Above: a rendering of Haiti’s Best Western Premier
By Alexander Britell
PARADISE ISLAND — The Best Western Premier Haiti will open its doors March 15, according to Best Western Regional Director Tom Osborn.
The hotel, in the Petion-Ville neighbourhood of Port-au-Prince, had originally targeted an opening date before 2013, but delays brought the project to March.
The property’s grand opening will occur sometime in April, according to Osborn, who was speaking at a press conference at the CHTA Caribbean Travel Marketplace at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.
The 106-unit hotel will feature a full gymnasium, several restaurants, a lounge and indoor-outdoor pools.
“It’s a fantastic location, great visibility, great restaurants right within the area,” he said. “It’s a very exciting project for us, to be the first major corporation in that market.”
The hotel, which is owned by Haitians, will have around 40 to 60 employees, he said.
“Obviously it was a challenge to get in [to Haiti]; there was a lot we went through on that market,” he said. “But with the UN right there, the military presence right there, I think their doors will be full before they open.”
It’s the newest hotel to open in Haiti, following Occidental’s five-star Royal Oasis, which debuted at the end of December.
“You hope to see that make a change in the infrastructure, in the tourism market,” he said. “And that’s what everybody would like to see in the future.”
Haiti, which has been making a concerted effort to develop the tourism sector in the country, has added support on the project, he said.
“[The Ministry] has been great 100 percent behind the project,” he said. “There’s a lot of interior promotion from them as well — so it’s gotten nothing but support from everybody on this project.”
Best Western currently has four properties in the Caribbean; by the end of this year that number will have reached seven.