by Natalie Compagno
Known for its annual Carnival, a ’round-the-clock spectacle and celebration unlike any other in the world, Trinidad is a colorful melting pot often associated with wild costumes and late night revelry. It also boasts untouched beaches, some of the world’s best bird-watching and a Calypso music scene that invented the steelpan. The food here is sophisticated and spicy, and celebrity chefs and street vendors are revered equally, while Indian and Middle Eastern cuisines influence almost every dish. Added to the mix are the oil and natural gas companies in the capital of Port of Spain that drive the robust (for the Caribbean) economy. For a time the creation of a single hotel catering to all aspects of this island nation seemed near impossible — until 2008 and the arrival of the Hyatt Regency Trinidad.
Built to cater to business travelers needing efficient service and cutting-edge technology, it also offers vacationers relaxation and natural beauty. A tower of glass windows reflecting the Gulf of Paria complements the sleek modern architecture, which gives way inside to beautiful Cuban art and a staff so friendly that guests feel instantly at home. Panoramic ocean views enhance the experience, beginning with enormous glass doors that open to a waterfront patio, where visitors can enjoy cocktails or snacks.
Whether guests are looking for fine dining or a quick bite before a conference, there are options for all tastes and needs. Featuring creations by chef Fernando Franco, the Waterfront has been enjoyed by dignitaries from around the world, including President Obama. The stunning chandeliers and elegant décor add to the high-end experience, and the presentation and flavors of the dishes stand out. For a more casual experience there is a sushi bar in the lounge, a deli and patisserie shop for “to go” needs, and on the fourth floor next to the infinity pool, the al fresco Pool Grille.
The hotel’s luxury rooms range from Deluxe to Presidential and Diplomat Suites located on the 22nd floor. Featuring bamboo floors, each accommodation is spacious and comfortable, with a water or mountain view, and a stand-alone glass shower with rainfall shower head that sits center stage. The shower is tastefully designed, with a woven bench and fogless mirror inside. Guests are further spoiled with a thoughtful array of products — body wash, power wash scrub, pillow mist, foot lotion, SPF protection, lip balm and pulse point oil, to name just a few. In addition, work desks are wide, beds are luxurious, and technology includes flat-screen TVs, iHome stereo with iPod dock and wireless and wired Internet. Rooms also contain a separate bathroom and a vanity next to the large clothes closet with soft yet clear light for primping.
The Hyatt Regency’s fourth-floor infinity pool has views of the water and stunning sunsets. Ample lounge chairs, tables and cushioned chairs are scattered throughout the open space, and poolside bartenders are ready to serve their famous LLB (bitters, lime and soda). On a clear day, which is often, swimmers can see Venezuela in the distance. Next to the pool is Spa Esencia, a 9,000-square-foot space dedicated to relaxation and rejuvenation. The signature Golden Coconut Body Scrub uses organic oils and local fresh coconut for soft exfoliation. For romantics, the spa has couples rooms with individually designed treatments. Next to the spa is a state-of-the-art fitness center with the latest equipment to burn off the delicious Trini cuisine sampled throughout the island.
Trinidad beckons visitors with its turquoise water and shark bakes served on the beach. But guests can still enjoy the island’s lures within the hotel property. Many celebrations, weddings and events are held at this spacious hotel for this very reason. There are two ballrooms, the 16,000-square-foot Regency and the 10,000-square-foot Port of Spain. There are also translation facilities, and the Fifth Summit of the Americas was held here with much success. One of the things that stands out at this hotel is how intimate it feels while being a grand conference venue. The staff make it feel like a large home, taking care of details with pride and pleasure. To learn about this diverse country and all the activities available, there’s no better place to begin than a conversation with a member of the hotel staff.
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