By Jeff Barton
The global JW Marriott chain officially took over operation of the hotel of the building formerly known as Trump Ocean Club on Tuesday, launching an exciting new era for Panama’s most iconic tower.
JW Marriott is one of the most respected hotel brands in the world and the new affiliation is sure to raise the value of every aspect of the Punta Pacifica property.
“Today is a really exciting day,” said Orestes Fintiklis, representing the Ithaca Capital, the owners of the building. “We are thrilled that the administration of this iconic hotel will be taken on by JW Marriott.”
The Trump name was removed in March, ending a lengthy dispute with the new owners. But the Trump era had been tumultuous for the tower for many years. Homeowner fees and service upgraded after the Trump Organization was removed as managers of the common areas in 2015.
The new managers aim to position the hotel as one of the top luxury destinations in the Caribbean and Latin America, according to coverage in La Estrella. There are only 12 JW Marriott hotels in the region.
Marriott International is working to grow its presence in Panama, with plans to open three more properties in 2021, including the Ritz Carlton Reserve on Las Perlas. Ninety-five percent of the 200 employees in the Punta Pacifica tower are Panamanian, according to the company.
The former Trump tower has 369 rooms, including 41 suites. The new administration will bring the chain’s sales structure and the Marriott Rewards loyalty program to the tower, which should expose Panama to a whole new generation of travelers.