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The Caribbean's Customized Luxury

March 12, 2007 By: Lindsay Lambert Travel Agent

Three diverse island getaways cater to the needs of discriminating clientele

On the northwestern coast of Curaçao, the Lodge Kura Hulanda and Beach Club, a member of The Leading Hotels of the World, boasts a selection of water sports and a decidedly natural setting that's ideal for active travelers. Paradisus Palma Real on Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

For clients who like to stay close to the action, select Suites 104 and 105,
near the lobby; if privacy trumps proximity, opt for the more secluded Suite 122. All offer
ocean views. Book Ocean Front Studios (two
doubles and a pullout sleeper sofa) and Ocean Front One Bedroom Suites (one
king and a pullout sofa bed) for clients traveling with more than one
companion—ground-floor studios connect to the top-floor suites via an interior
staircase, rendering this combo a perfect apartment-style setup. Because of
their ample living space, plus a balcony and two terraces that provide ocean
views, Ocean Front Two Bedroom Suites are top of the lot.

Jody DeLeon ([email protected])
in the U.S.
sales office can assist with bookings (reservations can also be made via GDS),
and liaises with travel agents to make sure that their clients' stay more than
meets their expectations. Ask DeLeon to arrange a private luxury sedan from
Curaçao's airport, a 30-minute drive from the resort (VIPs can land helicopters
and private jets). Another name to keep handy is Resident Manager Rolf Oversier
([email protected],
5999-839-3600). There's no spa at the Kura Hulanda; instead, ask Oversier to
arrange massages, wraps and facials in a private poolside palapa, or treatments
at the Lodge's sister property, Hotel Kura Hulanda Spa and Casino (a member of
Leading Spas). At Hotel Kura Hulanda, book several treatments to make the
40-minute drive worthwhile. Oversier once arranged a private helicopter tour of
the islands—complete with a champagne welcome and a private dinner on the
beach—for a guest who wanted to surprise his wife.

Paradisus Palma's Royal Service Suite

Action seekers need look no further than the resort for the
best variety of activities—the Kura Hulanda offers non-motorized water sports,
including snorkeling, wind surfing, sunfish and paddle boating and kayaking.
Often overlooked, Curaçao's are among the Caribbean's
best dive sites. Guests can explore the island underwater with guides from PADI-certified Ocean Encounters West, located on site.

All of this activity is likely to awaken an even more active
appetite. Watamula Restaurant, the main dining venue, serves local and
international specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner in an open-air,
thatched-roof hut, while Kalki Beach Bar & Grill is a more casual,
beachfront option. Open for lunch and dinner, Christoffel Terrace boasts a more
dramatic backdrop—it's perched cliffside—and affords panoramic views of the
sea, perfect for a romantic sunset dinner. Christoffel Sunset Lounge is hailed
as the best sunset-watching venue on Curaçao. Restaurants are open to
non-guests; reservations aren't necessary.

Sheriton Estates on Anguilla

A few tips before traveling: There are local shops in
downtown Willemstad,
40 minutes from the Kura Hulanda; complimentary daily shuttle service is
provided. This year's Curaçao Dive Festival takes place May 25-June 2, a
high-occupancy week at the resort, as are Christmas week, February and Easter.
Book at least six months in advance.

On Bávaro Beach in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Paradisus Palma Real
is a classic pick for clients whose business in the Caribbean
is leisure. At this laid-back all-inclusive, the most difficult decision
clients have to make is which room to pick. Royal Service Suites are a common
choice (choose garden- or oceanview, or oceanfront), though the two Royal
Service Presidential Suites are best if you're sending a top client. (We
suspect past guests Gerard Depardieu, William Baldwin and Matt Dillon slept
here). What do we love most? The huge terrace that overlooks the ocean and has
an elevated Jacuzzi (they also offer exclusive butler service; the other Royal
Service Suites also has butler service, though not exclusive). Sending a client
and his entire brood? Choose a Luxury Junior Suite, a One-bedroom Master Suite
with Jacuzzi, or, our preference, a Family Concierge Suite—these come with
children's entertainment amenities and a Family Concierge service that
family-proofs every aspect of your client's stay, from accommodations to
activities. To score the most coveted Caribbean
views, choose one of the Royal Service Oceanfront Jacuzzi Suites, specifying
Imperial Honeymoon or Presidential. Book via Sales Manager Patricia Sanchez ([email protected];
809-730-6705) or GDS (contact Sanchez or the hotel directly for parties of
three or more, and for clients with children). Oceanfront rooms fill up
fastest; book them as far ahead as possible.

Punta Cana International Airport, which welcomes
private jets, is a 30-minute drive; you'll need to secure transportation (ask
the concierge), as the resort doesn't provide it. There is an on-site helipad.

Travel advisors can book treatments at the Spa at Paradisus
via Sales Representative Ana Becerra ([email protected],
809-688-5000, ext. 8112), though insiders say advance reservations aren't
necessary. The soothing Live the Water Bliss water ritual is particularly
popular. The spa manager is Daniela Pranjic ([email protected],
800-688-5000, ext. 8112). When it comes time to sate a sophisticated appetite,
guests pick from five à la carte and two poolside buffet restaurants.

To make sure your clients' every wish becomes reality,
contact Concierge Manager Janin Soto ([email protected],
809-688-5000, ext. 8081), or one of the resort's Romance Specialists if your
clients' angle is amor. Contact Managing Director Bernard Wyss ([email protected],
809-688-5000, ext. 8025) when VIPs are en route.

If you're catering to a celeb or CEO whose Caribbean getaway
is meant to be just that, check out Sheriton Estates
on Anguilla, which opened in November 2006.
Nestled on a 10-acre alcove overlooking Cove Pond, Sheriton Estates comprises
three villas—the identical 14,000-square-foot Harmony and Infinity, and the
21,000-square-foot Mystique. Villas Harmony and Infinity each have seven
bedrooms, two pools, a media room, a fitness area and four master suites, while
Villa Mystique boasts five Grand Villa Master Suites (bathrooms with double
rain showers and infinity-edge tubs), three pools, a full gym and optional
garden suite that's ideal for the nanny, butler or bodyguard.

Sheriton Estates is all about exclusivity. There's no spa
and there are no restaurants; instead, each villa is assigned a Concierge
Privé, who sets up in-room spa treatments—ask him to recruit Jill Walker for a
Sheriton Sea-Spa Body Wrap or other therapies—and private chef service and groceries.
If your clients are celebrating a special occasion or just want to enjoy an
authentic Caribbean meal, have their villa
concierge arrange a Sheriton Island BBQ Buffet—grilled lobster, crayfish and
Anguillan snapper and organic veggies. Insiders keep the list of famous past
guests a closely guarded secret, but they do tell us that Head Concierge Rosina
Gumbs ([email protected],
264-498-9898) has seamlessly pulled off dinner parties for up to 30 guests,
including celebs, on less than five hours' notice.

To book, contact General Manager Jeannine Connor-Gittens ([email protected],
264-476-9898), who can also help with pre-arrival planning, including private
jet service to and from Anguilla, as well as for day trips to other Caribbean

A few more tips before booking: Reservations should be made
six months ahead if clients plan to stay during Christmas and New Year's.
Tennis courts are anticipated in 2007; meanwhile, villa guests enjoy
complimentary beach chairs and umbrellas at nearby Cap Juluca (, and
signing privileges at its three restaurants. Malliouhana Hotel ( and
CuisinArt Resort & Spa ( are also nearby, both of whose
spas welcome Sheriton Estates guests. Ask the villa concierge to book
treatments and arrange transportation—both resorts are less than five minutes

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