Travel Weeklys Caribbean E-letter: March 16, 2006

MANGO BAY in Barbados took the wraps off a six-month, $10 million refurbishment and expansion project that added 12 units in two new categories of deluxe rooms and penthouse suites. The all-inclusive 76-room Mango Bay Hotel in the Holetown area officially reopened last week after a six-month closure that will add more bang for the buck. New options include two 1,200-square-foot penthouse suites that are priced from $1,500 per night, double, in season, and feature 42-inch plasma-screen TVs, plunge pools, a wet bar and full Caribbean views. Also, the 10 new 500-square-foot deluxe rooms offer pool- or garden-views, four-poster beds and six-foot tubs. During the renovations, Mango Bay added a boardwalk, revamped the entrance and lobby, created a guest lounge with Internet access and refurbished the restaurant. Nightly all-inclusive rates through April 14 begin at $457 per room, double; prices drop to $372 from April 15 to Dec. 16. To book, call (246) 432-1384.

SPICE ISLAND on Grenada, which recently completed a $12 million rebuilding project, redefined its earlier smoking policy to now include all enclosed areas, effective April 16. That covers the 64 suites, Olivers restaurant, the Sea & Surf bar and lounge, the residents lounge, the reception lobby, the boutique and Janissas Spa and Fitness Center. Smoking will be permitted in the open courtyard, on the pool terrace, at bandstand and select open areas. Guests who break the rule in guest rooms will be charged for sanitizing the rooms for the next guests. For details, visit www.spiceislandbeachresort.com.

PACKAGE DEALS

" The Cayman Islands Dept. of Tourism and the Cayman Islands Tourism Association unveiled the Summer Splash 2006 package, available June 1 thru mid-September. Cayman Summer Splash offers discounted air on Cayman Airways; accommodations, with one free night when five are booked; meals; and kids activities (for children 12 years and under). A Cayman VIP Card is issued to each family, offering discounts on car rentals; 50% off on entrance fees to Boatswains Beach (which incorporates the new Cayman Turtle Farm), Atlantis Submarine and the Jolly Roger party boat; and free underwater photo classes for kids with a full-paying adult. Most watersports activities also are free for kids, except diving, which is 50% off. In addition, participating restaurants offer discounted meals. For further information, visit www.caymanislands.ky or www.divecayman.ky.

" Alken Tours offers a 5% early booking discount on its four-night packages to the St. Kitts Music Festival, set for June 29 to July 2, if booked with deposit by March 27. Rates include accommodations, transfers, festival tickets for three nights, taxes and service charges. Sample land-only prices range from $339 per person, double, at the Bird Rock Beach Hotel, from $439 at the Sugar Bay Club, or from $499 at the Ocean Terrace Inn. Alken Tours also offers add-on air from New York (Kennedy), $478; Boston, $552; Miami, $576; and Philadelphia, $520. For details, visit www.alkentours.com.

TAKEOFFS

" Deltas new Caribbean service from Atlanta begins June 3 to Kingston, Jamaica, and to Ponce and Aguadilla, Puerto Rico.

" American Eagle will add nonstop weekend service between Chicago (OHare) and Freeport, Bahamas, beginning May 6, subject to government approval. The flights will operate Saturdays and Sundays through Sept. 3, using 70-seat Canadair CRJ-700 jets. American Eagle already has daily nonstop service between OHare and Nassau, which began last June.

PENCIL IT IN

" 2nd Annual Plymouth Jazz Festival, April 21 to 23, Tobago. Performers include Sting, P. Diddy, Patti Labelle and Natalie Cole. Tickets are priced at $65 for Friday, $85 for Saturday and $100 for Sunday. For rates and schedules, visit www.tobagojazzfest.com.

" Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX), April 23 to 25, Negril, sponsored by the Jamaica Tourist Board and the Jamaica Hotel and Tourist Association at the JAPEX Centre. To register, visit www.jhta.org/japex.htm.

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