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Updates From the Islands

August 29, 2011 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent



The Regent Spa at Regent Palms
The Regent Spa at Regent Palms in Turks and Caicos will be augmented with added staff, new reatments and expanded menu options.


In the dynamic Caribbean tourism industry, even popularity does not guarantee a product’s status quo. New general managers take charge of already well-frequented hotels and one of the region’s most popular spas is set to be revamped. And there’s more.

Puerto Rico to Host CHTIC in 2012 and 2013: The Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) and the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) have announced that the Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino in San Juan, Puerto Rico, will be the venue for the annual Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Investment Conference (CHTIC) in 2012 and 2013.

CHTIC 2012 will take place from April 24-26, while the 2013 edition is scheduled for May 7-9 that year. Sponsorship opportunities are available for companies seeking to elevate their presence at these events. Sponsors will be highlighted throughout the conferences, as well as in CHTA’s marketing and public relations activities leading up to and following the events.

The Sponsors’ Exhibit will be open throughout the conferences and will also afford direct contact with representatives of sponsoring companies. Immediately following the conferences, CHTA will host its committee meetings, Board of Directors meeting and the Annual General Meeting.

All funds collected will be reinvested in the region’s tourism industry.

Spa Changes at Regent Palms in Turks & Caicos: During our coverage of the Regent Palms in Turks and Caicos last month, Travel Agent got the scoop on some major developments in the Regent Spa, arguably the resort’s biggest draw. General Manager Karen S. Whitt says clients can expect a new bistro selling health food in the 25,000-square-foot spa and additions to the spa menu for a full-day experience.

Deborah J. Waldvogel, director of spa development and operations for Sedona Resorts, who is the spa consultant, says there will be a full rebranding of the spa that could call for a name change, and a heavier Asian and Indian influence on the menu. Treatments will be added and the spa staff doubled. The yoga studio will be moved to the fitness center and its space will be used for the new bistro. That plan is expected to get rolling around September, but the new location of the fitness center has not been decided yet. Even while these changes are being made, the spa will remain open.

Two more projects have been planned at the hotel: The breakfast area will also be moved and enhanced and a new beach bar set up. Once the spa changes have been made, Waldvogel says agents will need to book treatments for clients at least two weeks in advance. She says plans are in the works to enable online booking of treatments.

MLT Expands Romance Program: For destination wedding and honeymoon clients, more offerings and a wider variety of hotels are available through MLT Vacations’ brands. MLT’s romance brands include Delta Vacations LIFESTYLE Collection featuring Romance, Continental Airlines Vacations SelectEscapes Romance and United Vacations Romance.

Most notably, MLT Vacations added 24 new hotels to the honeymoon program in Mexico and the Caribbean, including new hotels in Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Riviera Nayarit, Punta Cana, the Bahamas, Turks and Caicos, Antigua and St. Lucia. For a complete list, visit

New GM at Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman: Marc Langevin returns to The Ritz-Carlton, Grand
Cayman (—where he was the resort manager through November 2006—as the new general manager. He comes from The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, where he has served as general manager.

Langevin first arrived at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman in May 2004 to oversee all operational elements of the hotel’s pre-opening. Following his tenure there, he took charge of  The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas, which had undergone a $40 million renovation.

Langevin’s career in the hospitality industry began with Club Med in the 1980s, taking him to eight different countries around the world. He then moved to Las Vegas, holding food and beverage management positions with a variety of resorts, before joining the Beverly Hills Hotel in Los Angeles.

By 2001, when he became executive assistant manager of food and beverage at The Ritz-Carlton, Cleveland, he had gained vast operations experience as regional director of operations with Boykin Management Company, whose properties include Embassy Suites, DoubleTree and Hilton hotels.

New GM at Breezes Runaway Bay: SuperClubs Resorts recently announced that Jag Mehta, an 18-year company veteran, has been named general manager of Breezes Runaway Bay. Prior to his joining the all-inclusive resort chain, he was senior vice president of  The Myers Group in Nassau, the Bahamas, and president, Normandie Hotels Corp., where he managed the reopening of the Radisson Normandie Hotel.

In 1985 and again in 1991, Mehta was assistant to the president at Williams Hospitality Management Corp. in San Juan, where he worked on the reopenings of the El San Juan Hotel and El Conquistador Resort. Prior to this, for 16 years Mehta held various roles with Hilton International, including general manager of Caribe Hilton International, San Juan; Condado Beach–La Concha Hotel and Convention Centre; and Jamaica Hilton, Ocho Rios.

In other SuperClubs news, Sonia Davis, former hotel manager of SuperFun Beach Resort & Spa, is now hotel manager of Rooms Ochos Rios. While SuperFun remains temporarily closed, Bunny Williams, SuperFun’s human resources manager, will take Davis’ place as acting hotel manager.


Bahamas’ Abacos Islands
The Bahamas’ Abacos Islands are among MLT’s many romance destinations.


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About the Author

Joe Pike
Joe Pike is Travel Agent's senior editor covering the Caribbean, Bahamas & Bermuda; Hawaii; Central & South America. Previously, Pike was a newspaper reporter for The Asbury Park...

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By Joe Pike | August 29, 2011
With these changes, the Caribbean travel industry is set to reinvent itself yet again. New general managers take charge of already well-frequented hotels and one of the region’s most popular spas is set to be revamped.