Homeland Caribbean

  • The Wyndham Sugar Bay Beach Club & Resort on St. Thomas, U.S.V.I., is putting the finishing touches on a $1 million, 10,000-square-foot spa. The project's completion marks the final phase of Sugar Bay's $7.5 million renovation. The 300-room property has 15,600 square feet of indoor meeting and function space, including a 112-seat amphitheater.

  • Puerto Rico's first all-inclusive resort, the 500-room Paradisus Sol Meliá Resort, is expected to open in December 2002 in Rio Grande.

  • Fairmont Hotels and Resorts has a 400-room resort under construction 25 miles east of San Juan, with a projected opening of fall 2003. The $140 million project will include 30,000 square feet of meeting space.

  • At Westin Rio Mar Beach, there are 58 new oceanfront villas near the 16th hole of its Tom and George Fazio Ocean Course, with a private reception area.

  • The Caribe Hilton has opened the island's first beachfront spa. The 12,000-square-foot facility has 15 treatment rooms.

  • In 2001, the San Juan Marriott Resort and Stellaris Casino renovated the 125-room Cabana Wing; the project followed the refurbishment of 15 suites, six meeting rooms, a 7,000-square foot ballroom, the lobby, and a fitness facility.

Island Hopping

  • The 235-room Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay, Bahamas, is under construction. Opening is projected for early 2003, with a championship golf course and a full-service spa.

  • With a $42 million renovation finishing up, the 965-room Resort and Casino at Bahamia is the first dual-branded property in the Bahamas. The Tower will be a Crowne Plaza; the Country Club will become a Holiday Inn Sunspree. The property has 38,422 square feet of function space.

  • British Colonial Hilton Nassau, Bahamas, has added a 3,200-square-foot spa with seven treatment rooms.

  • Grand Bahamas' $400 million Our Lucaya resort was completed in December 2000, with 1,350 guest rooms, 40,000 square feet of meeting space, 50,000 square feet of outdoor function space, two 18-hole golf courses, a spa, and 14 restaurants.

  • Bermuda's The Reef has undergone a $5 million renovation, adding 11 suites and doubling the size of the pool area.

  • The Sherbourne Conference Centre in Barbados added several features in early 2001: a business center with Internet access, an executive hospitality lounge, and a gazebo for outdoor functions.

  • On St. Maarten, the 180-suite Sapphire Beach Club began flying the Wyndham flag on December 1.

  • The Westin Casuarina Resort on Cayman Islands' Seven Mile Beach opened a spa in November.

  • The Wyndham Aruba Beach Resort & Casino, Aruba, has completed a $1 million renovation of its public areas, including its Palm Beach Ballroom and new lobby bar.

  • The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman, is expected to open midyear. The 366-room resort will have a nine-hole golf course and full-service spa, as well as 17,450 square feet of meeting space.

  • On the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, the 496-room Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus was expected to open at the end of 2001.

  • Jamaica's former Ciboney Resort is now the Beaches Grande Sport at Ciboney. The all-inclusive, adults-only resort includes a ballroom and pavilion that can host up to 400 guests.

The Americas

  • Just south of Cancun, the 424-room Iberostar Paraiso Beach Hotel and the 390-room Iberostar Paraiso del Mar opened in early 2001. The all-inclusive resorts share a mile-long beach and offer a conference center and ballroom for up to 190 guests.

  • The 450-room JW Marriott Cancun Resort and Spa opened in mid-2001, a skywalk away from its sister property, the Marriott CasaMagna Cancun.

  • With the addition of the Paradisus Riviera Cancun, Sol Meliá Hotels & Resorts will have 11 properties in Mexico. The Paradisus, an all-inclusive beach resort, will offer 500 rooms, spa facilities, six restaurants, and a 9,000-square-foot ballroom that will hold 950 people.

  • In other Sol Meliá news, the Meliá Mexico Reforma in Mexico City has completed an $8 million expansion and renovation. The property offers 448 rooms and 38,346 square feet of meeting space.

  • In Argentina's wine country, the five-star, 185-room Park Hyatt Mendoza & Regency Casino opened in June. Retaining a bit of Mendoza history in the heart of the main business district, the property retains the façade of the 19th century Plaza Hotel. The new seven-story facility offers a 3,022-square-foot grand ballroom, four additional meeting rooms, and telecommunications equipment.

Yankees and More

  • Wildwood, N.J.'s new $68 million oceanfront convention center is on track to open in May. The Wildwoods Convention Center, on the Garden State's southernmost barrier island, puts 75,000 square feet of unobstructed exhibit space on the beach. The facility also features an 11,700-square-foot ballroom.

  • New York's Metropolitan Hotel (formerly Loews New York Hotel) opened its “Tech Den” last summer, where guests can connect to the Internet via tabletop dataports and order a bite to eat or office supplies off the menu.

  • In Tarrytown, N.Y., Dolce Tarrytown House completed an expansion last summer that added a new lobby and 61 guest rooms, bringing the total to 209.

  • New Castle hotels has taken over management of the Queensbury Hotel, a 75-year-old landmark property in Glens Falls, N.Y.

  • Mohegan Sun Casino and Resort, Uncasville, Conn., is undergoing a $960 million expansion that will add 2,550 slot machines, 80 table games, nine restaurants and lounges, a 1,200-room luxury hotel, a 100,000-square-foot convention center, the Mohegan Sun Arena with seating for 10,000 attendees, and about 130,000 square feet of retail space. The Casino of the Sky, Shops at Mohegan Sun, and the Mohegan Sun Arena opened in the fall. The hotel and convention space are slated to open in April.

Meet New England

  • In Boston, the contemporary 190-room Nine Zero Hotel is under construction, with completion expected this spring.

  • Construction is expected to begin in March on the 168-room luxury waterfront Tudor Wharf Hotel, one block west of the USS Constitution in Boston.

  • Boston's second Ritz-Carlton hotel, the 193-room Ritz-Carlton, Boston Common, opened in the fall. The city's original 1927 Ritz is closed for renovations, expected to reopen this fall.

  • Loews Hotels has plans to break ground this month on a 427-room hotel in Boston's theater district. The 395-room property will have approximately 22,500 square feet of meeting space, and a pool and fitness facility.

  • The 1,214-room Sheraton Boston Hotel & Towers has completed its 11,000-square-foot Back Bay Ball-room, as part of a $100 million renovation. The Sheraton's meeting space now exceeds 70,000 square feet.

  • The Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club in Brewster, Mass., on Cape Cod, has added 88 executive suites that overlook the golf course, bringing the total room count to almost 400. The resort also has 14 meeting rooms and 10,000 square feet of exhibit space.

  • The 250-room Center of New Hampshire Holiday Inn and Convention Center in Manchester has 30,000 square feet of exhibit space and five meeting rooms. The hotel itself has 20 breakout rooms and a ballroom.

  • In Lenox, Mass., Cranwell Resort & Golf Club plans a March opening for a 35,000-square-foot spa, the largest in the Northeast. The resort has 107 guest rooms, 10,000 square feet of meeting space, and an 18-hole golf course.

  • The Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites Conference Center opened in Woonsocket, R.I., with 88 guest rooms and 4,000 square feet of meeting space.

  • The Providence Biltmore has renovated its third and fourth floors, where 45 new guest rooms and suites have been created, bringing the hotel's total to 289. Rooms have high-speed data ports. Eighteen meeting rooms total 19,000 square feet of space.

Vamos a Mexico

Mexico City released an interactive CD-ROM this fall to introduce meeting planners to the city. Besides planning essentials such as hotel and convention center information, users will find a virtual tour of Mexico City's geographical features, culture, and history. For a copy, contact Enriqueta Lavin, director of Mexico City Convention and Visitors Bureau at info@cvbmexicocity.gob.mx.

Caribbean Resources


For an exclusive incentive trip, consider the Royal Palm Resort on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos, a new 12-room luxury eco-lodge opened at the end of 2001. Rates range upward of $500 a night, but for those who have earned it, the reward is the wonders of Galapagos National Park, not to mention the hotel's spa, tennis courts, horseback riding, snorkeling, and kayaking. There's a business center and two executive boardrooms that can seat 12.

Northeast Resources