In addition to high-end accommodations, Sandals Resorts Luxury Included Vacations offer butler service with select room categories
The average hotel occupancy in the Caribbean may be at an all-time low this year, but that doesn’t mean the region’s best all-inclusive resorts are just waiting for the light at the end of the tunnel to magically appear.
Instead, many are taking the initiative by undertaking renovations and expansions and offering a host of attractive deals.
Here’s what we learned during our latest all-inclusives roundup.
Time Running Out on Deals
There is less than a month remaining on some of Sandals Resorts’ most impressive deals. Clients can save up to 65 percent and get up to three nights free when they book a minimum seven-night stay by August 27 for select travel dates through 2009. The same deal applies to all Beaches Resorts as well.
Couples who book the “Let’s Get Together at Sandals” package for travel by December 19 can also receive savings at all 12 resort locations, including up to 65 percent off rack rates and up to three nights free.
As with all Sandals Resorts Luxury Included vacations, guests will experience superb accommodations; exclusive butler service in select room categories; gourmet dining; unlimited premium wine and spirits; championship golf; and an array of water sports, including snorkeling and scuba diving.
Groups that book a minimum of 10 rooms will receive added bonuses, including a private cocktail reception featuring hot and cold hors d’oeuvres, and an open bar; private group check-in upon arrival at the resort of their choice; a gourmet group picnic basket lunch to be enjoyed beachside or in one of the resorts’ Caribbean gardens; a group photo session, plus a 5X7 photograph (per room) for a lasting memento from the trip and a $100 Red Lane Spa credit (per room; minimum five-night stay) to enjoy a full-length spa treatment or service of their choice.
Sandals’ Greek Village on Track
Set to open in 2011, the Greek Village at Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort will comprise 220 rooms and suites featuring the best of Sandals Resorts’ top room categories: Swim-Up River Suites; Rondoval Suites; and 20 Over-the-Water Bungalows—a first for the resort chain, and a first of its kind in the Caribbean. The Over-the-Water Suites will have 1,300 square feet of space and be perched on a deck leading to the sea.
The delights continue throughout the Greek Village, where dining options will include a Kimonos Restaurant and sushi bar.
A typical Rondoval Suite at Sandals, which will be featuring the accommodation at its upcoming Greek Village, slated to open in 2011
Breezes Curaçao Renovations Continue
Breezes Curaçao, the only all-inclusive property on that island, is continuing its resort-wide renovation. You may recall us telling you about the resort’s Flamingo wing, which received new LCD TVs and reappointed bathrooms last year. The property’s three swimming pools were also renovated, including a misting pool, children’s pool and an adults’ pool with swim-up bar.
The recent upgrades include fresh tiles, new shower units, toilets and granite vanities in 65 of the resort’s bathrooms. A new playground for kids has also been built, just outside the expansive Kids’ Club.
News From Sunset Resorts
Sunset Beach Resort & Spa in Montego Bay recently completed a seaside entertainment center, adding to its multimillion-dollar renovations completed in early 2008.
Sunset Jamaica Grande is calling out to all those born between 1946 and 1964 for its Baby Boomers package, which allows clients up to 40 percent savings. The package includes a guaranteed room upgrade; grandchildren stay, play and eat for free in the same room; a coupon for a two-night “bounce back” return stay for next year; a welcome gift in the room upon arrival; weekly guest speakers on health, financial and estate planning, retirement, spa/wellness and social media; a portrait as a keepsake of your clients’ stay in Jamaica; $40 off a rejuvenating one-hour spa treatment per person and other amenities.
At least one person in the room must be born between the dates to qualify for this package. It must be booked by December 21 for travel from August 23 to December 22.
Rates start at $199 per room, per night based on double occupancy ($99.50 per person) at Sunset Beach Resort and Sunset Jamaica Grande and $285 per room, per night based on double occupancy ($142.50 per person) at Sunset at the Palms.
Sunset Resorts also announced it will extend travel agent rates through December at both the resorts for $69 per person, per night based on double occupancy and $119 per person per night based on single occupancy for travel through August 22 and $49 per person, per night based on double occupancy and $89 per person, per night based on single occupancy valid for travel from August 23 through December 22.
Breezes Curaçao’s renovated adults’ pool features a swim-up bar
‘Blowout Sale’ at Montego Bay Resort
The Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort in Montego Bay is offering its “70 Percent Blowout Sale” now for travel from August 16 through December 23. The deal is only for Standard and Superior Room categories. The savings apply to the land portion of air/hotel packages available through the resort’s tour operator partners. Participating tour operators include Apple Vacations, Bookit.com, Continental Airlines Vacations, Delta Vacations, Funjet Vacations, GoGo Worldwide Vacations, Orbitz, Travel Impressions, Travelocity, and U.S. Airways Vacations.
For more information, contact Holiday Inn Resorts Caribbean sales office at 305-269-9980, or [email protected].
Barceló Is Booming
The Spain-based Barceló Group, whose divisions include hotel and resort operations for more than 180 properties in 17 countries, and a travel division operating 505 offices and agencies in 23 countries, is on target to successfully complete the company’s growth objectives set for 2010, according to the group’s recently released 2008 annual report.
Already ranked as the third-largest hotel operator in Spain and the 24th largest hotel operator worldwide, the company promises to meet its 2010 target: to promote more than 200 hotels, all of which are forecast to be exclusively four- and five-star properties.
The hotel and resort division’s growth in the last five years has allowed the company to almost double its offering. To support the portfolio’s rapid expansion, Barceló has increased its presence in North America by launching advertising and public relations campaigns targeting the region’s leisure travel market.
With these new initiatives, Barceló Hotels & Resorts intends to not only introduce the brand but also position the company’s diverse offerings as the most valuable resort options, particularly for all-inclusive travel to the Caribbean and Latin America.
The company invested more than $65 million in refurbishments and in the selection of new hotels.
An Ocean View Room at Breezes Curaçao has two queen beds and a terrace with views of the Caribbean