Jamaica Tourist Board to launch promotional tour

The Jamaica Tourist Board's annual fall Destination Product Launch kicks off Sept. 11 in Charlotte, N.C. After a two-month swing through U.S. cities from coast to coast, the event wraps up on Nov. 12 in Davenport, Iowa.

The blitz will focus on Jamaica's ongoing property renovations and expansions, new products and enhancements to meetings and conventions facilities.

More than 15,000 rooms will be added in Jamaica over the next five years, said Basil Smith, director of tourism.

Also, a multibillion-dollar transformation is underway at the airports in Kingston and Montego Bay. A new convention center in Montego Bay is scheduled to open in December 2008.

For a schedule of cities to be visited, contact the JTB at (800) 233-4JTB.

New property in Anguilla

Anguilla will welcome the five-cottageAji Demerara Inn in 2009, targeted at the midmarket, eco-savvy guest, according to owner Collis Gittens.

Each of the five West Indian-style cottages has a one or two-bedroom layout for a total of nine rooms, a living room with retractable walls, an outdoor garden shower and timber decks with hammocks. The inn will have a main house, a library, a breakfast terrace, a saltwater pool and a small gym.

"Our dream was to create a natural oasis without foregoing comfort and affordability," Gittens said.

The inn, which aims to be Green Certified within two years of opening, will use linens and towels of organic hemp and cotton and water-efficient irrigation systems. Bath amenities are made from island fruits and herbs.

Nightly rates will range from $195 to $395 per room, double, and will include daily breakfast, Wi-Fi access and shuttle service to the beach at nearby Shoal Bay.

Water, water everywhere

Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, will unveil a $3 million expansion at its Pirate's Island Waterpark this month.

New features are a 27,000-square-foot aqua playground with six new kiddie slides, a Treasure Isle AquaPlay area with water cannons; a pirate-themed kids' zone; and a zero-entry kiddie pool with a misting crab, a squirting turtle and a splashing sea horse.

New AA service to Turks & Caicos

American Airlines will a new route from its Dallas/Fort Worth hub to Providenciales, Turks and Caicos, on Dec. 13.

The schedule calls for a Saturday-only flight in both directions, departing DFW at 10:25 a.m., arriving in Providenciales at 3:05 p.m. The return flight leaves at 4:10 p.m. with a 7:30 p.m. arrival in Dallas.

Ritz-Carlton gets Five Diamond rating

The 365-room Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman was awarded Five Diamond ratings for the resort and its restaurant, Blue by Eric Ripert, in its first hotel and restaurant evaluation by AAA. Five Diamond Award winners comprise 0.25% of the 60,000 restaurants and lodgings rated by AAA in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

The property is one of four AAA Five Diamond resorts in the Caribbean. The others are Sandy Lane in Barbados, the Four Seasons in Nevis and the Ritz-Carlton Golf & Spa Resort, Rose Hall, Jamaica.

Gay Nagle Myers is Travel Weekly's Caribbean editor. E-mail her at [email protected].

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