New Hotel Brands in the Caribbean

The Caribbean remains as popular a destination as ever, and hoteliers that were heretofore strangers to the region, are taking notice. A number of brands made their debuts in the islands recently and others will follow in the coming years. Here are some to keep an eye out for.

Opening in autumn 2019 will be the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica. It will become the brand’s first property on Dominica and the second in the Caribbean, following last year’s opening of the Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana in Cuba (the country’s first five-star hotel). Near Cabrits National Park, it will be providing easy access to the island’s natural sites. 

The 160-room resort will have a design that will preserve Dominica’s natural beauty and eco-system, pledging to protect and maintain the authenticity of the eco-tourism paradise. There will be four room categories with the two-bedroom Presidential Villa being the top option. 

There will also be three restaurants on property serving international cuisine, a rooftop rum bar specializing in local Dominica rums, a full-service spa, watersports (motorized and non-motorized), three pools, a children’s club, fitness center, an all-weather tennis court and an outdoor amphitheater.

Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group has announced that it will manage a luxury resort and residences on Grand Cayman — its second in the Caribbean — scheduled to open in 2021. It took over its first property, Pink Sands Club, at the end of 2017. Mandarin Oriental, Grand Cayman will be a 100-room beachfront resort with 89 branded Residences at Mandarin Oriental. It will occupy 67 acres at St. James Point, on the southern shore of the island. From an elevated point, it will overlook its own secluded white-sand beach. All guestrooms and suites will face the sea.

There will be five restaurants and bars and its own farm, which will provide a farm-to-table dining experience. Wellness options include a Spa at Mandarin Oriental, a fitness center and several outdoor swimming pools, as well as tennis courts. Walking and cycling trails will traverse the property, and a Beach Club will offer a variety of leisure and water sports activities.

The Residences at Mandarin Oriental will have dedicated owner facilities and access to all of the resort’s amenities.

As for the boutique Pink Sands Club on the island of Canouan in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Mandarin Oriental only just put its name on the property this summer. The resort, which has 26 suites and seven villas, will now operate as Mandarin Oriental, Canouan.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced plans for Andaz Turks & Caicos at Grace Bay, a hotel and residences development expected to open in 2021, marking the Andaz brand’s first property in the Caribbean. The new hotel will occupy five-plus acres at the western end of Grace Bay Beach, next to the Bight Reef. The property will have interiors by the same designer of Andaz Mayakoba Resort Riviera Maya and Andaz Costa Rica Resort at Peninsula Papagayo.

Andaz Turks & Caicos Residences at Grace Bay will include studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units, as well as penthouses with four bedrooms. 

The resort will comprise two buildings: The 59-key hotel and the 74-unit branded residences, with co-located amenities. Andaz Turks & Caicos Residences at Grace Bay will include studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units, as well as penthouses with four bedrooms. Plans call for residential owners to have the option to participate in a hotel rental program, managed by Andaz Turks & Caicos at Grace Bay.

The master plan will offer guests and owners the choice of four restaurants and bars, including an elevated venue with panoramic views. Health and fitness amenities at the state-of-the-art wellbeing facility will include an outdoor garden yoga studio and a full-service indoor and outdoor spa with dedicated luxury concierge services.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation also has plans for a Grand Hyatt Hotel and Residences in the Cayman Islands, where it will mark Hyatt’s re-entrance to the destination. It is expected to open by the fourth quarter of 2020. The 351-room Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman Hotel & Residences on Seven Mile Beach, along the southern end of West Bay Road, will be less than one mile away from George Town’s city center and only 10 minutes from Owen Roberts International Airport.

The new resort will have 351 guestrooms, studio suites, and, one-, two-, and three-bedroom layouts along a seafront eco-walk that will celebrate the diverse ecology of Grand Cayman. Additional amenities include six food and beverage venues, a destination spa and fitness center, three swimming pools, retail shops, a kids club and a screening room. 

An affiliate of Pageant Beach Hotel Ltd. will offer a rental program for the residences that will allow participating owners, when not occupying their residences, to have Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman rent their residences to prospective hotel guests.

Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman Hotel & Residences will occupy a stretch of Seven Mile Beach.

In the latest news, Accor Hotels has announced a planned debut in Havana: SO/ Havana Paseo del Prado, which is slated to open in early 2020. The SO/ brand originally started as an exclusive, design-centric label of Sofitel, created to reflect each destination’s local energy, and billed as offering a “rebellious interpretation of luxury that includes avant-garde design, a passion for fashion, trendy beats, ‘Just Say SO’ service and buzzing destination bars.” 

The first SO/ property in the Americas, the Havana hotel will be located at the intersection of Paseo de Marti and Malecón in the heart of the city. Design will be a big focus of the SO/ Havana Paseo del Prado, with Spanish fashion designer Agatha Ruiz de la Prada conceiving both the hotel’s emblem and the staff’s uniforms. 

Occupying a 10-story building, the hotel will have 250 guestrooms, including 36 suites. The rooftop bar will host international DJs and artists during the signature SO Parties, and the lobby lounge and bar is also expected to draw the crowds. Additional F&B outlets include a specialty restaurant, chocolate café bar and all-day eatery. There will also be a fitness center, swimming pool and SO/SPA

Moxy Hotels, a boutique hotel brand from Marriott International, is set to enter the Caribbean and Latin America with plans to reach out into four established destinations at the start of the next decade. Marriott International says entry into this region strengthens the company’s select-service tier and provides vacationers a more diverse range of experiences. 

While no additional information regarding locations or specific openings is currently available, Marriott International has also announced it will be opening Aloft San Juan in Puerto Rico in the second half of 2019.

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