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February 01, 2002
Meetings & Conventions: Newsline

newsline.gif (8042 bytes)INTERNATIONAL FOCUS
SOUTH AMERICA Argentina
On June 14, 2001, the 185-room Park Hyatt Mendoza & Regency Casino welcomed its first guest. Featuring a 2,500-bottle “Wine Library,” the hotel also has a ballroom, a spa, several restaurants and a casino under separate management. Mendoza, 500 miles west of Buenos Aires, is Argentina’s foremost wine-producing area and also the gateway to Aconcagua, the highest mountain in the Americas.

One of the world’s great collections of Latin American art, owned by Argentine business executive Eduardo Constantini, is going on permanent display in Palermo, a suburb of the Argentine capital of Buenos Aires. Financed by Constantini himself, the 70,000-square-foot Museum of Latin American Art will feature more than 220 works valued at some $40 million. Artists include Mexico’s Frida Kahlo and Colombia’s Fernando Botero; the museum offers a 270-seat auditorium.

Brazil
Radisson Hotels & Resorts has entered the Brazilian market in an alliance with Atlantica Hotels International, a Brazilian hotel developer. The partnership expects to open 10 properties over the next three years, the first of which is the 220-room Radisson Faria LimaSão Paulo, which opened this past September with 3,000 square feet of meeting space.

Arguably Brazil’s most famous hotel, the 226-room Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro reopened in September 2001 following three months of renovations. Spruced up at the same time was the property’s Cipriani restaurant.

The Hotel Convento do Carmo is to open later this year in the famed Pelourinho district of Salvador, 700 miles northeast of Rio de Janeiro. A former monastery, the hotel features 80 rooms, two cloisters, a museum of sacred art and an ornate chapel serving as meeting space. As the modifications to the 1677 building were strictly regulated, guests still need to use the same clunky keys to enter rooms as did the original inhabitants Carmelite monks.

Chile
The Hotel Inter-Continental Santiago in the Chilean capital city of Santiago added a tower last summer, tripling the property’s room count to 300. Additional meeting space also was created.

Ecuador
Millennium Hotels opens at the end of this month the 17-room Royal Palm Hotel Galapagos on Santa Cruz in the Galapagos Islands. Featuring an assortment of villas and suites, this remote redoubt costs from $500 to $800 per night, in addition to a charge of approximately $100 just to set foot in these ecologically protected islands plus the airfare to travel here from mainland Ecuador. The hotel has two meeting rooms and a business center.

Peru
The Andean city of Cusco is getting a new airport. Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo signed a bill in mid-October paving the way for construction of the Chinchero International Airport, which will enable the city to handle five times the current number of flights. No date for groundbreaking has been set.

Uruguay
Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts has taken over management of the 44-villa Madison Resort, Golf & Spa. Now known as the Four Seasons Resort Carmelo, the hotel is on the Plata River, near the town of Carmelo, 25 miles north of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Features include a spa, meeting facilities and an 18-hole championship golf course complete with clubhouse. Future plans include the building of 40 more villas around the links.

Compiled by Terence Baker

AIR LIFT.
The 123-room Monasterio, an Orient-Express hotel in Cusco, Peru, has added oxygen machines to 50 rooms. Being 11,000 feet above sea level, some guests at the property suffer from altitude sickness, or soroche, as the locals call it. Orient-Express also is buying a seven-room inn in Peru’s Colca Canyon, near the city of Arequipa. The canyon, one of the world’s deepest, is noted for its majestic condors.

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