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Raffles International To Take Over Martineau Bay Resort’s Operations

Doors should open in December


August 22, 2002
Copyright © 2002 CARIBBEAN BUSINESS. All Rights Reserved.

Raffles International, the hotel management subsidiary of Raffles Holdings Limited, is expected to take over on Sept. 15 the operation of the completed, but still-unopened Martineau Bay Resort in Vieques.

Inside sources told CARIBBEAN BUSINESS that Martineau Bay Resort SE (majority partners of the resort) is working arduously to put some final details on the 156-room hotel, as requested by Raffles.

Milton Segarra, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Co., said he expects Martineau Bay Resort to open its doors by year’s end. However, sources say the government has yet to sign an agreement with Raffles nor has any deposit been made.

Martineau Bay Resort Managing Partner Roberto Cacho said he hopes to open by Dec. 15, now that he has the support of both Government Development Bank (GDB) President Hector Mendez and Gov. Calderon.

Last year, the Tourism Development Fund, a subsidiary of the GDB, filed a civil lawsuit in the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico Superior Court in San Juan against the resort’s majority partners: Cacho, Hector Hoyos, Joseph Fuentes, and Hugh Andrews and five other limited partners.

TDF asked the court to order Martineau Bay Resort SE to pay a $10.3 million mortgage payment, the $9.6 million principal balance plus nearly $700,000 in accumulated interest through August 2001. TDF also sought to declare that it has a lien on the hotel’s second mortgage of $10 million. It wanted to auction the property, to collect additional monies paid to maintain its rights over collateral, and to receive a payment of $1 million (10% of the principal mortgage payment) to cover the costs (expenses and lawyer fees) while carrying out the case.

Cacho, who said he could not reveal the financial arrangement with the government, said the controversy is over and Martineau Bay Resort SE will be responsible for repaying some money to the government.

Raffles International markets hotels and destinations under a two-tiered brand structure: a premium Raffles tier and a deluxe tier that includes the Swissotel and Merchant Court brands. The Raffles brand caters to affluent leisure and business travelers who seek five-star accommodations.

Raffles is a five-star brand comparable to Rosewood Hotels and Resorts, the former high-standard luxury hotel operators that fought against Martineau Bay Resort SE in May 2000 regarding who would pick up the tab for additional millions of dollars in construction cost overruns.

Raffles Holdings Limited’s portfolio comprises hotels and resorts in 33 destinations across Asia, Europe, North America, South America, Australia, and Africa. Raffles Holdings is a subsidiary of CapitaLand Limited. Both companies are listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange.

CapitaLand is one of the fastest-growing listed-property companies in Asia. CapitaLand’s diversified big interests include commercial and industrial buildings, serviced residential properties, hotels and hospitality enterprises, property funds, real estate financials, and property services.

This Caribbean Business article appears courtesy of Casiano Communications.
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