Hurricanes Irma and Maria devastated many islands in the Caribbean region, including Puerto Rico, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Dominica and St. Martin. They also battered Anguilla, St. Barts, the Turks and Caicos and others.
But many islands, including Aruba, Bonaire and Curaçao in the southern Caribbean, and the central Cayman Islands and Jamaica were unaffected.
“Over 70 percent of the Caribbean was not affected by the hurricanes,” said Frank Comito of the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association, which has established CaribbeanTravelUpdate.com to track updates by island. “Most of the region is open for business and doing fine.”
Many hotels and attractions will take a year or more to reopen. The following list represents new resort openings and reopenings, yacht charters and guided trips available to sun-seeking travelers this winter.
Though Anguilla was severely hit by Hurricane Irma, the boutique Frangipani Beach Resort will reopen its 19 rooms in December with new roofing, windows, doors and furniture. Its four-bedroom villa will reopen in February (rooms from $450; frangipaniresort.com).
The 72-room Curtain Bluff was closed for renovation when Irma arrived and has just reopened with redecorated rooms, redesigned public spaces and the addition of private pools at its four signature suites (rooms from $800; curtainbluff.com). The Moorings, a charter yacht company, has announced it will begin charter operations this month with unmanned and crewed boats for rent.
The $4.2 billion Baha Mar resort on Nassau debuted last spring with the 1,800-room Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, as well as an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course, a casino and an Espa spa. The SLS Baha Mar is set to join the development with 299 rooms, three chef-driven restaurants and the first rooftop bar on the island (rooms from $325; slsbahamar.com).
Nikki Beach, the global chain of party-throwing beach clubs, will expand soon with a location in Barbados. The oceanfront club will include a swimming pool, a poolside runway for fashion shows and an open-air restaurant (portferdinand.com).
Natural World Safaris will focus on one of its offshore attractions, the annual return of sperm whales. Patrick Dykstra, a photographer for the BBC, will guide the seven-day trips in January through March. A portion of the proceeds will go to disaster relief (trips start at $7,500 a person; naturalworldsafaris.com).
The new Silversands Grenada resort will open on Grand Anse Beach in March. The art-filled, minimalist luxury resort will encompass 43 suites, a 100-meter pool, two restaurants and a spa (rooms from $800; silversandsgrenada.com). Nearby Mount Cinnamon Resort & Beach Club recently added eight new suites for a total of 28 rooms and villas. The spa newly offers daily yoga classes (rooms from $285; mountcinnamongrenadahotel.com).
The Jewel Grande Montego Bay Resort & Spa will wrap up construction in early 2018, offering 217 butler-served suites and villas. Amenities include two pools, a spa and 12 restaurants and bars that run the gamut from Jamaican-accented French to Asian fusion (rooms from $553, all-inclusive; jewelgrande.com).
The historic hotel Diamant Les Bains is being rebuilt and set to reopen in December with 33 contemporary studios with kitchenettes, and five bungalow suites. Plans include a new swimming pool and a beachside bar and restaurant (rooms from 75 euros; diamantlesbains.fr).
The Serafina Beach Hotel remains on track to open in San Juan in March. In the upscale Condado district, the stylish 96-room hotel will offer an Italian seafood restaurant, a poolside lounge and a bar that specializes in piña coladas, which were invented in Puerto Rico (rooms from $225; serafinabeachhotel.com).
A number of prominent hotels remain closed this season. Others have announced reopenings, ranging from the relatively affordable Le Village St Barts Hotel (rooms from 175 euros, or about $203; levillagestbarth.com) to the high-end Villa Marie Saint-Barth coming in March (rooms from 400 euros; saint-barth.villamarie.fr). St. Barth Properties says half of its villa portfolio will be available by the end of December.
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Mandarin Oriental has taken over management of the exclusive Pink Sands Club, Canouan. Amenities abound, including a nine-treatment palapa spa, three tennis courts, an 18-hole golf course and five food and beverage options (rooms from $1,400; mandarinoriental.com).
St. Kitts and Nevis
The long-anticipated, 126-room Park Hyatt St. Kitts opened Nov. 1 with two swimming pools and three restaurants. The spa will house nine treatment rooms and a yoga and meditation area within a replica sugar mill (rooms from $450; stkitts.park.hyatt.com). Nevis’ Paradise Beach Resort plans to expand with five more beach houses in December. The new two-bedroom units, raised on stilts above a private beach, will have blue-tiled plunge pools and wraparound porches (rates start at $1,495; paradisebeachnevis.com).
Turks and Caicos
South Caicos was hit hard by Irma, but its new Sailrock Resort is set to reopen Dec. 16 with a second restaurant and a new spa. Scuba diving, snorkeling and kayaking are big draws, and operators report that the reefs and mangroves are healthy (rooms from $750; sailrockresort.com). On Providenciales, the Shore Club experienced no major damage and has reopened its 106 suites. There are four pools, a fine dining restaurant and a craft cocktail bar (rooms from $699; theshoreclubtc.com).