Destination & Tourism
Summer’s End Signals Launch of Late Season Caribbean Travel Deals
End-of-summer deals abound in the Caribbean, where hotel and resort operators are bridging the gap between the end of the family travel and destination wedding seasons and preparing for the peak winter season to come. Travelers may find the best price breaks and incentive packages right now from among several current offers from Caribbean operators.
All-inclusive operator Sandals Resorts is courting vacationers with airfare discounts. Air credits worth up to $1,000 are available to guests who book stays at Sandals Barbados or Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa (pictured above) in any room from July 23, 2014 through Sept. 1, 2014, for travel through Dec. 15, 2015.
The Sandals Barbados offer applies to travel from Feb. 14, 2015 through Dec. 15, 2015. The resort recently closed for a property-wide enhancement that will upgrade its 280 accommodations and add new dining choices, furnishings and signature fire pits. Sandals Barbados will re-open on January 28, 2015. The Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa offer applies to travel from Aug. 1, 2014 through Dec. 15, 2015.
Love on the Horizon
While the end is in sight, the summer destination wedding season is not yet quite over. In fact, the sequential December 13 date (better known as 12/13/14) is expected to a spike among travelers headed to the Caribbean to partake in wedded bliss on that noteworthy date.
St. Lucia’s Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa will host only three weddings on that date and in recognition is offering “Three Weddings and a Date” ceremony packages featuring a post-ceremony cocktail party for up to six guests; a half-day private island tour for two; a 30-minute couples’ massage; continental breakfast in bed and 15 percent spa savings for members of the wedding party.
The packages are priced at $1,314 and also include the services of a wedding coordinator, a decorated oceanfront gazebo wedding location, a bridal bouquet and groom’s boutonniere, a wedding cake, sparkling wine, the services of a marriage officer and a framed wedding photograph.
Couples will also save up to 55 percent on all-inclusive accommodations at the resort’s adults-only Harmony wing. Discounted rates start at $135 per person, per night, double occupancy for travel through Dec. 20, 2014.
Love is also in the air at the Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort in Montego Bay, Jamaica. Between now and Dec. 21, 2014 the resort is offering a new honeymoon package with amenities including priority check-in, an in-room welcome amenity and turn down service, free Wi-Fi and a 20 percent discount on treatments at the resort’s beauty salon and spa.
Honeymooning guests will also receive unlimited meals, snacks and beverages plus unlimited use of non-motorized watersports equipment and amenities including tennis and mini golf.
The Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort offer applies to stays of three nights or more through Dec. 21, 2014. Rates start at $187 per-person, double occupancy for standard accommodations. Travelers must present a copy of a valid marriage certificate; the wedding must have occurred at least 30 days prior to the stay.
High-end travelers will find several new luxury themed Caribbean resort options available as summer wanes. The new entries include Oil Nut Bay on Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands (BVI), which is offering accommodations ranging from beachfront villas to hilltop estates across a 300-acre property.
Only accessible by boat or helicopter, Oil Nut Bay offers the seclusion of a personal private island with the comfort and amenities of a full-service resort.
The resort’s Beach Club offers gourmet dining, three pools and a poolside bar, a kids’ club and nature center, 24-hour spa and health and fitness center services, a business center and 24-hour concierge service. Villa accommodations range from two to six bedrooms, and the resort’s Cliff Suites, positioned on Oil Nut Bay’s rocky southeast bluffs, feature three private plunge pools and views of the Caribbean Sea.
Amenities include a beach club, water sports, a kids’ club and access to the YCCS Marina. Rates range from $795 to $8,750 per night, depending on accommodations and booking date. Oil Nut Bay is currently offering guests seven nights in any villa for the price of five; the resort pays travel agent commissions of 10 percent.
Mustique, Grenadines is among the smallest Caribbean islands, only 2.2 square miles or about 1,400 acres. The island is also among the region’s most exclusive locations, owned by the Mustique Company, which in turn is owned by the island's home owners. The islet of secluded white-sand beaches has emerged as a favorite retreat of royals, rock stars and discerning destination wedding couples.
Travelers will have extra incentive to visit the destination late this summer as The Cotton House will offer guests who book seven nights in a garden cottage two complimentary nights plus a scuba dive session for each guest at the Watersports Centre on Endeavour Bay (certified divers only); a 60-minute massage treatment for each guest at the resort’s Spa; complimentary airport transfers to and from Barbados and Mustique; continental breakfast for two and invitations to Mustique’s weekly island cocktail party. Packages are available through Aug. 31, 2014 for $2,475 for a seven-night stay.
Time For Families
Families are also in play for late summer travel. The recently renovated Hilton Curacao’s “Bring Your Family” packages at the recently renovated Hilton Curacao start at $229 per night and offer a beach play set kit for the kids plus daily breakfast, a dolphin encounter at the Sea Aquarium, a kayaking excursion at the resort’s on-site watersports center, a family photo (taken at family’s favorite spot onsite and provided prior to departure) and a movie night with popcorn and soft drinks.
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