CARIBBEAN ISLANDS, October 14, 2017 — Hurricane season 2017 in the Caribbean is one these Islands in Paradise would just as soon forget. Two major hurricanes, Irma and Maria, took a massive toll on individual property as well as the resorts and hotels that are a critical source of tourism revenue.
If you are planning a cruise or intend to head to the sunny shores and clear blue waters of the islands, you should check ahead with cruise lines and hotels in order to learn what your options will be before you depart.
Please note that the following is an extensive list of relevant island date, but it’s not necessarily a complete one. Also, remember that the dates given at the time of this inquiry were only estimates. Therefore, some properties may be open ahead of schedule while others may have found more damage than they anticipated and may still be under repair. So this guide is only intended as a general planning guide, a good place for you to start.
Here is our current Caribbean tourism scorecard, listing how most of these island destinations fared, as well as their current status..
Islands and mainland locales not affected by recent hurricanes:
If you are a beach and coconut oil lover, these islands remained generally damage-free and are still operating, with business as usual: Antigua (note, however, that sister island Barbuda took a big hit), Aruba, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Bonaire, Cayman Islands, Mexico (Cancun/Riviera Maya, Cozumel), Curacao, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Montserrat, Jamaica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago.
On the Turks and Caicos Islands, while Providenciales International Airport [PLS] is open, several hotel properties in these locales were scheduled for annual closure prior to Irma. Some properties have now elected to remain closed to assess damage to their facilities and are looking to reopen by the beginning to middle of October.
Islands damaged by the hurricanes: This is a list of islands which were hardest hit by Irma and Maria. Damage to each island and each property varies, so be sure to check in advance before booking a reservation.
Anguilla suffered major damage from Hurricane Irma. Government and business buildings, electricity infrastructure and the main water supply had significant damage. Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA) is now open from sunrise to sunset for charters and emergency flights only.
Status of individual hotels on Anguilla:
- Carimar Beach Club: The resort will reopen on December 21.
- CeBlue Villas & Beach Resort: The resort was closed for the season, so no guests were on property. The villas and resort buildings are all structurally sound, and the resort looks forward to welcoming guests for the season.
- CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa and The Reef by CuisinArt: Planning to be closed until summer 2018 for repairs.
- Four Seasons Resort & Residences Anguilla: Closed for the remainder of 2017.
- Fountain Anguilla: Resort buildings and grounds are structurally intact, but a few units suffered some damage from debris. Assessment and clean up are under way and the resort is expected to open for the season.
- Frangipani Beach Resort: Annual opening date has been pushed back to December 2017.
- Malliouhana, an Auberge Resort: There appears to be no major structural damage to the resort. A team is now assessing the extent of the clean up required and will advise on their proposed reopening date.
- Quintessence Boutique Resort: The property sustained a fair amount of damage, and the proposed opening date of November 1 will be delayed.
- Zemi Beach House: The property held strong and will be able to welcome guests soon, although the timing is still uncertain.
Barbuda was heavily damaged by Hurricane Irma while sister island Antigua is open for business and excursions.
Individual Hotel Status on Antigua and Barbuda:
- Carlisle Bay: Resort was closed and did not sustain any significant damage. Will reopen on October 15.
- Curtain Bluff: Property emerged without any damage. Clean up has begun and communications will soon be restored. The resort plans to reopen October 28.
- Cocos Hotel: No long-term damage
- Galley Bay: An in-depth assessment of the property is in progress.
- Hermitage Bay: All is well.
- Jumby Bay Island: Jumby Bay is currently closed as part of annual maintenance, and no guests were on the island when the hurricane passed. There is no structural damage to the resort or homes on the island, however landscaping clean up is needed. Reopening was scheduled for October 9
- Keyonna Beach Resort: No long-term damage.
- Pineapple Beach Club: Opened September 14.
- Sandals Grande Antigua: Sustained superficial damage but a complete assessment is underway. Due to the impact of Irma and the timing of the previously announced closure for resort maintenance, the resort will remain closed and will reopen on December 20, 2017.
- St. James Club: Opened September 14.
- Verandah Resort & Spa: Will reopen as scheduled on October 14 after renovations.
The Bahamas is getting back to business. Airports are open in Nassau, Grand Bahama Island and on nearly all Out Islands. International flights have resumed, including service to some Florida airports, and ports have reopened allowing cruise ships to begin to return.
Parts of the southern islands were more heavily impacted with damage ranging from cosmetic to severe structural damage.
Bahamasair resumed service into the United States on September 12, at the Ft. Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, Orlando International Airport and Miami International Airport.
While airlines are operating international flights out of Grand Bahama International Airport, U.S. customs and border pre-clearance is currently unavailable. They will be reinstated at a later date.
The majority of hotel and resorts throughout The Islands of The Bahamas are operating as usual or are expected to reopen on their regularly scheduled dates. Reservation holders are encouraged to contact their respective hotels for more information.
Nassau and Paradise Island hotels sustained no damage. While many remained open, others are resuming normal operation. Grand Bahama Island hotels began to resume operations on Wednesday, September 13.
The following hotels are definitely open, although this may not be a complete list:
Nassau and Paradise Island:
- Atlantis, Paradise Island
- Sandals Royal Bahamian
- Warwick Paradise Island
- Breezes Resort & Spa
- Baha Mar Resort and Casino
- Melia Nassau Beach Resort
- One & Only Ocean Club
- Sandals Emerald Bay
- Grand Isle Resort
Grand Bahama Island:
- Lighthouse Pointe at Grand Lucayan
- Bimini Big Game Club Resort and Marina Resort reopened September 29.
The Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Aviation will be releasing updates on islands, hotels and services. Look for information here.
Cuba reported that Havana experienced major flooding, with power out and widespread wind damage. Power has now been restored.
Dominica suffered major damage from Hurricane Maria.
Hurricane Maria flooded some parts of the northern Dominican Republic, due to the storm’s heavy rain and high winds. Operations have resumed at Punta Cana International Airport.
Haiti was left relatively unharmed. All services remain in operation and the country continues to welcome visitors. Travelers are advised to contact their local travel or booking agent for detailed arrangements about their bookings.
- Moulin Sur Mer Hotel has advised it was not affected by Hurricane Irma.
As most Americans are well aware, Puerto Rico suffered catastrophic damage from Hurricane Maria. All travelers who had been planning to travel there should contact their airlines and accommodations directly for specific information before attempting to proceed.
Travelers who are thinking of visiting Puerto Rico should follow this link for updated travel information.
The following hotels are closed and not taking new reservations until further notice:
If you have an existing reservation in the coming days, please contact these hotels directly for re-booking.
- Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve
- W Retreat & Spa in Vieques
- Gran Melia
- Coral by the Sea Hotel
- Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa (planning to reopen at the end of the year)
- Royal Isabela
The following hotels are open, but not taking new reservations prior to October 15:
- Hyatt Place San Juan
- Hyatt House San Juan
- Verdanza Hotel
The following hotels are open, but not taking new reservations prior to October 22:
- Hyatt Hacienda del Mar (Dorado)
- Hotel El Convento
- Sheraton Puerto Rico Hotel & Casino
- Condado Vanderbilt Hotel
- AC Hotel by Marriott San Juan Condado
- La Concha Resort
- InterContinental San Juan in Isla Verde
- San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
- The Wave Hotel
- Holiday Inn Express San Juan Condado Hotel by IHG
- Canario Boutique Hotel
- Coral Princess Hotel
- At Wind Chimes Boutique Hotel
- Best Western Condado Palm Inn & Suites
- Comfort Inn San Juan
- Hotel Miramar
- Hotel Villa Montaña & Spa
The following hotels are not accepting existing or new reservations through October 31:
- Caribe Hilton
- The Condado Plaza Hilton
- Embassy Suites by Hilton Dorado del Mar Beach Resort
- Embassy Suites by Hilton San Juan Hotel & Casino
- Hilton Ponce Golf & Casino Resort
- Hampton Inn & Suites San Juan
- El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton
- DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel San Juan
The following hotel is no longer accepting existing or new reservations through December 31:
- El Conquistador, a Waldorf Astoria Resort
St. Barth was heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma, which destroyed government buildings and badly damaged private homes.
St. Kitts and Nevis:
St. Kitts is reporting that the island is resuming normal operations, as it was fortunate to escape major damage from the passage of Hurricane Maria.
All hotels in St. Kitts are fully operational and those properties that do not engage in regular seasonal closures are open and servicing guests. St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) reopened and has begun receiving flights. The Port Zantecruise pier did not sustain damage and has started welcoming vessels. Park Hyatt remains on track to debut in November.
Individual Hotel Status in St. Kitts & Nevis:
- Four Seasons Resort Nevis: Power has been restored throughout the resort and phone lines are working.
- Montpelier Plantation & Beach: Received no damage from Hurricane Irma or Maria and reopened October 8.
- Mount Nevis Hotel & Beach Club: Received no damage, and is carrying on with business as usual.
- Nisbett Plantation Beach Club: Has reopened and welcomes reservations.
- Ocean Terrace Inn: No property damage and remains open and operating for guests.
St. Maarten / St. Martin:
The island was badly damaged by the hurricane and the recovery effort continues. Princess Juliana International Airport has only been receiving flights that are bringing in relief supplies, and evacuating guests. The first cruise ship bringing passengers is expected back in port on November 11.
Individual Hotel Status in St. Maarten/St. Martin:
- Beach Plaza: Badly damaged.
- Belair Beach Hotel: Sustained damage that will take time to repair. Phone service and internet are down.
- Esmeralda Resort: Hotel is 70 percent destroyed.
- Hotel Mercure: Damaged.
- La Vista Hotel: The Beach building is in decent shape. Roof tiles were damaged but the roof itself is still there. Some water damage and missing doors and windows.
- Oyster Bay Beach Resort: Significant damage.
- Princess Heights: Minor damage.
- Riu Palace St. Martin: Infrastructures severely affected.
- Summit Resort Hotel: Due to extensive damages, the Summit Resort will remain closed.
- Westin Dawn Beach: Significant damage. The hotel is waiving cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates and suggests customers call 1-888-625-4988 for more information about their reservations. Those in countries outside of the United States seeking information about their reservations should call the SPG toll-free number in their country
- Sonesta: Resort damage is severe. All further reservations from now through the end of 2017 have been cancelled.
Turks and Caicos Islands:
Providenciales International Airport (PLS) is open. Several of the hotel properties were scheduled for annual closure prior to Irma; some properties have now elected to remain closed, to assess any damage to their properties and looking to reopen by the beginning to middle of October 2017.
Individual Hotel Status in the Turks & Caicos:
- Alexandra Resort: Open.
- Amanyara: Open.
- Beach Enclave: Open.
- Beach House: Open.
- Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa: Open December 14.
- Blue Haven Resort: Open.
- Caribbean Paradise Inn: Open.
- Club Med Turquoise: Open.
- COMO Parrot: Scheduled closing Aug. 26 through to November 19.
- East Bay Resort: Open December 15.
- Gansevoort Turks & Caicos, A Wymara Resort: Open.
- Grace Bay Club: Open.
- La Vista Azul: Open.
- Ocean Club Resorts: Open.
- Pelican Nest: Open October 30.
- Point Grace: Open.
- Ports of Call Resort: Open November 25.
- Royal West Indies Resort: Open.
- Seven Stars Resort: Open.
- Sibonne Boutique Hotel: Opening was scheduled for October 3 but may still be delayed.
- The Meridian Club: Open November 1.
- The Palms Turks and Caicos: Open.
- The Regent Grand: Open.
- The Sands At Grace Bay: Open.
- The Shore Club: Open.
- The Tuscany: Open.
- The Venetian: Open.
- Villa Del Mar: Open.
- West Bay Club: Open.
- Windsong Resort: Open.
Virgin Islands (UK):
In the British Virgin Islands, the destruction from Hurricane Irma has been devastating, according to a statement from Sharon Flax-Brutus, the director of tourism. With cell phone towers down and extensive power outages hampering recovery efforts, communication to, from and within the territory has been difficult, impairing the ability of authorities to fully assess the damage.
Individual Hotel Status in the BVI:
- Anegada Reef: The resort did not suffer any damage from the hurricane.
- Bitter End Yacht Club: The hotel was not operational due to annual closure.
- Guana Island: Closed at this time.
- Rosewood Little Dix Bay: Currently closed for renovation.
- Scrub Island: All guests and associates are safe.
- Sugar Mill Hotel: The hotel suffered manageable damage, Expected to reopen October 14.
U.S. Virgin Islands:
All three of the U.S Virgin Islands suffered damage from both hurricanes. The Department of Tourism continues to encourage travelers to postpone trips to the islands until hotels are back up and running. Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas has re-opened for commercial flights. Plans were to reopen St Croix’s Henry Rohlsen Airport by early October. Cruise ships may return to St. Thomas and St. Croix as early as October 15, 2017.
- The Buccaneer: Open for business. Facilities are in good shape, but there may be some limitation of services.
- Caravelle Hotel & Casino: Received ground floor flooding and some damage. The hotel is operational as no rooms were flooded. No online bookings are available at this time, however, so travelers must call the hotel.
- Club Comanche Hotel St. Croix: Open and accepting guests.
- Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort & Casino: The grounds sustained some damage from Hurricane Maria’s heavy rain and wind. Currently assessing the situation to determine next steps in the recovery process.
- Hotel on the Cay: Survived Hurricane Maria and will be accommodating first responders and Air National Guard who are assisting the island’s recovery. Guests are asked to check back for reservations beyond the next 30 days.
- Sand Castle On The Beach: Suffered only minor damage and cleanup is under way. Not accepting reservations until essential services are restored.
- Caneel Bay: Closed for the remainder of 2017.
- Estate Lindholm: Anticipates a November 1 reopening.
- The Westin St. John Resort Villas: The resort and the surrounding areas experienced some damage. As of September 11, Marriott International advised the resort would be closed until further notice. The resort is waiving hotel cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates. Customers should call 1-800-228-9290 (U.S.) for more information about their reservations. Those in countries outside of the United States seeking reservation information should call the Marriott toll-free number in their country.
- Bolongo Bay Beach Resort: Currently looking to reopen second or third week of December, as the resort is housing people in need and a multitude of workers trying to help the island.
- Bluebeard’s Castle Resort: Sustained major damage.
- Marriott Frenchman’s Reef & The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas: As of September 11, Marriott International advised that the resort is closed until further notice. The resort is also waiving hotel cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates. Customers should call 1-800-228-9290 (U.S.) for more information about their reservations. Those in countries outside of the United States seeking information about their reservations should call the Marriott toll-free number in their country.
- Margaritaville Vacation Club: Club Wyndham Reservations advises that all four St. Thomas resorts should be re-opening in mid-October, including Margaritaville Vacation Club, Bluebeard’s Beach Club, WorldMark St. Thomas and Elysian Beach Resort.
- Point Pleasant Resort: The resort and a large portion of the island are still without power and water. It is suggested that guests cancel all reservations due to arrive through November 15.
- Secret Harbour Beach Resort: No major structural damage to the buildings.
- Sugar Bay Resort & Spa: As of September 18, the resort is closed. A re-opening date has not been set.
- Windward Passage: As of September 18, the resort is closed until further notice.
About the Author: Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News
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