by Lisa A. Grimaldi | March 01, 2013
Hot Spot
The Dominican Republic was the top destination in the Caribbean in 2012, attracting more than four million tourists, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization.
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Puerto Rico
The 114-room Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, has opened on the site of the former Laurance Rockefeller estate in Dorado Beach. Event space includes a 4,558-square-foot meeting room, a boardroom and several private dining areas, including a colonial-style hacienda called Su Casa. The resort also features a five-acre Spa Botánico, providing unique local treatments. The luxury property is a member of the Jean-Michel Cousteau Ocean Future Society Ambassadors of the Environment program, which incorporates eco-education with group activities such as snorkeling, kayaking, hiking and touring sites like an ancient Taino archaeological dig on the property's grounds.

Some 1,500 rooms are being added to San Juan's hotel inventory as part of the new Bahia Urbana mixed-use development, which includes the Convention Center District. Already open is the two-year-old, 503-room Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino. Four additional properties, including a 250-room Aloft hotel and a 214-room Courtyard by Marriott, are in the planning stages.

The 126-suite Hyatt House San Juan will open near the Puerto Rico Convention Center next year, marking the extended-stay brand's Caribbean debut.

The 104-room Hyatt Place Manatí is expected to open in 2014 with an 11,500-square-foot casino, flexible meeting space, a 24-hour fitness center, and complimentary Wi-Fi and breakfast. Manatí, 40 miles west of San Juan, is headquarters to many multinational firms and pharmaceutical companies.

W ViequesThe 157-room W Retreat & Spa, Vieques Island, right, as opened Sorcé, a restaurant featuring the freshest catch of the day and other local cuisine. The eatery replaces Alan Ducasse's Mix, which closed last summer.

The 115-room Howard Johnson Isla Verde has completed a $1.2 million revamp of its public spaces, guest rooms, lobby, pool area and fitness center.

The 371-room JW Marriott Hotel & Resort at Coco Beach will open this year. The property will have nearly 21,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 12,000-square-foot ballroom, seven meeting rooms, two boardrooms and five hospitality suites. Other offerings include a 36-hole, Tom Kite-designed championship golf course, a spa and fitness center, and a casino.

The refurbished 450-room Condado Vanderbilt has reopened with 15,000 square feet of meeting space.

The 416-room Ritz-Carlton, San Juan, recently finished a multimillion-dollar renovation of all guest rooms and suites. The property includes 30,000 square feet of conference and banquet facilities.

The 80-room San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel has unveiled a $2.5 million facelift. The property's guest rooms, indoor and outdoor event spaces, and two meeting rooms have been upgraded. The hotel is now part of Aimbridge Hos­pitality, which operates a total of 68 properties across 12 brands in the U.S. and the Caribbean.

The 525-room San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino has completed a $2.2 million lobby redesign, which followed a $35 million update of guest rooms and a $2 million refurbishment of the outdoor poolside dining areas.