Caribbean Week 2015

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Kishti Villa opened June 1st.
Kishti Villa opened June 1.

On June 3, Recommend shared some of the buzz from Caribbean Week NYC 2015 in the feature, Antigua and Barbuda Doubling Hotel Rooms, and now, here’s some more news from a region that enjoyed a 6 percent rise in arrivals for the first quarter of 2015.

  • That first quarter of 2015 was the 17th quarter in a row with increased arrivals.
  • The biggest increases were in Martinique (34 percent), Puerto Rico, Antigua and Barbuda, and Jamaica.
  • Caribbean Tourism Organization chair Richard Sealy emphasized that “Cuba is not a problem for CTO… If any member of the organization can attract more visitors to the region, that’s good for the whole region.”
  • There are so many new, nonstop flights from North America to the Caribbean islands that rather than try to list them all here, let’s just say this: The odds are favorable that if you book it, they will fly.
  • In St. Lucia, Windjammer Landing Villa Beach Resort has built a new spa, expanded its beach, put up new luxury villas, and created a series of immersive art experiences (e.g. steelpan drumming workshops). Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort, will revolutionize Caribbean water sports this July by introducing Schiller pontoon bikes, which are to pedalboats as thoroughbreds are to mules.
  • On June 1 Kishti on Meads—two six-bedroom villas, each with two kitchens, superb location, and world-class contemporary design—opened on Anguilla’s Meads Bay.
  • In Dominica, Rosalie Bay Resort is offering partial refunds on room rates to any guest who does not spot turtles. Tells you something about Rosalie Bay’s confidence in the island’s sheer abundant wildlife.
  • In Jamaica, 225-room Braco Village Beach Resort & Spa is getting a $1 billion upgrade as it converts into an upscale Melia—the first Melia in Jamaica. Karisma is launching the Nickelodeon (yes, that Nickelodeon) Experience at all its hotels, and in 2016 it will open Azul Beach Jamaica with 150-plus suites.
  • The Bacolet Beach Club, former fashion model Gloria Jones-Knapp’s chic, boutique hideaway on Tobago, has added 15 marble-tiled luxury suites and a new infinity pool.
  • One last word from Sealy: When asked if Haiti is ready for prime time, he said, “Definitely. Not just because it has new hotels, but also transportation and infrastructure, restaurants, and attractions. We’re quite happy to see what has happened to tourism in this amazingly beautiful country that, arguably, has the most interesting culture and history in the Caribbean.”