THE LIST of revised cancellation policies offered
by hotels in the Caribbean and by airlines and operators serving
the region rolls out as fast as the U.S. military rolls across the
Iraqi border. Policies and dates differ slightly, but the basic
premise is the same: no fees to change, cancel or reschedule air,
hotel or package reservations in the next 90 days. Check with the
individual property, carrier or operator as well as the Caribbean
Tourism Organization's Web site at http://www.onecaribbean.org for
specifics. The latest additions include: BWIA; US Airways
Vacations; Air Jamaica and Air Jamaica Vacations; Club Med;
Pleasant Holidays; Jamaica Inn, Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Chenay Bay
Beach Resort, Club Caravelle, Club Comanche, Cormorant Beach Club
and Hotel, innparadise, Sugar Beach Condo Resort, St. Croix;
Gallows Point Resort, Inn at Tamarind Court, St. John Properties,
Vacation Vistas, St. John; Galleon House Hotel, Danish Chalet Inn,
Sapphire Beach Resort & Marina, Secret Harbor Beach Resort, St.
Thomas; Sandals Resorts International; Divi Resorts; Round Hill,
Montego Bay, Jamaica; Gogo Worldwide Vacations, and Viva Resorts.
AS A RESULT of continuing fallout from the 25%
increase in landing and passenger fees imposed by the Virgin
Islands Port Authority Feb. 1, American will close its ground
operations April 15 in St. Croix and contract out its Miami-St.
Croix daily flight to American Eagle. Meanwhile, American Eagle
will discontinue its four daily weekday flights and two daily
weekend flights between St. Thomas and St. Croix May 1. Travelers
can still fly from San Juan to St. Croix and St. Thomas and between
St. Croix and St. Thomas by connecting through San Juan. The good
news: Seaborne Airlines will link Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas with
Frederiksted, St. Croix within the next four months. The new
flights will supplement Seaborne's existing service between
Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted, St. Croix.
• The Hilton flag flies again on Curacao with the recent rebranding
of the former Sheraton Curacao Resort as the Hilton Curacao. The
196-room beachfront property was under Hilton management from 1968
to 1985. A $5 million renovation will add 34 Executive Floor guest
rooms, a new spa, a Kids' Club and 6,000 square feet of meetings
space. The Curacao resort is Hilton's 13th Caribbean property; two
more are under development in Barbados and Haiti.
• Bel Air Plantation Resort opens next month on the southeast coast
of Grenada. The first phase will offer 11 one- and two-bedroom
villas and cottages, two restaurants, gardens and an aviary. When
the second phase is completed next year, the resort will feature 24
villas, shops, an art gallery, three pools and a four-acre
butterfly park. For rates, visit www.belairplantation.com.
The new name of Sandals St. Lucia Golf Resort & Spa is
Sandals St. Lucian Regency Golf Resort & Spa at La Toc.
PENCIL IT IN
• Spice Laugh Festival, April 11-13, Grenada
• Carnival 2003, April 27 to May 3, St. Thomas
• 36th Annual Sailing Week, April 27 to May 3, Curtain Bluff
• American Airlines Caribbean TrAAvel Exchange, May 7-9, Wyndham El
Conquistador Resort and Golden Door Spa, Puerto Rico. www.caribbeantravelexchange.com
• Seventh Annual Bonaire Dive Festival, June 14-21, Bonaire
IN THE NEWS
• Two Wyndham appointments include William Ben Tutt, general
manager of the new Wyndham Martineau Bay Resort & Spa in
Vieques, Puerto Rico, and Craig Martin, general manager at Wyndham
El Conquistador Resort and Golden Door Spa. Martin replaced Rob
Gunthner, who left the company.
• David Yamada, general manager of Renaissance Grand Beach Resort
on St. Thomas, has been elected president of the St. Thomas-St.
John Hotel and Tourism Assn. for a two-year term.
• Hans Rohrbein is the new general manger of the Renaissance
Jamaica Grande Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica.