Published on August 31st, 2014 | by Mark Chesnut
Supersize Travel: The 29 Largest Hotels in Latin America
If bigger is better, then these hotels win hands down. From Mexico to Brazil, Latin America is home to several grand-scale places to stay. Some are all-inclusive beach resorts, others are urban hotels popular for business trips and meetings — although even the hotels in the middle of the largest cities in Latin America have lots of on-site sports and entertainment facilities and, in some cases, even children’s clubs.
Indeed, one of the advantages of staying in an extra-large hotel is that they’re often self-contained worlds unto themselves, complete with multiple restaurants, well-equipped business facilities and extensive leisure activities. So if you’re looking to supersize your next Latin America trip, consider these options:
1. Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort, Cancun (2,210 rooms): This all-inclusive Mexico beach hotel has has more than 100,000 square feet of meeting and event space as well as 14 restaurants, 17 bars and a FlowRider Double Wave Simulator and the Moon Palace Arena, which hosts live shows.
DON’T MISS: 5 Ways to Connect with Mexican Culture in Cancun
2. Hard Rock Hotel Megapolis, Panama City, Panama (1,500 rooms): This Panama hotel lives up to its mega-name, with more guest rooms than any other hotel in Panama City. On-site entertainment includes a roof lounge, nightclub and Stage, a venue that hosts live bands.
DON’T MISS: LF Awards: The 10 Best Hotels in Panama City, Panama
3. Oasis Cancun (1,460 rooms): This all-inclusive Cancun beach hotel complex, billed as “the entertainment resort” is so big it actually comprises two different properties: Oasis Cancun, the less expensive of the two, has 879 guest rooms, 28 hectares of gardens, a golf course, swimming pool, 10 restaurants and 11 bars. The slightly more upscale Grand Oasis Cancun has a few additional amenities in its 581 rooms, with 18 restaurants. Both offer free Smart Car rentals (you just have to pay for insurance, which is about $50 a day), and access to the Oasis Arena, which hosts live music and boxing events. (Check out my reviews of several Oasis hotels in Cancun — including my review of the Smart Car rental!)
4. Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya (1,264 rooms): This all-inclusive Mexico beach resort has casual and a-la-carte dining, nightly live entertainment, a children’s club and a Music Lab that allows guests to live their fantasy of being a music star. A “resort within the resort,” called Heaven, is a special section just for adults.
5. Grand Bahia Principe Tulum (978 rooms): This all-inclusive Mexico beach hotel has four restaurants, six bars, a spa, a children’s club, tennis courts, marina, a dolphinarium and a casino.
6. Caribe Hilton, San Juan, Puerto Rico (916 rooms): Located between the Puerto Rico beach neighborhood of Condado and historic Old San Juan, the Caribe Hilton — one of Puerto Rico’s first grand hotels — is set on 17 acres, with a 12,000-square-foot spa, a nearly private beach, and eight eateries (the property also claims to be the birthplace of the piña colada).
DON’T MISS: LF Awards: The 18 Best Hotels & Restaurants in San Juan, Puerto Rico
7. Paradisus Playa del Carmen, Mexico (906 rooms): This all-inclusive Mexico beach resort, in the Riviera Maya region, is divided between two properties: the adults-only La Perla, which has 394 rooms, three outdoor pools, five restaurants, a spa and outdoor tennis court, and the family-friendly La Esmeralda, which has 512 rooms, 10 restaurants, a spa, health club, five outdoor swimming pools and a children’s club.
8. Holiday Inn Parque Anhembi, São Paulo (780 rooms): São Paulo is a big city (the largest in Brazil and one of the two biggest in the Americas), so it deserves some big hotels. The Holiday Parque Anhembi targets mostly business travelers and conventions, thanks to its location adjacent to the Anhembi Convention Center. The property offers a free shuttle to the Center Norte Shopping Center, and has an indoor swimming pool, fitness center and business center.
9. Hyatt Regency Mexico City (755 rooms): Mexico City is the other super-sized metropolis in Latin America, with giant hotels to match. The Hyatt Regency Mexico City is located in the upscale Polanco district; its main lobby of this luxurious Mexico hotel recently underwent a renovation, and debuted a new restaurant, Paraje Latino, which blends Mexican, Argentinian and Peruvian flavors and traditions. The swimming pool and main fitness center have been temporarily closed for renovation.
DON’T MISS: What Kevin Spacey Loves About Mexico — & His Favorite Movies Filmed There
10. Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel and Towers, Mexico City (755 rooms): Well located on Paseo de la Reforma, one of Mexico City’s largest boulevards, the Sheraton Maria Isabel has multiple restaurants and nightlife venues, including Jarongo Bar, which hosts live Mariachi music performances. The property also has a fitness center, outdoor heated swimming pool and two lighted tennis courts.
11. Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa, Dominican Republic (751 rooms): This family-friendly, all-inclusive Dominican Republic beach resort, which belongs to AMResorts, has has seven a-la-carte restaurants, a buffet restaurant, two bistros and a cafe, as well as a 21,000-square-foot spa, a children’s club and teens club, and a 3,208-square-foot casino.
12. El Conquistador Resort, Puerto Rico (750 rooms): This Waldorf Astoria Resort on the east coast of Puerto Rico sits dramatically atop a 300-foot cliff overlooking the Caribbean has its own private, 100-acre island called Palomino, reached by catamaran.
13. Sheraton Buenos Aires Hotel & Convention Center (740 rooms): This urban hotel, located in Argentina’s capital, has lighted tennis courts, a seasonal outdoor swimming pool and a year-round indoor pool.
DON’T MISS: How to Tour Argentina Like Pope Francis (Almost)
14. Camino Real Mexico, Mexico City (712 rooms): Located just outside the upscale Polanco district, this Mexico City hotel sports some of the city’s most noteworthy modern hotel architecture, designed by famed architect Ricardo Legorreta in the 1960s (the hotel opened in 1968). The expansive property has 10 diverse bars and restaurants, three swimming pools, reception rooms for up to 1,700 people, and more than 600 original works of modern and contemporary art.
15. Clubhotel Riu Jalisco, Mexico (700 rooms): Located in the Riviera Nayarit, north of Puerto Vallarta, this all-inclusive Mexico beach hotel has two swimming pools and a children’s pool, a spa, a children’s club, five restaurants and six bars.
DON’T MISS: Top 5 Reasons to Vacation in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
16. Presidente InterContinental Mexico City (661 rooms): This 42-story Mexico City hotel, in the Polanco district, has seven restaurants, a fitness center and spa, and a supervised children’s center with meals and activities just for kids.
17. Bourbon Convention Ibirapuera, São Paulo (656 rooms): Located near Congonhas airport, Shopping Ibirapuera and Ibirapuera park, this business-oriented São Paulo hotel has an indoor swimming pool and fitness center.
18. Hotel Riu Panama Plaza, Panama City (644 rooms): Centrally located in the financial quarter, this Panama City hotel has six restaurant and bar venues, 23 meeting and event rooms, as well as great views from the upper floors of this fast-growing city.
DON’T MISS: Panama Travel Tips: The Best Shopping, Restaurants & Hotels in the Casco Antiguo
19. Royal Decameron Complex, Riviera Nayarit, Mexico (620 rooms): The Royal Decameron Complex is divided into three hotel units: Flamingos, Tropical and Royal, and is located 20 minutes from the Puerto Vallarta airport. The complex has 5 swimming pools, three tennis courts, a soccer field and a children’s club.
20. Eurobuilding Hotel & Suites Caracas (617 rooms): Not many people visit Caracas nowadays on vacation, so this Caracas hotel focuses mostly on business travel. The property has 17 meeting rooms, a fitness center, outdoor heated swimming pool, tennis court and four restaurants. Accommodations are divided into five types of services: First Class, Business Class, Deluxe, Standard and Business Woman, a floor designated solely for female travelers, which includes access to a lounge that offers daily breakfast, open bar from 6 to 9pm and coffee.
21. Fiesta Americana Reforma, Mexico City (616 rooms): Located on Paseo de la Reforma, this Mexico City hotel features four restaurants and bars, a fitness center and a Fiesta Kids Club with supervised children’s activities.
22. Westin Playa Bonita Panama (611 rooms): The closest beachfront hotel to Panama City, Panama, the Westin Playa Bonita has three swimming pools, six restaurants, a Westin Kids Club and a large Sensory Spa by Clarins with 13 treatment rooms.
DON’T MISS: The LatinFlyer review of the Westin Playa Bonita Panama Hotel
23. Crowne Plaza Tequendama Bogota (573 rooms): One of the first big international chain hotels in Colombia’s capital, this property is centrally located in the business district. The property has four dining and bar venues, a business center, fitness center, spa and indoor swimming pool.
24. Rio Othon Palace, Rio de Janeiro (572 rooms): Located in the heart of Copacabana, this Rio de Janeiro hotel soars 30 stories, offering great views of the beach and the mountains. There is a heated swimming pool on the roof and a rooftop bar and restaurant.
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25. Sheraton Rio Hotel & Resort, Rio de Janeiro (559 rooms): Set on 27 acres on the coast between Ipanema and São Conrado, this Rio de Janeiro hotel has a spa, business center, fitness center and children’s club.
26. Hotel Riu Plaza Guadalajara (557 rooms): This 42-story building has an outdoor swimming pool, gym and spa.
27. Windsor Atlantica, Rio de Janeiro (545 rooms): Overlooking Copacabana, this 39-story hotel has a spa, fitness center, two swimming pools, three restaurants and 24 meeting rooms.
28. Windsor Guanabara, Rio de Janeiro (542 rooms): Located in downtown Rio de Janeiro, this 21-story hotel has an outdoor pool, business center and health club.
29. Hilton São Paulo Morumbi (503 rooms): Located in the CENU business complex on Berrini Ave., the financial district in Sao Paulo, the Hilton Sao Paulo Morumbi hotel offers direct access to a shopping mall and heliport. The property has 19 meeting rooms, a 28th-floor swimming pool, fitness center, and a restaurant called Canvas, which exhibits modern art pieces and serves Brazilian cuisine.