New York’s Blesso Properties Opens Luxury, Eco-Conscious Hotel in Panama City’s Casco Viejo

NEW YORK CITY, NY – April 4, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — Real estate development and investment firm Blesso Properties has formally opened its Tántalo Hotel/Kitchen/Roofbar, an innovative, eco-conscious boutique property in Panama City, Panama’s Casco Viejo district, reports Matthew Blesso, founder and chief executive officer.

Casco Viejo (the “old city”), where Panama’s Presidential Palace and the National Theatre are located, is rapidly emerging as a popular tourist destination, largely as a result of its preserved Spanish colonial architecture and lively Caribbean lifestyle.

The Tántalo Hotel, only a few blocks from the Palace, is in the heart of the district. It brings touches of modern New York City design to Casco Viejo’s architectural legacy, and incorporates artwork by emerging local artists throughout the hotel’s interiors and in each of the 13 uniquely-designed guest rooms. Each room reflects a different artist’s creative expression and theme, utilizing numerous media, including photography, graffiti art and light boxes.

Highlighting the works of aspiring artists at the hotel provides an opportunity for artistic expression to flourish and to be appreciated by the community.

“I visited Casco Viejo for the first time in 2008,” says Mr. Blesso, “and couldn’t help believing that any real estate I was interested in acquiring in New York was likely to decrease in value, while any real estate I purchased in Casco Viejo would appreciate. Sure enough, the area improved dramatically while we were developing the project.

“The community largely views Tántalo as the final element of making Casco Viejo Panama City’s primary cultural and nightlife destination. While only recently opened, it has quickly become not only the most popular destination in Casco Viejo, but in all of Panama City.”

Mr. Blesso explains that Panama City has transformed rapidly into a major international business hub, but has not yet developed many of the modern cultural amenities found in other international destinations and didn’t previously have a true boutique hotel.

The Tántalo Kitchen/Lounge is a communal-style restaurant, offering internationally-inspired cuisine presented by Panamanian-born Chef Pierre DeJanon. The lounge area also contains a 25’-wide and two-story-high live greenwall – the first of its kind in Panama –
displaying approximately 1,000 native Panamanian flora. These plants are nourished by rainwater reclaimed from the skylight atrium located high above the lounge.

Tántalo’s Encima Roofbar, which is the first and only rooftop public space in Casco Viejo, offers unsurpassed panoramic views of Panama City and live entertainment. The fourth-floor roofbar is accessed by elevator, one of the few in the neighborhood.

“The economic boom in Panama prompted us to embrace this adaptive re-use project –
the building was originally an apartment residence – which has been both intellectually and artistically stimulating from a development perspective,” states Mr. Blesso. “Our goal was to create a boutique hotel where guests can feel relaxed and inspired in a way that is not available from the larger chains. We envisioned a second home for both tourists and locals to congregate at any time of day or night to relax, conduct business and have fun. So far, the response has been overwhelmingly positive.”

Blesso Properties is an innovative and socially conscious real estate development and investment firm. Blesso creates inspired environments that enhance people’s lives, foster creative commerce and generate exceptional profits. Blesso is also a co-owner of 3rd Ward and Artists Wanted. Its investments in these and other operating businesses complement its real estate work and focus on fostering unique and creative commerce and environments. Since its founding in 1998, the firm has been widely published, garnered seven design awards and one humanitarian award, and broken numerous residential pricing records.

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