Want to gaze into a crystal ball and see what new resorts and city hotels will be on the way soon in Central and South America?
Luxury Latin America attended two travel conferences in the past couple weeks to see what new tourism projects and hotels will be showing up in the coming years that we might be looking to cover. The first was TravelMart Latin America, held in Quito this year. The second was International Luxury Travel Mart – Americas, held in the Mayakoba complex of Mexico’s Riviera Maya.
This is an exciting time for the travel industry in this part of the world as things are on the upswing both in national economy terms and tourism terms. Both Jack Horne of Hyatt Hotels and Paul James of Starwood said at ILTM Americas that business was back to pre-2008 levels and in the luxury space it’s even better. “Luxury occupancy is higher than it has ever been,” said James of Starwood. “Ever!”
“We’ve seen 8% growth year-over-year in the luxury segment,” said Horne of Hyatt, “and high rates keep getting higher.”
In Latin America, much of this is fed by the Latinos themselves. After all, this is the part of the world least affected by the recent recession and countries as diverse as Panama, Peru, and Colombia have seen growth of 5-10% while the U.S. and Europe were in a funk. Brazil is now the #6 economy in the world, passing Great Britain recently. As the U.S. recovers though (despite the House of Representatives doing everything it can to prevent it), many feel the U.S. purse strings starting to open.
Here’s what’s on the way that we’re excited about:
Eolo – in Patagonia, Argentina. This is probably the first place you’ll see a review from us on as it’s opening now. This is the “southernmost Relais & Chateux hotel in the world” now, another foodie destination in a place where you feel like you have the world to yourself. On the Argentina side of Torres del Paine.
Awasi Patagonia – opening in the same region, across the border on the Chilean side, this is run by the same people as the stellar Awasi Atacama. It’ll follow the same pattern of doing custom private excursions according to your needs. So no group trips in a van according to a set outings schedule–rather they build trips according to what you want to do. That’s what the view should look like in the photo at the top of this post.
Indura Resort – coming to a stretch of beach by a national park in Honduras in February of 2014, this major project is going to be the biggest thing to hit mainland Honduras since, well, ever. Elevated villas, a grand spa, and a Gary Player golf course make this a resort we can’t wait to visit. It’s less than an hour from San Pedro Sula airport—and someone will meet you there upon arrival.
El Mercado Tunqui in Cusco – This is not a high-end luxury hotel, but it’s notable because it was designed and built by the people who run Mountain Lodges of Peru. (See our story on their lodge to lodge trek to Machu Picchu.) It’s a boutique hotel designed by a noted interior decorator in Lima who has done Titilaka and Tambo del Inka hotels: Jordi Puig. It’s a 32-room hotel and the suites have double vanities, whirlpool tubs, and tablets to use.
W Bogota will open in Colombia in mid-2014. The one in Santiago was a bit of a tough sell at first the marketing team at Starwood says, but they have high hopes that the Bogota one will be an instant hit in this fun-loving, fashionable city. There will also be a W Panama City in 2015.
Hyatt has big plans for Colombia as well, with new hotels planned for Cali, Cartagena, and Bogota.
Their next opening though will be Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica, which we’re excited about just from looking at the photos. Inspired by the cocoons of nature, the architect really did something different for this resort. If all goes according to plan, it should open in December.