Hotels Irma heavily damages resorts in St. Barts, Virgin Islands By Danny King & Gay Nagle Myers / September 09, 2017 Share 1 -- Hurricane Irma, tearing through parts of the Caribbean on Wednesday and Thursday, destroyed or heavily damaged many resorts, including St. Barts' Eden Rock, Richard Branson's Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, St. Maarten's Westin Dawn Beach and its three Sonesta resorts, and the Hotel Mercure on St. Martin. The hurricane destroyed Necker Island, damaged Eden Rock Hotel and caused St. Thomas' Sugar Bay Resort enough damage to close it for the rest of the year. Damage from the storm on St. Barts, which took a direct hit, closed the tiny airport and knocked out electricity, water and much of the communications system. Keep your head up, keep your heart strong. We'll be back 🌴💪🏼 Thank you for all your messages of love and support! ❤️ #aftermath #hurricane #irma #caribbean #ourisland #island #islandlife #stbarthslife #stbarth #sbh #stbarths #stbarts #stbarthelemy A post shared by St Barths Life (@stbarthslife) on Sep 8, 2017 at 8:54am PDT Eden Rock reported that its staff are safe and the hotel remains standing, according to the Oetker Collection, which manages the luxury resort."We have a resilient team on site who have started the repair process. Our property was closed for annual maintenance and rehab works, so there were no guests in residence. The scheduled reopening in early October is postponed until further notice," the statement said.The hotel is owned by David and James Matthews, who are the parents of Pippa Middleton's husband James.Prior to Irma's arrival in the Caribbean, Villas of Distinction, a luxury villa rental property with properties on 18 Caribbean islands, helped arrange departures for clients on islands in the storm's projected path. "There is significant damage to our villas in some of the affected islands. We will continue to assess this and have been reaching out to move clients scheduled to arrive this month and in early October," said Steve Lassman, vice president.He said that one area of concern is the lack of electricity. "The islands need to restore basic services before any repair work can progress." View of the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Sint Maarten Dutch part of Saint Martin island in the Caribbean September 6, 2017. Netherlands Ministry of Defence/Handout via REUTERS #irma #hurricaneirma #disaster #reuters #reutersphotos #stmartin A post shared by Reuters (@reuters) on Sep 7, 2017 at 6:37am PDT On Anguilla, where Villas of Distinction has 55 villas, Lassman expects most of them to be fully operational by Nov. 1.There is no timeline yet for the 272 villas on St. Barts nor for the 55 properties in the British Virgin Islands and the 134 in St. Martin.In St. Martin, three Sonesta Hotels properties and the Westin Dawn Beach suffered extensive damage, according to the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association. Riu Hotels & Resorts said guests and staff at its Hotel Riu Palace St. Martin are "fine," and the hotel had stocked up on enough food and water to keep serving everyone on site.Barbuda had extensive damage to its infrastructure, while Anguilla's infrastructure sustained "moderate to severe damage," said the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association. Antigua was "largely unscathed," and St. Kitts had "minimal damage."Irma appeared to largely spare resorts in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.While as many as 1 million people on Puerto Rico lost power, Hyatt reported no major damage at its five Puerto Rico properties and Hilton's 11 Puerto Rico properties didn't sustain much damage and are returning to normal operations."The Puerto Rico Convention Center and most of our hotels are fully operational, ready to welcome guests and accepting reservations," Meet Puerto Rico CEO Milton Segarra said in a statement Friday.While the Dominican Republic's north coast sustained heavy rains, Riu said its Punta Cana operations had "minor material damage, and Puerto Plata had no "significant damage." The Riu Bachata and the Riu Merengue are "operating as usual." AMResorts, which operates 14 all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic under brands such as Dreams, Secrets and Zoetry, said that its properties sustained "minor damage" and had no operational disruption.