Sonesta plans LatAm, Caribbean growth with new hires

Sonesta International Hotels Corp. has announced several key developments to support future expansion in Latin America and the Caribbean, including the renewal of its ongoing master franchise relationship with GHL Hoteles and the hiring of three lodging development leaders with hospitality experience in these regions.  

These developments are expected to provide Sonesta with the infrastructure to expand beyond its Sonesta Hotels & Resorts and Sonesta Posadas del Inca brands and introduce seven new brands—Sonesta Select, Sonesta ES Suites, Sonesta Simply Suites, The Royal Sonesta, The James, Red Lion Hotel/Red Lion Inn & Suites and Signature Inn—to the markets.

"The demand we are seeing in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America encourages us to expand Sonesta's footprint across these key markets," Brian Quinn, Sonesta’s chief development officer, said in a statement. "We look to build upon our long-standing presence in Latin America by renewing our significant relationship with GHL Hoteles and by hiring regional lodging development leaders to expand the Sonesta and Red Lion brands. We are excited to pursue our first opportunities in Mexico, where there is strong interest in both city and resort destinations, and to increase further our presence in the Caribbean beyond Sint Maarten and Puerto Rico."

Sonesta first established a presence in the Latin American region in 1998 when it flagged the Sonesta Hotel El Olivar in Lima, Peru. The company, through its master licensee, has since added Sonesta Hotels in Colombia, Ecuador and Chile as well as introduced Sonesta Posadas del Inca in Peru to leisure-focused destinations like Lake Titicaca, the Sacred Valley and Cusco. Through its master franchise agreement with GHL Hoteles, based in Colombia, Sonesta has added hotels via ground-up development and conversions. As recently as April 2022, Sonesta, through GHL, introduced Sonesta Hotel Cali, marking the 14th property in Latin America and the eighth property in Colombia. In the Caribbean, Sonesta has two resorts in Sint Maarten—family-friendly Sonesta Maho Beach Resort (2004) and adults-only Sonesta Ocean Point Resort (2014)—and the Royal Sonesta San Juan in Puerto Rico (2020).

New Appointments

Sonesta continues its commitment to Latin America and the Caribbean with the addition of three lodging development veterans:

Marco Roca—development lead, South & Central America/Mexico/Caribbean: Roca is a senior executive leader with more than 30 years of global experience in real estate, hospitality, casinos and restaurants. He has been responsible for the ground-up development of three major brands in the midscale, upscale and upper-upscale segments and has served in executive leadership and property operations roles with leading lodging real estate and gaming companies. Over the course of his career, he has been involved in closing more than 1,500 transactions that equate to approximately $50 billion in development expansion.

Adrian Francois—franchise development, Latin America: Based in Brazil, Francois will be responsible for the development of Sonesta Hotels in Latin America. Before commencing work for Sonesta, he held senior development roles in Latin America with multiple lodging companies. Previously, Francois was the executive global SVP of sales and development for CMNet.

Jayson Clemons—RVP, franchise development, Mexico & Caribbean: Clemons joins Sonesta after a long career in hospitality in operations, management, sales and marketing and development. Most recently, Clemons worked as an independent hospitality consultant on several projects for various clients in Europe, the Caribbean and Latin America.