Haiti’s first airport hotel set to open in 2012

Recovery continues in the Caribbean island of Haiti as the first airport hotel readies to break ground later this year.

The $33 million project near the Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint L’Ouverture International Airport will feature 240-rooms, offer restaurants, a fitness center, swimming pool, spa facilities and lounges. According to Luxuo, the hotel is designed with “a distinct Creole feel.”

Much of Port-au-Prince was destroyed following the earthquake on Jan. 12, including many hotels, and the airport was closed to commercial flights. Rebuilding continues throughout Haiti and Port-au-Prince in an effort to improve the economy and position Haiti for long-term recovery.

The airport hotel is scheduled to open in 2012.

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk 011: Eyjafjallajökull, Club Obama, immigration law, barbecuing & cliff jumping!

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk, episode 11 – Click above to watch video after the jump
Ready to fire up the barbecue? It’s just about that time of year and we’re taking full advantage of the good weather to get you started on travel ideas for Spring.

This week we’ll take a closer look at Eyjafjallajökull (and even try to pronounce it), show you new camera technology that is changing the way we look at the world, discuss the benefits of masking your ‘Americanness’ abroad, break down the controversy of Arizona’s new immigration law, and reveal the latest Chinese enterprise to profit from Barack Obama.

Aaron brings us an amazing home-cooked Tasteful Destination with a special drink recipe & Bruce! is back for an essential Travel Tip. So kick back relax and enjoy!

If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.

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Check out Immersive Media’s 360° videos of Haiti.
Seth Stevenson: How to become invisible abroad.
Reserve your VIP table at the Obama Shanghai now.
Get the lowdown on Arizona’s new immigration law.
Learn how to pronounce Eyjafjallajökull in a song!

Hosts: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea
Special Guest: Bruce!
Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea


All music used in partnership with nonstopmusic.com

Photo of the Day (04.24.10)

Between the ash cloud and the tragic plane crash that killed Polish President Lech Kaczynski (amongst other news stories), the world’s attention has shifted away from Haiti. But, lest we think that the Caribbean nation has fully recovered from the devastating earthquake in January, Flickr user rexa.ch reminds us that there is still a long way to go to fully rebuild.

Back in January, America focused much of its attention on Haiti after the natural disaster. Since then, life has returned to “normal” here in the US and people have gone back to their day-to-day business. Meanwhile, the people of Haiti continue to struggle while putting together the shattered pieces of their lives.

You can still help by donating to the Red Cross. It’s as easy as texting “Haiti” to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Even if you donated back in January, consider helping again. We appreciate you taking the time (and, yes, money) to help our friends in Haiti.

Have a picture that personalizes the news? Have you witnessed history? Submit your images to Gadling’s Flickr group right now and we might use it for a future Photo of the Day.

American Airlines will begin commercial flights into Haiti starting Friday

American Airlines is all set to become the first airline to resume commercial flights into Haiti, according to an announcement it made last night. The first flight will depart Miami International Airport at 6:40 am and arrive in Port-au-Prince at 8:35 am. Kayak lists airfare for that flight at $782 roundtrip.

According to a spokesperson for American, three flights a day will depart for Port-au-Prince from South Florida, with four flights a week from JFK in New York soon to follow.

The main airport in Port-au-Prince, damaged significantly by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake which struck January 12, has finally been repaired enough to begin acccepting commercial passengers. Haitian Customs will take place at a nearby cargo facility, however, because of damage to the main terminal.

Despite not sending commercial flights into Haiti until Friday, American has been flying humanitarian workers, supplies, and medical personnel into Port-au-Prince since the earthquake.

According to a senior official for American Airlines, the commercial flights which begin Friday “serve as major milestones toward helping the country rebuild… With commercial air service restored, we can better connect loved ones and provide consistent transportation to and from Haiti.”

More here.

Choice Hotels planning hotel openings in Haiti

The Choice Hotels group – owners of hotel chains including Comfort Inn, Comfort Suites, Quality, Clarion and more – is making plans to open the first chain hotels in Haiti in almost a decade.

The Associated Press is reporting that the hotel company will start the chain with a Comfort Inn in Jacmel. The 32-room motel will open in May. A 120-room upscale hotel at the nearby Belle Rive tourism development is slated to be open this fall.

The Choice Hotels will be the brands first hotels in Haiti. Jacmel is located in Southern Haiti and is the country’s fourth largest city.