Haiti

Haiti welcomes first US brand hotel in a decade

 

jcharles@MiamiHerald.com

The first U.S. brand — and Haiti’s second luxury hotel to open in three months — will welcome its first guests Thursday.

Designed for the business traveler, the Best Western Premier, a 106-room seven-story hotel in tony Petionville is finally making its debut. A soft-opening is planned for April 4, but guests will get their first glimpse before then.

“It feels amazing,” said Haiti-born Chris Handal, who had planned the hotel before the country’s monstrous Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. “It’s really gorgeous.”

To give the hotel its own “Haitian flavor within the Best Western standard,” it will feature the work of Haitian artisans, including local artwork. This is in tribute, Handal said, to sister-in-law Paola Handal, who died in the quake.

Room rates range from $160 to $275 per room per night, plus tax, and government rates are available, said Dallas-based Aimbridge Hospitality, which operates the Best Western brand.

The Best Western Premier is located in Petionville and within walking distance of two other luxury brands. The 128-room Royal Oasis, operated by Spanish firm Occidental Hotel & Resorts, opened in December as Haiti’s first internationally branded upscale hotel. Next door, a new El Rancho, operated by the Spanish hotel chain NH, also will open soon.

U.S. brands Marriott and Comfort Suites are also expected to open soon in Haiti, which is expected to inaugurate 1,200 additional hotel rooms this year at a cost of $161 million, according to the tourism ministry.

“We are very excited and privileged to open the newest full service hotel on the beautiful island of Haiti,” said Rich Cortese, senior vice president of Caribbean operations and development for Dallas-based Aimbridge Hospitality, which operates the Best Western.

The company has hired 95 employees, the majority of them local residents, along with a seasoned management staff.

In addition to the local artwork, the Best Western boasts executive suites, 42-inch flat screen TVs, wireless internet access, a French-inspired restaurant, whisky bar and full-service spa.

Read more Haiti stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Hillary Clinton, then U.S. Secretary of State, tours the construction site of a housing development near the Caracol Industrial Park with Senator Patrick Leahy and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis in October 2012.

    Haiti

    U.S. housing effort in Haiti criticized — again

    The U.S. government’s largest aid agency says despite criticism of its efforts to build thousands of new homes in Haiti after the country’s tragic Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake, it will continue to help Haitians find permanent housing.

  • Report finds faults in US housing effort in Haiti

    An effort by Washington to build housing for Haitians in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake has fallen short and exceeded costs, a U.S. government report said Tuesday.

  •  
A National Police officer readies to fire tear gas at protestors during an anti-goverment protest in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Tuesday April 15, 2014. The protesters called for the resignation of President Michel Martelly.

    Amnesty: Haiti human rights activist threatened

    A leading human rights activist in Haiti has been threatened for his work, Amnesty International said Tuesday, marking the latest documented case of attacks or threats against watchdog groups in the Caribbean nation.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category