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All-Inclusive Openings and RenovationsFebruary 24, 2010 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent
While there are new Caribbean all-inclusives to pitch to the clients in the new year, others just got swankier
The Veranda Resort & Residences in Turks and Caicos has eight beachfront cottages with private pools, designed for families and groups
From renovations to highly anticipated openings, there is plenty happening on the Caribbean all-inclusive front. Here’s what agents need to know to ensure greater success this year.
Sandals Emerald Bay Officially Opens
Last month, Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, The Bahamas officially opened its doors to guests as a member of the Luxury Included brand.
Following a soft-opening on January 22, the resort hosted more than 30 top tour operators and travel agents for a firsthand look at the newest property in the Sandals Resorts portfolio.
Acquired in August, Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, The Bahamas—now the 14th Sandals Resort in the Caribbean—is a former Four Seasons property. Expanding on the company’s “luxury included” concept, it is the first Sandals Resort to offer a Greg Norman-designed golf course, world-class marina and professionally trained butlers in all 183 beachfront rooms and suites.
The resort is ideal for those interested in having a destination wedding, honeymooners or for couples seeking a romantic getaway.
All 190 suites are impressive, but opt for the Beachfront Villas because of their sheer space. But if space isn’t an issue, any room will do. Every room has oceanfront views and is serviced by butlers trained by Sandals Resorts through the company’s exclusive partnership with the Guild of Professional English Butlers.
Agents should call 800-SANDALS and ask for new General Manager Teresa Alfonso.
Barceló’s Latest Caribbean Property
Steps away from one of the destination’s best beaches, the resort is also the latest to grace the six-in-one Barceló Bavaro Beach Resort complex in Punta Cana. Each of the 180 Deluxe Family Junior Suites will have the technology and comforts expected in a Barceló signature “B-room.” B-rooms come with the latest in in-room entertainment, including a 32-inch LCD TV with USB port, incorporated DVD and video-on-demand, high-speed Wi-Fi access and iPod/MP3 connections, as well as luxurious amenities, such as rain-dance showers, plush bathrobes with slippers and Barceló’s signature bedding.
But beyond the latest in high-tech gear and lavish amenities, the resort’s Deluxe Family Junior Suites also have a unique design for families—a separate private space for adults and another space for children with all the freedom they desire, all under the security of one roof.
The adult area boasts a king-sized bed, sofa bed and private room with outdoor terrace and Jacuzzi. The children’s area, meanwhile, has two beds and a terrace.
Bávaro Family Deluxe closed January with an impressive average occupancy of 71 percent in the first full month of its operation. February occupancy levels also looked strong. At press time, the resort was expected to finish the month above 80 percent.
Also, the Barceló Bavaro Beach Resort complex will complete the following developments by the end of the year: all 18 holes of the P.B. Dye- designed course will be finished and open to the public, and the Barceló U Spa, a spa concept conceived in Barceló’s hotels in Europe, will be unveiled.
Agents should contact Sales Manager Yesenia Espinal (011-809-686-5797, ext. 1886, [email protected]) for details.
New Turks and Caicos Resort Opens
The Veranda Resort & Residences opened last month on the Turks and Caicos island of Providenciales. The first resort to be managed by Grace Bay Resorts—the company behind the famed Grace Bay Club—the Veranda is operated as a five-star, fully inclusive luxury product. All meals and beverages (inclusive of premium alcohol like Grey Goose being served at the bar), onsite children’s programs and nonmotorized water sports are included in the rates, which start at $455 per person per night based on double occupancy. The property is targeting families seeking a luxury experience with value-adds—it has eight beachfront cottages with private pools built to suit groups.
For more information, agents should contact General Manager Christopher Eastmond (011-877-289-4487, [email protected]).
One of the 180 Deluxe Family Junior Suites in Barceló’s new resort in the Dominican Republic
Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua Unveils Renovated Rooms
Not to be overshadowed by the Sandals Emerald Bay opening was the unveiling of the newly renovated and renamed Tropical Waterfront rooms of Grand Pineapple Beach Antigua, one of the most recent additions to the Sandals Resorts International portfolio.
Surrounded by 1,600 feet of waterfront, the resort’s rooms have balconies and patios overlooking the sea. To make their stay even sweeter, the resort will reward guests with up to 60 percent off on regular adult and child rack rates for select dates throughout 2010.
Refurbishments to the Tropical Waterfront rooms include: fully upgraded and expanded bathrooms; new, eco-friendly air-conditioning systems; and completely retiled floors. In addition, the rooms have soft furnishing upgrades—new upholstery and local artwork, and chic espresso-brown rattan.
AMResorts Makes Caribbean Debut
last month AMResorts’ Secrets Resorts & Spas brand opened Secrets Sanctuary Cap Cana in the Dominican Republic, its first resort outside Mexico. On the eastern coast of the country, the 176-suite, five-star luxury resort has the largest selection of unique suite categories in all of Cap Cana.
It is just a few minutes’ drive from Punta Cana International Airport and sits on a long stretch of natural pure white sand beach. Rooms range from Ocean View Junior Suites and the 600-square-foot Castle Suite to the grand 5,550-square-foot Island Suite, which has been built on its own impressive private island.
Secrets Resorts & Spas, which has three resorts in Mexico’s Riviera Maya region, is slated to open more properties in Mexico and the Caribbean by the end of 2012. Openings will include Secrets St. James and Secrets Wild Orchid in Jamaica this month; Secrets Huatulco Resort & Spa, in the fall; and another Secrets Resort & Spa in Cap Cana. It also has plans to enter the Aruba market in 2012.
Agents should contact Sales Manager Carla Martinez (011-809-562-9191, [email protected]) with queries.
Secrets Sanctuary’s Royalty Villas have Jacuzzis with views of the Caribbean