San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Hyatt anchors new med center in Curridabat

As Costa Rica continues its competitive drive to attract medical tourists, new construction projects like the Momentum Pinares medical tourism complex, which includes a Hyatt Hotel and is currently under construction in the eastern San José neighborhood of Curridabat, are playing an increasingly important role in the industry’s development.

“One of the country’s main goals in the next few years is to keep attracting investment in infrastructure so that our patient care is on par with international standards,” said Diego Osborne, vice president of the Council for International Promotion of Costa Rican Medicine. “We need to have more top-quality centers to meet the country’s continuing demand.”

When completed, the 8-story Momentum Pinares development, located across from Hipermás and next to the Cartago highway, will include an office center, medical complex, 120-room Hyatt Hotel, movie theater, restaurants and a two-story parking lot.

According Momentum spokeswoman Sylvia Urcuyo, the development model of combining a multiuse medical center with a top-tier hotel and several nearby shops and amenities, is a model that’s designed to meet the growing demand of tens of thousands of medical tourists who travel to Costa Rica every year. The Momentum development is the first of its kind on the city’s east side.

Other countries have broken ground on similar development projects to tap into the growing medical tourism market. Mexico’s Médica Sur Hospital is partnered with the 53-room Holiday Inn Suites. Construction on Singapore Health Partners’ Connexion development began last October and is scheduled for completion in 2013. The Connexion project will include a 189-clinic medical complex, a 230-room hotel and a 220-bed hospital. Costa Rica’s CIMA hospital, in the southwestern suburb of Escazú, is next to the Residence Inn Marriott, an extended stay hotel.

“I definitely see more development like this in the future,” said Osborne. “From initiatives for centers of excellence to integral communities designed to satisfy the needs of foreign senior citizens, we are experimenting with new development options in one way or other.”

In Costa Rica, Momentum will house dozens of doctors’ offices that offer services ranging from orthodontic treatment to plastic surgery.

“Studies have shown that many people who do business in eastern San José have few options for business hotel accommodations, particularly one with the international recognition that the Hyatt has,” Urcuyo said.

According to Pat McCudden, Hyatt Hotels and Resorts’ senior vice president of development for Latin America and the Caribbean, Hyatt plans to expand in Latin America, where it already has hotels in Argentina Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

           Developers expect the Momentum project to be completed in 2012.

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