Hilton, one of the world’s largest and oldest hotel chains, has arrived in Costa Rica.
This month, the $13.5 billion company is cutting the ribbon on two resorts and one hotel that are being remodeled and will now be managed under the Hilton brand.
The Meliá Cariari, a five-star inn located on the General Cañas Highway 10 minutes from the Juan Santamaría International Airport west of San José, became the Doubletree Cariari by Hilton San José as of Jan. 1. Room prices start at $199 per night – which includes the chocolate chip cookie that is a Doubletree standard.
Sales and marketing manager Ludwin Díaz said the hotel sank a “significant” amount of money into the renovation of 36 of the hotel’s rooms, as well as the conference rooms, the restaurant, and the overall atmosphere of the hotel.
The remaining rooms will be remodeled gradually,Díaz said. The hotel has 174 rooms and 48 suites, as well as 11 conference rooms, two swimming pools and a fully equipped business center.
The other two properties to be opened under the Hilton brand, and which also will be remodeled, are resorts formerly managed under the Fiesta brand. Opening its doors for the first time on Jan. 1 was the Doubletree Resort by Hilton Puntarenas, formerly the Fiesta Resort.
Located in the central Pacific zone, the resort offers 410 rooms, four restaurants, seven bars, a pool and direct beach access.
The rooms start at $95.
The Hilton Papagayo Resort, meanwhile, will open its doors on Jan. 15. Formerly the Fiesta Premier Resort and Spa, this resort offers 202 luxury rooms, 71 bungalows, three restaurants, two bars and a casino. Rates at the exclusive resort start at $431 per night, all inclusive.
Hilton will be managing the two resort properties on behalf of the New York-based Caribbean Property Group, which purchased them in 2006 through its Caribbean Real Estate Opportunity Fund 2005, according to business weekly El Financiero.
The partnership between Hilton and the CPG has been in the works since January 2007.
Hilton already has some assets in the Costa Rican market through its Hampton Inn and Suites brand, one of which is located near the Juan Santamaría airport.
Danny Hughes, vice president for Hilton’s Caribbean and Central America division, said in a statement that the additions “solidify our expansion efforts in Central America and support our growth strategy to bring the Hilton family of hotels into the region.”