BRIDGETOWN, Barbados:--- The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association (CHTA) continue to receive updates from their members in the northern Leeward Islands and the northern Caribbean following the passage of Hurricane Irma.
Following is an update regarding Irma’s impact on Caribbean destinations, as well as reports from CHTA-member hotels.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua was not impacted minimally by Hurricane Irma with electricity being restored to the capital, St. John’s and most parts of the island. The V.C. Bird International Airport opened for all flights on Thursday, 7 September.
On the other hand, Barbuda, with its approximately 1,800 residents, was severely impacted by the hurricane which passed directly over the small island, resulting in one fatality. The prime minister, Gaston Browne said 90 per cent of homes were destroyed. Barbuda’s hotel infrastructure was also damaged, but with less than 100 hotel rooms the overall effect on tourism as a whole is minimal.
Updates from individual hotels on Antigua are as follows:
- Curtain Bluff: The property emerged from the storm without any damage, and all staff and their families are unharmed. The clean up of the property has begun and communications will soon be restored.
- Cocos Hotel: No long term damage
- Galley Bay: Guests are safe. An in-depth assessment of the property will take place on September 21.
- Hermitage Bay: A little waterlogged from the swells, otherwise all is well.
- Jumby Bay Island: There is no structural damage to any of the resort or homes. A landscaping clean-up will be needed, however. Jumby Bay Island is currently closed as part of its annual maintenance programme and therefore no guests were on the island when Hurricane Irma passed. The reopening remains on schedule for 9 October, 2017.
- Keyonna Beach Resort: No long term damage.
- Pineapple Beach Club: Guests are safe. Scheduled to welcome guests starting 14 September.
- St. James Club: Guests are safe. Scheduled to welcome guests starting 14 September.
- Verandah: Guests are safe. Will reopen as scheduled on 14 October after renovations.
Anguillians are breathing a sigh of relief as Hurricane Jose largely bypassed the island, which was under a tropical storm watch on Saturday, 9 September. Islanders are moving swiftly to rebuild. The Clayton J. Lloyd International Airport (AXA) is now open from sunrise to sunset for charters and emergency flights. The Road Bay Port at Sandy Ground has also reopened and can now receive cargo.
The governor and chief minister are continuing to assess the damage, identify priorities, and coordinate the response through the National Emergency Operations Centre. Aid from the United Kingdom in the form of food, water, medical supplies and technical support has begun to arrive on the island. Community volunteers are fully engaged in the massive clean-up campaign, with centres for the collection of debris from the storm established in key areas around the island.
Many properties are still conducting assessments, but following is a brief update from select stakeholders on island. Additional property updates will be issued as they are made available.
Anguilla Resort Hotels
Carimar Beach Club Management and staff are safe and Carimar is standing strong. The garden looks a little worse for the wear and a few doors and windows were damaged. The clean-up has begun and management will advise of the reopening date, now that Jose has passed.
CeBlue Villas & Beach Resort - Staff are safe and the resort had no guests as it was already closed for the season. The villas and resort buildings held up well against the hurricane and they are all structurally sound. The resort has begun the clean up process, and looks forward to welcoming guests for the season.
Fountain Anguilla The Fountain buildings and grounds are structurally intact. A few of the units suffered some damage from debris. Assessment and clean up are under way and the resort is expected to open for the season.
CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa and The Reef by CuisinArt This property was significantly affected, and engineers are currently assessing the full extent of the damage. The ownership and management have said they are steadfastly committed to restoring, rebuilding and reopening, as well as doing everything possible to help and support their employees through this most difficult time.
Malliouhana, an Auberge Resort Upon preliminary review there appears to be no major structural damage to the resort. The 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, but nothing that can’t be repaired. However, the proposed 1 November opening will be delayed.
Zemi Beach House Zemi Beach had closed to guests in advance of the hurricane. The property held strong during the storm and will be able to welcome guests k before long, although the timing is still uncertain. .
Neveah Villa This property suffered only cosmetic damage. A clean up of the grounds is under way.
Sunset Homes Properties Spyglass Hill will be ready for reopening on 1 November; Little Butterfly survived intact.
Bird of Paradise Bird of Paradise was designed to withstand r 200 mph winds. There was no structural damage to the buildings or to the roof, nor was there any damage to the contents of the villa.
Blanchards received moderate damage and Blanchards Beach Shack is in great shape, requiring just a little clean-up. The owners expect to be able to open both restaurants as soon as the major resorts are open.
daVida Restaurant & Bayside The main restaurant is still intact. However, the canape on the second floor of the loft was lost. The Bar at the Bayside is still intact, but the dining area will be rebuilt. The staff are all safe.
Garveys, Pumphouse and Mango’s were devastated, while Dune Preserve, Elvis’ Beach Bar, Dolce Vita and Ripples also suffered severe damage. Jacala, Geraud’s Patisserie and Grands Vins de France all survived. Johnno’s, Dads, and Picante are still standing, but will require some repairs.
The Islands of The Bahamas
The Lynden Pindling International Airport in Nassau is open and international flights are beginning to return to The Bahamas. The remaining airports will resume operations once they have been assessed and cleared for opening by aviation officials.
Additionally, the Port of Nassau reopened on Sunday,10 September. However, no vessels are expected to arrive until Wednesday, 13 September. All other ports remain closed at this time. Cruise reservation holders should check directly with their cruise provider for updates on departures and itineraries.
There are currently no reports of severe damage to the tourism product throughout the islands.
Below is information on hotel status at this time. Reservation holders should contact properties directly for complete information.
Nassau and Paradise Island
- Atlantis, Paradise Island – open
- Sandals Royal Bahamian – open
- Warwick Paradise Island – Bahamas – open
- Breezes Resort & Spa – Bahamas - Open
- Baha Mar Resort and Casino – open Tuesday, 12 September
- Melia Nassau Beach Resort – open Wednesday, 13 September
- Sandals Emerald Bay – open
The British Virgin Islands
The destruction caused by Hurricane Irma in the British Virgin Islands has been devastating, according to a statement from Sharon Flax-Brutus, the director of tourism. With cell phone towers down and power outages, communication to, from and within, the territory has been difficult, impacting the ability to fully assess the damage. The destination has lost entire structures and many homes are without roofs, or have been diminished to mere foundations.
The Government has begun to coordinate humanitarian relief efforts and an initial clean-up operation. The United Kingdom government has sent relief and support.
Updates from individual hotels in the British Virgin Islands are as follows:
- Anegada Reef: Anegada is fine.
- Bitter End Yacht Club: The hotel was not operational due to annual closure.
- Guana Island: Closed at the time All guests and on-island staff are safe .
- Rosewood Little Dix Bay: Rosewood Little Dix Bay is currently closed for renovation and therefore no guests were present at the resort.
- Scrub Island: All guests and associates are safe.
- Sugar Mill Hotel: The hotel has suffered some damage but so far it appears manageable. The restaurant is expected to open as planned on 12 October, 2017 and 14 October for the hotel.
Hurricane Irma passed over the northern portion of Cuba. It has been reported that Havana has experienced major flooding, power has been knocked and widespread wind damage has impacted the area. Ten people have died in Cuba, according to state television reports issued on 11 Septemer.
Punta Cana International Airport has resumed normal operations following the passage of Hurricane Irmat. The area’s hotel sector is reporting no major damage. Damaged homes and flooded streets in Cabarete and Sosua have been reported.
Barceló Resorts: Barceló Hotel Group confirmed that all of the brand’s resorts in the Dominican Republic are fully operational.
Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada: The hotel is open and operating.
Haiti was relatively unscathed. All services remain in operation and the country continues to welcome visitors. Travellers are advised to contact their local travel or booking agent for detailed arrangements about their bookings.
Moulin Sur Mer has advised it was not affected by Hurricane Irma.
The Puerto Rico Tourism Company (PRTC) is reporting that major tourism infrastructure and attractions are operational and the island can continue to welcome new visitors. The PRTC said while there have been power outages, many hotels, as well as essential services such as hospitals, have generators and are operational. The majority of hotels throughout mainland Puerto Rico are ready to welcome new guests. Attractions such as parks and beaches are currently being assessed to ensure a committed focus on quick clean up in the coming days.
Flights to and from Luis Muñoz Marin International Airport have resumed. Puerto Rico’s port is operational and started receiving ships on 9 September.
Updates from individual hotels in Puerto Rico are as follows:
- Condado Plaza Hilton: Minor damage.
- El Conquistador Resort: El Conquistador Resort is operational. Las Casitas Village will reopen when electricity is restored.
- El San Juan Hotel: The hotel received minimal damage and will reopen as soon as power is restored.
- Hotel El Convento: The hotel escaped damage. Operations were due to resume on 11 September.
- Hyatt House San Juan: The hotel is open and operating.
- Hyatt Place Bayamon: Open and operating.
- Hyatt Place Manati: Open and operating.
- Hyatt Place San Juan City Center: Open and operating.
- Hyatt Residence Club Dorado: Open and operating.
- InterContinental San Juan: Business as usual.
- Rincon Beach: Open for business.
- San Juan Water Beach Club Hotel: Sustained no damage, have full power, and open for business.
- Wyndham Garden at Palmas del Mar: Open and operating.
- Wyndham Grand Rio Mar: Sustained minimal damage and is currently open.
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts & Nevis sustained minimal damage overall and both St. Kitts’ Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport and Nevis’ Vance W. Amory International Airport have reopened.
Hotels in St. Kitts reported no structural damage while Nevis’ hotel updates include:
- Four Seasons Resort Nevis - The resort is in fine shape
- Hermitage Inn General debris, but no structural damage
- The Great House and Cottages at Nisbett Plantation Beach Club in excellent condition. However, there was damage to the Sea Breeze Beach Bar, the decking and the beach.
It has been reported that St. Barth’s was heavily impacted by Hurricane Irma which destroyed government buildings and badly damaged private homes The French government has sent people and supplies to the country to assist with recovery efforts.
St. Maarten (Dutch) / St. Martin (French)
The recovery effort continues. Director of tourism for Dutch St. Maarten Rolando Brison is reporting that Sun Wing has evacuated some visitors to Montreal, Canada, while other guests have also been evacuated. The Princess Juliana International Airport has been receiving flights that are bringing in relief supplies, and evacuating guests. No passengers, including media, are being allowed in at the moment due to a shortage of staff to man the airport. The airport reopened on Sunday 10 September for relief flights after the passage of Hurricane Jose in the region.
Updates from St. Maarten / St. Martin hotels are as follows:
- Beach Plaza: Badly damaged
- Belair Beach Hotel: Sustained damage and it will take time to repair. Phone service and internet down.
- Esmeralda Resort: Hotel 70 per cent destroyed.
- Hotel Mercure: Damaged
- La Vista Hotel: The Beach building is relatively in decent shape. The roof tiles came off 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. All guests and employees are fine.
- Summit Resort Hotel: Due to extensive damages, the Summit Resort will remain closed.
- Westin Dawn Beach: Suffered significant damage.·
- Sonesta: Resort damage is severe. All further reservations from now through the end of 2017 have been canceled.
CTO Press Release