Travel Weeklys Caribbean E-letter: April 20, 2006

PARADISUS PALMA REAL, the fifth all-inclusive resort in Sol Melia Hotels and Resorts Paradisus brand, opened with fanfare on Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic during the annual 2006 Dominican Travel Exchange DATE), which was held April 5 to 7. Hotel officials reported that advance bookings were strong for all the Paradisus properties, including the new resort. The 554-suite Paradisus Palma Real offers gourmet dining choices, a range of complimentary amenities and adults-only royal service with personal butlers and private beach and pool areas. Each of the oversized suites is equipped with mahogany furniture, a Jacuzzi for two, a spacious bathroom with European Spa jet shower, plasma television, CD player, daily stocked mini bar, and a private terrace. The resort has 102 royal service suites and two presidential suites. Royal service guests have exclusive check-in and checkout, butlers, pillow menu selections, restricted beach and pool areas with Bali-beds, a private lounge, and preferential reservations for specialty restaurants, spa, activities, and excursions. Its family concierge program offers special suites; a personalized concierge service to coordinate family activities, a check-in lounge, a childrens welcome amenity, including kids beach bag with sunscreen, baseball cap, and T-shirt; an optional in-room PlayStation; amenity kits, including child-sized bathrobe and slippers; and turndown services. To book, call (800) 33-MELIA; hotel information also can be accessed by visiting

THE COMMISSIONERS OF TOURISM of St. Maarten and St. Martin issued a joint denunciation of a recent attack against two American men, calling the attacks barbaric and heinous. New York journalists Dick Jefferson and Ryan Smith were attacked with tire irons outside a bar in Philipsburg, St. Maarten, by three men who had yelled anti-gay slurs. Both were transferred to Miami for treatment where Jefferson has since been released and doctors believe Smith may have suffered brain damage. The joint statement from Theo Heyliger, commissioner of tourism of St. Maarten and Romeo Fleming, commissioner of tourism of St. Martin, said, the entire community of St. Maarten/St. Martin expresses its deepest sympathies for the pain and anguish suffered by Ryan Smith and Richard Jefferson and their families from the vicious attack that occurred on our island. The statement went on to say that the destination has long been recognized for its safety, friendliness and absence of crime and that the community is committed to being a welcome environment for persons of all ethnic, religious and social preferences. We consider this to be an isolated incident that is in no way representative of the behavior of our citizens. These crimes wont go unpunished, the statement said. Heyliger said St. Maartens chief prosecutor and our police force are leading an extensive and intense investigation and I am confident that we will bring those responsible to justice in a timely manner.

CARIBBEAN SUN AND CARIBBEAN STAR continue to rack up new destinations and routes. Caribbean Sun will launch service July 19 from San Juan to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, with eight daily nonstop flights on 37-seat aircraft. The carrier has served Santiago, Dominican Republic, since December 2004 and recently opened a call center outside of Santo Domingo. William Skip Barnett, president and CEO of both carriers, said that the Dominican Republic continues to grow in importance for us. Theres great opportunity for growth in this market. In addition, Caribbean Sun launched daily nonstop service between Antigua and Trinidad, and Caribbean Star will add a third daily flight between Grenada and Barbados. Combined, both carriers operate 155 weekly flights to/from Barbados, making it the busiest gateway in the Caribbean Star/Sun system. A total of 18 Caribbean destinations are served by the two carriers, which carry more than 80,000 passengers each month. For fares and schedules, visit Caribbean Sun at and Caribbean Star at


" Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino in St. Maarten launched its Girlfriends Gathering package with highlights including spa time, nightclub festivities and complimentary room upgrades. The nightly rate is $199 per person, double, for travel through Dec. 15 with a couple requirements: guests must stay for a minimum of three nights and must book a minimum of two rooms. For details, visit

" Phase one of the Palmyra Resort & Spa at Rose Hall, Jamaicas first beachfront condominium hotel, is slated for completion in fall 2007 on a 16-acre spot next to the Ritz-Carlton property in Montego Bay. The 630 condo units and 26 villas, which will be available to hotel guests when not owner-occupied, have price tags from $400,000 to $5 million each. Facilities will include a 42,000-square-foot spa, a fitness center, three pools, two restaurants, a concierge staff, a kids club and access to three nearby golf courses. For information, visit

" An alternative to connecting through San Juan for a flight to Rosewoods Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands is to book the resorts Air Taxi service from St. Thomas direct to Virgin Gorda. The 12-minute, twin-engine flight is priced at $175 per person, one way; resort staff meet the plane for the three-minute transfer to the property. The service operates daily. For details or to book flights, call (284) 495-5555 or e-mail [email protected].

Caribbean Editor:

Gay Nagle Myers

Phone: (201)902-1591

[email protected]

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


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