by Lisa A. Grimaldi | March 01, 2015
Why here?
The islands of the Caribbean, known for their gorgeous beaches and pampering properties, keep unveiling new and enticing resorts and other venues that are perfect for meetings and incentives. Among the most anticipated is Baha Mar (above), which debuts this month in Nassau, Bahamas.

Jamaica Siblings
The 496-suite, all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall has opened in Montego Bay; its sister property, the adults-only Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall, with 125 suites, debuted in January. The two resorts share the same beach and resort amenities, and are located on the site of the former Ritz-Carlton, Rose Hall. Together, the properties have a grand total of 48,286 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space.

Hot Spot
The Caribbean welcomed 26.3 million tourists (with 13 million from the U.S. alone) in 2014, a 5.3 percent rise over 2013, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization. Visitors spent a record $29.2 billion.

Vintage Venues
The Puerto Rico Tourism Co. recently launched the Puerto Rico Posadas Program to certify small hotels (up to 75 rooms) in restored historic buildings.
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Local Update

 In San Juan, the 319-room Condado Vanderbilt Hotel has reopened following a $200 million facelift. Among the enhancements are updated guest rooms and a new 10,000-square-foot luxury spa. The hotel has 30,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, including the Patio del Fauno Ballroom, which can accommodate groups of up to 600 people.

 The 126-room Hyatt House San Juan debuted last fall. The hotel has 1,000 square feet of meeting space and free Wi-Fi throughout.

 Plans to link the Puerto Rico Convention Center district to Old San Juan are under way. The project calls for a park-like promenade along San Juan's harbor with seating areas, sculptures and an open-air restaurant.

 The 400-room Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa has completed a renovation of all guest rooms and 48,000 square feet of meeting space. The resort also has two golf courses.

Meeting Hotels: Properties in the landmark city of Old San Juan include the 240-room Sheraton Old San Juan Hotel and 68-room Hotel El Convento.

The convention center district has the 503-room Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino. On the beach between Old San Juan and Condado is the 910-room Caribe Hilton.

Condado offers the 570-room Conrad San Juan Condado Plaza, 525-room San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino and 248-room La Concha, a Renaissance Hotel.

To find and compare properties, and to send RFPs, visit

Convention Center:
 Puerto Rico Convention Center; exhibit space, 152,700 square feet; ballroom, 39,500 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 15; (800) 875-4765

Airport Transit: Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport, seven miles from downtown San Juan. Transfer cost by taxi, $15-$20

Taxes: Room tax, 11% at casino hotels, 9% at noncasino hotels; sales tax, 7%; total tax on hotel rooms, 11% or 9%

Contact: Meet Puerto Rico, (787) 725-2110 or (800) 875-4765