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All-Inclusive Resorts / Dominican Republic Resorts / Caribbean Resorts / Hotel Openings / Hotel Opening Rates / → All Tags
Fall is finally here, which naturally means its time to wonder about winter escapes. On November 15th there will be another option to consider in the all-inclusive hotel category--Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa.
Formerly the Now Onyx Punta Cana, the remodeled property is now an all new 750-all Jacuzzi suite, adults-only resort that's part of the AMresorts family of hotels. It's located in Uvero Alto, a section of the Dominican Republic's popular Punta Cana town, about an 45 minutes from the airport.
This will be a mammoth resort with 6 pools, 13 restaurants and seven bars and lounges serving top shelf liquors (those who've done the a/i route know how important this is!). They've even tossed in free WiFi and international calling, so you can connect with home and get all braggy without wasting your cell phone minutes. Yeah!
Now the company is heading to the Caribbean to assume management of St. Lucia's Discovery at Marigot Bay.
In Fall 2014, it'll be completely rebranded as Capella Marigot Bay, St. Lucia, a 124-room resort fronting a marina where yachts of all sizes bob in the bay. Guests will be able to charter boats for snorkeling, diving, and sailing excursions up the coast. Oh, and if you book a suite, you'll get a view of the bay from your private plunge pool.
Celebrity Scoop / Richard Branson / Caribbean Resorts / Necker Island / Dominica Hotels / → All Tags
We all know Sir Richard Branson has a sh*tload of money. Who else sends other billionaires to outer space? That said, he owns some crazy-expensive resorts he calls his second and third home, like Necker Island in the Caribbean and Kasbah Tamadot in Morocco.
Throw in a mansion, homes all over the world, land in Antigua, a super-yacht and, most recently, a private island retreat in Bali, why would he even consider staying (and paying) for a hotel room?
Well last year, he did, and staff at Rosalie Bay Resort in Dominica remember him quite well. One source says, "He was very nice. He came and stayed in two of our riverside suites with his family. He was just really a nice guy."
So what makes Rosalie Bay Resort good enough for Richard?
Hotel Casinos / Hotel Gambling / Bahamas Hotels / Caribbean Resorts / Miami Hotel Mambo / Hotel Fun / Hotel Openings / → All Tags
It's still not clear whether the mega-resort, uh, Resorts World Miami will get its casino or not. Developers, the Malaysian firm Genting Malaysia Berhad, certainly hope so. Florida lawmakers, not so much.
But that doesn't mean Genting is sitting around wringing its hands over the ultimate decision. The company is moving right along--just across the water to Bimini Bay in the Bahamas.
That's right; if you can't get a casino opened in Miami, just open one in Miami's backyard. Genting has partnered with RAV Bahamas, developers of Bimini Bay Resort and Marina and the soon-to-come Rockwell Island Beach Estates to launch a casino called... surprise, Resorts World Bimini Bay.
The fancy new gaming facility is scheduled to open in mid-December, joining Bimini Bay Resort's existing marina, expansive grounds and two large pool decks. We can expect table games, slots and of course all the splashy entertainment and dining that is synonymous with a casino.
All-Inclusive Resorts / Caribbean Resorts / Mexico Hotels / Luxury Hotels / Lists / FIve Best / → All Tags
All-inclusive Resorts used to be a cheap, spring break vacation where you sipped sugary drinks in plastic cups and shuffled through buffet lines filling up on nachos, burgers and something exotic called spaghetti bolognese. Looks like those days are a-changin’.
In a time where people (even the well-heeled) are demanding more bang for their vacation buck, many all-inclusives resorts are making a comeback, and bringing their A game.
Today you’ll see gourmet restos, free golf and even spa treatments added into the mix to lure discerning travelers to their now well-manicured grounds.
Check out these five luxury resorts that are so sleek, you’d barely know that one-price-pays-for-all.
Let's get this out there right now: Grace Bay Club in Turks & Caicos loves kids. (So pipe down, righteous breeders.) They even have a section of the property called Kids Town, which caters to all sorts of little tyke whims and needs.
But parent or not, when you've hit the Caribbean for some R&R, you're looking to tune out bored teenage attitude and a litany of "but why?"s. So, hallelujah for the new adults-only, glass-edge, infinity pool and bar at Grace Bay.
Summer in the Caribbean. Every day's foreceast was the same: hot with a chance of thunderstorms. Of the four days we spent at Parrot Cay in Turks & Caicos, it rained just a little on three and a lot on the fourth.
We were lucky to enjoy gorgeous sunny mornings, and dramatic overcast skies that still let us swim at the beach and in the pool. Storms blew over quickly, and we were able to take cover under our beach umbrellas, at the poolside bar (bonus: rum punch and endless UB40!), or on our own balcony, where the view never got old.
Of course, at a resort as luxurious as this, there is always something to do while the tropics do their thing outside. Here are just some of the activities we dabbled during the daily downpours.
The Domaine de Lonvilliers is getting a flash re-opening with a seriously flash restaurant. This 145-room resort is on the French side of St Martin and boasts of having both European stylishness and a laidback Caribbean nature – we're not sure if it's possible, but it sure sounds like a beautiful combination.
The new Domaine de Lonvilliers will include a restaurant from chef Christophe Leroy, who has already set up his famed "La Table du Marche" restaurants in other resorts in the Caribbean and beyond. That means the food should be pretty darn good.
The reopening is scheduled for December 1 and they've got some special rates from then until March 31, 2010, starting from $250 per night and $300 a night over the Christmas and New Year season. One gripe we have: French readers will be able to get a lot more restaurant and hotel info out of Christophe Leroy's website, but the rest of us will be scrounging around the site trying to find a button to turn it into English.
[Photo: Santino Corleone]
If you’re a home décor fanatic, and big fan of Martha Stewart, you’d think you’d want to throw yourself hook, line, and sinker into wedding preparations. But based on this new promotion from Sandals Resorts and Martha Stewart, it looks like there are plenty of nesting types whose passion for napkins and placeholders does not extend to destination weddings. (Hey, we don’t blame them. If we were on a tropical island with a rum punch just a snap of our fingers away, we wouldn’t want to be worrying about coordinating bouquets and boutonnieres either.)
The new Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart “experiences” take the concept of an all-inclusive resort and a wedding reception package, and runs with it all the way to the crystal-clear shore. From January 1st, brides and grooms will be able to book one of six Sandals Weddings by Martha Stewart themes at 18 different Luxury Included Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts across the Caribbean.
Gettin' romantic with your other half is a pretty common goal on a Caribbean vacation, but don't forget the new trend is to conceive a baby while you're at it – and hotels out there are trying their best to persuade you to take a Conception Moon at their place. Yeah, we thought this is a private matter, but hotel marketers don't. Here's proof.
The extreme case is at the Westin Aruba Resort where they've got a Conception Credit deal going. This means that if you can prove (retrospectively, of course) that your baby was conceived while you were staying at the Westin Aruba, then they'll give you a $300 credit on future bookings. They'll need a doctor's note as proof and that credit is enough for about one and a half night's stay – weird, but worth doing if your luck turns out that way. And at least you don't have to advertise to everyone in advance that you're going to stay in your room and try to make a baby.
Curacao is something we drink more often than a place we dream of traveling to, but with the February 1 opening of the Renaissance Curacao Resort we are seriously thinking of hopping on a plane and flying down there.
This new place looks so colorfully funky from the photos that we are already thinking we'd enjoy it. And then there are the swimming options. There's an infinity pool, of course, because no self-respecting new resort could open up without one these days. But they've added a new dimension by creating an eternity beach. We're not quite sure we understand it--they say it's "Real sand, real ocean water, real palm trees...above sea level"--and it could just be a bit of a marketing ploy, but we have to admit, we're falling for it. (All 32,000 square feet of it).
Added bonus--the resort is built around a UNESCO Heritage-listed fort, so there's some cultural learning to go with your cocktails. Like every good just-opened resort, the Renaissance Curacao has an opening special--they're doing $199 per night for rooms with normal rack rates up towards $300 a night.
Bad news in the sunny Caribbean. Since we're not booking enough vacations down there, the Sandals Resorts are letting around 650 hotel staff go from their resorts in the Bahamas, Jamaica and St. Lucia.
That figure makes around 7% of the resort's workforce, so things aren't as bad for Sandals as they are at Wyndham where 12% of people will be out of a job. That probably doesn't make it any easier for the housekeeping staff or waiters in the Caribbean who won't have a paycheck next month.
Around 80% of vacationers in the region are American and the (optimistic-sounding) guess is that arrivals in the Bahamas, for example, will fall 8% for the year. Is it going to get worse? We're no economic experts; in the meantime the silver lining is there'll probably be some great deals going to entice more people to the area.