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Mega Luxury Brand to Enter Latin AmericaAugust 4, 2008 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
Grace Bay Club plans to enter Costa Rica and possibly other Latin American markets
Grace Bay Club’s decision to bring its luxury brand to Latin America within the next several years could give this already popular region another niche market to dominate.
Turks and Caicos luxury powerhouse Grace Bay Club will be making its presence known in Latin America
Already known as the giants of ecotourism, Central and South America are getting a major grasp on the luxury market as well. The latest steps in securing the region as a serious luxe destination came when Grace Bay Club, a Turks and Caicos luxury powerhouse, told us about plans to set up shop in Costa Rica.
We spoke with Grace Bay Club’s Nikheel Advani, managing director, and Mark Durliat, CEO and developer of Grace Bay Club, and learned of a plan for a Latin America luxury takeover.
The group is currently targeting two areas in Costa Rica, with Panama, Belize and Argentina all in line as possible future targets. The Costa Rica property, however, which is still in the brainstorming stages, may not be completed for another three to five years. The company hasn’t chosen whether to build from scratch or to re-flag an existing property in Costa Rica. No matter what it chooses to do, the property must blend, Advani told us.
“At a lot of these destinations in Latin America, we know people come there [for] a very cultural experience,” he says. “We are really going to be conscious of portraying that culture at this property. It is very important to us that our property there represents the culture of the destination.”
Advani confirmed that Grace Bay Club’s takeover of an existing property is a “strong possibility.” But even if a property is purchased, refurbishments would be in line in order to model the hotel after the company’s Hotels at Grace Bay Club.
“Perhaps it would make sense for us to target some brands in Costa Rica that are high-quality, but just may not have the brand name to compete with other big-name luxury properties,” says Durliat.
If all goes will with the Costa Rica project, Advani told us the next Latin America destination Grace Bay Club would target would be Panama, followed by Belize and Argentina.
Currently, Grace Bay Club attracts an average demographic of 45- to 60-year-olds. The new Latin America properties will feature a more contemporary theme aimed at a slightly younger clientele (35- to 55-year-olds) as well as some overlap with its current demographic. The Latin America products would fill a West Coast void currently existing at Grace Bay Club’s Caribbean properties, which primarily attract a Northeast U.S. clientele.