The sale of Cap Juluca on Anguilla, one of the Caribbean’s best known resorts, to Belmond will not affect current clients and will eventually mean a better product for agents, according to Arnaud Champenois, Belmond senior vice president of marketing & brand. The 96-room resort, to be called Belmond Cap Juluca, continues to operate and aims to honor all current reservations, said Champenois, even as it begins a $121-million renovation and expansion.
“The resort is still open and ready to welcome guests,” Champenois told TMR, “and Belmond will be making every attempt to honor all existing bookings to make the transition as seamless as possible.”
Belmond plans the renovation for the end of the 2017/2018 season. It will include the development of 25 new beachfront villas or suites. Belmond said the renovation “will be respectful of the authentic charm of the iconic resort and will also include the interior furnishings of all suites and villas; the introduction of new culinary concepts that celebrate local food; enhancements to the spa and new and renovated public areas.”
Cap Juluca features Greco-Moorish architecture situated on two crescent-shaped coves with ocean view suites and villas within tropical gardens. Currently, there are four restaurants and bars, a large salt water pool, tennis courts, a fitness center, a library and private screening room. The property was developed by Linda and Charles Hickox, until now the resort owners, nearly 30 years ago.
Said Champenois, “Properties with an iconic past are a hallmark of the Belmond brand. We take great pride in restoring and preserving these historic hotels, and actively pursue opportunities to work with properties that have a longstanding history within their respective destination.”
Belmond El Encanto, for example, had been a Santa Barbara landmark since the 1920s, and the company spent seven years carefully restoring the property “to ensure that its timeless tranquility remained fully intact.” Similarly, Belmond is “looking forward to sensitively updating Belmond Cap Juluca to ensure it sits at one with nature and its glorious beach surroundings, and our renovation project will only serve to highlight – rather than detract from – the property’s most iconic features.”
Belmond Cap Juluca is the company’s third property in the Caribbean, joining Belmond La Samanna in St. Martin and Belmond Maroma Resort & Spa in Riviera Maya. As the company “aggressively works to double our portfolio by 2020, we are looking for opportunities both in the Caribbean and around the world that offer authentic escapes in unique and inspiring locations,” Champenois said.
Belmond says it is on track to double the size of its portfolio – including resorts, city hotels, safaris, luxury trains and cruises. Most recently, it launched Belmond Andean Explorer, a luxury sleeper train in South America, and the Belmond Las Casitas hotel in Colca Canyon, Peru.