Travel Weeklys Caribbean E-letter: Aug. 26, 2004

MARRIOTT INTERNATIONALS Caribbean portfolio of 19 hotels and resorts representing 5,641 rooms in five lodging brands in 10 Caribbean destinations expands further with the November debut of its first property in Trinidad. The 122-room Port of Spain Courtyard will join the current roster of Courtyard properties in San Juan, Grand Cayman and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. A second Courtyard will open in the Dominican Republic in 2006 in Santiago in the geographic center of the countrys northern region. The 128-room facility will target business travelers, according to Ed Fuller, president and managing director of international lodging for Marriott International.

OTHER MARRIOTT INITIATIVES include all-inclusive Total Escape! four- and five-night packages that will be offered on a trial basis through mid-December at eight Marriott and Renaissance properties in Aruba, Curacao, St. Kitts and St. Thomas as well as in Brazil, Costa Rica and Cancun and Puerto Vallarta in Mexico. The package bundles resort meals, beverages, amenities and activities into the room rate. Marriott also will launch Club 91 at its CasaMagna resort in Cancun. The exclusive Club program carries a $100 per-room-per-day surcharge and is likely to expand to other Marriott resorts, Fuller said.

THE ARUBA TOURISM AUTHORITY is running a fam trip Sept. 16 to 20 for its ACE Agents (Aruba Certified Agents) from the Northeast area. Departures on American Airlines are set from New York (JFK and Newark), Baltimore (BWI) and Washington (DCA). Agents must have a valid Iatan card for travel on AA. To book, contact Kirk Greaves at [email protected] or call (800) TO-ARUBA.

LODGEPODGE

" The sale of the 720-room Renaissance Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica to the owners of the 420-room Sunset Beach Resort & Spa in Montego Bay, Jamaica  is expected to be finalized in the next week. The new owners plans to close the Renaissance on Sept. 6 for a three-month renovation. Most clients holding Renaissance reservations will be accommodated at Sunset Beach. Hans Rohrbein, general manager at the Jamaica Grande, moves to the San Juan Marriott Hotel & Stellaris Casino, succeeding Eddie Towfignia who recently retired after 27 years with Marriott Hotels.

" Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino in St. Maarten named Danilo Checcucci as general manager and Julian Lowry as head of food and beverage operations. The property launched a fall promotion, which must be booked by Sept. 30 with travel through Jan. 14, offering room-only discounts on new bookings of up to 35% and the fourth and sixth nights free on four- and six-night stays. For details, call (800) 223-0757.

APPLE VACATIONS Destination You 35th anniversary East Coast trade shows for travel agents kick off Sept. 20 at the Embassy Suites Cleveland Rockside in Cleveland. The schedule: Sept. 21, Kings Island Resort, Kings Island, OH; Sept. 22, Hyatt Regency Columbus, Columbus, OH; Sept. 23, Sheraton Station Square Hotel, Pittsburgh; Sept. 27, Wyndham Newark Airport, Newark; Sept. 28, Huntington Townhouse, Huntington Station, NY; Sept. 29, Adams Mark Hotel, Philadelphia; and Baltimore Airport Marriott, Baltimore. The evening event includes a trade show with Apples hotel and airline partners, tourist boards and product experts followed by a buffet dinner, a multi-media presentation on the firms winter 2005 line and prize giveaways. To reserve, call (800) 727-3400.

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