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TRAVEL - EN ROUTE
Puerto Rico Adding Hotel Space
By NAEDINE JOY HAZELL
February 11, 2001
Not to be outdone by new hotels and resort properties elsewhere in the Caribbean, especially in the neighboring Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico intends to have 40 percent more rooms by next year.
The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. reports that by the end of 2002, the island will have about 5,000 new rooms. In hotel news:
*The Ocean Villas at the Westin Rio Mar Beach in Rio Grande opened a few months ago, offering 860- to 2,250-square-foot Caribbean-style villas full kitchens, separate living areas and balconies in two, five-story structures. Call 787-888-6000 or visit www.westinriomar.com.
*The Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar in Dorado will offer 182 condo- hotel units and a hotel with 174 suites in June. Facilities will include an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts and a spa center. Call 787-791-0505.
*The Horned Dorset Primavera is offering 22 new duplex sea-view villas with living and dining rooms, master bedroom, private pools and terraces. Visit www.horneddorset.com or call 787-823-4030.
*Rosewood Hotels and Resorts chain intends to open the Martineau Bay Resort in Vieques in early summer. As Vieques' first full- service luxury resort, the hotel will feature 136 guest rooms including 20 suites, an art teen/children's program, spa and an infinity-style pool over looking two private beaches. Visit www.martineaubay.com or call 1-888-ROSEWOOD.
*Guests at the Costa Bonita Hotel Villas in Culebra can stay at one of the 41 villas. This resort will provide extensive water sport activities such as windsurfing, scuba diving, kayaking and sailing. The property is scheduled to open in May.
Several projects are under construction and expect to open in the next few years. For example, the Hampton Inn in Caguas expects to open with 125 rooms in January 2002 and the island's first all- inclusive resort, Paradisus Sol Melia Resort in Rio Grande, intends to open in April 2002 with two hotels, each containing 490 rooms.
Also, the Puerto Rico Convention Center, which broke ground last May, is on schedule to open in 2003. It will have 500,000 square feet of space for local, national and international meetings and conventions.
For additional information about planning a trip to Puerto Rico, please call the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. at 800-866-7827.