Friday, November 3, 2017

Caribbean islands hurricane update

The sunshine is back in much of the Caribbean after the hurricanes   (Taylor)
CARIBBEAN -- Hurricane season 2017 in the Caribbean is one the islands would just as soon forget. Two major storms, Irma and Maria, took a massive toll on property and hotels which are a critical source of tourism revenue.
If you are planning a cruise or intend to head to the sunny shores and clear blue waters of the islands, you should check ahead with the cruise lines and hotels in order to know what your options will be before you depart.
Avenue of the Palms at Nisbet Plantation on Nevis  (Taylor)
Note that this is an extensive list but not necessarily a complete one. Also remember that the dates given at the time of inquiry were only estimates and, therefore, some properties may be ahead of schedule while others may have found more damage than anticipated. This is only intended as a general planning guide.

Here is a general listing of how most of the Caribbean destinations fared and their current status.
Mayan Temple at Xunantanich in Belize  (Taylor)
Islands not Affected by Hurricanes: If you are a beach and coconut oil lover these islands were generally damage-free and are still operating with business as usual: Antigua (note however that sister island, Barbuda took a big hit), Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Cancun/Riviera Maya, Cozumel, Mexico, Curacao, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands  Several hotel properties were scheduled for annual closure prior to Irma; some properties have now elected to remain closed, to assess damage to their properties.
Irma and Maria took their toll, but the Caribbean is bouncing back
Islands Damaged by the Hurricanes: This is a list of islands which were hardest hit by Irma and Maria. Damage to each island and each property varies so be sure to check in advance before booking a reservation.

Anguilla: Anguilla suffered major damage from Hurricane Irma. Government and business buildings, electricity infrastructure and the main water supply had significant damage. Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA) is now open from sunrise to sunset for charters and emergency flights only

Here is the status of individual hotels:

Carimar Beach Club: The resort will reopen on December 21.

CeBlue Villas & Beach Resort: The resort was closed for the season, so no guests were on property. The villas and resort buildings are all structurally sound, and the resort looks forward to welcoming guests for the season.
CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa and The Reef by CuisinArt: Planning to be closed until summer 2018 for repairs.

Four Seasons Resort & Residences Anguilla: Closed for the remainder of 2017.

Fountain Anguilla: Resort buildings and grounds are structurally intact, but a few units suffered some damage from debris. Clean up is under way and the resort is expected to open for the season.

Frangipani Beach Resort: Annual opening date has been pushed back to December 2017.

Malliouhana, an Auberge Resort: There appears to be no major structural damage to the resort. A team is now assessing the extent of the clean up required and will advise on their proposed reopening date.

Quintessence Boutique Resort: The property sustained a fair amount of damage, and the proposed opening date of November 1 has bee delayed.

Zemi Beach House: The property held strong and will be able to welcome guests soon, although the timing is still uncertain.

Barbuda: Barbuda was heavily damaged by Hurricane Irma while sister island Antigua is open for business and excursions.

Individual Hotel Status on Antigua and Barbuda:

Carlisle Bay: Resort was closed and did not sustain any significant damage. Reopened October 15.

Curtain Bluff: Property emerged without any damage. Clean up has begun and communications will soon be restored. Planned reopening October 28.

Cocos Hotel: No long-term damage

Galley Bay: An in-depth assessment of the property is in progress.

Hermitage Bay: All is well.

Jumby Bay Island:  No structural damage to the resort or homes on the island, however landscaping clean up is needed. Reopening was scheduled for October 9

Keyonna Beach Resort: No long-term damage.

Pineapple Beach Club: Open for business

Sandals Grande Antigua: Sustained superficial damage but a complete assessment is underway. Due to the impact of Irma and the timing of the previously announced closure for resort maintenance, the resort will remain closed and will reopen on December 20, 2017.

St. James Club: Open for business.

Verandah Resort & Spa: Scheduled reopening October 14 after renovations.
Beautiful sunsets have returned in the aftermath of the storms
The Bahamas: The Bahamas is getting back to business. Parts of the southern islands were more heavily impacted with damage ranging from cosmetic to severe structural damage.

The majority of hotel and resorts throughout the Islands of the Bahamas are operating as usual or are expected to reopen on their regularly scheduled dates. Reservation holders are encouraged to contact their respective hotels for more information.

Nassau and Paradise Island hotels received no damage. While many remained open, others are resuming normal operation. Grand Bahama Island hotels began resuming operations on Wednesday, September 13. The following hotels are definitely open, although this may not be a complete list:

Nassau and Paradise Island:

The Exumas:

Grand Bahama Island:

Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina Resort reopened September 29.

The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation will be releasing updates on islands, hotels and services on
The BVI was hit hard by Irma and Maria  (Taylor)
British Virgin Islands: Destruction from Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands was been devastating, according to a statement from Sharon Flax-Brutus, the director of tourism. With cell phone towers down and power outages, communication to, from and within the territory has been difficult, impacting the ability to fully assess the damage.

Individual Hotel Status in the BVI:

Anegada Reef: The resort did not suffer any damage from the hurricane.

Bitter End Yacht Club: The hotel was not operational due to annual closure.

Guana Island: Closed at this time.

Rosewood Little Dix Bay: Currently closed for renovation.

Scrub Island: All guests and associates are safe.

Sugar Mill Hotel: The hotel suffered manageable damage, reopened October 14

Cuba is cleaning up and still recovering  (wikipedia)
Cuba: Cuba reported that Havana experienced major flooding, with power out and widespread wind damage.


Dominica: Dominica suffered major damage from Hurricane Maria.


Dominican Republic: Hurricane Maria flooded some parts of the northern Dominican Republic as it brought a lot of rain and high winds.


Haiti: Haiti was relatively unharmed. The country continues to welcome visitors. Travelers are advised to contact their local travel or booking agent for detailed arrangements about their bookings. 


Moulin Sur Mer Hotel has advised it was not affected by Hurricane Irma.

Puerto Rico was among the islands hardest hit  (wikipedia)
Puerto Rico: Puerto Rico suffered major damage from Hurricane Maria. 

All travelers should contact their airlines and hotels directly for specific information.

Travelers who are thinking of visiting Puerto Rico should visit for updated travel information.

The following hotels are closed and not taking new reservations until further notice: If you have an existing reservation in the coming days, please contact the hotel directly for rebooking.

Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
W Retreat & Spa in Vieques
Gran Melia
Coral by the Sea Hotel
Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa (planning to reopen at the end of the year)
Royal Isabela

The following hotels are open and have begun taking new reservations:
Hyatt Place San Juan
Hyatt House San Juan
Verdanza Hotel
Hyatt Hacienda del Mar (Dorado)
Hotel El Convento
Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino
Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
AC Hotel by Marriott San Juan Condado
La Concha Resort
InterContinental San Juan in Isla Verde
San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
The Wave Hotel
Holiday Inn Express San Juan Condado Hotel by IHG
Canario Boutique Hotel
Coral Princess Hotel
At Wind Chimes Boutique Hotel
Best Western Condado Palm Inn & Suites
Comfort Inn San Juan
Hotel Miramar
Hotel Villa Montaña & Spa
Caribe Hilton
The Condado Plaza Hilton
Embassy Suites by Hilton Dorado del Mar Beach Resort
Embassy Suites by Hilton San Juan Hotel & Casino
Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort
Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan
El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Juan

The following hotel is no longer accepting existing or new reservations through December 31:
El Conquistador, a Waldorf Astoria Resort

Nevis has a perpetual cloud atop its mountain  (wikipedia)

St. Kitts and Nevis: St. Kitts is reporting the island is resuming normal operations, as it was fortunate to escape major damage from the passage of Hurricane Maria.

All hotels in St. Kitts are fully operational and those properties that do not engage in regular seasonal closures are open and servicing guests. The Port Zantecruise pier did not sustain damage and has started welcoming vessels. Park Hyatt remains on track to debut in November.

Individual Hotel Status in St. Kitts & Nevis:
Four Seasons Resort Nevis: The resort and phone lines are working.

Montpelier Plantation & Beach: Received no damage from Hurricane Irma or Maria and reopened October 8.

Mount Nevis Hotel & Beach Club: Received no damage with business as usual.

Nisbett Plantation Beach Club: Has reopened and welcomes reservations

Ocean Terrace Inn: No property damage and remains open and operating for guests.

St. Barth: St. Barth was heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma, which destroyed government buildings and badly damaged private homes.

St. Maarten / St. Martin: The island was badly damaged by the hurricane and the recovery effort continues. The first cruise ship bringing passengers is expected back in port on November 11.

Nothing beats a nap on the beach  (Taylor)
Individual Hotel Status in St. Maarten/St. Martin:

Beach Plaza: Badly damaged
Belair Beach Hotel: Sustained damage that will take time to repair. Phone service and internet are down.
Esmeralda Resort: Hotel is 70 percent destroyed.
Hotel Mercure: Damaged
La Vista Hotel: The Beach building is in decent shape. Roof tiles were damaged but the roof itself is still there. Some water damage and missing doors and windows.
Oyster Bay Beach Resort: Significant damage.
Princess Heights: Minor damage.
Riu Palace St. Martin: Infrastructures severely affected.
Summit Resort Hotel: Due to extensive damages, the Summit Resort will remain closed.
Westin Dawn Beach: Significant damage. The hotel is waiving cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates and suggests customers call 1-888-625-4988 for more information about their reservations. Those in countries outside of the United States seeking information about their reservations should call the SPG toll-free number in their country.
Sonesta: Resort damage is severe. All further reservations from now through the end of 2017 have been cancelled.

The Sands at Grace Bay in the Turks and Caicos is open again
Turks and Caicos Islands: Providenciales International Airport (PLS) is open. Several of the hotel properties were scheduled for annual closure prior to Irma; some properties have now elected to remain closed, to assess any damage but  planned to reopen by the beginning to middle of October 2017.


Individual Hotel Status in the Turks & Caicos:
Alexandra Resort: Open
Amanyara: Open
Beach Enclave: Open
Beach House: Open
Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa: Open December 14
Blue Haven Resort: Open
Caribbean Paradise Inn: Open
Club Med Turquoise: Open
COMO Parrot: Scheduled closing Aug. 26 through to November 19
East Bay Resort: Open December 15
Gansevoort Turks & Caicos, A Wymara Resort: Open
Grace Bay Club: Open
La Vista Azul: Open
Ocean Club Resorts: Open
Pelican Nest: Open
Point Grace: Open
Ports of Call Resort: Open November 25
Royal West Indies Resort: Open
Seven Stars Resort: Open
Sibonne Boutique Hotel: Open
The Meridian Club: Opened November 1
The Palms Turks and Caicos: Open
The Regent Grand: Open
The Sands At Grace Bay: Open
The Shore Club: Open
The Tuscany: Open
The Venetian: Open
Villa Del Mar: Open
West Bay Club: Open
Windsong Resort: Open

The storms are over and rebuilding continues  (Taylor)

U.S. Virgin Islands: All three of the Virgin Islands suffered damage from both hurricanes. The Department of Tourism continues to encourage travelers to postpone trips to the islands until hotels are back up and running. Cruise ships began return to St. Thomas and St. Croix in mid-October..


St. Croix:

The Buccaneer: Open for business.
Caravelle Hotel & Casino : Received ground floor flooding and some damage. The hotel is operational as no rooms were flooded. No online bookings are available at this time, so travelers must call the hotel.
Club Comanche Hotel St. Croix: Open and accepting guests.
Hotel on the Cay: Survived Hurricane Maria. Guests are asked to check back for reservations beyond the next 30 days.
Sand Castle On The Beach: Suffered only minor damage and cleanup is under way. Not accepting reservations until essential services are restored.

St. John:

Caneel Bay: Closed for the remainder of 2017.
Estate Lindholm: Anticipated a November 1 reopening based on Hurricane Irma's impact
The Westin St. John Resort Villas: The resort and the surrounding areas experienced some damage. The resort is waiving hotel cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates. Customers should call 1-800-228-9290 (US) for more information about their reservations. Those in countries outside of the United States seeking information about their reservations should call the Marriott toll-free number in their country.

St. Thomas:

Bolongo Bay Beach Resort: Currently looking to reopen second or third week of December as the resort is housing people in need and a multitude of workers trying to help the island.
Bluebeard's Castle Resort: Sustained major damage.
Marriott Frenchman's Reef & The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas:: As of September 11, Marriott International has advised the resort is closed until further notice. The resort is waiving hotel cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates. Customers should call 1-800-228-9290 (US) for more information about their reservations. Those in countries outside of the United States seeking information about their reservations should call the Marriott toll-free number in their country.

Margaritaville Vacation Club: Club Wyndham Reservations advises that all four St. Thomas resorts should be re-opening in mid-October, including Margaritaville Vacation Club, Bluebeard's Beach Club, WorldMark St. Thomas and Elysian Beach Resort.

Point Pleasant Resort: The resort and a large portion of the island are still without power and water. Suggest guests cancel all reservations due to arrive through November 15.

 Secret Harbour Beach Resort: No major structural damage to the buildings.

Sugar Bay Resort & Spa: As of September 18, the resort is closed. A re-opening date has not been set.

Windward Passage: As of September 18, the resort is closed until further notice.