Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-letter: October 13, 2005

GRACE BAY CLUB in Providenicales, Turks and Caicos, will officially open its 38 new family-friendly villas Nov. 1, representing a $45 million expansion project at the resort. The Villas at Grace Bay Club are set in four five-story, Mediterranean-style buildings. Each building houses two suites per floor. The 38 units include four penthouse villas, 14 two-bedroom villas and 20 three-bedroom villas. Each villa includes oceanfront balconies and nine-foot ceilings; open kitchens with granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances; and bathrooms with walk-in showers and double vanities. The villa complex has a pool for family swimming, a new beachside grill and bar and a Kids Town supervised activity area. The 21-suite, adults-only hotel, which is in a separate area, has its own pool; the Anacaona adults-only restaurant, which recently completed a $100,000 renovation; and an on-the-beach lounge with couch, bed and chair seating and a tapas and martini menu. In addition, opening in December is the 5,000-square-foot Anani Spa & Fitness Center. Three- and five-night packages, available through Dec. 19 and from Jan. 4 to 31, offer savings up to 46%. For details, call (800) 946-5757 or visit www.gracebayclub.com.

GWV VACATIONS will launch weekly nonstop service Jan. 8 from Boston to Montego Bay, Jamaica, for its seven-night programs starting at $899 per person, double, to more than 20 Jamaica resorts in Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios and Runaway Bay. Travel can be booked through January for travel that month and on select dates in March, April and May. Rates include roundtrip air, transfers, accommodations, meals, drinks and activities. For details, visit www.gwvvacations.com.

GRENADA'S BLUE HORIZONS Garden Resort instituted a no-smoking in-room policy applicable to its 32 guest rooms, effective Oct. 11. Guests will still be permitted to smoke on the patios or in any open-air space throughout the property.

PACKAGE DEALS

" Mark Travel's six Caribbean vaction brands -- Funjet Vacations, TransGlobal Vacations, US Airways Vacations, United Vacations, Vacations by Adventure and ATA Vacations -- which account for approximately 130,000 passengers annually to the Caribbean, have expanded their product lines in the Caribbean region this winter. Some specifics include: United Airlines' flights offered by Funjet and United Vacations from Chiago (O'Hare) and Washington (Dulles) to St. Lucia and St. Maarten; expanded programs with Sandals and Beaches Resorts; the addition of several more hotels, including Sandals Whitehouse and the Shaw Park, both in Jamaica; a new cell phone rental feature in Aruba which permits Funjet clients to call the U.S. for as little as $0.67 per minute with free incoming calls; new service on Spirit Airlines to Turks and Caicos. To access each brand's programs, visit www.marktravel.com and click on the individual links.

" Apple Vacations is paying 15% commission on its air-inclusive packages, scheduled air programs and land-only offerings from the New York area (Newark, LaGuardia, Kennedy and Islip) on Caribbean programs booked through June 30 for travel anytime. In addition, agents can earn 15% commission for all of 2006 if they have 100 passengers on the books by June 30.  For details, visit www.myappleonline.com.

WEB SITE-INGS

" Sol Melia Hotels & Resorts relaunched its site at www.solmelia.com. A promotion in conjunction with the launch includes a shot at winning up to 10 years of free vacations for every Web site booking in October. Surf on over.

"  The Caribbean is the venue for Cricket World Cup 2007, an event which takes place every four years. The 2007 event will run from the opening ceremony March 13 in the new Sabina park in Trelawny, Jamaica, to the closing event April 28 in Kensington Oval in Barbados. In between, 16 teams will compete over 47 days in eight Caribbean countries. For details and ticket prices, visit www.cricketworldcup.com.

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