While his travel advisors were still helping clients escape the paths of Irma and Maria last year, Jack Ezon of Ovation Vacations was already thinking about what’s next. Many Caribbean nations are largely dependent on tourism, and he has made it a personal cause to transmit information from the islands (which doesn’t always come readily or accurately) to the media in an attempt to clarify what’s open and current conditions as they relate to the upcoming season. The good news is time and money has meant a quick recovery. In this newsletter we give you a summary from Ezon of some key updates related to the impacted destinations and luxury hotels to help in your winter vacation planning.
The biggest question from customers, Ezon says, is what’s the situation on the island? What’s open, and will I be able to go outside the hotel an enjoy the local scene?
· St. Barths (above) has 95% of stores and 80% of restaurants are open as of September 1. 100% of stores and restaurants should be restored by end of November. Ezon expects that most hotels will re-open between October 15th and December 22nd, 2018. See opening dates below.
· Anguilla – 85% of the restaurants are open already and 95% should be open by December 15th.
· Puerto Rico – According to the Tourism Board 89% of hotels are currently open on the island as well as more than 2,000 restaurants. The vast majority of tourist attractions are also open and ready to welcome visitors.
· Dominican Republic – 100% of stores and restaurants are open.
Luxury resorts are spending $250 million to refurbish through the end of 2019. Here are some highlights:
· Eden Rock (below) – An overall investment of $45 million wad made for the renovation of 34 units plus a restaurant to the St. Barth’s standard.
· Belmond Cap Juluca – $121 Million to redevelop and design Cap Juluca.
· Four Seasons, Anguilla – Approximately $25 million was spent to clean up the resort, replace damaged units and recreate its Ocean Terrace Deck and Coba restaurant.
· Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve – Over $40 million to restore and redevelop rooms, golf courses, pools and restaurants.
· COMO Parrot Cay – Over $10 million to rehabilitate infrastructure, homes and rooms.
· Le Toiny – Over $2 million to restore rooms, pool and beach club.
· Grace Bay Resorts – Over $1 million to repair the grounds.
Hotel Opening Dates
· Eden Rock – December 22, 2018. Additionally, Villas Rockstar and Nina plus the three new suites will be operational on November 2019, after its annual closure.
· Cap Juluca – November 17, 2018
· Four Seasons, Anguilla – Opened on March 23, 2018 with approximately 116 rooms and 15 Villas.
· Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve – October 1, 2018 and new signature restaurant by November , 21018 (above), and St. Regis Bahia Beach in December
· CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa – Full opening November 1, 2018
· Amanera – Opened since November 1, 2017
· Amanyara – Opened December 1, 2017
· COMO Parrot Cay – Open since December 22, 2017
· Le Toiny – Full Opening October 15, 2018
· Isle de France – Opening December 17, 2018
· Le Barthelemy – Full opening October 28, 2018
· Grace Bay Club – Fully operational since December 2017
Top New Suites
· Eden Rock – There will be three new suites on top of the Rock. Ultraluxe Villa Nina & Villa Rockstar will also channel a new look with state-of-the-art amenities that will surprise its guests.
· Cap Juluca – Newly added villas feature interconnecting rooms for families and bigger parties. They can be rented as a single unit or broken up into individual rooms (above).
· Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve – Su Casa, the property’s five-bedroom stand alone villa being modernized while retaining its unique character and appeal.
· CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa – Penthouses and Villas were all refreshed with furnishings by Roche Bobois.
· COMO Parrot Cay – The Residence (complex of three villas for a total of eleven bedroom) has completed an 18-month full re-design of its accommodation.
· Isle de France – Jacques Grange has conceived a new interior design for all the rooms, which have views over the Caribbean Sea, as well as for the lobby, the restaurants and other public areas.
Party and Event Space
· Cap Juluca – Cap Juluca has added a domed pavilion accessorized with featherweight linen curtains to allow the ocean breeze to come through.
· Four Seasons, Anguilla – With13,127 sq. ft. of event space the resort is known for hosting unforgettable meetings and events.
· Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve – The Oceanfront Surfroom can accommodate up to 250 people and outdoor lawns plus the Su Casa villa provide additional outdoor lawns.
· CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa – Over of 5,000 sq. ft. of event space that can be used as separate breakout rooms or a ballroom has been added holding up to 300 people.
· COMO Parrot Cay – COMO Parrot Cay remain ideal for small and midsize celebrations. The re design of The Residence allow this estate to accommodate outdoor events for up to 60 people. The Sanctuary by Donna Karan welcomes events for up to 40 people. The newly redesigned Lotus restaurant can accommodate up to 120 people event. The new COMO Beach Club is the perfect area for cocktails, now for up to 60.
· Le Toiny – Its new beachfront space is great for accommodating weddings. It’s the only private beach space on the island.
· Le Barthelemy – This is a perfect resort for a destination wedding, incentives and any celebrations with a host of outdoor and indoor areas to celebrate.
Below are some of the enhancements to your favorite resorts you will find on your next visit, according to Ezon’s research:
· Eden Rock – Renovations are being designed in a way that will help recovering and reopening the hotel faster following similar storms in the future. All engineering areas will be able to be sealed with a submarine door before any similar event. A new beach deck serves as a bulwark against sea level thus avoiding destruction on the beach side. The Sand Bar is being rebuilt one meter higher than the previous structure.
· Cap Juluca – Belmond Cap Juluca will reopen after a complete renovation and redesign, offering fresh and healthy dining options, an infinity-edge pool overlooking the bay, and an authentic Caribbean spa with sea views. After the renovation, the room count will rise from 98 (of which 18 were suites) to 108 (of which 43 will be suites).
· Dorado Beach – The Ritz-Carlton Reserve is getting over 300,000 new flora while the signature restaurant and bar is being re-imagined with a new concept scheduled to debut in mid-November. The family-friendly poolside restaurant, Encanto Beach Club Bar & Grill, will offer a new dinner menu of coastal cuisine, highlighting the freshest seafood and authentic dishes from the Mediterranean, while the lunch menu will feature lighter fare. The beachside restaurant, Positive Sandbar, will debut an anticipated Omakase & Ceviche Bar. Spa Botanico, a Forbes 5-star spa, is also being fully revitalized. In addition to a locally-inspired treatment menu and handcrafted products that are made in the on-site apothecary, the facility will see a new spa cuisine concept. Additionally, the Fitness Center and Movement Studio will benefit from the installation of the latest cardio and weight equipment, while the retail spaces will welcome two new boutiques with curated selections of accessories and giftware as well as exclusive resort-wear for everyone.
· CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa – From the entry now with majestic columns and guest service desks (instead of a traditional front desk/concierge desks) to all flooring, including the removal of the old terra-cotta throughout it will be like a new resort. The pool area will now feature cabanas for day use and all accommodations will now have whitewashed flooring, with the suites all furnished
· Amanera – Extensive landscaping was done during its closure and the re-opening of the golf course is scheduled for Nov. 1, 2018.
· COMO Parrot Cay – Its room product (rooms and suites) are featuring brand new design with lots of natural lighting, light tail flooring, and more friendly technology in room. There are new facilities (restaurant, welcome center) and wellness offering.
· Le Toiny – The hotel is building a new pool on the beach and adding eight new suites.
· Isle de France – Featuring designs from the creative and eclectic architect, Jacques Grange, Cheval Blanc St-Barth Isle de France has a new design concept including 19 new rooms, lush gardens by landscape architect, Madison Cox, and one-of-a-kind artwork.
If you have any questions, Ezon can be reached at email@example.com.