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New and Newly Renovated Caribbean Hotels Offer Travelers A Variety of Options

The Caribbean has been undergoing a facelift of sorts, with many resorts are growing and changing. Several properties are reopening after renovations. Others are completely new to the region. Here are some properties travelers might consider for their next Caribbean vacation.

Anguilla

Anguilla’s Malliouhana Hotel & Spa is accepting reservations for Nov. 1 and beyond. The Caribbean property has been closed for three years and has undergone extensive renovations. Now an Auberge resort, the Malliouhana has been opened up to take advantage of its near-360 degree water views and features a newly added spa and two-tiered swimming pool with private cabanas in addition to two white sand beaches. Malliouhana’s 46 new rooms and suites feature Haitian and Anguillan art and porpoise-etched floors and evoke the ambiance of Anguilla during the 1950s and 1960s. Chef Jeremy Bearman, formerly of the Michelin-starred Rouge Tomate in New York City, heads the property’s now open-air restaurant and focuses on healthy, sophisticated food, including ingredients from the restaurant garden. For information:malliouhana.aubergeresorts.com.

Aruba

Bubali Bliss Studios has opened on the site of a former residential property. Now a boutique hotel, the property features 10 “retro-Caribbean” apartments and studios, a sundeck, swimming pool and garden. For information: www.bubalibliss.com.

Arubaville restaurant has opened on the site of the former Marandi’s Sunset Restaurant behind the airport on Bucutiweg. The eatery has undergone a complete retrofit, and local chef Rawlin Silvania serves up food with a Caribbean flair. Arubaville is expected to host regular Sunday barbecues and Friday happy hour. For information: www.arubaville.aw.

Bahamas

The 3,400-room Atlantis Resort on Paradise Island in the Bahamas is becoming part of Marriott’s Autograph Collection, one of 60 independent hotels worldwide that operates under a franchise agreement with Marriott. In all, Marriott is developing more than 50 hotels in the region. Atlantis is the company’s 80th in Latin America and the Caribbean. For information:
www.atlantis.com.

The $3.5 billion Baha Mar resort, scheduled to open in 2015, has begun booking reservations for spring. The 2,200 room Caribbean property is expected to include SLS, Grand Hyatt and Rosewood brands and a resort, casino and Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course. For information: www.bahamar.com

British Virgin Islands

The Oil Nut Bay collection of villas and estates on Virgin Gorda is one of the Caribbean’s newest real estate developments. Oil Nut Bay includes 88 sites spread across 300 acres and in eight neighborhoods, affording buyers and renters a private island lifestyle. Amenities include a beach club, spa, restaurant, marina, business center and helipad to accommodate transfers from the area’s Caribbean Buzz and Antilles Helicopter Services and others. For information: www.oilnutbay.com.

Dominican Republic

Hilton’s Embassy Suites brand has opened a new Caribbean hotel in Santo Domingo. The 150-unit Embassy Suites by Hilton Santo Domingo is the capital city’s tallest building and features two-room suites. Amenities at this Caribbean property include a restaurant and bar, fitness center, swimming pool, 24-hour business center, 16,000 square feet of ballroom and function room meeting space and 4,300 square feet of outdoor event space. Embassy Suites by Hilton Santo Domingo is convenient to downtown shops, restaurants, nightlife and attractions. Complimentary, cooked-to-order breakfast and evening reception drinks and snacks are included in rates. For information: www.embassysuites.com.

Haiti

The Kinam Hotel in Petionville has undergone a multi-million dollar retrofit and expansion that includes 85 new units that bring the property’s rooms and suites to 118. The Caribbean hotel, a part of the Buteau Hospitality Group, features two restaurants, a cafe, bar and shops. For information: www.hotelkinam.com.

Jamaica

Hyatt is promoting 50 percent savings to Caribbean travelers who take advantage of grand openings of newly renovated, newly all-inclusive Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall and Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall in Montego Bay. The Caribbean properties features fitness centers, children’s clubs, swimming pools, spas, tennis, volleyball, restaurants, bars, live performances and more. The Ziva Rose Hall contains rooms and suites; Zilara Rose Hall is an all-suite property. Hyatt has begun accepting reservations for travelers planning Caribbean vacations on November 23, 2014 and later. For information: rosehall.zilara.hyatt.com or rosehall.ziva.hyatt.com.

Mexico

The all-inclusive Riu Cancun has undergone $30 million in renovations. The western Caribbean property’s facade, lobby gardens and swimming pools have been redesigned, an infinity pool has been added, all guest rooms have been upgraded, the Miramar restaurant has been remodeled and an Italian restaurant, La Toscana, added. For information: www.riu.com.

Puerto Rico

El Blok, an eclectic LEED Gold certified boutique hotel designed by Puerto Rican-based Fuster + Architects, has opened on Vieques island. Rooms within the Caribbean property feature outdoor terraces, and a Chef Jose Enrique restaurant is on premises. For information: elblok.com

St. Barts

The Hotel Saint-Barth Isle de France is expected to reopen on Oct. 15 as a Cheval Blanc property. Global luxury firm LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton acquired the Caribbean property in 2013 and has changed the color scheme and added a fitness center and spa. Enhancements are expected to continue throughout 2015. For information: stbarthisledefrance.chevalblanc.com.

St. Kitts & Nevis

Lodging accommodations at the Caribbean’s Kittitian Hill, set on an organic farm, are expected to open in December 2014. Caribbean travelers can stay at Belle Mont Farm guest houses and farm houses that share a 100-foot infinity pool and a grand pavilion with kitchen. A village with cafe, restaurants, rum shop, open-air cinema and more is expected to open by the end of 2015. Villa accommodations are also planned. For information: www.kittitianhill.com.

St. Lucia

Capella Marigot Bay resort in St. Lucia has opened. The 127-room Caribbean resort with marina, spa, retail village and rum “cave” showcasing local rums was formerly the Discovery Hotel and has undergone renovations that include Caribbean-inspired accommodations. For information: www.capellamarigotbay.com.

Saint Martin and Sint Maarten

Sonesta is booking rooms at its new, all-inclusive, adults-only Ocean Point resort, which is scheduled for a soft fall opening. The 129-all suite Caribbean resort was formerly the Ocean Terrace, and has undergone multi-million dollars in renovations. The Sonesta Ocean Point features three pools, three bars and lounges, duty-free boutique and 24,000 square feet of space that can accommodate as many as 1,000 people for business and social occasions. Sonesta intends to up the food and beverage experience, and guests at the Caribbean property have access to amenities at the adjacent to the Sonesta Maho Beach Resort & Casino. Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort Casino & Spa, now with butler service provided in one- and two-bedroom Miramar wing suites, is also on St. Maarten.

The 252-room Radisson Blu in Anse Marcel is now the Hotel Riu Palace St. Martin. Riu Hotels & Resorts purchased the Caribbean property earlier this year for $45 million and made it all-inclusive, which is a first for the island’s French side. The property features restaurants, bars, pools, a spa, gym, watersports activities and entertainment. For information: www.riu.com.

Divi Little Bay Beach Resort in St. Maarten now offers an all-inclusive option. The Caribbean
property features three bars, three restaurants, swimming pools, a tennis court, children’s club, watersports center and a beach recognized for environmental stewardship. Caribbean travelers who book by Dec. 31, 2014 for stays through Dec. 20, 2015 receive as much as 30 percent discounts on rates. For information: www.diviresorts.com.

Turks & Caicos

The six-bedroom beachside Amanyara Resort in Turks and Caicos has added a 14,450 square foot villa that’s double the size of its existing 20 four- and five-bedroom villas. The Caribbean villa accommodates as many as 12 guests and features free-standing pavilion bedrooms, a black-volcanic-rock infinity pool and a private pilates studio. Guests staying at the new Caribbean offering are also provided a personal chef. For information: www.amanresorts.com.

US Virgin Islands

Apple Leisure Group’s AMResorts has added the Sugar Bay resort in St Thomas to its Dreams brand management portfolio. The 294-room Caribbean resort is undergoing renovations and is to reopen in November as the Dreams Sugar Bay St Thomas Resort & Spa. All guest rooms are to be upgraded, with 100 of them brought to AMResorts’ “Preferred Club” luxury level featuring upgraded luxury bath amenities and mini-bar service, a pillow menu and more.

AMResorts currently operates 36 properties in the Caribbean region under the Sunscape, Breathless, Dreams, Zoetry, Secrets and Now brands. Sugar Bay brings the number of Dreams brand properties to 12. For information: www.dreamsresorts.com.

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About Author: Michelle Sheldone

Michelle Sheldone is an award-winning writer and the author of "Historic Walking Guides: Florida Keys." She launched her career at Family Circle magazine, where she worked as an entertainment editor. She has since contributed to newspapers, magazines and travel guides and handled marketing for government, education, travel, hospitality, fashion and conservation interests.

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