WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. -- Westin Resorts Caribbean, which includes three properties in Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands, Puerto Rico and St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, unveiled a program that offers a guarantee against unpredictable Mother Nature.

This guarantee, valid through Dec. 31, protects travelers' vacations as well as agent commissions.

Westin's Hurricane Guarantee allows guests whose vacations are interrupted or canceled due to a hurricane to return to the resort free of charge within one calendar year for the same length of stay.

"If a seven-night stay is cut short after five nights, the guests are welcome back on a complimentary basis, within a year, for the full seven nights," said Bill Thompson, director of marketing for the Westin St. John Resort & Villas. This guarantee applies to room and taxes only.

Guests holding a confirmed reservation with a nonrefundable deposit who are unable to travel because the destination airport or resort is closed due to a hurricane have the option of a full refund or a one-category room upgrade on the next visit taken within the next 12 months.

Commissions will be paid in full on the booking interrupted by the hurricane. The guarantee also applies to groups when stipulated in their contracts.

The Westin resorts include the 339-room Westin Casuarena on Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman, the 694-room Westin Rio Mar Beach Resort, Country Club & Ocean Villas in Rio Grande, Puerto Rico, and the 285-room and 48-villa Westin St. John Resort & Villas in St. John.

Westin joins several other hotel firms with similar hurricane policies, such as Sandals Resorts and SuperClubs.

The six-month hurricane season, which began June 1, already spawned tropical storm Allison, which dumped massive amounts of rain on Texas and Louisiana in June but spared the Caribbean.

Some meteorologists and forecasters have predicted up to 12 named storms this season, seven of which could become hurricanes.

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