While the Caribbean hotel scene has been heating up with a slew of new resort developments from luxury chains such as Kempinski, Ritz-Carlton and St. Regis, Marriott International has been growing its business-focused Courtyard by Marriott brand footprint in the region as an alternative for business travelers.
This week, the 119-room Courtyard by Marriott Port of Spain in the capital of Trinidad & Tobago took the wraps off a multimillion-dollar renovation that included an overhaul of its lobby and public spaces to align it with Marriott's rebranding of the 35-year old Courtyard franchise, launched last April to attract the next generation of travelers who, according to the hotel chain, "are ambitious and enterprising guests who see business and business travel as drivers of personal fulfillment and professional growth."
Meanwhile, Invest St. Lucia, the official investment-promotion agency of the island, announced it has signed a contract with Bangkok-based investment firm GP Group to develop a Courtyard by Marriott hotel and conference center at Pointe Seraphine, St. Lucia's major cruise port in the capital of Castries. Invest St. Lucia said construction was slated to begin in February but gave no details on room count or amenities.
GP Group is also behind the 125-room Courtyard by Marriott set to open in 2020 on Antigua, near the island's VC Bird International Airport. The hotel will have a full-service restaurant, a casino and meeting facilities. In announcing the development last February, Antigua and Barbuda's prime minister, Gaston Browne, said that "Business travelers coming to Antigua will have an opportunity to stay at one of the premier business hotels in the world, which is also one of business travelers' favorite brands."
The Dutch island of Aruba is also getting a Courtyard by Marriott. The property, which is a conversion of the existing 188-room Mill Resort & Suites, is expected to reopen later this year following a rebranding and a multimillion-dollar renovation. Under its new name of the Courtyard by Marriott Aruba Palm Beach, the hotel will feature multiple dining outlets, meeting space, six new poolside cabanas, three pools and on-site parking.