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Inside the Latest Caribbean Luxury Hotel News

July 14, 2016

Travel Agent received confirmation recently that Sandals Resorts International is looking to expand to the island of Tobago. // Photo by Smith

From a rebranding to an expansion to a management takeover, Travel Agent breaks down the highlights of a busy few weeks for Caribbean luxury hotel news. 

Sandals Looking to Expand to Tobago

Representatives with Sandals Resorts International confirmed with Travel Agent recently that the all-inclusive giant is in negotiations to open its first hotel on Tobago.

According to a public relations representative for the company, "Sandals is in discussions with the government and looks forward to the prospect of bringing its brands to Tobago."

The Trinidad & Tobago Guardian is reporting that the Tobago House of Assembly last week held preliminary talks with Gordon "Butch" Stewart, founder and chairman of Sandals Resorts, about the proposed construction of a 750-room hotel on the island.

Sandals Breaks Ground on Barbados Expansion

Travel Agent was the first to bring you word that Sandals Resorts International was already looking to expand its first Barbados property in July of last year, and now Sandals Resorts International has confirmed that it has broken ground on a new expansion at Sandals Barbados.

Dubbed “Phase II,” the project will add 222 rooms and suites to the property when it opens in November 2017. 

The project will also add five new restaurants, three new swimming pools, an entertainment pavilion with a bowling alley and a new spa and wellness sanctuary.


The Reef By CuisinArt in Anguilla Announces November Opening

Situated on Merrywing Bay on the island of Anguilla, The Reef by CuisinArt will debut in November 2016, featuring 80 suites directly on the Caribbean Sea.

The Reef by CuisinArt will feature a lobby entry and bar, a fitness center with Technogym Excite Line, Unity Displays and aqua cycling bikes, a library and a boutique, complimentary watersports, and hardcourt play on the two tennis courts. 

The culinary teams have combined their global talents to create menus that will offer locally-sourced items and ingredients from the Hydroponic Farm for the hotel’s restaurant outlets. The Yacht Club will serve breakfast and lunch, as well as a menu of inspired seafood selections for dinner. Breezes, a beachfront restaurant and bar, will draw those craving a relaxed Caribbean experience.

“The Reef represents Anguilla’s newest luxury destination and the newest hotel addition to the CuisinArt family,” said Stephane Zaharia, vice president and general manager of both The Reef and CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa, in a written release. “The property, replete with exciting ensuite amenities and distinctive features, will truly epitomize a chic beachside resort with an urban flair.”

A member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, The Reef’s 80 accommodations will include 25 Golfview Junior Suites and 25 Seaview Junior Suites in the main building. Four additional beachfront buildings will house 30 accommodations ranging from Beachfront Junior Suites, to Corner Beachfront Junior Suites, Superior Beachfront Junior Suites and Deluxe Beachfront Junior Suites, two of which will contain dramatic outdoor Jacuzzis. 

Accommodation amenities will include a T.V. system with modern technology, bedside “smart” control panels, Tivoli Bluetooth enabled audio systems, and more. Bathroom amenities will include products by Rusk and L’Occitane, as well as double sinks, a separate shower, and a freestanding Alissa oval bath. 

As part of The Reef experience, clients will enjoy access to all amenities of CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa, including preferred rates and tee-times at the 18-hole Greg Norman Signature design championship course, full access to the award-winning Venus Spa, as well as signing privileges at all facilities and dining venues. Complimentary transportation will be provided throughout the estate.


New Pink Sands Club to Officially Debut on Canouan in October

Canouan Resort rebranded to the Canouan Estate on July 1 and became a stand-alone villa collection with access to hotel services of The Pink Sands Club. 


Travel Agent recently got word that the much-anticipated, new hotel on Canouan, St. Vincent and The Grenadines, is currently in the middle of a soft opening. The hotel will remain open from now to August and then will close until October 10. It will then reopen as the new Pink Sands Club.

The Pink Sands Club will be managed independently and will be part of the Leading Hotels of the World. The $120 million dollar hotel will include 26 suites and six villas. 

The adjacent Canouan Resort rebranded to the Canouan Estate on July 1 and became a stand-alone villa collection with access to hotel services of The Pink Sands Club. None of the 10 remaining suites of the original resort will be in operation, and only privately owned villas and residences in the rental pool will be included in the villa and residences collection of the Canouan Estate. These villas can be booked via the Pink Sands Club and via Leading Hotels of The World.

The Pink Sands Club and Canouan Estate team will be going through a training program until October 9. Also, from September 20 - October 9, a selection of Canouan's key travel agents and press will be invited for a final sneak preview before the opening.

Tamarind Beach Hotel, the 39-room boutique property will start a renovation program next year. Upon completion of the renovations, that hotel will also re-brand. 


Cap Juluca Owners Issue Statement on Possible Sale 

The owners of Cap Juluca recently issued a written statement informing travel media that they were exploring the idea of selling the popular luxury resort on Anguilla. 

According to the statement, there has been some false information surfacing that the property has already been sold. However, while the statement acknowledged the possible sale, it also refutes any claim that Cap Juluca has already been purchased. 

“While we have entered into an agreement for the possible sale of Cap Juluca, we have not finalized the transaction, and any communication you may have received from the prospective buyer has been done without our knowledge or consent,” according to the statement by Cap Juluca proprietors, Charles and Linda Hickox.

In November of 2011, it was reported that Cap Juluca was facing auction of some of its assets. According to that report, the owner of the property, Adam Aron, had reportedly failed on his payment to the previous owner Charles Hickox at the end of July and still owed some $67 million.

“As you know, it has never been our policy to solicit our guests for anything other than a return visit,” according to the statement. “We would never consider approaching you for financing. We will continue to make Cap Juluca the paradise for our guests that we have strived for since 1986.” 

Cap Juluca reopened under the original ownership of the Hickox family on November 15, 2012. Since taking the property back over, the Hickox have invested more than $12 million into property.

“If and when a sales transaction is determined,” according to the statement, “we will be happy to let you know what the future holds for our iconic property.”


Viceroy Anguilla to Become Four Seasons Resort

Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts has announced plans to assume management of the Viceroy Anguilla resort. Following the resort’s annual closure from August to October, the property will reopen as Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Anguilla

The new Four Seasons resort is on the island’s northwestern shore, with 3,200 feet of beachfront and unobstructed views of the Caribbean. 

Four Seasons Resort and Private Residences Anguilla has 166 accommodations, including dedicated resort guest rooms, whole-ownership beachfront private residences, 5,000 square foot villas and vacation rental units. There are also on-property restaurants, an 8,100 square foot spa, pools and watersport activities. 

Visit and keep visiting for all your latest Caribbean travel news. Be sure to follow Travel Agent's Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike

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