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Caribbean’s Green Resort Surge to Continue in ’09 with Star Island
Travel Agent has been tracking the Caribbean's ongoing push in 2008 to compete with Latin America as a green destination by pumping out environmentally-friendly resorts with hopes of capitalizing on this increasingly popular niche. Representatives of Star Island resort in the Bahamas say the Caribbean’s green momentum will spill over to 2009.
Next fall, Star Island will officially open its hotel/condominium development, which is slated to have between 60 and 70 rooms. Half of the rooms will be strictly hotel rooms while the other half will be hotel/condos.
To weed out the green impostors, Travel Agent always like to get to the bottom of why a hotel considers itself green and was convinced after a discussion with David Sklar, president and lead designer of Star Island, that this resort qualifies. The resort will create all of its own energy, using solar and wind energy, solar heated water, reverse osmosis to desalinate salt water and roofs specifically designed to harvest an estimated five million gallons of rain water a year, Sklar says.
The resort can be pitched to any luxury client visiting the Caribbean, but mainly those who want a “test drive of the green lifestyle.” The resort’s best rooms will be its roughly 20 Bungalows, which will all have about 400 square feet of terrace space with lounge chairs and beds. There will also be a six-treatment-room spa, a fitness center, three restaurants and a 50-slip marina.
Bob Marley Themed Resort Opens in The Bahamas
Reggae-loving clients can now "Stir It Up" in the Bahamas at the Marley Resort & Spa, which opened July 4 in Nassau and is a creation by the family of legendary musician Bob Marley. We couldn’t resist plugging a Marley classic, but then again, consider it a teaser for what your clients can expect at the resort.
Each of the 16 themed suites center around Marley's song titles, including “Kinky Reggae,” “Nice Time,” and “Kaya,” among others. Suites feature whirlpool tubs and in-room Bose entertainment systems among other amenities.
The resort was purchased by Marley’s widow, Rita, after the Marley family used it as a summer getaway for many years. A personal concierge service is available along with in-room dining. A host of excursions—from diving to dolphin encounters—are also available. Some guests may choose to stay in-house and lounge in the two, free-form swimming pools, or on the beach.
The resort also retains a "love expert," who helps with wedding, honeymoon and vow-renewal packages. The resort's music gallery offers a behind-the-scenes look at Marley’s life and the Marley family's music. Visit www.marleyresort.com.
Norwegian Sky to Begin Bahamas Operations
Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Sky, which previously sailed under the name Pride of Aloha in Hawaii, will begin three and four-day Bahamas cruises from Miami Monday, July 14. The ship recently underwent a two-month wet dock where it was outfitted with a casino and NCL's Freestyle 2.0 enhancements. NCL last had a ship operating short three- and four-day Bahamas itineraries from Miami in 2003.
The ship departs Mondays from Miami for the four-day cruise, stopping in Grand Bahama Island, Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, NCL's own private island. Then, on Fridays, the ship will operate the three-day cruise, departing Miami at 5 p.m. with all-day stops in Nassau and Great Stirrup Cay, before returning to Miami early Monday morning. The itinerary is ideal for families or couples who can't miss work or school.
New Turks & Caicos Resort Offers Up to 15 Percent Commission
The new Seven Stars Resort on Grace Bay Beach in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands, offers a great deal for both clients and agents. For the entire summer, the resorts is offering discounts as high as 60 percent off and commission as high as 15 percent. The offer is valid through November 15. The 60 percent discount is applicable for all four- and some three-bedroom suites with Grand Salons. Daily rates, now $960-$1,560, normally range from $2,400-$3,900 depending on type of suite and date of stay. Guests booking the other three-bedroom suites, all two-bedroom suites and beachfront one-bedroom accommodations, receive 50-percent off with rates from $365-$1,300, usually $730-$2,600. Garden or Ocean View one-bedroom studios and suites are 25 percent off with daily rates ranging from $273.75-$832.50, ordinarily $365-$1110. Agents only receive a 15 percent commission for the 60 percent off deal.
Anguilla Resort Offers Discount
The Arawak Beach Inn in Anguilla, is offering a rate of $125 per room, per night for travel from June through October. Many of the rooms on the island are usually priced at about $1,000 or more per night. Arawak has 17.