Hot New Hotels in the Caribbean

South Seas Premium Room at Sandals LaSource Grenada includes a veranda with a Tranquility soaking tub.
South Seas Premium Room at Sandals LaSource Grenada includes a veranda with a Tranquility soaking tub.

The array of exciting new resort hotels that have opened throughout the islands over the last 12 months include several well-recognized names, as well as one that your client may wish to become familiar with when they hear about it. There are more hot properties waiting in the wings, giving you and your clients even more options for vacation bookings heading into 2015. Here’s a look at some of the best and brightest.

Belle Mont Farm, St. Kitts

This December, Kittitian Hill in St. Kitts will unveil the first chapter of its luxury sustainable development: Belle Mont Farm, a collection of guesthouses set within an organic farm where travelers will find a meaningful connection with food, nature and themselves. Reservations are now being accepted for stays starting on December 12.

Set on the north coast of St. Kitts amid 400 acres on the fertile slopes of Mount Liamuiga, Belle Mont Farm will immerse guests in local culture and heritage, an organic farming community and distinct farm-to-table culinary experiences at The Kitchen restaurant & The Mill bar.

Kittitian Hill’s organic farm will offer a collection of exotic fruits and vegetables, with accommodations thoughtfully sowed in the landscape. Designed by award-winning, world-renowned architect Bill Bensley, the 84 guesthouses and seven four-bedroom farmhouses will feature panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and neighboring islands. Overseen by General Manager Carlos Salazar, Belle Mont Farm amenities will include Irie Fields Golf Course and The Workshop fitness center. The famed Golden Lemon Inn at Dieppe Bay will be a part of the Kittitian Hill community, offering a seafood restaurant, beach club and bar.

Introductory rates at Belle Mont Farm start at $800 per night, double occupancy, including breakfast. Continental breakfast with fruit from the farm and fresh-baked breads will be delivered to rooms each morning.

Kittitian Hill is a $600 million hospitality and real estate destination. The brainchild of Val Kempadoo, a social entrepreneur with Caribbean roots, it should prove to be a catalyst for change in the region to bring lasting benefits to the islanders and economy.

Agents should reach out to Salazar ([email protected], 869-466-1712) with any queries.

An Ocean View Deluxe Room at AzulSensatori Jamaica
An Ocean View Deluxe Room at Azul Sensatori Jamaica

Riu Palace Antillas, Aruba

Coinciding with the start of high season in the Caribbean, Riu Palace Antillas opened in Aruba this month. The adults-only, all-inclusive resort is RIU Hotels & Resorts’ second hotel on the island, occupying a site on Palm Beach next to the Riu Palace Aruba.

The modern interior design of the Riu Palace Antillas follows the style the RIU Hotel chain is using for its new projects. Its 482 rooms will have satellite flat-screen TV, an electronic safe and free Wi-Fi Internet service. Amenities clients can expect include a welcome glass of cava, a concierge, 24-hour room service and free Wi-Fi Internet service throughout the hotel.

For more information, agents can contact Shari Sield ([email protected]), director of sales.

Third Sonesta in St. Maarten

With a soft opening scheduled sometime this month, Sonesta Ocean Point Resort will be the newest five-star property in St. Maarten and the brand’s third hotel on the island. This all-suite resort sits on the southernmost point of the island, adjacent to the SonestaMaho Beach Resort & Casino. (Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort, Casino & Spa is just over four miles east, near Philipsburg.)

After a multimillion-dollar renovation to the former Ocean Terrace building, the 129-room Sonesta Ocean Point emerges as a sophisticated, adults-only, all-inclusive resort. Blending contemporary design with a Caribbean vibe, the resort evokes a chic, inviting atmosphere from the public spaces to each of the spacious accommodations ranging from the 480-square-foot Junior Suite King to the lavish 2,600-square-foot Luxury Penthouse.

Exclusive to Sonesta Ocean Point guests, the resort features three pools, including The Edge infinity pool with a private beach on the cliff, a Swim-Out pool connected to Swim-Out Suites and The Point Pool. Also exclusive to guests, there are three bars and lounges, including the Sunset Lounge & Bar, Azul Rooftop Bar for private functions and the contemporary lobby cafe and bar, 18.63.

Agents should direct any questions to EliskaHesova ([email protected]), director of business development for Sonesta St. Maarten All-Inclusive Resorts.

Sandals LaSource Grenada

Although it had a soft opening toward the end of last year, the new Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa may be credited for the latest wave of luxury all-inclusives in the Caribbean.

This may be the most luxurious resort Sandals Resorts International has ever rolled out—a game-changer for how clients will view all-inclusive resorts going forward. Nestled on a stretch of Pink Gin Beach, it offers clients a high level of luxury with an unprecedented look and feel for the resort company’s portfolio.

Only minutes from Maurice Bishop International Airport, Sandals LaSource Grenada offers 225 rooms and suites, including 69 Butler Suites housed within three distinct villages: Pink Gin, Italian and South Seas. The best room views are from the Skypool Suites, which afford outstanding Caribbean Sea vistas from their large balconies.

Another first for the all-inclusives pioneer: This resort’s 10 gourmet dining options include Sandals’ very first steakhouse, Butch’s Chophouse, named after the resort company’s founder and chairman, Gordon “Butch” Stewart.

There is also a fitness center and the signature Red Lane Spa, three fresh-water pools and two river pools.

Karisma’s Caribbean Debut

Following a soft launch at the end of 2013, the AzulSensatori Jamaica celebrated its grand opening in late April. The resort is the first foray into the Caribbean for Karisma Hotels & Resorts, which has 11 Gourmet Inclusive properties in Mexico’s Riviera Maya.

AzulSensatori occupies prime real estate (the former site of the Sandy Bay Beach Resort) on Negril’s famous Seven Mile Beach, affording views of the Caribbean Sea. While there’s a multigenerational section with Family Suites and two-story Family Loft Suites, couples and others can isolate themselves from the sounds of kids at play by booking one of the 108 rooms and suites in the adults-only section.

Expect to see some “Do Not Disturb” signs on many of the rooms here, which also offer two oceanfront pools with swim-up bars that become lounges in the evening, since this is where the resort’s romantic Honeymoon Suites can be found.

Agents should get in touch with Daniel Scheiman ([email protected], 011-052-998-872-8450), Karisma’s senior business development manager for the U.S.

Dreams Expands to St. Thomas

Sugar Bay Resort & Spa will be officially rebranded as Dreams Sugar Bay St. Thomas Resort & Spa before 2014 comes to a close. Apple Leisure Group subsidiary AMResorts, added the U.S. Virgin Islands hotel to its resort brand management portfolio in July. In the interim, the property underwent renovations to bring it up to brand standards.

The project includes upgrading all guest rooms, with 100 rooms upgraded to Preferred Club level. Reach out to Director of Sales Linda Maratea ([email protected], 340-777-7100) with any queries.

The Belle Mont Farm is set amid 400 acres on the fertile slopes of Mount Liamuiga.

The Belle Mont Farm is set amid 400 acres on the fertile slopes of Mount Liamuiga.

A Look Ahead: Hot Hotels 2015

It was recently announced that Baha Mar, the much-anticipated $3.5 billion mega-resort set to open in The Bahamas, will begin preview openings in December 2014 and continue them through the first few months of 2015, with a grand opening celebration planned for late spring of 2015.

The new resort will have 2,000 hotel rooms in four branded hotels: one each from Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, Mondrian and Hyatt, along with The Baha Mar Casino & Hotel, the resort’s centerpiece.

An existing property, The Meliá, is undergoing renovations and upon completion will be renamed Meliá at Baha Mar and debut simultaneously with the rest of the resort. It will be the only all-inclusive property at Baha Mar.

Palace Resorts’ newest hotel, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande, will be the brand’s first outside of Mexico. Expected to open in early 2015, it is currently undergoing a $50 million enhancement that will include modernized guest rooms, upgraded meeting spaces, redesigned common areas, restaurant updates, the addition of a FlowRider Double wave simulator, Wired Teen Lounge and more. Acquired from Sunset Resorts Jamaica, Moon Palace Jamaica Grande sits on the north coast of Jamaica at the head of Ocho Rios Bay.

When Travel Agent heard about Sandals’ plans to build five over-the-water suites at Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort & Private Island in Montego Bay, we sat down with Adam Stewart, CEO of Sandals Resorts International, during JAPEX (Jamaica Product Exchange) in Montego Bay to get the latest updates.

“We are in a redesign. It won’t affect when it will open. We are still on schedule but we just thought we were wasting so much space with the original design,” says Stewart.

Groundbreaking is set to commence sometime this month with completion slated for early next summer. Stewart says the new design will include an outdoor sitting area with Jacuzzis.

The Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar
The Grand Hyatt at Baha Mar