Travel Weeklys Caribbean E-letter: Oct. 14, 2004

DEVELOPER PUERTO LUPERON CORP. unveiled designs for Atlantica, a multi-billion-dollar development on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. Atlantica will be built on Luperon Bay in three stages over 10 years and will add 25,000 guest beds to the DRs room inventory. Plans call for seven villages, with more than 3,000 homes, 20 hotels -- including both luxury boutique and major high-end international hotel brands -- and three golf courses. Also on the drawing board: a harbor with 450 slips; a day-cruise ship terminal; an airstrip; a casino; and sports facilities. Phase one breaks ground in December, with the first 99 town homes and a beach club opening in December 2005 and the golf course in May 2006. These will be followed by 68 more town homes and a bed and breakfast in June 2006, and 60 town homes, 30 marina estates and the Ambar Hotel in December. For information, visit www.atlanticadr.com.

ALMOND RESORTS new BMW Travel Agent Sweepstakes awards a three-year lease on a new BMW 325i or a cash reward of $10,000 as the top prize. Agents who book the two Almond properties in Barbados through Dec. 15 are automatically entered in the contest and enrolled as certified members of Team Almond for special rates, benefits and bonuses, including up to 50% more commission than standard agents. Team agents also receive a free learning trip for two with accommodations, site inspections, an island tour, Team Almond signage and displays, free shirts, gifts and one client promotion per year with a trip giveaway. For official sweepstakes rules, visit www.almondresorts.com/teamalmond_form.html.

IN ADDITION, Almond Resorts, which recently completed a $10 million renovation and upgrade to Almond Beach Club & Spa and Almond Beach Village, announced a $15 million two-phase expansion program at Almond Beach Village. In phase one, 150 suites will be added to the resorts 330 rooms and suites. Construction is slated to begin this fall with a completion date next summer. The new suites will feature a bedroom with an adjoining living area, and views of the beach, pool or gardens. Another component is the expansion of the resorts five main restaurants. Phase two, which will start next summer, includes the addition of a European-style spa with a variety of treatments and services. The existing Fitness Center also will be expanded. For more information, call Almond Resorts at (800) 425-6663 or visit www.almondresorts.com.

LODGEPODGE
" Hotel Caravelle, St. Croix. Fifth night free when four are booked, one day free car rental when three are booked, room upgrade if available, a $50 American Express travelers check per person and a coupon booklet worth up to $500 in gifts and discounts. Book by Nov. 15 for travel through Dec. 15. For details, visit www.hotelcaravelle.com.
" Hilton Caribbean teamed up with Expedias WWTE private-label booking engine to create Hilton Escapes, a one-stop shop for planning air-inclusive trips to Hilton Caribbeans 14 hotels and resorts. The site, (www.hiltonescapes.com) enables customers to book air, transfers, packages, tours and destination activities. Room-only stays can be arranged through www.hiltoncaribbean.com.
" Hyatt Resorts in Aruba, Puerto Rico and Key West, Fla. launched its fall sale with room rates discounted up to 25% on travel through Dec. 23. Sample prices include rates from $139 per night, double at the Hyatt Dorado Beach Resort & Country Club in Puerto Rico, down from $185 per night. The discounted rate requires a four-night stay. Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort and Casino can be booked from $192 a night for a minimum of five nights, down from $240; at Hyatt Key West Resort & Marina, the rates start at $162 a night, down from a starting rate of $215 per night, no minimum stay required. For details visit www.hyatt.com.

 

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO posted a 10.2% jump in arrivals from January through April over the same period a year ago, according to figures released by the Tourism and Industrial Development Co. (TIDCO). The largest market share came from the U.S., 16% more than a year ago. Warren Solomon, vice president of tourism, said the destination had pursued several niche-marketing strategies to raise its international profile.

CORRECTION: The Westin at Our Lucaya will reopen Dec. 17 following hurricane repairs. An incorrect date appeared in the Sept. 30 Caribbean E-letter.

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