The reason Recommend’s November 2011 article about five single-island resorts is still so useful is that when resorts are this successful, owners think twice before making radical changes. That said, nothing—buildings, rates, FAM policies—stays frozen in time, so in addition to the four private-island resorts covered on page 46 in this issue, here’s an update on the five hideaways we covered last year.
Scrub Island, BVI, which has 50 rooms and suites, has completed six luxurious new hillside villas that offer extra flexibility when hosting events and V.I.P.’s. Jan. 4-March 31 rates for Ocean View rooms start at $800. Other news: Scrub Island has joined Marriott’s Autograph Collection of independent properties, and it just signed on with MARCAM (Marriott and Renaissance Caribbean and Mexican Resorts), whose agent incentives include a Book-and-Stay program (book 20 room nights, earn three nights), Dollar Days that earn American Express gift checks, FAM-tastic rates that start at $89, and special amenities for clients. Visit
paradisebymarriott.com/travel-agents. Island buy-outs require a minimum $49,500 per day. Scrub Island also works with tour operators. (877) 890-7444; scrubisland.com
Jumby Bay, Antigua, has a new 5-bedroom villa, Sandpiper, plus two more beach homes in the rental pool. New executive chef Claudio Melis has designed wine-pairings and a Sea-to-Table fishing-and-dining program. Winter room rates (FAP) start at $1,495 Jan. 7-April 15, and island buyouts range from $50,000 to $150,000 a night. The resort works with travel agents and some luxury tour operators; FAM trips take place two to four times per year. These feature personalized itineraries for up to five agents; spouses are not included.
(888) 767-3966; rosewoodhotels.com/en/jumbybay
Cotton House (Mustique), in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, has a new executive chef, Erwin Abella Joven, who formerly worked at Peter Island Resort and Spa. Room rates this winter start at $850 on a B&B basis; $1,050 MAP. “We welcome agents…on a case-by-case basis, usually for two nights comped with breakfast and one dinner,” says general manager John Petch. “We do not pay air, but sometimes we can assist with air from St. Vincent.” Spouses are welcome. “If an agent is having problems closing the deal with a client, we would work on value added rather than price cutting to help the agent.” Cotton House buy-outs accommodate up to 48 guests, but note that Mustique’s villa residents might still use the restaurant and bar. (800) 223-1108; cottonhouseresort.net
Palm Island, SVG, winner of Conde Nast Johansen’s 2012 Eco-Resort Award, has added four suites, upgraded all accommodations with air conditioning, and renovated two formerly private residences into luxury villas. There’s a new tennis court, greenhouse kitchen garden, rum tasting program, live music schedule, cooking demonstrations, and nature walks. Dec. 21-April 7 rates start at $960 per night, FAP. Island buy-outs are possible April 15-Dec. 20 and require staggered arrival and departure dates. This Elite Island Resorts works with several tour operators and pays travel agents 15 percent commission, plus gift card bonuses, air credit and other incentives. FAMs cost $130 pp per night, plus the inter-island fare of $400.
(866) 237-2157; palmislandresortgrenadines.com
Petit St. Vincent, SVG, has finished refurbishing all 22 cottages and opened a new beach bar and new spa. This winter, Jan. 9-April 30, 1-bedroom cottages cost $1,400 and 2-bedrooms are $1,900 a night, plus 20 percent taxes and fees. Rates include meals and room service but not alcohol. “Our resort would not be successful without the support of our travel agent partners. They expertly assess their clients’ needs and provide a seamless turnover to our staff, which insures a spectacular experience for every guest,” says Norwood Smith, v.p. of sales and marketing. PSV sometimes works with tour operators, and travel agent commissions are based on productivity. FAM requests are considered on a case-by-case basis. For island buy-outs, which start at $27,200 per night with a 5-night minimum, contact Matthew Semark,
(800) 654-9326; petitstvincent.com