Caribbean hotel update: About half of properties on hurricane-affected islands have reopened

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Scrub Island Resort & Spa in the British Virgin Islands will partially reopen this spring.
Scrub Island Resort & Spa in the British Virgin Islands will partially reopen this spring.

Caribbean hotel reopenings are signs of recovery progress in hurricane-impacted destinations.

According to the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association, of the 129 CHTA member hotels in Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten/St. Martin and the U.S. Virgin Islands, 49% (63) are open and 51% (66) remain closed. An additional 19% (12) of the closed properties are expected to open by September.

Between September and December, 32% (an additional 20) of those properties are expected to reopen.

Properties that are hosting relief workers and/or government officials are considered closed.

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Here's a rundown: 

Anguilla

In addition to the new Quintessence hotel, which opened Jan. 1, and Zemi Beach House, which reopened Feb. 15, other five-star properties reopening include the Four Seasons Resort and Residences on March 23 and The Reef by Cuisinart on April 1. Malliouhana, CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa and the new Belmond Cap Juluca will open in November 2018. Neither Anacaona Boutique Hotel nor the Anguilla Great House Beach Resort have reopening dates at this time.

British Virgin Islands

Close to 400 guest rooms and 1,000 berths (on charter yachts) have reopened and will continue into 2019. Anegada Beach Club reopened on Feb. 1. Cooper Island will reopen March 1 while Oil Nut Bay will have a partial property reopening on the same date. Guana Island will reopen in July; Scrub Island Resort & Spa will reopen on a limited basis this spring with select accommodations and reduced dining outlets with a full reopening slated for July.

Other reopenings include: Peter Island Resort & Spa (partial opening in the fall of 2018); Necker Island Resort (partial in October); Mosquito Island will reopen one house in October; Biras Creek on Virgin Gorda will open 12 rooms in November; Eustatia Resort, November; Rosewood Little Dix Bay on Virgin Gorda, late 2019; Pussers Marina Cay, October, and Bitter End Yacht Club, 2019.

Necker Island will welcome guests to its restored Great House in October with further accommodations slated to reopen in 2019.

Dominica

Hotels began reopening on Jan. 1, with 388 rooms (40%) of the 960 total rooms available to visitors. Fort Young Hotel in Roseau reopened 41 of its 72 rooms this month with the rest coming in October. Secret Bay plans a November reopening. The Anichi Resort and Spa, operated under the Autograph Collection Hotels brand of Marriott, broke ground this month and will open in late 2019 with 120 rooms.

Puerto Rico

Currentlym there are 125 out of 149 PRTC-endorsed hotels open, representing 83% of accommodations, along with hundreds of Airbnb listings and paradores (small, family-run inns). These numbers represent approximately 12,458 rooms with 2,670 additional rooms being revamped.

The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort reopens on March 1, El San Juan Hotel-Curio Collection by Hilton on Oct. 1, Caribe Hilton and Condado Lagoon Villas on July 1, Cofresi Beach Resort in Cabo Rojo on March 15, Comfort Inn San Juan on May 1, Dorado Beach Ritz-Carlton Reserve on Oct. 1, El Canario by the Lagoon on June 18, and El Conquistador Waldorf Astoria and Las Casitas Village on Aug. 31. The new Serafina Beach Hotel opens in San Juan on March 20.

Embassy Suites Dorado del Mar Beach & Golf Resort and Embassy Suites Hotel & Casino in San Juan will reopen in April, Holiday Inn Express San Juan Condado on June 1, Hotel St. Regis Bahia Beach on Aug. 31, Melia Coco Beach Puerto Rico on Nov. 1, Condado Plaza Hilton on July 1, Verdanza Hotel on April 1 and W Retreat & Spa in Vieques on Dec. 31. The Ritz-Carlton San Juan is not accepting reservations at this time.

St. Barts

Numerous private villa properties have reopened, according to West Indies Management Co., Villas of Distinction and St. Barth Properties.

Le Guanahani, the island's biggest resort with 67 rooms, will reopen this summer while Eden Rock, St. Barths plans a late 2018 reopening (Eden Rock's 80-property Villa Rental is open for business). The Christopher Hotel had planned a Feb. 20 reopening but a fire on Feb. 18 derailed plans and there is no reopening date at this time. Villa Marie Saint-Barth plans to reopen in March, Le Manapany in April, and Hotel Le Toiny in October.

St. Martin (French)

The tourist office reported that 300 hotel rooms are open with at least 10 more hotels scheduled to reopen before the end of the year. Grand Case Beach Club will reopen on Oct. 1.

St. Maarten (Dutch)

Currently, there are 27 accommodations open, representing 669 units; the 36 properties that still are closed will begin reopening this spring and later.

Oyster Bay Beach Resort reopens June 1, Divi Little Bay targets a May relaunch and the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort and Sonesta Ocean Point hope to reopen late this year or the first quarter of 2019, and Great Bay Beach Resort, formerly a Sonesta and now a Sunwing property, will reopen in 2019.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Approximately 40% of traditional hotels in the territory are operational, although many are still housing relief workers.

St. Croix's two largest hotels, the 200-room Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Resort & Casino on the east end and the 150-room Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa on the north shore, are scheduled to be closed through most of 2018. Caravelle Hotel & Casino in Christiansted has accommodated relief workers since the hurricanes. The hotel will close on April 30 to repair damage from Hurricane Maria and will reopen on Sept. 1.

The Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort & Spa has not set a reopening date. The new Fred Hotel in Frederiksted opened in December; the Buccaneer reopened in November after housing relief workers for two months.

Current room inventory in St. Thomas and St. John stands at 9,000, primarily in villas, apartments, small inns, shared-economy accommodations and charter yachts. A significant portion of hotel inventory remains closed for repairs and renovations. Marriott's Frenchman's Cove in St. Thomas reopened on Feb. 16 while Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort remains closed until further notice as do Sugar Bay Resort & Spa and the Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas. Bolongo Bay Beach Resort will reopen in June.

On St. John, the Westin St. John Resort & Villas, Caneel Bay and Concordia Eco-Resort have not announced reopening dates.

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