Caribbean Resorts Suffer Major Damage from Hurricane Irma

by Jessica Montevago
Caribbean Resorts Suffer Major Damage from Hurricane Irma

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Photo: Huw Evans/Shutterstock


Even though it may be too soon to tell the effects of Hurricane Irma on the Caribbean’s multi-billion dollar tourism industry, the Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) has put out an initial assessment of the region’s tourism product, with more expected in the coming days.

Antigua
Cocos Hotel and Keyonna Beach Resort emerged with little to no damage. The Verandah Resort & Spa said it will reopen from renovations as scheduled on Oct. 14. The St. James Club and Pineapple Beach Clun will reopen Thursday, Sept. 14. Curtain Bluff Resort will reopen Oct. 28, as previously planned following a six month closure for renovations. 

Jumby Bay Island suffered no structural damage to any of its resort or homes, but said superficial clean-up will be needed. The reopening under Oetker Collection remains on schedule for Oct. 9, 2017.

Anguilla
Quintessence Hotel will delay its Nov. 1 reopening until further notice. The Zemi Beach House said it has not determined a reopening date. 

Sandals Grande Antigua sustained superficial damage, and will remain closed until reopening on the previously scheduled date of Dec. 20, 2017.

The Bahamas
Sandals Royal Bahamian in Nassau and Sandals Emerald Bay in Great Exuma have both escaped Hurricane Irma unscathed, a company spokesperson told TMR. Both resorts are currently open.

The adults-only Warwick Paradise Island - Bahamas, Atlantis, Paradise Island, and Nassau Paradise Island are open for business. Breezes Resort & Spa - Bahamas did not sustain any damage and is open as well. The Baha Mar Resort and Casino will resume operations Tuesday, Sept. 12, while Melia Nassau Beach Resort will reopen Wednesday, Sept. 13.

Cuba
The Associated Press reported 5,000 of tourists were evacuated from Cuban beach resorts during the storm.

Dominican Republic
Punta Cana International Airport has resumed normal operations.The area's hotel industry is reporting no major damage.

The Barceló Hotel Group confirmed that all of the brand's resorts in the country are fully operational. The Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada is open as well.

Puerto Rico
According to the Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC), major tourism infrastructure and attractions are operational and the island continues to welcome new visitors.

Flights to and from Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport have resumed. Puerto Rico's port is operational.

Condado Plaza Hilton suffered only minor damage, while the El San Juan Hotel received minimal damage and is working to re-open as soon as the power is restored. The El Conquistador Resort is operational and working on getting all amenities back to normal. The clean-up of the areas in under way and some minor damage is being attended to. The Las Casitas Village will reopen when electricity is restored.

The InterContinental San Juan, Hyatt House San Juan, Hyatt Place San Juan City Center, Hyatt Residence Club Dorado, Wyndham Garden at Palmas del Mar and the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar are all open and operating.

St. Kitts and Nevis
Both St. Kitts' Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport and Nevis' Vance W. Amory International Airport have reopened.

The Four Seasons Resort Nevis and the Hermitage Inn reported no structural damage. The Great House and Cottages at Nisbett Plantation Beach Club received damage to the Sea Breeze Beach Bar, the decking and the beach.

Park Hyatt St. Kitts did not sustain any damage and is on track for its grand opening Nov. 1.

St. Barthelemy
There is flooding throughout the destination and private homes and resorts, including the Eden Rock Hotel, are badly damaged. The airport remains closed.

St. Martin
About 1,600 tourists have been evacuated and efforts are being made to move an additional 1,200, according to the Associated Press. The Princess Juliana International Airport has been receiving flights that are bringing in relief supplies, and evacuating guests.

Since Hurricane Irma made direct landfall over St. Martin, many of its resorts were left with significant damage, including The Beach Plaza, Hotel Mercure, the Oyster Bay Beach Resort, Westin Dawn Beach, and Hotel Riu Palace St. Martin.

Divi Little Bay Beach Resort, an all-inclusive located on a private peninsula between two bays in St. Maarten (Dutch territory), said via social media “at this time, the Resort will remain closed until we are able to fully assess the damage."

Sonesta’s three resorts – Sonesta Maho Beach Resort Casino & Spa, Sonesta Ocean Point Resort and Sonesta Great Bay Beach Resort & Casino – suffered extensive damage. All reservations through the end of they year are cancelled.

Turks and Caicos
Providenciales International Airport (PLS) is currently closed.

Alexandra Resort, Blue Haven Resort and Beach House resorts sustained some wind and water damage due to the storm, and will be closed for arrivals for 30 days through Oct. 8. The Beach House Turks & Caicos, The Sands at Grace Bay, and Le Vele Resort will reopen next month as well. 

At the Somerset on Grace Bay, guests with a reservation for the next two weeks are given the option to receive a refund or rebook for new dates later in the year. A set reopening date is currently unknown.

Club Med Turkoise will delay the arrival of new guests through Sept. 30, 2017.

Beaches Turks & Caicos will close and reopen Dec. 17, 2017.

Seven Stars Resort & Spa is open and welcoming guests. 

U.S. Virgin Islands
While St. Croix is getting back to business, CTO said tourists are being urged to postpone trips to St. Thomas and St. John.

On St. John, power is out at the Caneel Bay Resort. The Westin St. John Resort Villas was damaged.

On St. Thomas, Marriott Frenchman's Reef and the Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas are waiving hotel cancellation and change fees. The Bluebeard's Castle Resort in St. Thomas has sustained major damage. Windward Passage will be closed for six months. 

This article was updated on Sept. 13 with current information.

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Tip of the Day
I was posting about helping my cousin escape St. Maarten, and total strangers reached out to me for assistance because they had no ability to help themselves.

Tammy Murphy, VIP Travel Experience
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