As 2019 dawns, the Caribbean is looking toward the future with reopenings and new hotels scattered across the region. Here are some of the latest debuts to take note of for the new year.
Antigua's north shore saw the opening of Hodges Bay Resort & Spa in December, which is a member of Elegant Hotels Group. The $100 million development is a flagship property for the island, with 79 rooms that range from three-bedroom villas to oceanfront junior suites. Some have outdoor jacuzzis and kitchens. Four restaurants and six bars round out the property, including one swim-up bar at the infinity pool and a rooftop bar.
For guests staying in a villa, services include a concierge and priority check-in, as well as options like a pre-stocked pantry, wash-and-fold laundry service and daily grocery shopping. All guests have access to beach and pool ambassadors. Water sports, fitness classes, and tours are included. The onsite spa has five treatment rooms.
Belmond debuted its recent renovations in December on French St. Martin. Belmond La Samanna, overlooking Baie Longue beach, has 83 rooms decked out in soft Caribbean colors like pastel blues, greens, pinks and peaches. As part of the renovation, the resort opened a Beach Bar designed to be a night spot for Champagne or cocktails. The bar is decorated with swings, lounge seating and chandeliers. La Samanna's popular Trellis French restaurant returns, as well as La Cave Wine Cellar, which is one of the largest private wine cellars in the Caribbean.
Meanwhile, in St. Maarten, Sonesta Ocean Point Resort reopened its doors on Dec. 15. The resort, which shuttered following Hurricane Maria, will have an entirely new lobby when that section opens on Jan. 20. In the meantime, the resort has an alternative location for check-in. Additions to the property include two new dining venues, including Casa Blue Tapas Restaurant & Bar, which serves a Caribbean fusion menu, and the Candlelit Island Grill, which is an al fresco venue open for dinner only. The resort has 130 suites, three pools and four bars, as well.
In Puerto Rico, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort reopened in December following a $60 million renovation. The property's revamp includes 139 refurbished rooms and suites, featuring a new color scheme of whites and light blues. The renovation also included a new Casa Grande, which is the lobby area and home to Paros, the resort's fine-dining restaurant, as well as the St. Regis Bar. Still to come will be the $85 million beachfront residential development, Ocean Drive. There are plans for a resort expansion, an investment of an additional $30 million that will add 60 oceanfront rooms to the hotel's inventory.
The storied El San Juan also reopened earlier this month.
In Grenada, the Silversands Grenada made its debut in November off Grand Anse beach. The newbuild is made up of two buildings with 39 Open Plan Suites, three One-Bedroom Suites, and a 2,000-square-foot penthouse with two private terraces. There are an additional nine villas, including five 4,400-square-foot Beachfront Villas that have direct beach access and four three-bedroom Hillside Villas that have views over the resort and sea. All accommodations have floor-to-ceiling windows, spacious bathrooms with both bathtubs and showers and original artwork from the resort owner's collection.
A 339-foot infinity pool extends onto the sand. The Silversands Spa has four treatment rooms, a sauna, hamman, pool and fitness center. The resort has two restaurants: the Grenadian Grill and Asiatique. The first is a beach club serving seafood and beef, along with craft beer, rum and wine; the second serves Thai cuisine.
Royalton Luxury Resorts will open the Royalton Antigua in early 2019 in Deep Bay. The resort will have the collection's first microbrewery, Score Brewhouse, which will be designed to be a haven for sports fans to enjoy pub grub and a cold beer. The resort will also have beachfront a la carte restaurants that overlook the bay and Fort Barrington. Guests of the Royalton are invited to use the room-selection option on the website to choose their desired room.
In February the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort, Casino & Spa will reopen with a new design for its public spaces, restaurants and guest rooms. New layouts in the guest rooms will include larger bathrooms that allow for natural light. A new room category, the Loft Suites, will debut with ocean views, balconies, an elevated bedroom and a living room with sitting area.