Top Caribbean Hotel Openings of 2016

Photo by InterContinental Real Santo Domingo

With 2016 coming to an end, we thought it’d be nice to look back on some of the highlights that benefitted the travel industry this year. We’ve compiled a list of the top Caribbean hotels that opened their doors during 2016. Take a look:

InterContinental Real Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, is now home to InterContinental Hotel Group’s (IHG) latest luxury resort. The InterContinental Real Santo Domingo, located at Boca Chica Beach, is less than an hour from Santo Domingo (the capital of the Dominican Republic) and offers guests 227 guest rooms within the hotels 21 stories. The $70 million new-build hotel has a variety of luxury suites, including 16 junior suites and a presidential suite, spanning 2,300 square feet and offering views of the Caribbean Sea. On-site there are two bars and three unique restaurants, catering to both business travelers and weekend getaway guests alike. Guests can enjoy casual dining at The Market Restaurant, live music at Nau Restaurant and formal dining at the Factory Steak and Lobster. For groups, the property offers nearly 9,000 square feet of meeting space, spread between eight rooms, offering a maximum capacity of 750 guests. For relaxation, the hotel has an on-site spa which features two saunas, two steam baths, a 24 hour fitness center with Wi-Fi and TV’s.

Not to Miss: check out the hotel’s infinity pool which offers views overlooking the city.

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Zemi Beach House, Anguilla

Upon its opening, Zemi Beach House became the first hotel on the East End of Anguilla, as well as the first new hotel to open on Anguilla in six years. The boutique hotel opened in Shoal Bay East in February of 2016 with 70 keys and hopes of expanding to 129 rooms within its first year of service. The property is a mix of hotel rooms and luxury residences available for rent through a rental program managed by Trust Hospitality. Accommodations include Deluxe Ocean Rooms, Superior Corner King rooms, two and three bedroom oceanfront suites (with a private terrace and plunge pool) and three-bedroom penthouses, with terraces, living rooms, a kitchen and rooftop plunge pool. All rooms at Zemi Beach House offer balconies or terraces with sea or oceanfront views, however. In room amenities include a Bluetooth speaker, minibar, Wi-Fi,  Malin + Goetz toiletries and more. Be sure to take advantage of the properties around-the-clock concierge service, private chefs, in-room dining and spa options, beach concierge, poolside cabanas, aquatic sports, tennis courts and TechnoGym fitness center.

Not to Miss: Drop the kids off at the Zemi Beach House Kids Club for some adults-only time. Available for children ages four through 12 daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., the Kids Club offers full days of indoor fun for the hotels youngest guests including movie nights, arts and crafts, board and video games, coconut bowling and more.

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Le Barthelemy, St. Barts 

Located minutes from the St. Jean Airport, along a 600-foot beachfront in Grand Cul De Sac, St. Barts, is the newest hotel and member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, Le Barthelemy. As part of the Nature Reserve of Saint-Barthelemy, which is dedicated to preserving the natural environment of the island and maintaining flora and fauna, the hotel offers lush views of the island’s natural resources. In addition to the views, the hotel offers 46 rooms and suites, many of which come with heated plunge pools, all with invisible drop-down screens that can transform outdoor terraces into private enclaves. Bathroom amenities are by Hermes, and the onsite Le Spa by Le Barthelemy has a partnership with La Mer skincare, offering guests the best products in self-care and relaxation. Michelin-starred French chef Guy Martin has created two on-site dining experiences: Le Barth and Aux Amis. Poolside, guests are encouraged to try out Le Turquoise for small bites and fresh juices.

Not to Miss: included in room rates is use of the hotel’s water sports equipment, so don’t forget to take to the seas for some fun in the sun.

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Photo byPink Sands Club

Pink Sands Club, Canouan Island, the Grenadines

Featuring 26 suites and six Lagoon Villas, this new, $120 million, Leading Hotels of the World member has been managed independently since its opening in October. Amenities of the rooms at the Pink Sands Club include state-of-the-art technology like in-room touch-screen tablet devices to manage every aspect of the guest experience, including setting optimum room temperatures and requesting room, spa and golf services. Televisions are mounted discreetly inside a mirror on a sliding door opposing the bed, which moves at the touch of a button to present views of the turquoise lagoon outside. Other details include his and her walk in closets, Wi-Fi, full honor bars, Nespresso coffee and tea makers as well marbled bathroom suites with double vanities, separate tubs and showers. On site leisure facilities include an infinity-edge swimming pool with a three tier tanning deck and a spa offering ESPA treatments in nine hillside and two over water, glass bottomed treatment rooms only accessible via boat.

Not to Miss: Adjacent to the Pink Sands Club is the also newly reimagined Canouan Resort, which has been re-branded as the Canouan Estate as of July 1. Both Pink Sands and Canouan Estate underwent a training program during the summer of 2016, preparing each resort and its staff to provide the best services possible.

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Villa Marie by Maisons et Hôtels Sibuet, St. Barts

From the family-owned luxury hospitality group who brought you Les Fermes de Marie in Megéve and the Villa Marie in St. Tropez comes the second Villa Marie property to hit the Caribbean, Villa Marie St. Barts, which opened its doors to the public in December of 2016. The five-star property, located on the west side of the island and overlooking Flamands Beach, comprises 22 bungalows with terraces and two villas. The Sibuet signature Pure Altitude Spa, a restaurant, and an outdoor swimming pool are also available to guests on site. The new luxury hotel is a conversion of the former Hotel François Plantation, an old colonial house purchased and renovated by the Sibuet family. An onsite bar offers a selection of the finest rums on the island for local tastings, available indoors with cigars at the hotel’s fumoir or outdoors in the heart of the property’s gardens in the open air.

Not to Miss: The François Plantation was known for its world class dining restaurant, and Villa Marie is keeping that tradition by keeping the name of the restaurant the same throughout the renovation and transition. The restaurant's not-to-miss menu pays homage to the original restaurant's roots.

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Photo by Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa

Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, Grand Cayman

Kimpton opened its first Caribbean hotel in 2016, the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, which also marked the Grand Cayman’s first new hotel opening in a decade. The new resort’s design is uniquely Caribbean, but with a polished and rustic British colonial theme. Extensive gardens, local and international art and beach views from nearly every room decorate the grounds. The hotel boasts 266 suites in addition to a variety of beach side bungalows, complete with living rooms, kitchenettes, wet bars and luxurious bathrooms with soaking tubs. The resort is also home to a spa with a traditional Hammam – the only one of its kind in Grand Cayman. Three culinary concepts have been created by executive chef Massimo de Francesca with help from Beverage Manager John Stanton on the cocktail menus – Ave, the resort’s main Mediterranean-inspired restaurant; Avecita, the exclusive chef’s table with just nine seats; and Coccoloba, a Mexican-themed beach side bar, offering a live DJ after sunset.

Not to Miss: take advantage of the Kimpton bikes available to borrow from the property. Ask the concierge for a map of local trails and roads for the best spots to take a ride to.

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