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Opening of upscale hotels marks turning point in Haiti's reconstruction

Several hotels are scheduled to open or begin construction over the next few months in Haiti, raising expectations of the country's recovery from the devastating 2010 earthquake. 

By Susana FerreiraReuters / December 12, 2012

A street vendor walks in front of the building in construction of Best Western Hotel in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in April. This city is undergoing the largest hotel building boom in its history, raising expectations that investors will soon fill those air-conditioned rooms looking to build factories, tourist infrastructure and other amenities that will help Haiti bounce back from the 2010 earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people.

Ramon Espinosa/AP

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Port-Au-Prince, Haiti

The opening of the upscale Royal Oasis Hotel in Haiti on Wednesday ushered in a new phase in the country's post-earthquake reconstruction, while providing a sharp contrast to the plight of hundreds of thousands still homeless almost three years after the disaster.

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The elite Oasis hotel in Petionville, a business and social hub in the hills south of Port-au-Prince, is part of the Occidental hotel chain and is the first in a string of international brand-name hotels opening in the coming months.

A Best Western Premier is scheduled to open its doors in January, and the newly reincarnated El Rancho is set to follow in February under the management of the Spanish group NH Hoteles.

A Marriott hotel, opening in partnership with telecom service provider Digicel, will have its official groundbreaking next week in downtown Port-au-Prince, and Comfort Inn is already in the process of taking over management of an existing hotel in the southern tourist city of Jacmel.

The Oasis boasts 128 rooms and suites, restaurants, retail shops and a conference center. An evening in the Royal Club Presidential Suite will set you back well over $1,000, with butler service included.

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