Travel Weekly's Caribbean E-letter: July 17, 2007

A FORMER SUGAR PLANTATION at the northern tip of St. Lucia is the site of the 50-room Cap Maison, the island's first residence-style boutique hotel. It is scheduled to open in March. The project will include private residences, guest rooms and villa and studio suites, each with private butler service. Facilities will include a cliff-top restaurant and walk-in wine cellar; a spa and gym; beach and water sports; and a boat for daytrip outings and sunset cruises. Golf will be available at the nearby 18-hole St. Lucia Golf & Country Club; a Jack Nicklaus-designed course is scheduled to open near the resort in 2009.

SANDALS GRANDE ANTIGUA Resort & Spa unveiled its 180-suite Mediterranean Village on July 15, a $70 million expansion to the resort's existing 193-room Caribbean Village. The Mediterranean Village features six room categories; four new restaurants, bringing the resort total to nine; a sixth freshwater pool, complete with a Signature Sandals pool tower; a swim-up bar and a whirlpool; poolside cabanas with Wi-Fi; and an expanded Red Lane spa. A 32,000-square-foot shopping area, an art gallery with works by local and international artists, 9,000 more square feet of meetings and banquet space, and a private wedding gazebo with a reflective pool round out the new additions.

TAKEOFFS

* American Airlines will launch daily, nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on Dec. 13. The carrier had suspended its service between the two points in 2005. In addition, the carrier will upgrade to a 267-seat Airbus A300 on one of its three daily flights from Fort Lauderdale to San Juan on the same date and will upgrade to an Airbus A300 on its daily flight from Fort Lauderdale to Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

* American will add nonstop service from New York (Kennedy) to St. Lucia on Nov. 15. The three flights a week will fly into Hewanorra International Airport in the south. American currently operates daily nonstop service to Hewanorra from Miami, while regional partner American Eagle flies five times a day from San Juan to George F.L. Charles Airport near Castries. American Eagle also will launch service between St. Lucia and Barbados three times a week, effective Sept. 5.

PENCIL IT IN

* Sixth Annual Aruba Music Festival, Oct. 5 and 6, Aruba Entertainment Center, Oranjestad, Aruba. Headliners include 1980s pop star Richard Marx and Robin Gibb of the Bee Gees. Festival packages are offered at Renaissance Aruba Resort & Casino, the Hyatt Regency Aruba Resort & Casino, the Marriott Aruba Resort & Stellaris Casino, Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort, and the Westin Aruba Resort. For more information, call (800) 390-4936.

* Fourth Annual Cayman Jazz Fest, Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, Grand Cayman. For information, visit www.caymanislands.ky/jazzfest.

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