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HILTON TRINIDAD AND CONFERENCE CENTER
By Dwight Brown
Dwight, an executive at a major media company located in New York, is also a passionate travel writer who specializes in the Caribbean Islands and Brazil, writing about upscale hotels, resorts, dining venues, sports and cultural tours. He is a frequent contributor to Sleeping Around.
To discover all of Trinidad's treasures, you need a good
host. The host with the most on this Caribbean island is undoubtedly
Hilton Trinidad and Conference Center. Set on 25 acres and surrounded by
gardens, with palm trees, hibiscus and bougainvillea, it features a
view of the Gulf of Paria, the city of Port of Spain and Queens Park
Savannah. This Hilton is known as a superb business hotel, although I
couldn't have guessed that while I was there -- the hotel featured
local Ms. World swimsuit competition. Business hotel, yes. Party
Big Business at The Trinidad Hilton
As my taxi drove up the driveway, into a small circle
outside the entrance, the feel of the Trinidad Hilton seemed tropical.
Natural wood floors led into a cavernous lobby and hotel staff passed by
saying hello. The welcome was warm in this unique, upside down hotel --
entered the lobby, and to my surprise, all accommodations are on floors
below. My walk to one of the 394 rooms, down corridors, some with glass
walls and dramatic views of the Gulf of Paria, filled me with great
anticipation. All rooms have balconies with ocean, Northern Range
or Queens Park Savannah panoramas and 27 of the rooms are deluxe suites.
spacious suite was the size of a large apartment, with a satellite TV,
beds and a bathroom that could fit two guests easily. The decor is
and resplendent with earth colors.
Built on what was once the site of a government house, the
hotel was erected in 1962 and expanded several times up until 1993, when
was also refurbished. The Hilton is Trinidad's largest hotel. It's a
for business travelers as it is just 17 miles from the Piarco
Airport. There are 20 flexible conference room/banquet areas that can
accommodate from 15 to 1,200 people. The Hilton's Business Centre is
equipped with up-to-date computer equipment, internet access, 24-hour
copying, mail and postage service. Those who stay in one of the two
executive floors have access to the CLUBROOM. The CLUBROOM offers
continental breakfast, evening cocktails and its hosts help guests with
travel reservations and assume other concierge duties. Same-day
laundry/valet service, secretarial services and an airline check-in desk
just some of the amenities that make the Hilton business traveler
Daily Activities and Dining
After a good night's sleep I sampled the American buffet
breakfast at the Pool Terrace Garden Restaurant: tropical fruits, fresh
breads, egg dishes to order. It's also opened at lunchtime when it
an international buffet. La Boucan Restaurant serves afternoon tea from
4:00p.m. to 6:00p.m. Monday to Friday. Dinner is served nightly
10:30p.m. and the menu features international and West Indian cuisine.
I lounged around the pool, the waitresses brought me the local Carib
exotic drinks and light snacks from the poolside Gazebo Bar. Evenings,
guests gather at the Carnival Bar, which has a festive atmosphere and
features live music Saturday nights. Late at night, up until 6:30a.m.,
can buy a cocktail at the Lobby Bar. And yes, there are guests up that
on this party-time island.
If you like people watching, the pool area is a real scene.
The adult swimming pool is shaped like Trinidad and a smaller pool is
like Tobago. Guests lounge around in bathing suits, taking in the sun.
on one particular day the eye candy quotient went up several notches.
was the day the Hilton hosted the local bathing suit competition for the
Miss World Contest. Participants from around the island decked out in
swimwear and Carnival attire paraded their beauty around the pool, to
delight of guests and locals who rooted for their favorite contestant.
teenage pop group sang. The Daiquiris and Margaritas flowed. The sun
shined on the ladies. And in the end, when they all stood in a row, I
see that Trinidad's standard of beauty ranges from short to tall, tan to
black skin and to people of Asian, East Indian, Amerindian and African
heritage. The potpourri of loveliness makes Trinidad quite alluring.
I hit balls with the head pro on one of the two chevron
tennis courts and there's flood lighting for evening play. For those
like to paddle smaller balls, there is Table Tennis. I found just
equipment in the Fitness Center to do my basic workout and if I was so
inclined, Tai-Bo, Tai-Chi and Yoga classes were offered. Golfers can
arrange a game at the nearby Moka Golf Course, at the St. Andrews Golf
through the concierge.
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