Antigua -- Theres a lot happening in Antigua these days.
A new government
took office last fall; Tourism Minister Harold Lovell wants to
raise awareness of the destination
through increased advertising, promotion and collat- eral material;
the Antigua Senate recently passed an income tax law for the first
time since 1976; the destination had a remarkable winter season,
according to tourism officials; and several resorts are
At Carlisle Bay,
a 10-minute drive from Curtain Bluff on Antiguas south coast, its
88 ocean-facing suites were well-booked all winter.
market is not price-sensitive, according to Andrew Hedley, Carlisle
Bays general manager.
The resort is 16
months old now, and were fully vetted. Our staff is confident in
its delivery, and our training has paid off. There was a steep
learning curve and a will to get it right, he said.
business is 60% from Europe and 40% from the U.S., much of it
through agents and operators.
airlift from Europe, Hedley said. We could use nonstop lift from
Hedley was the volume of family business.
Our 37 beach
suites lend themselves to families. Now we want to add a kids club
to provide specific areas for 3- to 6- year-olds, the 6-to-12 age
group and the young-teen group, he said.
offers kids dining from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. during holiday
That way the kids
are fed and watered before the adults have their own dinner. We
have sitters for the kids and monitoring devices when parents are
at dinner and the kids are asleep, Hedley said.
full breakfast and afternoon tea. Meals are a la carte at Indigo,
the contemporary, Mediterranean, beachfront restaurant open for all
meals, and East, a Pan-Asian, dinner-only restaurant.
Well offer a
light Asian lunch menu served poolside next season, Hedley
New this season
was candlelight dinner by reservation only at the resorts beach
government merited praise from Hedley.
has a real commitment to tourism development. They see the boom
thats going on in Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos, and they want
to be in on that same kind of boom, he said.
Carlisle Bay is a
member of Campbell Gray Hotels, a collection of boutique properties
headed by hotel and design entrepreneur Gordon Campbell Gray, who
has not ruled out other Caribbean properties.
Tobago has been
mentioned as a possible site, Hedley said.
Spa and tennis
packages are the focus this summer; families, weddings and small
corporate retreats are the niche markets next season. The resort is
intent on capturing Green Globe certification and has appointed an
For rates and
further information, contact Carlisle Bay at www.carlisle-bay.com.
Jumby Bay, a
Rosewood private island resort off Antiguas north coast, added two
large rooms overlooking the beach to its inventory of 40 rooms and
The larger units
demonstrate a growing trend among Caribbean resorts for larger
accommodations in all categories, said Peter Bowling, general
Jumby, which is
open year-round, also acquired a new, 60-foot SunSeeker motor
yacht, available for guest excursions; expanded its terrace for
beach dining; and launched a nanny service.
deluxe market numbers are up.
We had a
fantastic winter season, and were keeping the momentum going with
two promotions focused on the multigeneration market.
Generation promotion, part of the hotel companys 25th anniversary
celebration, works this way: Buyers purchase a gift certificate
this year for a stay at any of 13 Rosewood properties, and
recipients can complete their stay at any time in the next 25
years. No additional payment is needed to cover price
Guests who bring
their children here now can buy this gift for them to use as
adults, Bowling said.
The second promotion, Three Generations of Luxury,
includes a special rate for three generations of a family staying
in three rooms for three nights, as well as a family portrait,
daily breakfast and one family dinner arranged by the
president of Rosewood -- which also manages Caneel Bay on St. John,
U.S. Virgin Islands and Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda, British
Virgin Islands -- said that vacationers today want more in a
vacation experience than sun and sand. Its up to us to add that
For details and
rates, visit www.rosewoodhotels.com.
Resort & Spa launched a 150-room, $49 million expansion of its
193-room property on Dickenson Bay on the islands northwest coast,
which tourism minister Lovell said would help reposition Antigua as
an up-market destination.
The per-room cost
tops out at about $330,000 per room, putting this project at the
high end of cost for beach resort properties. The Mediterranean
Village, as the expansion is called, is located on six acres
adjacent to the existing resort.
Its features will
include check-in facilities and restaurants. Completion is slated
for next fall.
reporter Gay Nagle Myers, send e-mail to [email protected].