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Suites We Recommend

December 10, 2007 By: Joe Pike Travel Agent

We know that 2007 brought a long list of new suites to the Caribbean, but since seeing is believing, we chose to single out some new Caribbean suites that we visited and loved.

In July, Travel Agent toured Grand Isle Resort & Spa in Great Exuma The Bahamas. It is a community of luxurious ocean and golf course villas located within the 500-acre Emerald Bay property. The best room, however, was the Master Grand Penthouse, which was unveiled to media, tourism and government officials during our visit. The $5.7 million Master Grand Penthouse sits on the highest point of Emerald Bay in The Bahamas. In peak season, the rooms cost about $6,000 per night. The 4,000-square-foot roomhas four bedrooms, a media room and outdoor balcony and offers views of the ocean, Great Exuma and the back nine of the golf course. The master bedroom has French sliding glass doors leading to the terrace, a marble bath with dual vanities and a whirlpool tub. Also, guests in the room - and guests in all the other villas - have option of requesting in-villa dining, in which the resort's cooking staff will prepare a meal in the kitchen. The concierge can assist in choosing courses from the fine or casual dining menus. Grand Isle Resort & Spa offers agents a 10-percent commission. Agents should call General Manager Tracy Stoltz at 242-358-5000 or e-mail [email protected].

We visited Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort in November to the see the new Rondoval Suites. These suites offer guests 1,800 square feetand include large, flat-screen plasma televisions, separate sitting areas with a sofa and desk, in-room Jacuzzi tubs and separate shower areas with glass mosaic tiling. The suites also feature a private pool deck, and private hammocks. The Ultra Grande Luxe Beachfront Rondoval Suite features private plunge pools and a whirlpool with rates starting at $1,352. The Ultra Luxury Beach Rondoval Suite, which also comes with a private plunge pool and whirlpool, but only a partial beach view, starts at $1,198. Agents should contact Resort Sales Manager, Daly Mariatte, at [email protected].

Agua Resort & Spa in Uvero Alto (about 10 minutes from Punta Cana), Dominican Republic, invited Travel Agent to a pre-opening of its 40,000-square-meter facility in mid-April. We stayed in room 2, an Agua Garden View Junior Suites. Selling for between $400 and $600 a night, this suite has a patio with a view of one of two pools on property, a king-sized bed and a spacious bathroom. The best views can be had from any of the Ocean View Junior Suites. These rooms are right on the beach, with 775 square feet of space, French doors leading to a private tropical terrace and furniture positioned for views of the azure waters. Suites have either one king-size bed or two queen-size beds. The large bathroom with ocean views has a deep soaking tub, separate shower with multiple jets, double vanity and spacious walk-in closet. For more information, agents may call the main number for booking, 809-468-0000.

The recently re-flagged Regent Palms Turks & Caicos officially unveiled its new look at the beginning of the year. We stayed in October at what thought was one of the best properties we've seen in the Caribbean this year. It is the perfect property for couples looking for an unspoiled destination in the Caribbean and a resort that offers peace and quiet on just about every inch of its 12-acres. We stayed in room 4203, a one-bedroom Oceanview Suite. Although it is not the highest category, we highly recommend it. It comes with two balconies--one leading from the dining room and another leading from the bedroom. One balcony has a small bed and overlooks the property's $1.8 million serpentine infinity pool with partial views of the ocean. The other is off to the side of the pool. We were greeted with a fruit and cookie basket and a bottle of water on ice prior to our arrival. Check-in was done in our room. The bedroom has a king-sized bed, a smaller television than the one in the living room and a DVD player. There are also two closets and a washer and dryer. Our room costs between $625 and $1,800 depending on the season. We also checked out room # 5504, a three-bedroom Oceanfront Penthouse which costs between $2,600 - $6,500 a night. It could also be closed off into a 1- or 2-bedroom penthouse as well. It?s similar in design to the Oceanview Suite but offers more space. Its best feature is its outdoor Jacuzzi with a front and center view of the ocean. Agents should contact Reservations and Revenue Manager Scott Hagan at 866-877-7256 or [email protected].

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