Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-letter: Sept. 26, 2006

THE 72-SUITE PALMS resort on Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, signed a management contract with Carlson-owned Regent Hotels & Resorts, marking Regent's debut in the Caribbean. The deluxe property, which has had no management company since its February 2005 opening, will be rebranded as the Regent Palms, Turks and Caicos in early 2007, according to Frank Klare, who is serving as acting interim general manager. A permanent general manager will be named shortly. Stan Hartling, CEO of the Hartling Group, which is a co-owner of the Palms, said that "Regent has established itself over the years as a worldwide leader in the hospitality industry. As part of the evolution as a premier world-class resort, we were convinced it made good business sense to align ourselves with a true luxury brand with global reach." Regent has six properties worldwide and plans to open properties in South Beach, Fla., and Beijing this fall, followed by Bal Harbour, Fla., and Boston, among other destinations, in 2007. Planned for the Palms is a revamping of hotel operations as well as implementation of Regent's product and service standards, according to Klare. The resort will remain open throughout. The reservations number will remain the same at (866) 877-7256.

TAKEOFFS

" Tradewind Aviation will launch daily, scheduled service between San Juan and St. Barts on Nov. 1. The 60-minute flight will depart San Juan at 3 p.m. and St. Barts at noon. Service is aboard an eight-passenger turbo-prop plane with executive club seats, laptop power outlets, in-flight phone and data links and DVD players with wireless headphones. Through Nov. 15, introductory rates are $350 one way or $700 roundtrip; after Nov. 15, the fare increases to $495 one way or $990 roundtrip. Wimco, a Rhode Island-based villa rental and hotel reservations firm, is the authorized air charter agent for Tradewind. The air service is available through Wimco to anyone wishing to fly between San Juan and St. Barts, not limited to villa/hotel clients. For further information on Wimco and Tradewind Aviation, call (800) 932-3222.

" Spirit Airlines discontinued its eight-month-old service from Fort Lauderdale to the Turks and Caicos on Sept. 3, according to Rebecca Rivera, communications manager. The carrier had launched daily service from Fort Lauderdale to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, on Feb. 16, followed three days later by twice-weekly service on Wednesdays and Sundays to Grand Turk. The destination is served by American with a daily flight from New York (Kennedy), twice-daily flights from Miami and three times a week from Boston. US Airways offers daily flights from Charlotte, N.C., and five flights a week from Philadelphia. Delta serves the destination daily from Atlanta.

LODGEPODGE

"The 600-suite Cove Atlantis on Paradise Island will open in March, marking the next phase of Kerzner International's Atlantis expansion. The property will be housed in a 22-story tower and will feature the first Bobby Flay Mesa Grill restaurant outside the U.S., an adults-only pool area with 22 private cabanas as well as a separate family pool, a nightclub called Pure, and several cafes and restaurants. In addition, the 63-acre Aquafest water theme park with a river rapids course and the Power Tower with four high-tech water slides opens in January; on tap in February will be the 11-acre Dolphin Cay attraction, which will serve as the new home to 17 dolphins displaced from their home in Gulfport, Miss. by Hurricane Katrina. The 30,000-square-foot Mandara Spa and a residential condominium tower next to the Cove will open next spring as well. Atlantis is accepting reservations for the Cove at (877) COVE VIP or via the Web site at www.thecoveatlantis.com.

" After $29 million in renovations and upgrades, the 329-room Club Med La Caravelle in Guadeloupe will reopen Dec. 16, following a nine-month closure. Three days earlier, Delta will launch twice-weekly flights on Wednesdays and Saturdays from Atlanta to Pointe a Pitre, Guadeloupe. La Caravelle, a longtime favorite with families, opened in 1971. Facilities now include a Mini-Club Med for ages 4 to 10 years and a Junior Club for teenagers up to age 17. Seven-night all-inclusive land-and-air rates this winter start at $1,120 per person, double. For details, visit www.clubmed.com.

THE SECOND ANNUAL NEVIS INTERNATIONAL CULINARY HERITAGE EXPOSITION is set for Oct. 18 to 25. The festival highlights the food, wine and culture of the Caribbean and includes cooking demonstrations by leading Caribbean and international chefs. In celebration, the Four Seasons Resort Nevis is offering two NICHE packages: a seven-night plan with accommodations, daily breakfast and two massages is priced from $2,450 per person, double; five nights with room and breakfast daily is $1,625 per person, double. Rates do not include admission to NICHE events. For festival details, visit www.nevis-niche.com; for Four Seasons, visit www.fourseasons.com/nevis.

Caribbean Editor:

Gay Nagle Myers

Phone: (201) 902-1591

[email protected]

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