Looking for the latest in luxury living? We've rounded up the best news coming out of the Caribbean this season.
We hear The Residences in Turks and Caicos is vying for the title of best Caribbean address. The standalone residential villa enclave is part of Grace Bay Resorts and offers comforts of a private home with the management of a five-star resort. The Residences on Grace Bay is comprised of three luxury homes (currently under development), each located on a 95-foot-wide stretch of private beach. The homes have 6,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, four bedrooms, four and a half bathrooms and 2,600 square feet of external area with private deck, an infinity pool and outdoor shower. We hear the two oversized master bedrooms have oceanfront views, and the master bathrooms have free-standing tubs, glas showers and double vanities. The Residences start at $3.7 million.
The Hideaways Club, the Europe-based boutique private club, has announced that it formed an alliance with Exclusive Resorts, considered a leader in luxury destination clubs for over 10 years. The new alliance will provide members of both clubs access to a wider collection of luxury residences around the world. The Hideaways Club Members will now enjoy access to over 200 Exclusive Resorts residences in more than 22 destinations, including the Caribbean Islands, Mexico, Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, New York and San Francisco. In return, Exclusive Resorts members will gain access to more than 20 of The Hideaways Club’s properties in over 15 locations throughout Europe, South Africa and Mauritius. As a luxury destination club, Exclusive Resorts provides its members with six offerings, particularly: access to the Residence Collection involving hundreds of homes all around the world; members-only exclusive journey and exclusive immersion adventures; access to exclusive events; exclusive alliances with boutique resort partners; and a variety of exclusive privileges. Founded in 2002, the company has delivered more than 150,000 vacations for its more than 3,500 members.
CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa in Anguilla has reopened following a $15 million renovation completed in continuous stages over the past three months. The renovations include upgrades to the resort’s accommodations, entrance, pools and restaurants. The newly constructed entrance and road integrate the resort’s Greg Norman Signature Design golf course and ocean views into the guest’s arrival experience, as well as a refurbished lobby with updated furniture and carpets. The 93 guestrooms and suites now have an entirely new look with new furnishings, LCD TVs, Bose Wave music systems and Nespresso makers. The main pool and the reflecting pools leading to the beach have all been resurfaced and retiled. The resort’s 18 hole Greg Norman-designed golf course also saw improvements, including an upgrade to the course’s clubhouse. This year CuisinArt opened the first Japanese restaurant in Anguilla, Tokyo Bay, serving sushi and teppanyaki specialties with 360-degree views of the Caribbean Sea and golf course. Italia is the resort’s second new restaurant, and it serves pastas, meat dishes and local seafood specialties. Café Mediterraneo, Beach Grill and the AAA Four Diamond Le Bistro at Santorini all sport new menus with seasonal products.
With the winter cold lingering across much of the northern hemisphere, we find our gaze turned towards sunnier climes. Specifically, the Caribbean, where La Samanna has finished up its renovation. Part of the Orient-Express portfolio, the beachside resort is located on the isle of Saint Martin in the French West Indies. As we reported last year, La Samanna unveiled a new, contemporary look for its guest rooms and suites just in time for 2012 high season. The resort recently completed its renovation by revamping its lobby, restaurants, and villas. The result is a chic, new vibe- and open spaces filled with light and ocean views. The new Trellis restaurant serves traditional French cuisine paired with fine wines (the hotel’s cellar has one of the biggest selections in the Caribbean), while Interlude is a casual al fresco spot, open for breakfast and dinner. Access: St. Martin’s Princess Juliana International Airport has direct daily flights to the U.S., France and the Netherlands. There are also frequent JetBlue flights connecting to San Juan, Puerto Rico.
St Vincent’s first and only luxury resort, Buccament Bay Resort, has teamed up with Gerry Wilton, international chocolate entrepreneur and founder of the world’s only chocolate-themed hotel, located in England, to bring VIPs with a sweet tooth, "The Chocolate Experience at Buccament Bay Resort." Now introducing the concept of chocolate events into the world of travel, Buccament Bay Resort will be the first hotel to debut this delightful event with Wilton in the Caribbean. Available twice as four-day workshops during the month of April. The dates are April 14-17 and April 18-21. VIPs can enjoy a series of tastings and classes that ensure a hands-on experience, enabling participants the chance to hand-make a selection of treats from truffles to chocolate cocktails, and have dibs on the chocolates crafted daily at the property by Gerry Wilton. The cherry on top will be a chocolate-themed Gala Dinner hosted on the final day of each four-day workshop. ‘The Chocolate Experience at Buccament Bay’ is $400 for each four-day program, and includes a chocolate tasting, a chocolate truffle making workshop, a chocolate mold making workshop, a chocolate portrait painting and more. Harlequin Hotels & Resorts, which opened its flagship property, Buccament Bay Resort in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, plans an aggressive expansion in the next few years that includes such destinations as the Dominican Republic. Also, Mark Sawkins, vice president of operations for Harlequin Hotels & Resorts (as well as general manager of Buccament Bay Resort), has told Luxury Travel Advisor in the past that the company is looking beyond the Caribbean and scouting destinations in Central and South America. In fact, the company officially plans on a new hotel in Brazil while Peru continues to be at the top of its wish list. Luxury Travel Advisor also recently got the skinny on the Harlequin Hotels & Resorts' new H Barbados luxury resort to open on the island sometime this year and also got the scoop that the company plans on opening a second property in Barbados as well, although no further details were available. H Barbados will be a roughly 70-room luxury resort located on a beachfront area near Hastings. It's just a short 15-minute ride from the airport.