Exploring New Horizons
The Caribbean may be laid back, but there’s always something new – from exciting attractions to sparkling new hotels and resorts
1) Grenada: Grenada Gets ‘smart’
Rooms at True Blue Bay Boutique Resort in Grenada have just got ‘smarter’. The 22 ‘climate smart’ Cocoa Pod rooms use rainwater harvested from the roof, which is also used in two new freshwater swimming pools.
Solar panels are used to heat water and generate electricity. Insulation is designed to keep rooms cooler and energy efficient air-conditioning units have been installed. Sustainable materials, including ethical wood, have been used on interiors.
2) St. Vincent and the Grenadines: New Eco Lagoon Trail
Spot birds at the new Ashton Lagoon on Union Island St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Rangers and fun signposts provide information on the eco-system as you make your way through the mangroves. There are viewing towers to spot birds, a swing bridge into the sea which will test your balance and an educational eco-interpretive centre at the entrance. The revitalisation project included opening up the causeway to allow seawater to circulate into the dying lagoon. Also new in the Grenadines is boutique Bequia hotel, The Liming, with five suites and nine villas.
3) Antigua: Luxury Trio
Three luxury hotels have opened on Antigua: the 294-room all-inclusive Royalton Antigua Resort & Spa in Deep Bay, which has a microbrewery and unlimited à la carte dining; Hodges Bay Resort & Spa on the north coast which has luxurious suites, apartments and penthouses, an adults-only infinity pool, and kids and teens clubs; and the boutique adult-only Hammock Cove which has 40 villas with infinity plunge pool.
4) British Virgin Islands: New Beginnings in the BVIS
A two-year island-wide restoration has seen The British Virgin Islands bounce back from Hurricane Irma. Hotels such as Mango Bay Resort, Wyndham Lambert Beach Resort and Valley Trunk Estate opened in late 2019 – the latter following a multi-million pound refurbishment. Rosewood Little Dix Bay is now taking reservations, and Necker Island plans to host guests from April 2020 after two-and-a-half-years’ reconstruction.
5) Barbados: All aboard with Barbados
Hop aboard the St Nicholas Abbey Heritage Railway for an island steam train tour of Barbados. The 45-minute journey aboard this former sugar train built in 1914 will take you through plantation fields and mahogany woods finishing with a panoramic view from the wooden carriages of the east coast from Cherry Tree Hill. The train ride can be combined with a visit to St Nicholas Abbey Great House Plantation and Distillery.
6) Jamaica: Jamaica Double
Ocean by H10 Hotels is expanding its Caribbean portfolio into Jamaica and building two five-star all-inclusive properties just outside Falmouth, Trelawny. The 500-room, all-inclusive, beach-side Oceans Coral Spring Jamaica opened in November 2019. The second phase will include a 440-room adults-only property, which is scheduled to open in winter 2020.
7) Cayman Islands: Grand Cayman Triple
Hyatt Hotels is returning to The Cayman Islands. The 351-room Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman Hotel & Residences on Seven Mile Beach is due for completion in late 2020. Also on the island, NCB Group and Hilton will open a luxury boutique Curio Collection hotel in 2021 focusing on wellness and energy-efficient technologies; and Mandarin Oriental Hotels will manage a 100-room beachfront property on Grand Cayman in 2021 featuring five restaurants and an onsite farm for a real farm-to-fork experience, plus a beach-club, tennis courts and several pools.
8) Dominica: Kempinski Opens in Dominica
Dominica’s first five-star resort-style hotel, the Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica, opened in Douglas Bay in October 2019. The 151-room luxury resort, which is surrounded by the Cabrits National Park, offers a spa featuring a Water Temple surrounded by rainforest trees, international cuisine, a fitness suite, two floodlit tennis courts and four hot and cold-water pools. Guests are able to choose from rooms, suites or villas.
9) Turks and Caicos: Turks and Caicos Rocks
It’s time to rock in Turks and Caicos. Its newest property plans to open in early 2020 on the north coast, and claims it will set the bar for luxury hotels. Facilities in this Mediterranean-styled resort will include two pools – a 100ft-long cliff-top infinity pool and an impressive limestone quarry pool built into the natural stone, a first in Turks and Caicos. There’s also a fitness centre, spa and private beach.