Exclusive: Inside Belmond’s Ongoing Caribbean Expansion Plans

Cap Juluca
Belmond's plans to fully renovate and re-launch Belmond Cap Juluca remain on schedule.

Travel Agent sat down with representatives of Belmond on Tuesday and got the latest news regarding the company’s ongoing expansion to the Caribbean.

Samantha Strawford, brand communications director for Belmond, told Travel Agent the company’s plans to fully renovate and re-launch Belmond Cap Juluca remain on schedule.

In May, Belmond announced that it has signed agreements to acquire Cap Juluca, a luxury beach resort on the Caribbean island of Anguilla, British West Indies. 

The addition of the 96-room resort marks an important milestone in the strategic development of the Belmond brand, which is committed to doubling the size of its portfolio by 2020. 

Belmond expects to carry out a top-top bottom renovation of the resort at the end of the 2017/2018 festive season, including the development of 25 new beachfront villas or suites, bringing the resort’s total inventory to 121 rooms. 

This is now the company’s second property in the Caribbean along with Belmond La Samanna, perhaps one of the most LGBT-welcoming hotels in the Caribbean. 

This IGLTA-certified hotel, located in St. Martin, is arguably the best hotel in general on the island. The Belmond company as a whole is very LGBT-welcoming and is actively marketing toward this clientele.

In fact, Belmond, a global collection of 46 iconic hotels, trains and river cruises, appointed the company’s first director of LGBT sales back in May of 2015. 

The property offers all the amenities one would expect from a five-star hotel from swanky beach cabanas to a 15-foot-long infinity pool. This is also a great spot for LGBT clients with families as the hotel also offers its unique Camp La Samanna, which provides such activities, as treasure hunts for children.

Belmond Eyeing St. Barth’s?

Strawford would not give specific islands Belmond was looking into at first, but when when Travel Agent asked if St. Barth’s was being considered as a location for a future Belmond hotel, she confirmed the island was on Belmond’s wish list.

“St. Barth’s is definitely an island we would consider and would love to possibly expand to, but we really haven’t targeted any specific islands yet,” she told Travel Agent. “But St. Barth’s and islands like St. Barth’s are where we see Belmond going in the Caribbean.”

Our Take on a Possible Belmond St. Barth’s 

Travel Agent is particularly interested in the St. Barth’s possibility mainly because it would mean the company would have hotels on St. Martin, Anguilla and St. Barth's, which are all relatively close to each other.

Perhaps Belmond could now afford the opportunity to create some kind of island hopping experience for guests? For example, a guest at Belmond Cap Juluca can hop over to the French side of St. Maarten/St. Martin for lunch and then hop over to a St. Barth’s hotel for dinner.

Regardless, it will be interesting to see what Belmond's next Caribbean move will be. 

Visit www.belmond.com and keep visiting www.travelagentcentral.com for all your latest travel news. Be sure to follow Travel Agent’s Joe Pike on Twitter @TravelPike and Instagram @pike5260.

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