Plans unveiled for Haiti’s first airport hotel

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI An Argentine entrepreneur announces plans for a US$33 million hotel adjacent to Port-Au-Prince’s Toussaint L’Osuverture International Airport.

Rolando Gonzalez-Bunster, president and CEO of Basic Energy Ltd., along with Haiti-based WIN Group, one of the country’s largest enterprises, have agreed to develop a 240-key hotel with conference facilities at the airport. The seven-story property, scheduled to break ground this year, has an 18-month construction window and will be Haiti’s first airport hotel. The unnamed hotel will be independently operated.

“We recognize the importance of having facilities that can house individuals during the rebuilding process,” says Gonzalez-Bunster, whose holdings include energy investments in neighboring Dominican Republic. “It is currently extremely challenging to secure accommodations since so much of the infrastructure was decimated by the earthquake.”

The fully-enclosed project will be developed on a 5.3 acre parcel and will be completely self-contained, with on-site power plant, water treatment, sewage and related facilities. Construction will be achieved through a combination of standard construction methods and pre-fabricated processes. The site allows for future development, specifically commercial office and retail outlets.

The property is being designed by OBM International and will feature conference facilities with capacity of up to 400 for a single event. It will also include numerous breakout rooms, expanded food and beverage outlets, fitness center, swimming pool, spa facilities and lounges, all within lush, tropical landscaping, and will be built to meet or exceed all international earthquake standards.

“We are pleased with the opportunity to be part of such an integral project,” says Douglas A. Kulig, CEO of OBM International. “The hotel will be elegant, with a distinct Creole feel, as well as provide an all-inclusive element for its guests from the moment they pass through the property’s entry gate.”

Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, UN special envoy to Haiti and co-chair of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission, says the hotel is a step toward encouraging long-term sustainable investment in the country. “An adequate network of hotels is crucial to the country, and this venture is one example that the numerous facets needed to rebuild Port Au Prince are slowly getting under way,” Clinton says.