First look at Sonesta's upcoming Dominican Republic resort

Sonesta International Hotels Corp. is planning to develop the Larimar City & Resort, a new multiuse development that will mark the company's entry in the Dominican Republic. Anchoring this development will be new Royal Sonesta and James hotels, two of Sonesta’s luxury and lifestyle brands.

“This development leverages two of our premier brands, The Royal Sonesta and The James, to grow our footprint in Latin America and the Caribbean, which is a strategic priority for Sonesta,” Sonesta Chief Development Officer Brian Quinn said in a statement. “Sonesta’s dedicated lodging development team and enhanced regional presence will allow us to capitalize on the demand for the Caribbean market, especially among luxury travelers, as an avenue for continued growth.”

Sonesta is partnering with real estate development firm CLERHP on both hotel properties and residences with completion of the first phase of Larimar City & Resort expected in late 2025 to early 2026. This development will include several entertainment venues including a retail mall, several dining options, a fitness center, spa, country club with 18-course golf course, outdoor sports facility and a kid-centric activity center. 

“Larimar City & Resort will be a destination designed with comfort, quality and luxury offering a unique living and travel experience and easy air access from major North American and European markets,” CLERHP CEO Juan Andrés Romero said. “The project has garnered support from international investors who view this mixed use development, the first of its kind in the Dominican Republic, as a compelling investment opportunity."

The Dominican Republic saw an 11 percent increase in visitors in Q1 2023 compared to Q1 2019 according to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer released in January. 

The Larimar development in the Dominican Republic will be the latest addition to Sonesta’s portfolio of Latin American and Caribbean properties. Since entering the Latin American region with the Sonesta El Olivar in Lima, Peru, in 1998, Sonesta has expanded its network, adding hotels in Colombia, Ecuador and Chile. Through a master franchise agreement with GHL Hoteles in Colombia, Sonesta opened the Sonesta Hotel Cali in April 2022 as its 14th property in Latin America and eighth in Colombia. Additional Caribbean hotels include two all-inclusive resorts in Sint Maarten: the family-friendly Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and the adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort along with the Royal Sonesta San Juan in Puerto Rico.

The James and The Royal Sonesta brands are new additions to the Sonesta Franchise portfolio in the U.S. and in Latin America.