Hurricane Update for the Caribbean

 

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) have received the following updates from member countries and hotels regarding the impact of recent hurricanes. We will continue to update this page for our members as more information becomes available.

 

British Virgin Islands

The British Virgin Islands did not take a direct hit from Maria although the territory did experience high wind and rain. The BVI Tourist Board and government officials are still completing their full assessments.

 

For those who wish to support the critical rebuilding efforts following the devastation of Hurricane Irma earlier this month, please visit: http://pledgeling.us/bvi or text “BVI” to 707070.

Nanny Cay Resort & Marina some additional (minimal) damage to the property and boats. Maria’s approach slowed the rebuilding process, but it accelerated the removal of debris from the property. Work continues to stabilize the infrastructure, creating new office space, fixing roofs, getting IT, including Internet access, fully operational, etc.

 

Dominica

The air and sea ports are functional post Hurricane Maria. The Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority has cleared the Douglas Charles Airport for operation. The Canefield Airport is open although the tower has been impacted. Traffic Management is therefore operated by hand-held radio. The Woodbridge Bay Seaport is open to receive cargo and ferry boats.

 

The prime minister, Roosevelt Skerrit has indicated that he received the assurance of his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau that the Canadian Frigate St. John's will arrive Dominica "around Sunday to assist with initial assessment and support".

 

Dominican Republic

It has been reported that Hurricane Maria has flooded some parts of the northern Dominican Republic as it brought a lot of rain and high winds. Operations resumed at Punta Cana International Airport yesterday.


Iberostar Hotels and Resorts has reported that all six hotel in the country (Punta Cana and Bavaro) are fully operational, did not suffer damage and have returned to normal operations.

 

Guadeloupe

The archipelago was spared a direct hit by Hurricane Maria, however the five islands experienced strong winds and heavy rain, especially in the south of Basse Terre, Les Saintes, and Marie Galante. Occasional flooding occurred in localized areas of Pointe-à-Pitre, Grande Terre.

 

There was no infrastructural damage, but there were two deaths. 

 

Guadeloupe’s Pole Caraibe Airport suffered only minimal damage and is 100 per cent operational with air traffic resuming.

 

Hotels are up-and-running and suffered only minor damage, said, Daniel Arnoux, CEO of the Des Hotels et Des Iles Group.

 

Martinique

Martinique was spared a direct hit by Hurricane Maria on 18 September. The following hotels have provided updates:

 

·         La Suite Villa -  no damage and it is business as usual.

·         Le Courbaril Village - no damage    . 

 

Montserrat

Montserrat was spared by Hurricane Maria, although a few properties lost roofs and shingles. Some electrical poles are down, however the Montserrat Utilities Limited is working to restore power to the entire island, with electricity already restored to more than 90 per cent. Air services have been fully restored and the ferry service was due to recommence last evening, 22 September. Montserrat remains open for business.

 

Puerto Rico

Jose Izquierdo, executive director of the Puerto Rico Tourism Company, stated: “The safety and security of everyone on the island, including all of our visitors, is our biggest priority in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

 

We’re working closely with other state and federal government agencies and collaborating with our industry partners to identify immediate needs across the island. 

 

We are confident that Puerto Rico will quickly recover and the resiliency and strength of our people will get us through the days ahead. 

 

We came together not long ago to help our Caribbean neighbors post-Irma, and it is this generosity, the hospitality of our people, and the beauty of our island that are at the essence of the Puerto Rican spirit and what will get us through these challenging times.”

 

Recent travel updates:

  • The Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport is now open to commercial flight traffic.
  • A few airlines are already operating limited schedules. Most are looking to resume operations today, 23 September.
  • Cruise ports remain closed at this time.

 

All travellers should contact their airlines and accommodations directly for specific information.

 

Travellers who are thinking of visiting Puerto Rico should visit www.seepuertorico.com for updated travel information."

 

The following hotels have provided updates on their status:

 

·         El Canario By The Lagoon suffered no damage. However, there is no power or water, which means the resort is closed until services are restored.

·         Hotel Miramar continues to take care of guests 

·         Hilton Hotels issued a statement indicating assessments are being made with focus on the guests and team members. Hilton properties on Puerto Rico are no longer taking new reservations through 30 September. The Condado Plaza Hilton, El San Juan Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton and Embassy Suites by Hilton Dorado del Mar Beach Resort are currently closed. Hilton properties in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and the Bahamas are waiving cancellation fees for travellers with reservations arriving through 30 September. Guests are asked to call 1-800-Hiltons for information.

·         Dorado Beach, A Ritz-Carlton Reserve is currently closed due to Hurricane Maria.. Cancellation and change fees are being waived for specific arrival dates. Travellers are asked to call 1-800-228-9290 for more information about their reservations.

·         Hyatt Hotels - Hotel operations and communications at Hyatt hotels in Puerto Rico have been impacted by Hurricane Maria, and therefore, Hyatt hotels in Puerto Rico have currently suspended normal hotel operations and are not accepting reservations for stays prior to 15 October at Hyatt Place and Hyatt House hotels and 22 October at Hyatt Hacienda del Mar. Hyatt hotels in Puerto Rico will waive all cancellation fees and refund all pre-paid reservations for stays during this period.

·         La Concha Hotel, A Renaissance Resort is focusing on fixing damage to public areas. In the meantime, the reservations systems are temporarily closed for certain dates in order to prepare to welcome guests again.

·         O:live Boutique Hotel guests and staff members are safe. O:live did not suffer any structural damage and is using its generator and water reserve

·         The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan Hotel, Spa & Casino is currently closed. The hotel is waiving cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates and suggests customers call 1-800-228-9290 for more information about their reservations.

·         The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort, Puerto Rico is currently closed. 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.

·         W Retreat & Spa - Vieques Island is currently closed. 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.

·         Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort is currently assessing the storm’s impact and will remain closed until further notice. The resort is relaxing cancellation policies so guests with future reservations may cancel or rebook for a later date without penalty. Updates will be provided via http://www.wyndhamriomar.com/hurricane-maria-updates.aspx.

 

St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts is reporting that initial assessments have been completed and 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 began welcoming flights on 20 September. The Port Zante cruise pier did not sustain damage and St. Kitts is scheduled to welcome two vessels today (23 September) – Carnival Cruise Line’s Carnival Fascination and Royal Caribbean’s Adventure of the Seas. Park Hyatt remains on track to debut in November.

 

The following properties have provided updates:

·         Four Seasons Resort Nevis reports power has been restored throughout the resort and phone lines are working.

·         Montpelier Plantation & Beach received no damage from Hurricane Irma or Maria and will reopen on 8 October.

·         Mount Nevis Hotel & Beach Club received no damage and it is business as usual.

·         Nisbet Plantation Beach Club will reopen its doors to guests on 4 October. Guests with reservations through 3 October are being contacted to reschedule visits. Vegetation impacted by wind and rain, no structural damage to the buildings but the beach bar did sustain damage.

·         Ocean Terrace Inn has no property damage and remains open and operating for guests."

 

U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas) 

Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands Kenneth E. Mapp has announced that commercial flights at Cyril E. King International Airport are expected to resume on a limited basis towards the middle or end of next week.

 

Officials are preparing the St. Thomas airport for humanitarian or mercy flights. Additional work is still required at Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix, and the government is working with cruise partners to transport some residents to Florida towards the end of next week.

 

Governor Mapp and Commissioner of Tourism Beverly Nicholson-Doty will meet with members of the business community in both U.S. Virgin Islands districts next week to discuss the readiness of the territory to welcome visiting cruise passengers in 30 days.

 

The curfew currently in place in the St. Thomas-St. John district has been reduced by one hour, and will be enforced from 6 p.m. to 9 a.m. daily. The four-hour suspension (between noon and 4 p.m.) of St. Croix’s 24-hour curfew will be repeated on today, September 23, allowing residents to perform essential tasks such as refueling or picking up supplies from distribution centres or businesses that are open during that time.

 

The Department of Tourism continues to encourage travellers to postpone trips to the islands at this time.

 

To assist with the recovery and reconstruction of the U.S. Virgin Islands, please visit www.usvirecovery.org.

 

Updates from hotels in the U.S. Virgin Islands are as follows:

 

St. Croix

·         Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort & Casino guests and staff are safe, the power never went out at the resort, but the grounds did sustain some damage from Hurricane Maria’s heavy rain and wind. Currently assessing the situation to determine next steps in the recovery process.

·         Caravelle Hotel & Casino received ground floor flooding and some damage, which is currently being assessed. The hotel is operational as no rooms were flooded. No online bookings are available at this time, so travellers must call the hotel. The hotel will be accommodating relief workers shortly and will provide an update when it will be accepting additional guests.

·         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.

·         The Buccaneer has been spared major damage. 

·         Sand Castle On The Beach suffered only minor damage and cleanup is under way. Not accepting reservations until essential services are restored.

 

St. John (Reflects updates from Irma and Maria)

·         Caneel Bay: Will be closed for the remainder of 2017 and further updates for 2018 will become available in due course.

·         Estate Lindholm: Anticipates a 1 November reopening based on Hurricane Irmas impact

·         Westin St. John had minimal impact from Hurricane Maria. Still cleaning up from Hurricane Irma. As previously reported, Marriott International has advised the resort is closed until further notice. The resort is waiving hotel cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates. Customers should call 1-800-228-9290 (US) 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.

 

St. Thomas (Reflects updates from Irma and Maria)

·         Point Pleasant Resort: Following the passage of Maria, the staff is safe but the resort sustained some damage. The resort and a large portion of the island are still without power and water. Suggest guests cancel all reservations due to arrive through 15 November.

·         Sugar Bay Resort & Spa: As of 18 September, the resort is closed and an opening date has not been set.

·         Windward Passage: As of 18 September, the resort is closed until further notice

·         Margaritaville Vacation Club: Club Wyndham Reservations advises that all four St. Thomas resorts will be closed until 10 October, including Margaritaville Vacation Club, Bluebeard's Beach Club, WorldMark St. Thomas and Elysian Beach Resort.

·         Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas: Marriott International has advised the resort is closed until further notice. Those planning to visit the hotel should check the news for the most current information and amend their travel plans accordingly. The resort is waiving hotel cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates. Customers should call 1-800-228-9290 (US) 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.

·         Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort, Marriott International has advised the resort is closed until further notice. Those planning to visit the hotel should check the news for the most current information. The resort is waiving hotel cancellation and change fees for specific arrival dates. Customers should call 1-800-228-9290 (US) 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.

·         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.