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Rio may be in the spotlight as it adds 16,000 rooms in preparation for the 2016 Olympic Games, but ask Starwood Hotels and they’ll tell you that of Latin America is “under-hoteled,” not just Brazil.
They’ve said it out loud, and they're doing something about it. Citing a "strong commitment to the Latin American market," Starwood has opened 12 properties in the past two years and plans to reach 100 total hotels by the end of 2013. Seven hotels are scheduled to open by the end of this year and another 20 are already in development beyond that.
Currently, Starwood has 71 Latin America hotels with 15,300 rooms in 13 countries.
Time for a quick look back at some hotel figures, facts and trends from the past year...like, which big cities rocked it in 2012? A new study by HRG looks at the average hotel rates around the world. Here are five things we noticed:
Moscow is the most expensive city for hotel rooms for the, ahem, ninth year in a row. The average daily rate in 2012 was $427 a night, compared to $349 a night in New York City, $302 in San Francisco, and $279 in Washington D.C.
Speaking of our Nation's Capital, guess what? It had the largest rate of decline in the world. Uh oh! The average rate of stay fell 14% in 2012 -- which surprises the hell out of us considering it was an election year. Here we thought the political circus was attracting tourists and business events, but it appears it was pushing them away in reality.
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Nothing like finishing up the year with a little gossip: Tennis great Roger Federer got some rest in the arms of the Algodon Mansion last week, putting his feet up after a few exhibition matches and children's training camps in Buenos Aires.
We're not surprised, as the Algodon Mansion is certainly one of Argentina's more upscale properties. Here's what we know: They have the self-appointed "hottest" staff in the city, the smallest of the ten rooms will run you about $400 a night, and they throw one hell of a party so long as you have some cash to throw down.
It's a five-star hotel, but we like to think of it as a luxurious B&B, replacing the oh-so-sweet-cinnamon-bun-baking innkeeper with a 24-hour at-your-freaking-service private butler.
More on Fine Federer's stay after the jump...
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Located literally less than 50 steps from the front entrance to Aeropuerto de Santiago, this property has every amenity the business or casual traveler needs for a long layover or comfortable overnight stay. If you miss your flight or get delayed, there may just be no better place to stay in Santiago.
You won't look like this after your trip, but its worth a try.
Why is it that Latin America, seemingly more so than any other country, produces some of the world's most beautiful women? You can't argue with the evidence: Gisele Bündchen, Adriana Lima, Alessandra Ambrosio, et al. Perhaps it's something in the water?
Five Hilton hotels across South America are providing the perfect opportunity to find out with "Spoil Yourself" packages, valid with minimum two-night stays on weekends through the end of the year.
Available at the Hilton Buenos Aires, Hilton São Paulo Morumbi, Hilton Cartagena, Hilton Colon Guayaquil and the Hilton Colon Quito, the deal offers upgraded accommodations, daily breakfast, two beauty treatments per stay and late check out until 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sundays. Rates start at $229.
The deal is also good through the end of the year but only for Friday-Sunday stays. Use booking code P3 for São Paulo and Guayaquil, and booking code P1 for all other participating hotels.
Now, remember: You may not come back looking like Gisele, but at least you'll be relaxed and well rested.
This week our roaming correspondent, Monica Guy, is giving us the low-down on the Chilean Hotel Scene. Here she checks out a five-star hotel Chilean style. Enjoy.
Some hotels are 5-star for their facilities, some 5-star for their service, some for their location. Some are 5-star because they simply award themselves the title, and nobody knows the difference.
The Hotel Villa del Rio in Valdivia, Chile, fits right into the second and third categories.