Above: the Karibe Hotel
By the Caribbean Journal staff
Haiti’s Karibe Hotel in Port-au-Prince is planning an expansion, the hotel announced Monday.
Hotelier Richard Buteau, who is also the vice president of the Haiti Tourism Association, has commissioned J/Brice Design International to design a new wing for the hotel and spa, which would add 100 luxury guest rooms, along with a new restaurant and entertainment venue with rooftop terraces and sea views.
The Karibe, which was completed in 2008, plans to open the new wing in the middle of 2013.
“The Karibe is the very essence of a boutique hotel,” said Jeffrey Ornstein, CEO and founder of J/Brice. “It is a one-of-a-kind intimate hideaway that reflects the nation’s culture and the exacting vision of its prominent local owner family.”
Ornstein said the expansion’s designs would reflect the “style and aesthetic” of Haiti’s architecture, art and fashion.
Buteau, who first conceived of the Karibe project in 1996, said Haiti’s tourism sector, which has been undergoing a rebranding effort by the country’s Ministry of Tourism, is in a unique position today.
“Over the last 25 years, every time we mentioned tourism, people would say, ‘tourists? Haiti?’” he said. “We have one big advantage now — by starting from scratch, we can learn from our earlier mistakes and shape Haiti’s image for the 21st century traveler.”
J/Brice Design, which has offices in Boston and Saudi Arabia, has designed for companies including Hilton Hotels, Starwood, Trump International Beach Resorts and others.