Marriott International plans to expand its presence in Barbados, Curacao, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica, said Ed Fuller, president and managing director of international lodging.

Currently, the company has 15 properties in nine destinations: JW Marriott in the luxury tier, Marriott and Renaissance in the upscale tier and Courtyard by Marriott Hotels in the midprice tier.

" The 120-room Courtyard by Marriott Bridgetown in Barbados, the first Courtyard brand on the island and the sixth in the Caribbean, is scheduled to open in 2007 in Hastings, two miles south of Bridgetown's center.

Three more Courtyards are under construction in the region: a 128-room hotel in Santiago, Dominican Republic (opening this fall); a 150-room hotel in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico (2007); and a 135-room hotel in San Salvador, El Salvador (2007).

" The 240-room Renaissance Resort Curacao will open in 2008 in Willemstad as a component of a retail and entertainment complex at Riffort Village, at the entrance to St. Anna Bay and the cruise port.

" In San Juan, the Renaissance La Concha Hotel will open in early 2007 on the site of the former La Concha Hotel on Condado Beach. The hotel has undergone a complete architectural and structural renovation.

" The 310-room JW Marriott Guanacaste Resort & Spa in Costa Rica will open in late 2008.

Marriott's two Cancun properties reopened earlier this summer following "eight-plus months" of reconstruction after Hurricane Wilma hit last fall.

Both the 450-room JW Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa and the 450-room CasaMagna Marriott Cancun Resort & Spa have been outfitted with hurricane-proof glass in addition to spa facilities and in-room amenities and furnishings, Fuller said.

Marriott recently launched its Caribbean Travel Interruption Promise policy, which assists guests at 16 Caribbean and Mexico Marriott properties if vacations are disrupted by a hurricane.

Regarding the issue of all-inclusive resorts, Fuller said that Marriott has no all-inclusive hotels but does offer all-inclusive packages at some of its properties.

"Research shows that up to 7% of our transient guests overall buy these packages where they are offered," Fuller said.

To contact reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].


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