Latin America has finally come to the fore as a hot meetings destination. Here's a sampling of recent hotel developments.

Argentina

  • The NH Cordillera opened in October 2002 in Mendoza. All 107 guest rooms have high-speed Internet connections, and its four meeting rooms provide event space for 400 people. The business center is equipped for videoconferencing.

  • Park Hyatt Buenos Aires became the Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires in December. The newly named property has 165 guest rooms and suites, a business center, and more than 10,000 square feet of meeting space.

  • The Crowne Plaza Panamericano Buenos Aires recently doubled its guest rooms from 200 to 400 and constructed a second tower that added 14 meeting rooms to the property. It has more than 6,000 square feet of exhibit space.



Brazil

  • The largest Holiday Inn in the hemisphere, the Holiday Inn at Anhembi, is under construction in the Anhembi Convention Center Complex in Northern São Paulo. The facility will have 780 guest rooms, six restaurants, three amphitheaters, a business center, and a fitness center. The new hotel, along with a new 387,000-square-foot convention center, will be attached to the 581,000-square-foot Anhembi Exhibition Center. The opening is projected for fall 2003.

  • Inter-Continental Rio, in Rio de Janeiro, refurbished its lobby area and renovated and expanded its convention center last year. It now has 15 flexible meeting rooms and banquet capacity for 1,100 people.

  • Sol Meliá Hotels & Resorts plans to build two new properties in Brazil in 2003.



Chile

  • In late 2001, The Inter-Continental Santiago added a tower with 200 new rooms, bringing the hotel's total to 303. A new convention center was built as well, with six flexible meeting rooms and total capacity of 900 people.

  • The Crowne Plaza Santiago underwent an interior and exterior renovation. All 300 guest rooms were refurbished and wired with Internet access in 2002.



Costa Rica

  • The Four Seasons Resort Costa Rica is under construction at Golfo de Papagayo, in Guanacaste province — a $120 million investment. The hotel will have 162 guest rooms and 40 residential villas, and will be able to host 192 people for events. Construction will be complete in late 2004.

  • Barcelo Rancho Rios Perlas opened in the Valle de Orosi in the province of Cargago in June 2002. This exclusive, all-inclusive hotel, about 10 miles from San Jose, has 49 guest rooms, a spa, a restaurant, and a swimming pool.

  • Meliá Playa Conchal All Suite Beach & Golf Resort became Paradisus Playa Conchal All-Suite, All-Inclusive Beach & Golf Resort in December 2002. During the $1.5 million upgrade, its common areas and six restaurants were renovated. A spa with a sauna and Jacuzzi was added.



Panama

  • The Barceló Guayacanes is a new four-star property with 64 guest rooms, two restaurants, two swimming pools, fitness center and spa, and casino.