Three Classic Caribbean Luxury Hotels Receive Makeovers

The Beach Club Restaurant at St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort serves fresh, creative fare in a casual setting and offers views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Some VIPs are on a constant hunt for the newest, freshest luxury hotel in the Caribbean, while others find one fabulous property and become repeat guests for life. 

Following a multimillion-dollar investment in the Puerto Rico property, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort’s hottest new feature is its new Beach Club by Jose Enrique

Foodies will be particularly interested in this new feature as the menu at the Beach Club highlights local island flavors, such salads, fresh ceviches, and a new take on Caldo Santo (a traditional Puerto Rican fish stew made with coconut milk), which Enrique serves with lightly fried snapper filet, local roots and tubers, and coconut slaw. It should be noted that all of the culinary offerings at the hotel are open to the public. 

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Rums on the menu are all produced in either Puerto Rico or the Greater / Lesser Antilles. Additional Caribbean commodities available at the hotel include Puerto Rican coffee and cigars. 

For all other food requests, we recommend reaching out to Gerry Farrulla ([email protected]), director of catering and event management. 

We hear the top rooms at this hotel are Room No. 332, the Governor’s Suite, and Room No. 1023, the St. Regis Suite. 

The one-bedroom oceanfront St. Regis Suite affords views just shy of about 40 yards away from the Atlantic Ocean. Note: This category also includes a separate living room, including a pullout sofa bed, a fully furnished terrace, one king bedroom, a walk-in closet and a 40-inch LCD TV.

The Governor’s Suite is about 1,000 square feet larger than the St. Regis Suite. This suite has a fully furnished terrace on the second floor with full ocean views. There is also a master bedroom, a separate living room, a dining room, a kitchen and a walk-in closet.

For all other special room requests, connect with Lily Carr ([email protected]), head concierge. 

Tip: The recommended airport is the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport, which is about 16 miles, or roughly 35 minutes, away from the St. Regis. Nice Touch: Upon request, The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort can arrange first class car transportation for all of its guests. VIPs have the option to arrange luxury, larger and entertaining vehicles for larger groups. Hint: Helicopter transfers can be arranged to land in several points in the island of Puerto Rico, including The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort. 

The hotel’s Remède Spa has about 10,000 square feet of space and offers access to seven massage villas, hot and cold plunge pools and outdoor showers. Note: A separate 1,000-square-foot fitness center and yoga / Pilates studio sits adjacent to the spa. 

Hint: A popular treatment here is the Beach Side Massage, a custom 60-90-minute massage in a beachside cabana. Another popular option is the Cemi Gods Rejuvenating Facial, which is an exfoliation of ruby crystal serum that soothes and stimulates the complexion of the skin. 

Guests must be at least 16 years of age to enjoy the spa. Nail services are available for patrons under the age of 16, when accompanied by an adult.

The Governor’s Suite at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort has a fully furnished terrace on the second floor with full ocean views

The resort has a range of bespoke spa experiences for groups and weddings. One example is the spa’s “Golden Experience,” which is basically a spa takeover. The spa is closed to other guests and offers a customized menu and entertainment.

To further customize a spa treatment at the hotel, we recommend reaching out to Richard Trinidad ([email protected]), spa director.

For golf lovers, the course at The St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort is designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. and includes impressive greens along the ocean. Tip: VIP golf services, including a private caddie, can be provided upon request by the Bahia Beach Golf Pro shop. 

Resort guests can confirm their tee times through the golf club administrative staff or the St. Regis Concierge. Note: Singles are accepted and may be paired upon request. Group arrangements are coordinated through the Bahia Golf Club representative and can be booked at the same time as hotel reservations are made. 

For wedding-bound guests, the St. Regis Bahia Beach Resort has set up both indoor and outdoor wedding venues. In fact, there are 16 unique venue options, including the newly refreshed Astor Ballroom, which, at 466 square feet, is double its original size.

And for those guests looking for a celebrity run-in, the hotel has hosted many A-listers from renowned jazz musician Jon Batiste to fashion designer Jason Wu.

Advisors with any other requests for guests staying at this hotel should reach out to Jossell Velazquez ([email protected]), chief concierge.

Half Moon in Montego Bay, Jamaica, has been a longtime favorite of affluent travelers heading to the Caribbean, and now it is being fully refreshed. 

Scheduled for an October 2018 completion, the second phase of the $75 million master plan includes adding new guest facilities and restaurants, as well as expanding the beach and the accommodations, which include 57 new rooms and suites that will replace 44 existing ones. 

This phase follows the 2015 refurbishment of The Sugar Mill Restaurant, the resort lobby, a Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed golf course and the introduction of the now-popular Lester’s Cafe.

The best room here is Room No. 1015, the Imperial Suite. These suites include separate living rooms and bedrooms with Queen Anne mahogany reproductions and either a balcony or a terrace. Nice Touch: The Imperial Suite comes with a grand piano for nightly entertainment.

The Imperial Suites at Half Moon in Montego Bay have separate living rooms and bedrooms with Queen Anne mahogany reproductions and either a balcony or a terrace

For all unique room enquiries, luxury travel advisors should reach out to Paula Lilly ([email protected]), director of guest relations.

Sangster International Airport (MBJ) is about a 10-minute drive away from Half Moon, while the Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) is roughly three hours away. The hotel can arrange private car transfers to / from MBJ and also priority access through the airport via Club Mobay.

The hotel is home to a whopping 68,000-square-foot spa with 16 treatment rooms. Note: Spa services are available to guests ages 16 and above. The spa also has steam and sauna rooms, a lagoon pool and an outdoor yoga pavilion. Hint: Tell guests to request any treatment in one of the spa’s overwater bungalows.

Luxury travel advisors with special spa requests for guests should reach out to Tanya Vassell ([email protected]), spa director. 

For foodies, Solomon’s Brochette, named after Solomon Gardner, keeper of the mill and brand ambassador who has been at Half Moon for more than 50 years, is a must. This dish, served at The Sugar Mill Restaurant, comprises a beef, pork, sausage, fish and shrimp skewer flamed with aged rum and served with fresh and seasonal vegetables.

Nice Touch: At Half Moon’s 18-hole par-72 championship golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr., every golfer gets a caddie and a golf cart.

To set up tee times, advisors should reach out to Karen Wallace ([email protected]), golf clubhouse manager.

Some out-of-the-box wedding offerings at Half Moon include ice carving with the initials of both the bride and groom included; an after-party with a bonfire and such out-of-the-box entertainment as a snake charmer and a fire-eater.

We hear one A-lister once requested to stage a marriage proposal with dolphins included. The ring was presented on the nose of the dolphin. Hint: The hotel can also provide romantic helicopter rides for wedding-bound VIPs.

For all other wedding arrangements, advisors should reach out to Tashane Castillo Barath ([email protected]), wedding sales manager.

Some notable celebrities who have stayed here include David Bowie, George Bush (then senator), John F. Kennedy (then senator), Spike Lee, Eddie Murphy and Whitney Houston.

For all other enquiries, reach out to Arlien Dyer ([email protected]), assistant director of sales. 

In Antigua, Pure Turquoise is the new premium accommodation at Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort.

The 17,000-square-foot estate has seven bedrooms and is anchored by a spacious entertainment pavilion, which has multiple living areas, and a media and game room for dining, socializing and entertaining. 

Nice Touch: Surrounding the main pavilion are free-standing bedroom suite pavilions. Fitting for multigenerational travel and groups of couples / friends traveling together, the home’s zero-edge infinity pool is the dramatic focal point where guests can mingle and lounge, while a private croquet lawn and tennis court provide ample opportunities for play. 

Hint: The home also has exclusive access to a secluded private beach and luxurious amenities like a private chef, housekeeper and butler.

Pure Turquoise at Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort is a seven-bedroom estate with a tennis court, private beach and infinity pool

Jumby Bay, A Rosewood Resort also includes 35 swanky villas and estate homes, which are great for families and large groups. Tip: The most popular homes include Lazy Lizard, Ty Molineux and Sandpiper.

Note: Jumby Bay’s 24-hour concierge also functions as an on-call butler who can handle such requests from scheduling a spa appointment to arranging a sightseeing excursion.

For all other special room enquiries, reach out to Kelly Mickens ([email protected]), sales manager.

Jumby Bay provides transfers between the mainland airport and Jumby Bay Island. Upon arrival, a chauffeured private car conveys guests on a three-minute drive to the resort’s dock, where they receive a warm Jumby Bay welcome from a resort representative. Two experienced crew members will assist guests onto the resort’s private catamaran for a seven-minute ride over to the property.

The most requested treatment at the hotel’s spa is The Castaway Experience, which is a unique spa treatment that takes the spa experience outside with a private sailing excursion on the resort’s yacht, followed by a side-by-side massage on a deserted West Indies island. 

Tip: The experience also includes a made-to-order picnic and a champagne toast. Hint: The spa, through its “Sense of Beginning” menu, makes available a variety of 30-minute treatments for children, including mini-massages, manicures and pedicures.

To further customize a guest’s spa experience, advisors should reach out to Karen McFarlane ([email protected]), spa director.

There isn’t a bad seat at the resort’s signature restaurant and bar, The Estate House, which debuted in December following a year-long, comprehensive restoration. 

The Estate House has a main restaurant and bar with three new private dining rooms, each with a different island-inspired menu, as well as a wine room. There’s also a courtyard space for sipping cocktails before or after dinner.

For all other enquiries, luxury travel advisors should reach out to Andrew Hedley ([email protected]), general manager. 

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