Hurricane Irma, tearing through parts of the Caribbean on Wednesday
and Thursday, destroyed or heavily damaged many resorts, including St. Barts'
Eden Rock, Richard Branson's Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands, St.
Maarten's Westin Dawn Beach and its three Sonesta resorts, and the Hotel
Mercure on St. Martin.
The hurricane destroyed Necker Island, damaged Eden Rock
Hotel and caused St. Thomas' Sugar Bay Resort enough damage to close it for the
rest of the year.
Damage from the storm on St. Barts, which took a direct hit,
closed the tiny airport and knocked out electricity, water and much of the
Eden Rock reported that its staff are safe and the hotel
remains standing, according to the Oetker Collection, which manages the luxury
"We have a resilient team on site who have started the
repair process. Our property was closed for annual maintenance and rehab works,
so there were no guests in residence. The scheduled reopening in early October
is postponed until further notice," the statement said.
The hotel is owned by David and James Matthews, who are the
parents of Pippa Middleton's husband James.
Prior to Irma's arrival in the Caribbean, Villas of
Distinction, a luxury villa rental property with properties on 18 Caribbean
islands, helped arrange departures for clients on islands in the storm's
"There is significant damage to our villas in some of
the affected islands. We will continue to assess this and have been reaching
out to move clients scheduled to arrive this month and in early October,"
said Steve Lassman, vice president.
He said that one area of concern is the lack of electricity.
"The islands need to restore basic services before any repair work can
On Anguilla, where Villas of Distinction has 55 villas,
Lassman expects most of them to be fully operational by Nov. 1.
There is no timeline yet for the 272 villas on St. Barts nor
for the 55 properties in the British Virgin Islands and the 134 in St. Martin.
In St. Martin, three Sonesta Hotels properties and the
Westin Dawn Beach suffered extensive damage, according to the Caribbean Hotel
& Tourism Association. Riu Hotels & Resorts said guests and staff at
its Hotel Riu Palace St. Martin are "fine," and the hotel had stocked
up on enough food and water to keep serving everyone on site.
Barbuda had extensive damage to its infrastructure, while
Anguilla's infrastructure sustained "moderate to severe damage," said
the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association. Antigua was "largely
unscathed," and St. Kitts had "minimal damage."
Irma appeared to largely spare resorts in Puerto Rico and
the Dominican Republic.
While as many as 1 million people on Puerto Rico lost power,
Hyatt reported no major damage at its five Puerto Rico properties and Hilton's
11 Puerto Rico properties didn't sustain much damage and are returning to
"The Puerto Rico Convention Center and most of our
hotels are fully operational, ready to welcome guests and accepting
reservations," Meet Puerto Rico CEO Milton Segarra said in a statement
While the Dominican Republic's north coast sustained heavy
rains, Riu said its Punta Cana operations had "minor material damage, and
Puerto Plata had no "significant damage." The Riu Bachata and the Riu
Merengue are "operating as usual."
AMResorts, which operates 14 all-inclusive resorts in the
Dominican Republic under brands such as Dreams, Secrets and Zoetry, said that
its properties sustained "minor damage" and had no operational