A central portal for all things Caribbean, including hot deals, weather reports, festivals and events, news and blogs lies in wait at www.caribbeantravel.com. The region's official website is sponsored by the Caribbean Tourism Development Co., the business unit of the Caribbean Tourism Organization and the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association. Visitors to the site book with Travelocity, the site's official booking engine, or opt to be connected to a Caribbean travel specialist.
Sandals savings through 2009
Guests who book three or more nights at any of the 12 Sandals Resorts by Jan. 31 for travel through Dec. 26, 2009, save up to 55% off rack rates and get up to two nights free (minimum seven-night stay required). Visit www.sandals.com.
USVI extends promotion
The U.S. Virgin Islands Department of Tourism twice extended the booking window on its Winter Escape promotion. The new deadline is Dec. 31 for travel through March 31. The promotion includes $300 in traveler's checks; a coupon book with savings on activities and attractions; a fifth night free at participating hotels; a $50 credit on attractions; and a $50 discount on meals. Visit www.usvitourism.vi.
Barbuda resort debuts
The nine-room Lighthouse Bay Resort recently opened on Barbuda on a parcel of land that had been in the owner's family for three generations. Owner Mike Branker vowed years ago that "if I had 2 cents to rub together, I would build on this beach." The resort has a staff of 25, a resident chef, a fitness center, a 24-hour concierge and a rooftop restaurant that offers panoramic views of the ocean and a frigate bird sanctuary and nesting grounds. For details, visit www.lighthousebayresort.com.
Hail to the chief
The 65-room Bolongo Bay Resort on St. Thomas celebrates the swearing in of Barack Obama with its Inauguration package, valid throughout January. The five-night package is priced from $772 per person, double, and includes a $100 resort credit, an in-pool scuba lesson, 15% tax and service charges and a daily $5 energy surcharge. The package must be booked directly through the resort's on-island reservations department at (800) 524-4746 or via email at [email protected].
Iberostar 'ahead of schedule'
The Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall near Montego Bay is the newest addition to the firm's adults-only luxury line, the Grand Collection. "Iberostar is ahead of schedule with its Caribbean expansion plans," said John Long, senior vice president of sales and marketing. "We opened the Rose Hall Suites in Jamaica in October and will open the Grand Hotel Rose Hall in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, later this month. These properties are part of Iberostar's plan to add 100 hotels to the portfolio by 2012."