Puerto Rico: A Community Experience

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The resort’s anchoring golf course is a Robert Trent Jones II design, with holes overlooking the ocean and lakes, and views to El Yunque from nearly every one. Clients and resort residents will also share access to the 10,000-sq.-ft. Remede Spa, with hot and cold plunge pools and treatment rooms featuring private outdoor terraces. St. Regis will also increase the area’s culinary profile with Fern, a restaurant using Puerto Rican ingredients developed by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. The community supports all this, “…in addition to the 2-mile stretch of beach and expansive natural grounds of the resort,” Kurland says. “The residential offering at Bahia Beach is a wonderful complement to the resort as a whole.”

Clients familiar with St. Regis resorts elsewhere will recognize signature touches. “One particular familiarity our guests will notice is the signature St. Regis Butler, who will be on hand to tend to their every need,” Kurland explains. But not all resort community properties are created equal. The St. Regis also has the distinction of being a certified Gold Audubon Signature Sanctuary, the only one in the Caribbean. That designation “…is extremely important to the resort, as our mission focuses on preserving the ecological innate environment surrounding the property,” Kurland says. And that’s just the beginning. “The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort is unique in that it provides the timeless elegance and bespoke guest experience the brand is celebrated for, as well as flawless service levels and lavish facilities that have never been seen in Puerto Rico,” he continues, “all while celebrating the community’s rich heritage and individuality.”

In 2012, Regent Hotels & Resorts will add another five-star property to Puerto Rico’s lineup, this time in the Palmas del Mar resort community 35 minutes southeast of San Juan. With 96 guestrooms and 52 suites, plus a roster of community amenities including the largest tennis center in the Caribbean, an equestrian center, a 160-slip marina and 18 restaurants in clients’ backyards, the Regent Palmas del Mar will offer community living at its finest.

The resort will “…enhance the product that the island has to offer. It’s a different type of product that is not already on the island,” says Luis F. Muniz, a developer of Palmas del Mar resort community. “People that can afford this type of product are coming to Puerto Rico, but they’re not staying in the type of hotels that they are used to. This is going to be a great benefit to the tourism industry.”

It’ll also benefit clients, community members and the resort itself. “There will be a synergy between the hotel and the community,” he says, a symbiotic partnership that trades amenities for usership. “Our two golf courses right now are underplayed.… The hotel benefits from the closeness of the golf courses, and the community will have more rounds played on the courses,” Muniz explains.

And unlike Holck, Muniz says that the economy has much to do with the boom of community-located resorts coming into the island. “Certainly there are a lot of amenities already there [at Palmas del Mar]. It’s a gated community, so there’s a lot of security, and the infrastructure is already done. It’s definitely offsetting the downturn.”