Caribbean hoteliers used pandemic downtime to cool off or rebuild: Travel Weekly


“When storms strike and fishermen cannot go to sea, they are in port, repairing their nets,” author and artist Nabil Sabio Azadi said a few years ago.

His quote reflects what many Caribbean hoteliers did in 2020 during their Covid-induced downtime.

Instead of fishing nets, they renovated, repaired, remodeled, remade and improved their properties.

Now the peak winter season is upon us, heralded by a multitude of new and remodeled properties whose welcome rugs are ready to welcome arriving guests.

New property openings continue through 2022 and beyond, increasing inventory primarily in the luxury category. Here is a sample:

A beach suite at Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club, which opens on December 1. Photo credit: courtesy of Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club


The Blue Diamond Villa at the Altamer Resort, the largest of the resort’s four villas with 13,000 square feet, five bedrooms and seven bathrooms, reopened on November 1 after extensive renovations.

Rates start at $ 4,500 per night through Dec. 17 and $ 14,000 per night from Dec. 18 through Jan. 6, with a 15-night minimum stay requirement. Commissions vary from 13% to 15%.

Aurora Anguilla Resort & Golf Club on Rendezvous Bay opens December 1 with 178 suites, seven restaurants and bars, an 18-hole golf course, a hydroponic farm and a culinary team led by Executive Chef Abram Bissell, formerly of Eleven Madison Park At New York.

New in Cap Juluca, a Belmond hotel that reopened at the end of October, is Peruvian restaurant Uchu and new experiences for guests that include yo-yo casting with Anguillian fisherman Shawn Romney and exploring the 33 beaches of the island in a vintage Volkswagen van with a gourmet picnic. and a Polaroid camera.

And to facilitate access to the island, American Airlines will launch a bi-weekly non-stop service between Miami and Clayton J. Lloyd Airport on December 11, the first non-stop flights between destinations. A third weekly flight will be added on January 5.


Oceans Hotel Group inaugurated the 130-room O2 Beach Club & Spa on November 1 in St. Lawrence Gap on the south coast of the island.
Facilities include three pools, including one of the island’s only rooftop pools, six dining experiences, seven bars, the 5,600 square foot Acqua Spa, a teen lounge, an adults-only river pool, and daily “how-to” lessons with topics such as how to play the steelpan drum or play dominoes like a local.

Dominican Republic

The all-inclusive Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace reopened last month in La Romana after extensive renovations to the Pueblito lobby and shopping center. Renovations to the resort include new decor in the lobby and a cafe in the Pueblito Shopping Center. The Papaya area by the main pool has a new bar and a new snack bar. Natural wood and stone from local builders have been used in renovations to major public spaces. The decorative accessories are from local artisans.

Guests have access to the amenities of sister property Dominicus Beach for a total of 12 restaurants, nine bars, a nightclub, and five swimming pools, including one for children.

Aimbridge Hospitality entered the Dominican Republic as well as the all-inclusive resort segment with the opening of the Radisson Blu Resort & Residence Punta Cana. It has 163 suites, six restaurants and bars, a kids’ club, and a lagoon-style swimming pool.

The adults-only Royalton Chic Punta Cana on Uvero Alto Beach reopened on November 1 with 320 refurbished luxury suites, poolside themed nights, new Taj Indian restaurant, Genesis Casino and private villa Chic Mansion with six suites for group bookings.

Finest Punta Cana, part of the Excellence Collection, celebrated its grand opening in October with 455 suites that include two-story rooftop terrace suites with private pools, swim-up suites, family suites, and suites. honeymoon. The all-inclusive resort caters to guests of all ages, offering different spaces for families and adults, and three adult-only restaurants out of 10 dining options.

The Margaritaville Cap Cana Island Reserve opened on November 1 with 228 suites, 40 villas, an entertainment village, 10 food and beverage venues and the St. Somewhere Spa. This is the second property under the Island Reserve brand, which combines Karisma Hotels & Resorts with the signature Margaritaville lifestyle of entertainment and escape.

St. Barts

Sereno St. Barth reopened on October 29 with a new cocktail menu and culinary offerings at the Ristorante Al Mare and new Pool Bungalow suites as well as a main pool, three villas, an expansive seafront and a spa.
The complex added a number of environmental features during the Covid lockdown, such as solar panels, new windows and lighting, new water systems and insulation.

New to the Christopher, which reopened in mid-October, is Rivyera, a restaurant overseen by Michelin-starred chef Arnaud Faye and inspired by the French Riviera. Dishes include seared tuna with grilled avocado, tomatoes and basil, baby shoots, and local lobster linguine. The resort offers 23 rooms, 19 suites and three villas as well as the Sisley Spa.

T1115BIGHTTC2_C_HR [credit: Courtesy of The Bight Hotel]

A rendering of the Bight Hotel swimming pool in Turks and Caicos, which begins construction in June. Photo credit: courtesy of Bight Hotel

Turks and Caicos Islands

In the development pipeline for the Turks and Caicos Islands, several new luxury properties are expected to debut in 2022 and beyond. These include Rock House, a Grace Bay resort on the secluded north shore of Providenciales, slated to open in the spring with 42 private cottages, a 100-foot infinity pool, European-style beach club, a troglodyte lounge and jogging tracks.

The Bight Hotel will rise 45 feet tall in boutique-style elevated suites with views of Grace Bay Beach. Facilities will include an infinity pool, yoga studio, rum distillery and bar, and a garden-to-table restaurant with fresh food from the property’s vegetable garden and eco-farm. Construction begins in June.

South Bank Turks & Caicos on Long Bay Beach, a residential complex and marina, will open in December 2022, followed by Andaz Turks & Caicos Residences in Grace Bay with 60 rooms and suites and 74 residences in 2023.

US Virgin Islands

The Lovango Resort & Beach Club, a private island resort located a 10-minute boat ride off the coast of St. John and the first newly-built resort in the United States for over 30 years, opens on December 20 with accommodations including six luxury glamping. tents and five treehouses, a three bedroom villa, two beaches, a tequila and raw bar and other dining options.


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