Caribbean All-Inclusives Update

Pool on the ‘Prude’ side of Hedonism II, which also has a ‘Nude’ side

Pool on the ‘Prude’ side of Hedonism II, which also has a ‘Nude’ side

 

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Whether you book it or not, every Caribbean specialist should be aware that Hedonism II, one of the most well-known nudist resorts in the world, is looking to again become a powerhouse in the region with an ongoing $5 million renovation. That’s just one of the significant developments on the Caribbean’s all-inclusive resorts scene. Here is that story and more.

 

Hedonism II Gets a Makeover

In Negril, Jamaica, Hedonism II, the popular inhibition-free resort, has commenced a $5 million refurbishment project. Plans for an upgrade to guest rooms and public facilities have been in the works since the hotel was sold to Marshmallow Limited in February. Phase one of the two-part project is now underway.

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Thirty Ocean View Au Naturel, two Garden View Au Naturel and two Ocean View Prude guest rooms were slated to be completely renovated by early November with new furniture, expanded glass-enclosed bathrooms and in-room mood lighting to give the accommodations a tropical, sensual feel. At the same time, the hotel is currently embarking on a large-scale refurbishment project for its additional 246 guests rooms, replacing soft furnishings  and adding new refrigerators and flat-screen TVs. This project is expected to be completed by the end of December.

Phase two plans are set to start in May 2014 when another 100 rooms will be fully renovated. Over the last six months, Hedonism II has been discretely making improvements to its public areas. To date, the resort has updated its dining room, added new chaise lounges and umbrellas to the pool and beach areas, expanded its food and beverage offerings, and added a wine bar where guests can purchase specialty wines.

For more than 30 years, Hedonism II has enjoyed a reputation of shattering inhibitions and provoking the kind of behavior people do not talk about in polite circles. In this relaxed, no judgment, no pressure environment, guests are free to explore whatever lifestyle they fancy. Hedonism is as much about open minds as it is about open bars.

 

Club Sandals Debuts in Antigua

Following successful launches at all Sandals Resorts in Jamaica and The Bahamas, Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa now offers concierge-level guests more Luxury Included amenities and enhanced service. Upon arrival, concierge guests are brought to the exclusive Club Sandals Lounge where they are welcomed by a Club Sandals Concierge and a signature cocktail during their private check-in. The private, 24/7 Club Sandals Lounge offers complimentary iPads and Kindles loaded with popular reads, snacks and beverages, soothing music and more. Club Sandals also debuted recently at all three Sandals Resorts in Saint Lucia.

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Hyatt to Enter the Market

The all-inclusive market is one of the driving forces behind tourism in the Caribbean and Mexico, and it seems Hyatt Hotel Corp. now wants a piece of the action. It was recently reported that Hyatt is looking to spend $325 million to take a 20 percent stake to buy shares of Playa Hotels & Resorts B.V.

There are 13 resorts in the Playa portfolio, and Hyatt will sign on for six of them, which will operate under Hyatt brands after necessary renovations are completed. Keep a lookout in Mexico, as that is where the company noted its first two all-inclusive resorts will be. Four more are slated for Jamaica and the Dominican Republic, as well as Mexico, in 2014 and 2015.

 

Barcelo Offers Cash Incentives

During the recent 2013 Luxury Travel Exchange International Travel Agent sat down with Alejandro G. Peralta, sales manager, Southeast USA for Barcelo Hotels & Resorts, who told us all about a new agent incentive program. Peralta said from now through December 20, agents who book three-, four-, or five-night stays at the adults-only Barcelo Bavaro Beach will receive a $30 cash incentive. For bookings of six nights or more, agents receive $50.

 

Better in the Bahamas

All 391 guest rooms and suites at Breezes Bahamas were recently refreshed with new soft furnishings and renovated bathrooms. The lobby/entertainment area has also been fully updated, and the Ocean View Suite meeting room was refurbished. The resort now also provides free Wi-Fi in the rooms and throughout the property.

 

Club Med Punta Cana Upgrade

Late this summer Club Med improved amenities at its Dominican Republic property, Club Med Punta Cana, including a refurbished conference center, to the latest sport equipment and facilities. The resort also upgraded lounge and dining experiences and added a new shuttle service for all guests.

The property also introduced a new Mini Club Med designed to improve the creative and cognitive skills of children ages 4-10. The Mini Club Med now has three themed rooms: the Music Academy, Art Studio and Game Factory. The facilities feature a water park, enhanced baby gym and an array of sports classes for the children.

Club Med offers a variety of activities with expert instruction including windsurfing, sailing, archery, flying trapeze, fitness classes, and tennis, with 14 refreshed courts to choose from. Club Med has partnered with the Corales Golf Club and La Cana Golf courses. Corales has an exclusive 18-hole course with six oceanfront holes while La Cana offers a 27-hole course consisting of three nines, including 14 holes.

Guests at the resort have access to multiple pools including a lagoon pool and a children’s splash park, three gourmet restaurants including the newly renovated Celeste Snack Bar—which is now a full-service beachfront restaurant, sports activities and the first L’Occitane-branded spa in the Caribbean.

 

Guest room at the adults-only Barcelo Bavaro Beach

Guest room at the adults-only Barcelo Bavaro Beach

 

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