Travel Weeklys Caribbean E-letter: March 23, 2006

SAD NEWS FOR HYATTS CARIBBEAN HOLDINGS: After almost 50 years of business, the Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort & Country Club will cease operations and close on May 31. The Dorado Beach Hotel Corp., which owns the resort, said it would terminate its management contract with Hyatt on the same date, citing the expense of renovations and upkeep -- a consequence of the shortcomings of a facility designed 50 years ago, according to Richard Schulze, president of DBHC. The 262-room property, set on 1,000 beachfront acres in Dorado, about 20 miles west of San Juan, opened in 1958; Hyatt Hotels Corp. has managed the property since 1985. The facilities no longer fulfill the expectations and requirements of our guests, Schulze said. Todays travelers have more choices and alternatives, which include state-of-the-art accommodations. The nearby Hyatt Hacienda del Mar Vacation Club Resort (the former Hyatt Regency Cerromar Beach Resort) is a separate operation, which will not be affected by the resorts closure. In addition, the golf club and the four 18-hole courses will continue to operate. 


THE PUERTO RICO TOURISM CO. is hopeful that a new owner will come forward so that the Hyatt Dorado Beach can remain a tourist destination. Chuck Floyd, COO and executive vice president of Hyatt Hotels Corp., said Hyatt will do all in our power to assist our loyal employees who have served this property for so long. The resort is Hyatts sole hotel property in Puerto Rico and currently, one of just three Hyatt facilities in the Caribbean (not including the vacation club property). The others are Hyatts 360-room resort in Aruba and its 289-room Grand Cayman facility, which has been closed since Hurricane Ivan in September 2004, except for the 53 beachfront suites in a separate location across the road from the main hotel. Although Hyatt has not announced its plans for Puerto Rico following the hotels closure, we are committed to regaining our presence on this island as soon as the opportunity arises, Floyd said.


" Mark Travel Corp. added Island Outpost properties to its Caribbean product lineup. Air and land arrangements for Island Outposts resorts can now be booked through Funjet Vacations, TransGlobal Vacations, Spirit Vacations, United Vacations and Vacations by Adventure Tours. Island Outposts Jamaican resorts include Jakes on Treasure Beach; Goldeneye in Oracabessa; The Caves in Negril; and Strawberry Hill in Irish Town; meanwhile, Pink Sands is located on Harbour Island, the Bahamas. Sample three-night rates via Funjet Vacations to Jakes in Jamaica, with air from Washington (Dulles) start at $680 per person, double. To book, visit

" Sunset Resorts in Jamaica -- Sunset at the Palms in Negril; Sunset Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios; and Sunset Beach Resort & Spa in Montego Bay -- is offering a 25% discount on bookings made by April 12 for travel through Dec. 22. Participating operators are Gogo Worldwide Vacations, Air Jamaica Vacations and American Airlines Vacations.


" Portia Simpson-Miller, a former minister of tourism, local government and community development, will be installed as Jamaicas head of government on March 30 when P. J. Patterson, outgoing prime minister, retires. Simpson-Miller joins a growing field of females in top regional roles, including Berthia Parle, president of the Caribbean Hotel Association; Jamaican Dr. Carol Jacobs, chairman of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS; and Pamela Richards, chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Organization.

" Peter Davies was named CEO of BWIA, replacing Nelson Tom Yew, who served as interim CEO for the past two years. Davies most recently was CEO at SN Brussels Airlines, the spinoff of Sabena.

" Nikoyan Roberts is the new chairman of the Grenada Board of Tourism, replacing Jocelyn Sylvester-Gairy, who was named director of tourism.

" Lorraine Headley was named director general of tourism for Antigua and Barbuda.


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