Sonesta debuts with 15% pay

COCONUT GROVE, Fla. -- The 300-room Sonesta Hotel & Suites Coconut Grove is set to open April 1, paying 15% commissions during April and May on all room, suite and in-house package sales.

The 22-story property, in the heart of Coconut Grove, is near cafes, boutiques and entertainment and offers views of Biscayne Bay, Dinner Key Marina and the Miami skyline.

The guest mix for the new property is projected at 45% group and 55% leisure, with travel agents expected to generate a good share of the business, based on their support for the nearby Sonesta Beach Resort Key Biscayne.

That hotel receives up to 60% of its business from agents and tour operators, a spokeswoman said.

"We expect to attract families, extended stay visitors and corporate executives," said Gina Marcello, director of sales and marketing, who came to the hotel from the Key Biscayne property, where she was director of sales.

Conference space in Coconut Grove totals 12,360 square feet (indoor and outdoor). The Biscayne Ballroom overlooks Biscayne Bay, and all meeting rooms have adjacent terraces for outdoor functions.

An in-house audiovisual department and full-service business center are available.

Introductory room rates (which have restrictions) are $129 per night for rooms and $169 for suites. These rates apply through Sept. 30. Published rates begin at $145 for rooms and $195 for suites during this period.

The inventory includes one- and two-bedroom suites with living and dining areas and appliances. Guest units are of contemporary design and contain works of art from Sonesta's collection.

Amenities include an outdoor pool, a rooftop fitness center, two squash courts, a business center, two restaurants and two lounges.

Guests have courtesy transportation and access to the facilities at the Sonesta Beach Resort Key Biscayne's private beach club, a 15-minute drive.

General manager Henny Schaeffer most recently held the same post at the Sonesta Beach Resort Sharm El Sheikh in Egypt.

For information, call (800) SONESTA.

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