Travel Weeklys Caribbean E-letter: March 3, 2005

SONESTA INTERNATIONAL HOTELS will manage the new Discovery at Marigot Bay, a Sonesta Resort, on the west coast of St. Lucia, set to open late this year. The 124-room property will offer one-, two- and three-bedroom apartment-style accommodations, three restaurants and lounges, a spa, fitness center, a 60-berth marina and a Marina Village with shops, water sports, cafes and yachting facilities. Sonestas portfolio of 26 hotels, resorts and three Nile cruise ships, includes only one other Caribbean resort -- the 534-room Maho Beach Resort & Casino in St. Maarten, which was rebranded as a Sonesta last July. For booking details, call (800) SONESTA or visit www.sonesta.com.

GRENADAS TOURISM OFFICIALS report that 774 hotel rooms are available for occupancy, which is 48% of the islands current room stock. Officials project that more than 900 will be on line by the end of March. By the end of 2005, another 600 rooms will become available. The Rex Grenadian will be back in business in May while Blue Horizons Garden Resort reopens July 5. Both LaSource and Spice Island Beach Resort are scheduled to reopen in December. Coyaba Beach Resort is slated to reopen in March 2006 as a four-star property. For more information on Grenada, visit www.grenadagrenadines.com.

MONTSERRATS recently opened $1.2 million air terminal signals how far the island has come since the 1997 Soufriere Hills volcanic eruptions. Officials indicated the airports new runway should be in operation by May. The government awarded a two-year contract to Winair to operate scheduled flights between Montserrat and Antigua on 19-seater Twin Otter aircraft. Montserrats original W. H. Bramble airport was abandoned in June 97 following elevated levels of volcanic activity in the area. Since that time, transport in and out of Montserrat has been by ferry and helicopter.

LODGEPODGE
" The Hotel Guanahani & Spa in St. Barts offers an even exchange rate, dollar to euro, on summer packages prepaid in U.S. dollars. The packages also reflect a 50% discount on high-season prices. The five-night St. Barts Spree, valid for travel from April 15 to Oct. 31, is priced from $2,680 [or euros] in an oceanview double. Rates also cover transfers, all meals, a five-day car rental, a welcome gift, tax and service charges. To book, call Leading Hotels of the World at (800) 223-6800.
" Groundbreaking will take place this spring for the Palmyra Resort & Spa at Rose Hall, a beachfront condo-hotel project near the Ritz-Carlton in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Facilities will include 26 villas, 504 condominium units, a spa, infinity pool and a half-mile-long beach. Completion is set for late 2006. For details, visit www.thepalmyra.com.

THE NASSAU PALM RESORT and Conference Center, the former Holiday Inn Nassau at Junkanoo Beach, has begun a half-million-dollar refurbishment and upgrade project, set for completion in May. The resort, located on Bay Street in Nassau, is one of 26 properties owned and operated by Driftwood Hospitality Management in Jupiter, Fla. The firms other Bahamas resort includes the Holiday Inn Sunspree Resort on Paradise Island and the nearby Hurricane Hole Marina in Nassau. For details on the Nassau Palm Resort, visit www.nassau-hotel.com.

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