Best Western expanding Caribbean footprint
Best Western International plans to strengthen its North American and Caribbean reach with nearly 120 properties to either be constructed or converted this year, company officials said Tuesday. More than 80 percent of these hotels expected to fly the Best Western Premier or Best Western Plus flags.
In the Caribbean, the hotel chain will unveil this year its Best Western Plus Condado Palm Inn & Suites in San Juan. The 151-room hotel complete with a restaurant, nightlife offerings, outdoor pool and free breakfast is taking over the property formerly occupied by the Diamond Palace hotel, currently undergoing a $30 million renovation.
Meanwhile, the company is gearing up to open its first hotel in Haiti, the Best Western Premier Petion-Ville, overlooking Port-au-Prince. The 106-room hotel will offer fine dining, a full-service spa, pool and meeting and event space. Additionally, in 2014 a Best Western Premier property will open in Gazcue, Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic.
More than 40 percent of Best Western’s 2013 development pipeline will be new construction projects, up from 35 percent in 2012 and will add more than 10,800 guestrooms to the Best Western system. In addition, Best Western hoteliers in North America are expected to invest approximately $70 million in property upgrades this year.
Ten to 15 of these projects will include the hotel brand’s new extended-stay prototype, which is being introduced in response to growing interest from existing Best Western owners and developer interest, the company said. These new accommodations will offer flexible guestrooms designed for longer stays, making up 20 to 100 percent of each property’s room mix.
“A resurgence in confidence from developers coupled with strong demand for rooms in gateway cities and an elevated interest in developing within the midscale market will translate to a successful year for the Best Western brand,” said Mark Williams, vice president of North American development for Best Western International. “Our priority is to develop compelling hotels across all three Best Western descriptors that deliver strong revenue for hoteliers by attracting a strong mix of business and leisure travelers.”