GOOD NEWS from Anguilla is that the Sonesta
Anguilla will remain open this summer, contrary to an announcement
earlier this year that the 100-room resort would close from June
through October as a result of decreased business after Sept. 11.
Bookings are up and business has improved, according to resort
officials, who also want to support the island's tourism growth and
development strategies by keeping the property open. Summer Breeze
special rates start at $129 per room, single or double, which
represent a 35% discount on its off-season prices. For details,
call (800) SONESTA or visit www.sonesta.com.
AMERICAN EXPRESS cardholders get a fifth night
free and a Vacation Values card worth $1,870 for visitor discounts
and services on Aruba when purchasing a five-night or longer
package from Gogo Worldwide Vacations or Travel Impressions.
Clients enrolled in Amex's Membership Rewards program qualify for
double bonus points. Bookings must be made by June 30 for travel
through Jan. 31. For details, contact Gogo at (800) 899-3999 or
Travel Impressions at (800) 284-0044.
• The Old Bahama Bay resort on Grand Bahama Island opened a
meetings facility loaded with high-tech options for groups up to
100. Visit the Web site at www.oldbahamabay.com for details.
• Grand Cayman is featured in TransGlobal Vacations' packages from
Minneapolis/St. Paul July 1 to Aug. 19 with air-inclusive rates on
Delta Air Lines from $965 per person, double for seven nights at
Treasure Island Resort. Up to two kids ages 17 and under stay free
when sharing with at least one adult. To book, call (800) 338-2160;
visit www.vacationaccess.com or book via major GDS's using
the vendor code TGT.
• Sandals' newest property -- and the one with the longest name --
opens for business Aug. 15 as Sandals Grande St. Lucian Beach
Resort & Spa on Rodney Bay, St. Lucia. The 280-room property is
the former Hyatt Regency St. Lucia, totally renovated and refreshed
by Sandals to the tune of $8 million to $10 million, according to
John Lynch, executive vp-sales worldwide.
• Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club (the former Boscobel
Beach Hotel) in Ocho Rios, Jamaica opens in July following a $30
million to $32 million renovation.
• Coral Sands Hotel, Harbour Island, Bahamas offers a fourth night
free when three are booked, seven nights for the price of five and
10 nights for the price of seven from Aug. 1 to Nov. 27, excluding
Labor Day weekend Aug. 30 to Sept. 2. Nightly rates start at $160
per room, double. To book, visit www.coralsands.com.
• Anguilla's Cap Juluca's seven-night Romantic Rendezvous includes
massages, dinners and champagne from $3,585 for two through Dec.
18. Check it out at www.capjuluca.com.
• The Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios will open its first full-service spa
in mid-June, offering a range of treatments and services at a new
oceanfront pavilion. Spa director is Carolyn Jobson, who headed the
spa program at Round Hill Hotel & Villas in Montego Bay,
Jamaica for nine years. For info, log on to www.jamaicainn.com.
• Kanantik Reef & Jungle Resort, Stann Creek in southern
Belize, officially opened its doors April 26, offering nightly
rates from $300 per person, double for all meals, taxes and
activities, including dive and snorkeling excursions. For
reservations, visit www.kanantik.com.
• Bolongo Bay Beach Club, St. Thomas offers Travel Agent
Appreciation Rates through Dec. 15. Nightly rates are $75 (plus tax
and service charges) per room, double for the semi-inclusive
continental plan and $250 per room, double for the inclusive
program. Agents must present a valid IATAN or ARC number when
booking through (800) 524-4746 or via e-mail at [email protected].
THE CARIBBEAN TOURISM ORGANIZATION will honor
four individuals with Lifetime Achievement Awards at CTO's 29th
annual Governments of the Caribbean State Ball May 31 at New York's
Waldorf-Astoria. The award is presented to those who have made
significant contributions to the region. This year's recipients
are: John Bell, retiring (as of Dec. 31) CEO and director general,
Caribbean Hotel Association; James Pepperdine, executive vp,
Yesawich, Pepperdine & Brown; Erick "Willy" Rotin, past
chairman of the Caribbean Tourism Assn. (predecessor of CTO) and
co-founder of the Hotel Assn. of Guadeloupe (posthumously); and
Michael Youngman, former director of marketing, CTO. Past
recipients include Harry Belafonte, Sidney Poitier, Cicely Tyson,
Earl Graves and New York congressman Charles Rangel.
TO CELEBRATE CTO'S 50th anniversary, this
year's ball also will honor 50 individuals for their contributions
to Caribbean tourism. Of the 50 honorees, 33 have been selected by
CTO member countries for achievements in their own nations in both
the private and public sectors. An additional 17 individuals,
active in regional tourism, have been selected by a panel of CTO
representatives and institutions. Brenda Blackmon, a New York City
television news anchor, will serve as master of ceremonies; the
Royal Barbados Police Force Band will participate in the flag
ceremony; and Byron Lee & The Dragonaires' 14-piece band will
rock the house.
OBIE WILCHOMBE has been named minister of
tourism for the Bahamas by the new prime minister, Perry Christie.
Wilchombe succeeds Tommy Turnquest in the tourism post.
• American Airlines will launch year-round Saturday service from
Boston to Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, June 15. The carrier
currently has several daily flights from the New York area that
connect with its three daily flights from Miami to Provo.
• Air Jamaica's New York (Kennedy)-Kingston route will be
supersized June 27 when it transfers a larger Airbus from its
London route. The 294-seat A340 has 35% more seats than the A310,
including 10 more seats in First Class and the addition of a
Premium First Class with 12 seats.
• Martinair will end its twice-weekly Miami-Aruba service Oct. 31.
The flights originate in Amsterdam.
• Spirit Airlines launched its new checkerboard blue airplane paint
design, logo and signage May 9 when it began daily nonstop service
from Orlando to San Juan.
PENCIL IT IN
• 30th annual Jamaica Air Carriers' Invitational Golf Tournament at
Wyndham Rose Hall Resort & Country Club and Half Moon Golf,
Tennis & Beach Club, Montego Bay, Jamaica, May 30 to June
• Baha Men's "Move It Like This" concert weekend, sponsored by
Grand Bahama Island Tourist Board, Royal Oasis Resort and Our
Lucaya Beach & Golf Resort, May 31 to June 2.
• Caribbean Hotel Industry Conference, Wyndham El Conquistador
Resort & Country Club, Fajardo, Puerto Rico, June 16 to 19.
• SuperClubs Epicurean Escape, Grand Lido Negril, Jamaica, Aug. 30
to Sept. 1.