Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-letter: Aug. 28, 2007

GRENADA'S 100-ROOM, all-inclusive LaSource resort on Pink Gin Beach, closed for almost three years due to Hurricane Ivan in 2004, plans to reopen on or about Dec. 15. Although the spa resort will open its reservations books on Sept. 1, bookings will be accepted for stays beginning Feb. 1 and beyond in case "certain supplies that we are awaiting have not arrived by the time we open," a spokesperson said. As the opening date nears, the resort will update its timeline if supplies and inventory are in place; in that case, reservations will be taken for the holiday period and January. The property had grappled with insurance adjustors for almost two years, which delayed the start of reconstruction. When the resort opens, it will be completely redone, featuring new pool decks; three bars; a deli; air-conditioning in a section of the Great House restaurant; upgraded guest rooms and bathrooms; and the addition of a second pool and Jacuzzi. Guests will receive one free spa treatment at the Oasis Spa each day of their stay. LaSource will have three restaurants, a dive shop, water sports, bike tours, aerobics and holistic activities such as yoga and stress management. For details, call (888) 527-0044. A Web site, at www.theamazingholiday.com, will be updated shortly.

THE BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS AND GRENADA each have new ministers of tourism. Following elections in the British Virgin Islands on Aug. 20, BVI Gov. David Peary held a swearing in ceremony for new BVI Premier Ralph O'Neal and his cabinet. O'Neal, the territory's first person to hold the title of premier under a new British Virgin Islands constitution adopted earlier this year, also will serve as the minister of tourism and finance. The 74-year-old O'Neal served a previous term as chief minister of the BVI from 1995 to 2003 and has served as an elected representative of the district representing Virgin Gorda and Anegada since 1971. The Grenada Board of Tourism, meanwhile, has appointed Clarice Modeste-Curwen to the post of minister of tourism, civil aviation, culture and the performing arts, succeeding Brenda Hood, who served in that post for six years. Hood will replace Modeste-Curwen as Grenada's minister for communication, works and transport. Modeste-Curwen had served in that post since December 2003. The new appointments in Grenada were part of a recent cabinet reshuffling of several ministerial posts.

LODGEPODGE

" Hyatt Corp. will open its briefcase in Trinidad for the first time with the debut of the 428-room Hyatt Regency Trinidad in Port of Spain in December, the first full-service hotel to open in Trinidad since 1962. The property, geared to the business, events and convention travel markets, will be part of the Port of Spain International Waterfront Center. Facilities will include 43,000 square feet of meetings space, seven meeting rooms, a fitness center, a full-service business complex, an infinity pool, a 9,000-square-foot spa and several restaurants and lounges. The Hyatt Regency Trinidad will join two other Hyatt Regency properties in the Caribbean, in Aruba and Grand Cayman (the main complex has been closed since Hurricane Ivan in 2004 but Hyatt's 53 beach suites are open).

" Cayman Brac's Divi Tiara Resort, which closed on Sept. 23, 2006 and was put up for sale, has not yet found a buyer, according to parent company Divi Resorts, which operates eight other resorts on five Caribbean islands. The lack of direct airlift to Cayman Brac from the U.S. was cited at the time of closure as the main reason for shuttering the 51-room resort, known primarily for its dive operations. Cayman Airways has jet service four days a week between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac as well as a commuter service several times a day using smaller Twin Otter prop planes, but the lack of nonstop service from the U.S. has proven an obstacle, Divi Resorts said.

THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS forged a marketing partnership with Major League Baseball's New York Yankees; the partnership kicks off Sept. 5 with "U.S. Virgin Islands Day" at Yankee Stadium. On game day, the first 18,000 fans over 21 years of age will receive a USVI-branded sunglass case containing a special offer to book travel to the destination. In-stadium advertising will reinforce the destination's branding and call to action, while fans will have a chance to win a trip to the Buccaneer hotel on St. Croix during the game. The stadium's screen will feature 30-second USVI commercial spots during each game through the remainder of the 2007 season. In the coming year, the USVI Dept. of Tourism will coordinate e-mail blasts with special offers to Yankee season ticket holders and to visitors of the Yankees.com Web site.

Caribbean Editor: Gay Nagle Myers

Phone: (201) 902-1924

[email protected]

For promotional opportunities in the E-letters, contact [email protected].

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