Winners of the prestigious Development of the Year and Single Asset Transaction of the Year Awards were announced at the Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS). CHRIS was held April 28-29, 2014, at the JW Marriott Marquis Hotel Miami in Miami, Florida, USA.

The Cove, Eleuthera, in Eleuthera, Bahamas, was named Development of the Year 2013. The Cove, Eleuthera is a luxury boutique hotel providing 70 rooms in a number of villa and suite combinations. The resort was re-created from a hurricane damaged 20 room resort by the current owner, Sidney D. Torres IV. The resort offers a unique idyllic and tranquil vacation experience, spread over 40 lush acres located on the northwest side of Eleuthera. The resort benefits from two white sandy beaches an oversized negative edge pool, two unique f&b offerings and a fitness centre. Finalists in the Development of the Year 2013 category also included The Ritz Carlton Aruba, in Palm Beach, Aruba, and The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club, inPunta Cana, Dominican Republic.

The Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Rose Hall, in Montego Bay, Jamaica, was named Single Asset Transaction of the Year 2013. The Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort was acquired by Playa Hotels & Resorts B.V. (“Playa”) in August 2013. JLL was the asset manager during the transaction. The acquisition included 427 rooms and suites, pristine beachfront, surrounding lush grounds and excluded the championship golf course. Current renovation of the 14-year old resort includes an update to all existing guestrooms, meeting and event space, and public areas. An expansion will add 124 luxury suites and swim-up suites, a new swimming pool, and several new food and beverage options. The repositioning is expected to be completed in fall 2014 and the hotel will be re-launched as all-inclusive Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall, Jamaica; Playa’s fifth resort under Hyatt’s new all-inclusive Ziva and Zilara (adult) brands. The additional finalists in the Single Asset Transaction of the Year 2013 were the Normandie Hotel, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico.

Liam Day chaired the Development of the Year Award committee and Kent Schwarz chaired the Single Asset Transaction of the Year Award committee. The two committees were comprised of hotel industry leaders who selected, reviewed, and nominated deals. The finalist information was then sent to the CHRIS delegates for voting.

CHRIS is the Caribbean’s most important hotel and tourism investment conference. The Caribbean region is showing signs of recovery, and there may be no better time to focus on the investment opportunities. CHRIS immediately precedes a second important event, the Hotel Opportunities Latin America (HOLA) conference. The back-to-back nature of the two events is an efficient way for the hotel investment community that is interested not only in the Caribbean, but also in Latin America, to conduct their business while in Miami. CHRIS is hosted by Burba Hotel Network (BHN).