I always count the days until hurricane season ends here.   With all the devastation and damage and heart break that this season caused, it almost makes me feel guilty that we were so lucky.  Probably should just smile and say thank you.

The islands of the Caribbean were battered severely, but many were untouched or did not suffer much damage.  Antigua; Aruba; Bahamas; Barbados; Belize; Bermuda; Bonaire; Cuba; Curacao; the Dominican Republic; Haiti; Grenada; Guadeloupe; Jamaica; Martinique; Montserrat; Saba; St. Eustatius; St. Lucia; St. Kitts and Nevis; St. Vincent and the Grenadines; the Cayman Islands; Trinidad and Tobago; and Turks and Caicos.  Although many of these are not “hot places” for US tourists, they are all living and thriving on tourist dollars. 

Turks and Caicos was hit by some heavy wind and rains, causing some damage to vegetation, but no structural damage to any of its hotels.  Beaches Turks and Caicos us hosting guests after December 14.   A couple of other properties reopened in November.

On St. Maarten, major damage occurred to probably every resort on the island.  The airport reopened in early October, but the terminal building will have to be rebuilt.  It will be some time before St. Maarten can rebuild and once again become a vacation favorite.    

In Puerto Rico most of the hotels are back open with the exception of the Ritz-Carlton Reserve Dorado Beach, El San Juan Resort and Coral by the Sea.  These are closed and are not taking reservations until further notice.  The Wyndham Grand Rio Mar will remain closed until the end of 2017. 

The British Virgin Islands suffered severe damage to most of the island, including the airport. It is now operating in day light hours, and several of the boat charter companies are going to be operating the 2017/2018 winter season. 

A few properties on St. Croix are accepting guests, some are housing relief workers and Air National Guard members assisting in the island’s recovery.  On St. John, Caneel Bay Resort will hopefully be opening again in early 2018.  The Westin St. John is closed until further notice.  On St. Thomas, the Ritz Carlton, Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star are also closed until further notice. Belongo Bay Resort is hoping to reopen in mid-December.  It has been housing people in need and relief workers.

As the sun keeps shining on the islands of the Caribbean, those that call them home will work to return their beautiful islands to their pristine past glory.  This is actually a time when tourists are most needed to help rebuild the economies in places that rely on tourism for their existence.  Maybe it’s time to reconsider a vacation this winter to the Caribbean!

 

Cindy Sutton

cindy@villagetravelshop.com

  

  • Bermuda

    5/24/2017 1:22:48 PM Link |  | Add comment

    The last time I saw Bermuda was June of 1990 when I sailed from there to Beaufort with friends. On our way back we encountered a storm bad enough to cancel several sailing days of the Big Rock Tournament. The trip is a whole other story…. I haven’t sailed in the ocean since then!

    Bermuda is a gorgeous place of colorful houses, blue water, lots of green vegetation and numerous accommodations of varied sizes. Oceanfront resorts can be adjacent to cottage colonies, and B&B’s are scattered all over the island. Almost every one of these were built many years ago. The last resort was opened in 2009, the Rosewood Tuckers Point, part hotel and part time-share. But, I discovered a brand new luxury hotel which has just opened a few weeks ago.

    The Loren at Pink Beach is a 45 suite property that is architecturally very sleek and modern with each oceanfront room opening its balcony overlooking the Atlantic. Built on a cliff (like the majority of the properties in Bermuda) the view is spectacular. The standard king suite is 600 square feet with a 150 foot balcony! I want to be there!!! Suites of larger sizes are also available. Deluxe, 2 bedroom penthouses, and 3 bedroom penthouses complete the selection. Other amenities are two restaurants (one fine-dining and the other casual), two pools, four private cabanas, beach access, a spa and a gym. There are also outdoor spaces perfect for weddings and parties and also conference space. Speaking with the sales representative for the hotel, they are proud to be the first new hotel-only property built in Bermuda for 30 years. The pictures I’ve seen are gorgeous…I’m sure they will do well.

    I found this quote from Mark Twain that I thought was nice. “You can go to heaven if you want. I’d rather stay in Bermuda.” Sounds good to me!

  
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