Who’s Open in the Affected Islands
Part 1 of this two-part story exposes myths about Hurricane Irma’s damage in the Caribbean. No doubt you’re savvy enough to have seen through some of the generalizations, but Part 1 still serves as a reminder of what your clients may be thinking.
What follows here is a guide to resorts and other facilities that are open in those islands—and only those islands—that were slammed or grazed by this monster. Bear in mind that most of the Caribbean, including normally snake-bit Haiti, were not at all damaged the hurricane.
The hurricane hit Anguilla hard. The airport is only open for charters and emergency flights.
Neveah Villa, Sunset Homes, and Bird of Paradise, all villas, came through in good condition. The following hotels are structurally sound and will reopen soon: Carimar Beach Club, CeBlueVillas & Beach Resort, and Fountain Anguilla. Malliouhana, an Auberge Resort, and Zemi Beach House. The planned Nov. 1st opening of Quintessence Boutique Resort will be pushed back.
CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa and The Reef by CuisinArt sustained considerable damage, so they are not taking reservations at all.
Temporary loss of electricity and some vegetation and landscaping. The airport is open.
Blue Waters Resort & Spa, Carlisle Bay, Curtain Bluff, Coco Bay, Hawksbill by Rex Resorts, Hermitage Bay, Heritage Key Hotel, The Inn at English Harbour, Jumby Bay, Keyonna Beach Club, Nonesuch Bay, Pineapple Beach Club, St. James Club, and Verandah report that they’re structurally sound and will conduct business as usual this fall, with reopenings scheduled for September or October. Hodges Bay Resort & Spa will debut in DEcember, as planned. Sandals Grande Antigua will reopen Dec. 17. Galley Bay reports, “An in-depth assessment of the property will take place on September 21.”
The Islands of The Bahamas
Airports in The Bahamas are now operational, as are the ports in Nassau and Freeport. Check with cruise lines for updates on interaries. Atlantis Paradise Island, Grand Hyatt Baha Mar at Baha Mar Resort and Casino, Bay View Suites Paradise Island, Breezes Resort & Spa, British Colonial Hilton, Comfort Suites, Graycliff Hotel, Marley Resort and Spa, Meliá Nassau Beach – All Inclusive, One&Only Ocean Club, Paradise Harbour Club & Marina, Paradise Island Beach Club, Sandals Royal Bahamian, Sunrise Beach Club & Villas, and Warwick Paradise Island Bahamas – All Inclusive are open as of Sept. 13.
In the Out Islands, Sandals Emerald Bay is open, as are French Leave Resort and Musha Cay, David Copperfield’s private island. Most Grand Bahama Island hotels have resumed operations, although U.S. Customs and Border Pre-Clearance is not yet open at that airport.
British Virgin Islands
“The destruction caused by Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands has been devastating,” says Sharon Flax-Brutus, director of tourism for the British Virgin Islands. Few resorts report that they’ll be open this fall, but there are exceptions, including Anegada Reef (open now) and Sugar Mill Hotel (open Oct. 14th).
Most airports, including the one at Punta Cana, are operating, and the hotels report no major damage. For example, all Alsol Resorts, AMResorts, Bahia, Barcelo Hotel Group, Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts Punta Cana, and Riu Hotels report business as usual. That Riu and Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada are up and running comes as more of a surprise, but a pleasant one, because they’re in the harder-hit north, where Cabarete and Sosua suffered from floods. Carnival’s Amber Cove cruise ship port in Puerto Plata was not structurally damaged, so it will reopen as soon as the debris can be cleaned up.
Culebra and Fajardo sustained considerable damage, but major tourism assets, including Luis Munoz Marin International Airport and Puerto Rico’s port, are operating. Condado Plaza Hilton sustained minor damage and El Conquistador Resort is operational although Las Casitas Village will reopen when electricity is restored. El San Juan Hotel will open shortly. Beyond that, “Today, nearly all hotels in Puerto Rico are operational… We’re very fortunate that it’s business as usual across the island and we’re already back on our feet,” says Jose Izquierdo, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC).
The list of hotels that are back in business is long. It includes AC Hotel by Marriott, Dorado Beach: A Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Hotel El Convento, Hyatt House San Juan, Hyatt Place Bayamon, Hyatt Place Manati, Hyatt Place San Juan City Center, Hyatt Residence Club Dorado, InterContinental San Juan, Rincon Beach, Royal Isabela the San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel, Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel and Casino, Condado hotels such as Marriott San Juan Resort & Stellaris Casino and La Concha Renaissance, Wyndham Garden at Palmas del Mar, and Wyndham Grand Rio Mar. The W Retreat & Spa on Vieques has reopened, too. In short, Puerto Rico recovered so quickly that it has offered aid to neighboring islands.
St. Kitts and Nevis
The Caribbean Tourism Organization had to call off an important meeting on St. Kitts that would have begun Sept. 6 because of the threat from Irma. Ironically, the conference was supposed to be about coping with the extreme weather events associated with climate change. In the end, St. Kitts and Nevis missed the worst of it, and both airports have reopened. Hotels on St. Kitts report no serious damage; the same goes for Nevis’ Four Seasons Resort Nevis and Hermitage Inn. Nisbet Plantation Beach Club itself is in excellent shape, but its beach and beach bar must be and are being restored.
Turks and Caicos
This archipelago emerged in better shape than might have been expected. Already, The Palms Resort, Shore Club, and Seven Stars Resort & Spa are open. Windsong and The Regent Grand Villa Community will reopen in a week or two. The Palms Resort and Sands Resort will reopen Sep. 23, and The Shore Club and Grace Bay Club will reopen Sep. 30. The following will open in October: The Alexandra Resort, Beach House TCI, Blue Haven, and Club Med Turkoise. La Vele Resort & Boutique Hotel, and Tuscany have not yet announced their reopening dates.
These five hotels plan to re-open in November: Gansevoort TCI, West Bay Club, The Somerset on Grace Bay, Point Grace Resort, Royal West Indies, and Parrot Cay. Beaches Turks and Caicos reopens Dec. 14.
U.S. Virgin Islands
As mentioned in Part 1, St. Croix was drenched but not drowned, so The Buccaneer, Club Comanche Hotel St. Croix, Cottages By The Sea, The Fred (a fab new boutique hotel), Hotel Caravelle, Hotel on the Cay, The Inn on Strand (formerly The Frederiksted Hotel), and Sand Castle report being back in business. There are signs of things to come on St. Thomas, too, where Secret Harbour Beach Resort reports no structural damage and Bolongo Bay Beach Resort has pushed back its reopening date to Dec. 22.
Important postscript: This list has been and will continue to be updated as more resorts report in (latest update: September 14), so please revisit this page. Also, if you have information about any hotel or other major tourism facility that’s not in the current version of this update, please contact me at EdEdits@gmail.com.