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Construction Of Puerto Rico’s First All-Inclusive Resort Runs Full Speed Ahead

Sol Melia hires new contractor, begins marketing efforts


August 22, 2002
Copyright © 2002 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Construction of the first phase of Paradisus Puerto Rico Beach & Golf Resort at Coco Beach, the island’s first all-inclusive resort and Sol Melia’s first hotel in Puerto Rico, has been running full speed ahead since the Spanish developer hired in-house contractor Obratur two months ago.

The first phase, which entails an investment of nearly $100 million, consists of 490 guestrooms in 30 two-story bungalows, a lagoon-style swimming pool, a full-service spa, a casino, three tennis courts, an air-conditioned amphitheater, nine themed restaurants & bars, and over 24,000 square feet of meeting & banquet space (including a grand ballroom).

Earlier this year, CARIBBEAN BUSINESS reported that the opening of the much-anticipated resort, formerly known as Paradisus Coco Beach Resort & Casino, was pushed back from December 2002 to October 2003 because the developer needed additional permits to make minor design adjustments (CB Feb. 28). The resort, whose January 2000 groundbreaking ceremony was delayed 10 months by the tedious permit-granting process, has been pretty much stagnant ever since.

"We have made some modifications to the food & beverage facilities and to the conference facilities," said Emanuel Schreibmaier, executive vice president of sales & marketing of the Americas for Sol Group Corp. in Miami. "But everything else is being done as planned. Construction is at full speed."

Construction was also stalled by a change in the project’s contractor; Spain-based Obratur replaced local company Cobian Associates, an affiliate of Empresas Diaz. To realize the change, Sol Group had to obtain a performance bond (a.k.a. completion bond) from a bonding agent in order to guarantee to the banks and the local authorities that the project would be completed. The Tourism Development Fund, a subsidiary of the Government Development Bank, followed standard operating procedure in requesting the performance bond.

"The Paradisus Puerto Rico resort is very important to Sol Melia. With an investment of over $100 million, we are putting all efforts into making it one of the most successful operations of Sol Melia Hotels & Resorts," Schreibmaier said. "The marketing process has started already and together with the Puerto Rico Tourism Co. and the Convention Bureau, we are making every effort to launch the property in over 35 countries worldwide."

Paradisus Puerto Rico sits on a 1,000-acre peninsula in Rio Grande that’s owned by industrialist Arturo Diaz, who, through his CBM Investment Co., is a partner of Sol Melia in the resort’s development.

Sol Melia is the 10th largest hotel chain the world, with 350 urban and leisure hotels in 30 countries, and the second largest in Europe. Paradisus, an all-inclusive five-star product, is one of the company’s four brands.

Willowbend Development Corp. is developing 36 holes of golf as a prime component of Puerto Rico’s Sol Melia resort. Diaz has a majority stake in the golf courses and in other projects on the site.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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