Caribbean Connection: St. Thomas property to be a Wyndham timeshare

Ownership of the former Grand Beach Palace Resort on St. Thomas, which was formerly a Renaissance property and before that a Stouffer, has again changed hands.

 

Wyndham Vacation Ownership acquired the 25-acre beachfront property from St. Thomas-based Palm Resorts Holding Co., which had purchased the resort last November for $17.5 million.

Wyndham plans to convert the 290-room property into its flagship Caribbean timeshare resort.

The property has been vacant for more than two years, ever since its former owner, Mexico-based Palace Resorts, shut the doors in 2004.

Wyndham plans a $40 million renovation, including the conversion of existing rooms into 143 furnished, condominium-style timeshare units.

The timeshare resort is expected to open in late 2008.

Wyndham already operates the Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, located on Smith Bay about a mile from the soon-to-be-timeshare property.

Airport size to triple

The multimillion-dollar expansion planned for Owen Roberts Airport on Grand Cayman will triple the size of the main terminal to 205,000 square feet.

The airport will remain open and operational during the expansion project, said Charles Clifford, minister of tourism.

When finished, the airport will be able to handle 1.25 million passengers a year, up from 800,000.

An expansion of the airport on Little Cayman will take place at the same time. The project covers a new runway and a small terminal.

Coral Stone extends low-season rates

Coral Stone Club, a 36-unit rental property on Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, will extend its low-season rates to Dec. 19 and will not block out the rates over the Thanksgiving holiday.

The commissionable property relaunched its Web site last November and reopened last year following a $10 million renovation.

The Coral Stone Club offers packages for families and honeymooners. For rates, visit www.coralstoneclub.com.

Lucky in love at Sandals

Sandals is capitalizing on the 7/7/07 date this year as a "jackpot date for couples in love, the most sought-after wedding date of the year," according to Joann Delgin, chief romance officer for Unique Vacations, a worldwide representatives for Sandals Resorts.

The company will unveil its Twilight Wedding package on July 7 at 7 p.m. at its 12 resorts in Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia and the Bahamas.

The package includes a personal wedding consultant; a spa pedicure for the bride and a 30-minute massage for the groom; live entertainment at the ceremony; a reception with hors d'oeuvres, champagne and a wedding cake; a photographer and videographer; and breakfast in bed the next morning.

Sandals pays 10% commission on the Twilight Wedding package. Prices start at $1,500. For more details, visit www.sandals.com.

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

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