The Hotel Villa St. Louis was once a thriving business in Bourdon, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. With an opening date set for early 2012, the new Hotel Villa St. Louis is positioned to be Port-au-Prince’s first hotel to re-open its doors after being destroyed by the January 2010 earthquake.
A U.S.-based team of experienced hotel operators, designers and architects, NEF & JAM Associates, have come together to help the St. Louis family rebuild its cherished business, leading to hundreds of long-term job opportunities and, ultimately, a revived hospitality sector and economy for the once devastated community of Port-au-Prince.
“A new hotel with professional management, all in a strategic location and with all the necessary services, will appeal to the traveling businessman and guarantee a professional relationship with the travel agent community,” Nikolas Eastwick-Filed, principal of NEF & JAM Associates, told Travel Agent. “This will mark the beginning of a new era in Port-au-Prince Hotels.”
The new property will be reconstructed upon its original foundation on Avenida John Brown. Although the hotel originally consisted of 60 guestrooms and suites, the proposed new development calls for 78 guestrooms and suites, 22 extended stay studio suites and loft apartments, a fitness center, a business center and a boutique retail space.
Like the original Hotel Villa St. Louis, the new hotel will feature a full-sized restaurant and bar, ample banquet and meeting facilities and a spacious pool. Other modern upgrades will include energy efficient and water saving installations, renewable energy technologies and locally sourced building materials, furniture and décor.
For more than 30 years, the 60-room boutique hotel served as a gathering place for locals and tourists alike, hosting leisure and business travelers, small groups, reunions and weddings. But like many small businesses in the area, the hotel, along with the adjacent St. Louis family residence, was destroyed after collapsing in the earthquake of January 2010, and no insurance proceeds were available to rebuild this once flourishing business.
Because of the magnitude of the earthquake’s destruction, Port-au-Prince lost more than 50 percent of its hotel room inventory, and the economic impact has been tremendous. Business meetings and conventions have been postponed or moved elsewhere due to the lack of accommodations in the area, resulting in a significant loss of potential income across all industries.