Marriott Expands Its Caribbean Portfolio

Travel Agent recently received an update from Marriott International informing us about recently finished properties and ongoing projects in the Caribbean. The company currently has 350 hotels in operation and is expected to have close to 500 by 2010 or 2011. Marriott is expected to increase its Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America product by as many as 20 properties by 2009. Marriott is renovating Carambola Beach Resort in St. Croix and re-flagging it as The Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort


Here's a roundup of some the most recently renovated Marriott properties in the Caribbean to pitch to your clients:



Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino's $40 Million Makeover

The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino is set to complete a $40 million renovation in December. The upgrades will include a total makeover of each of the resort's 413 guest rooms, a revitalization and expansion of La Vista, one of the main dining facilities, the conversion of one of the existing Italian restaurants into a Ruth's Chris Steak House and an overhaul of the lobby and reception area. Upon completion, the entire resort, with the exception of the casino, will be smoke free.

The best rooms, six Governor Suites, are located on the top three floors of the eight-story property. They all come with brand new wooden floors, a spacious parlor, a separate bedroom, a 42-inch flat-screen TV and a 500-square-foot wrap-around balcony offering ocean views.

The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino's lobby area, which will be transformed into the Great Room

The oversized bedrooms of the Governors Suite include a king-size four-poster bed featuring Marriott's deluxe Revive bedding, as well as a pullout sofa. Rates range from $809 (value season) to $1,119 (high season).

Also, beginning in October, the lobby will be transformed into the Aruba Marriott's Great Room. This new lobby concept is an attempt by Marriott International to transform their hotel lobbies into inviting and comfortable spaces separated into zones. For example, one designated area will be for guest services, one will be for entertainment and a third will be for leisure, as well as social and business interaction.

The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino offers agents between 8 and 10 percent commission. Agents can contact Ester Aponte, reservations manager, at 011-297-520-6446 or by e-mailing [email protected].


Marriott Re-Flags St. Croix Property as Renaissance


The complete renovation and re-flagging of St. Croix's Carambola Beach Resort to a Marriott's Renaissance hotel brand is expected to be complete by 2009. The hotel will be operated by Ocean Properties Ltd., a major Marriott franchisee.

A new Ocean Front Room at San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

The resort is situated near the Robert Trent Jones-designed Carambola Golf Course, and Renaissance guests will have playing privileges there. Originally opened as a Rock Resort by Laurence Rockefeller in the '60s on DavisBay along St. Croix's north shore, The Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort is undergoing renovations, including the addition of 100 rooms to the facility.

The Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort will have a lounge and bar adjacent to the swimming pool, as well as a three-meal restaurant with a deck and a specialty restaurant with a deck, all with ocean views.

Other amenities will include a fitness center, a game center, a gift and dive shop, two tennis courts, a swimming pool and Jacuzzi, a full-service spa and—of course—the beach.

The first phase of the renovations, which includes refurbishments to the resort's Luxury Oceanfront Suites, has already been completed. These are the best rooms at the property. They have screened-in porches with views of rocky cliffs and the beach and are outfitted with marble and granite throughout, two flat-screen plasma TVs and a fully stocked kitchenette. The rate is $299 from now until December 21.

This property offers agents a 10 percent commission. Agents can call Ike Turner at 340-778-3800 or e-mail [email protected].


Marriott Joins Influx of Upgraded Properties in San Juan


Marriott has also gotten involved in the ongoing trend of upgrades going on in San Juan, Puerto Rico, with the recently completed San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino.

The pool area at The Aruba Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino

The $35 million renovation project includes Marriott's new Revive bedding, featuring 300-thread-count sheets, down comforters, sheeted duvet covers, thicker mattresses with plush toppers and fluffier pillows. Also, lighter colors and textures were used in the rooms and the completely renovated bathrooms incorporate new design features, such as rainshower-style heads and deeper bathtubs.

High-tech additions include wireless Internet access throughout the resort, 36-inch flat-screen LCD TVs with high definition capabilities in all rooms and the ability to connect laptops, iPods and other electronic devices to the television to work or play directly on the larger screen and also charge the batteries of the device being used.

Future renovations will include updating the remaining 123 rooms in the Cabana Wing, a new look for La Vista Restaurant and a new outdoor lounge area.

The best rooms are the Ocean Front Rooms because of their great views and the amount of light they get. These rooms also have access to the newly renovated Executive Lounge, which is open 24 hours a day.

Some perks of the Executive Lounge include breakfast 6-10 a.m., coffee, desserts and cordials 7:30-9:30 p.m. and complimentary soft drinks and water all day. Rates for these rooms range from $290 to $430 per night.

The property offers 10 percent commission. Agents can call Barbara Velez, reservations sales manager, at 787-289-6081 or e-mail [email protected].