
All 21 suites measure more than 300 square meters and boast a light, airy decor reflective of their island address.
Cuisine is important here, with locally sourced items, extensive wine list and impromptu tastings served both tableside and surfside.
218 Lower Bight Road, Providenciales; +649 946 5800; from US$400 per night; www.beachhousetci.com
Sofitel Montevideo Casino Carrasco and Spa, Montevideo, Uruguay
Harkening to one of those famed, old Monte Carlo casinos, Sofitel’s first hotel in Uruguay is set to debut in December 2012 after an extensive two-year renovation that required on-site consultation from Vatican experts to ensure its every fresco and gilding was restored to the property’s original 1912 glory.
New features include a spa, French restaurant, tea gallery and three-story Opera Suite with butler service and breakfast included.
Rambla Republica de Mexico sn, Montevideo; +55 11 5547 8007; US$225-650 per night; www.sofitel.com
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