Hurricane Sandy Not Crushing Caribbean Vacation Plans-Yet
Hurricane Sandy, which has waltzed her way in at the tail end of the Caribbean's traditional june-November "Hurricane Season" for hotels is causing vacationers to make phone calls and emails to their various resorts in Jamaica, The Bahamas, Florida, and Bermuda--the location of the storm's path. This news that at least 20 people have died from hurricane damage hasn't helped and neither have reports of various flight delays for the upcoming weekend and predictions that things will get hectic for at least the first few days next week.
"Frankenstorm", as Sandy has been appropriately nicknamed by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is currently hovering over The Bahamas. One hotel already taking precautions is the 250-room, all-inclusive Paradise Island Harbour Resort in Nassau. Not only have they closed all the east-facing rooms with balconies as the hurricane blows in from that direction, they've also brought in outdoor furniture and anything not nailed to the ground. The staff has also gathered ample quantities of fresh water.
“We’ve been waiting for this all season,” said Lex Hollender, regional director of operations of the resort, who says the hotel is operating at 50% capacity since they've closed down the other half. And they're still checking in guests who refuse to deter their plans.
However Hollender says the hotel may as well be 100% occupancy given the space they have open, and also offers a logistics explanation to Hotel News Now:
The interior of the Paradise Island hotel is air-pressurized, he said. “In a pressurized room, if you have 60 mph winds and someone opens a door (leading to the outside), they could get blown out,” he said.
Still, we know plenty of people who won't let this deter their plans, who will roll with the punches--or better yet--bought travel insurance and will postpone their trip for another time. Our recommendation is that you ask your resort to take a page from Sandals Resorts and ask them to duplicate their "Hurricane Guarantee" plan so you can rebook at another time without penalty. It would be a good gesture on their part for sure.
In the meantime, we'll be keeping an eye out for more hurricane developments, hotel closures, special packages and keep you posted.
BTW, this would be an especially good time for hotels to let us know what efforts they are making to help any of their colleagues during this time. Are they taking in guests, lending supplies? Gestures of goodwill are always cool with us!
[Photo: Paradise Island Harbour Resort]