The SuperClubs family of all-inclusive
resorts is most closely associated with the Caribbean, especially
Jamaica, but the company is becoming more visible in Latin America.
The company is
building a 300-room resort in Panama, its first property in Central
America. The resort is scheduled to open in mid-2008.
has broken ground on a 330-room resort that will open in 2009 in
Buzios, Brazil, a resort town about 100 miles north of Rio de
Executive Chairman John Issa said the expansion in Latin America
makes sense, based on the positive results from existing
operations in South America. SuperClubs
entered the South America market in 2000 when it opened Breezes
Costa Do Sauipe in Bahia, Brazil.
"The response has
been excellent," Issa said. "And I am proud to say that we have
outperformed some of the largest hotels operating in the vicinity.
Our business is steady year-round, as we host not only guests from
Brazil and the southern coast of South America but also from
admitted that it was something of an education to open a resort in
a country with a different culture and language from those where
SuperClubs had previously operated.
"As the culture,
legal system and deep-rooted heritage differs greatly from Jamaica
and that of the Bahamas, our learning curve was quite steep," Issa
said. "We found our experience as the first all-inclusive hotelier
in Jamaica was a valuable resource."
led to another foray into South America. In 2001, a franchise
agreement was signed with Sonesta International Hotels Corp.,
through which SuperClubs now manages two properties: the Sonesta
Sao Paulo, which opened in 2004, and the Sonesta Brasilia, which
opened in the Brazilian capital in 2006.
Buzios makes an impression
in Buzios is partly the result of Issa's personal experience with
the destination. "I visited Buzios on my very first trip to Brazil,
and I thought it was beautiful, and I enjoyed its close proximity
to Rio," he said. "We were extremely pleased when a reputable and
experienced developer approached us to build Breezes
Breezes Buzios is
part of a master plan that includes a spa, miniature golf course,
cycling paths, roller-skating rink, archery center, bowling alley
and convention facilities. The resort will also have 110
As for Central
America, Issa said, "We have been looking at opportunities in
Panama for many years and welcomed the wonderful opportunity to
build Breezes on a first-class stretch of beautiful beach. Again,
we were quite fortunate to be approached by a reputable,
experienced group of investors and developers and saw our desire
come to fruition."
Breezes signed a
contract with Sunstar Hotel & Development to build the Breezes
resort near Playa Blanca, Panama.
Located a few
minutes from the coastal town of Bijao in the Cocle province, the
property will have a spa and a casino.
The two new
properties will increase the company's Breezes portfolio to eight
resorts in six countries.
As for future
growth, Issa said, "We are always looking for opportunities in this
area, and our many years of experience operating in Latin American
countries continues to inspire us to take advantage of the great
potential that exists there."
To contact reporter Mark Chesnut, send e-mail [email protected].