Hilton Carlsbad Oceanfront Resort & Spa has officially opened in the city’s Ponto Beach neighborhood. The $80 million, 215-room resort, under construction for the past 18 months, welcomed its first guests following a June 21 evening ribbon-cutting ceremony, according to a June 22 statement from developer Wave Crest Oceanfront LLC of Encinitas.

The hotel is operated by Wave Crest Hotels and Resorts, which also runs Hilton Garden Inn Carlsbad Beach. Bill Canepa is managing partner of Wave Crest Oceanfront and president of Wave Crest Hotels and Resorts.

The new Hilton has 25,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting and wedding space, a 5,600-square-foot spa and an upscale restaurant, Chandler’s Restaurant & Lounge, serving coastal regional cuisine and led by acclaimed chef Pascal Vignau.

Operators said the resort now employs 200, and more than 300 workers were involved in its construction.