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Island Update: What’s New in Curaçao

WILLEMSTAD, CURAÇAO – July 2017 – Known for its unique heritage, European architecture and intimate cove-like beaches, the colorful island of Curaçao is heating up in more ways than one this summer. This quarter, the ABC island in the Southern Caribbean welcomed several hotel renovations and an island-wide dining promotion, and is gearing up for its fifth annual PRIDE celebration. Read below to find out what’s new in Curaçao.

ISLAND NEWS

  • Curaçao Named “Top Cruise Destination in the Southern Caribbean”

Curaçao, known for its distinctive Dutch colorful architecture and colonial charm, was recently named “Top Cruise Destination in the Southern Caribbean” by Cruise Critic, the largest online cruise resource. The Cruise Critic Cruisers’ Choice Destination Awards, now in its second year, ranks 15 destinations across regions worldwide. The ratings are influenced by consumer feedback, with awards based on port reviews from July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017. For more information, visit www.cruisecritic.com/memberreviews/destination-awards/.

HOTEL NEWS 

  • Avila Beach Hotel Completes Renovation

Avila Beach Hotel, the oldest operational hotel in Curaçao, recently completed a $600,000 renovation to its Ocean Front Blues Wing. The rooms have been fully upgraded with contemporary decor, new beds, soundproof walls, and modern bathroom and balcony furniture. Additionally, the beachfront property, which is walking distance from Willemstad and was featured in this year’s iconic Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, replaced the roof on its Sea Terrace Patio and Belle Terrace restaurant. For more information, visit www.avilabeachhotel.com.

  • Kontiki Beach Resort Acquires Cabana Beach

Kontiki Beach Resort recently acquired Cabana Beach, the trendy neighboring beach club featuring chic day beds, scenic water views, free WiFi and plush lounge chairs shaded by breezy palapas. Just steps away from the private beach is the club’s restaurant & bar, open from noon to 10 p.m. daily, for beachgoers to enjoy lunch, dinner and small bites. The new addition of Cabana Beach marks Kontiki Beach Resort’s second beach club on the island. The resort recently opened MOOD Beach, the adjoining bohemian-inspired beachfront sanctuary. For more information, visit www.cabanabeachcuracao.com.

  • Floris Suite Hotel – Spa and Beach Club Updates Guest Rooms

Floris Suite Hotel – Spa and Beach Club, an adults-only boutique hotel in Piscadera Bay, recently upgraded its suites with a new paint scheme and sleeker design to make them more suitable for business travelers. The property, which is a short drive from downtown and Hato International Airport, offers free WiFi, affordable rates for meeting spaces, and spacious apartment-style accommodations with living rooms and fully equipped kitchens that are ideal for extended business trips. To celebrate the upgrades, visitors can take advantage of special introductory rates starting at $79/night for travel now through August. For more information, visit www.florissuitehotel.com.

  • Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curaçao Unveils Renovated Guest Rooms

This month, Lions Dive & Beach Resort Curaçao unveiled the remainder of its renovated apartments and suites, including 24 Lions Apartments, four One-Bedroom Lions Suites and the Penthouse. To give the guest rooms a fresh island-inspired appearance, the dark colonial furniture and cabinetry have been replaced with lighter pieces, evoking a more modern look and feel to match the rooms’ ocean views. For more information, visit www.lionsdive.com/en.

DINING NEWS

  • CHATA to Launch All-Inclusive Curaçao Dine Around Plan

On Aug. 5, the Curaçao Hospitality & Tourism Association will launch the Curaçao Dine Around Plan, an all-inclusive culinary experience that gives travelers the opportunity to taste signature Curaçaoan flavors and try multiple restaurants at a fixed price. Dining plans can be personalized with options for travelers to select breakfast, lunch, and dinner at more than 50 participating restaurants. Visitors can purchase their desired dining plan prior to or during their stay in Curaçao. After purchasing, travelers will receive digital tickets containing a unique QR code, which will be scanned before each meal. For more information, please visit www.dinearoundplan.com.

  • Baoase Culinary Beach Restaurant Presents Fruits de Mer Menu

This August, Baoase Luxury Resort will offer a new Fruits de Mer seafood menu along with its signature dinner menu. Guests can create their own shellfish platters with royal Ossetra caviar, Canadian lobster, mussels, oysters, escargot, grilled shrimp and more. For $75/person, guests can opt for the Chef’s Mix, a combination of fresh seafood served with aioli, curry, red wine vinegar and other sauces. The special Fruits de Mer Menu will debut on Aug. 3, and will only be available on Thursdays. For more information, visit www.baoase.com.

  • Hofi Cas Cora Introduces Five-Course, Farm-to-Table Event

On July 20, Hofi Casa Cora, the island’s first true farm-to-table restaurant, introduced its new fine-dining event, “Haute Cuisine den Hofi.” Diners were treated to a five-course dinner and expert wine pairings courtesy of The Wine Factory. The dinner included farm-raised duck, various sides made of locally sourced produce, and a brief explanation by the chef about the ingredients and flavors associated with each course. Hofi Cas Cora, acclaimed for its fresh seasonal ingredients and popular weekend brunch, has plans to repeat the event every month or so. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/hoficascora.

  • Koraal Rooftop Terrace Launches Sushi Saturday

Koraal Rooftop Terrace, a trendy rooftop bar in the Coral Estate, recently introduced Sushi Saturdays. The sushi chef will create delicious rolls, sashimi and nigiri, which can be enjoyed during lunch, dinner, or as light bites while hanging out by the infinity pool or basking in the restaurant’s 270° water views. As a part of the new initiative, the bartenders will create Japanese-inspired cocktails to pair with the sushi rolls. During Sushi Saturdays, guests can also order from the traditional lunch and dinner menus, which include guest favorites such as the Surf & Turf Salad, Dutch Bitternallen, the Tuna Tataki Sandwich and Hangersteak. For more information, visit www.koraalcuracao.com.

DIVING NEWS 

  • Scuba Lodge Adopts Dive Site

The Scuba Lodge Dive Center and Project AWARE, a foundation empowering thousands of divers in more than 182 countries, have adopted the Scuba Lodge house reef, which is located right outside of the boutique Pietermaai hotel.  Together, these organizations are making an effort to ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy the underwater diversity of Curaçao, which is home to more than 65 different dive sites. The new partnership will include a monthly ‘Dive Against Debris’ initiative to clean Curaçao’s reefs, with the first event scheduled for Aug. 6, 2017. To take part in the initiative, travelers can sign up by visiting www.facebook.com/ScubaLodgeDiveCenter.

OPERATOR NEWS

  • Serena’s Art Factory Debuts Chichi® with Child

Curaçao’s signature Chichi® dolls, often spotted around Willemstad sporting brightly colored dresses with island-inspired patterns, are a tribute to Chichi, meaning ‘big sister’ in the local dialect of Papiamento. Serena Janet, the doll’s creator, recently introduced a new mother and child design to the collection, which are now available to paint during walk-in workshops held on Thursday evenings and Friday mornings. As a part of the new design, the red heart on Chichi’s hand symbolizes love, while the child on the mother’s back illustrates those that Chichi protects. For more information, visit www.chichi-curacao.com.

  • Does Travel Offers New Bus Tours

Well-known tour operator, Does Travel, now offers four new bus tours for visitors to experience Curaçao’s attractions, historical sites, 35 cove-like beaches and exciting nightlife. The new routes include an Island Tour from the east side of the island to Westpunt, a Beach Hopping Tour, a Hato Caves Tour and an Ostrich Farm Combination tour. Additionally, the company is known for its lively La Cucaracha Dinner Tour and Fun & Nightlife Tour. For more information, visit http://www.facebook.com/DoesTravelCuracao.

EVENTS

  • Renaissance Curaçao Presents: Caribbean Queens Concert, August 26, 2017

The Renaissance Curaçao Resort & Casino is hosting its annual concert, this year with a “Caribbean Queens” theme. The event, which takes place on Aug. 26 from 7:30 p.m. to midnight, features three performers, including Curaçao native, Mafalda Minguel, and Netherlands natives, Shirma Rouse and Izaline Calister. General admission starts at $31/per person and a VIP section, which includes two beverages and snacks, will be available starting at $79/per person. For more information, visit www.renaissancecuracao.com.

  • Curaçao PRIDE, September 28 – October 1, 2017

As one of the most LGBT-friendly destinations in the Caribbean, PRIDE Week returns to Curaçao Sept. 28 – Oct. 1 for its fifth year in a row. With Curaçao’s widespread ‘live and let live’ attitude, Curaçao PRIDE has gained international acclaim among LGBT travelers. The four-day event includes a PRIDE walk from Punda to Otrobanda, a Rainbow Lounge cocktail party, a “Navigaytion Sea Parade,” a white party, and a final oceanfront bash on Moomba Beach. The adults-only Floris Suite Hotel – Spa and Beach Club in Piscadera Bay will serve as the host hotel for the entire event. For more information, visit www.curacaopride.com.

To learn more about Curaçao, please visit www.curacao.com, call toll free 1.800.328.7222 or download our brochure at http://curacao.com/brochure. Find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/Curacaotb, Twitter: @CuracaoTravel or Instagram: CuracaoTB

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News

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Pure Grenada Hosts Region’s Premier Tourism Forum

(St. George’s, Grenada) 21st July 2017— Pure Grenada, Spice of the Caribbean, will host the region’s premier tourism forum, the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) State of the Industry Conference (SOTIC) from 9th-13th October, 2017.

The Conference will take place at the Radisson Grand Beach Resort, Grand Anse, bringing together senior industry decision makers and interested partners to address the biggest concerns and opportunities for Caribbean tourism.

SOTIC 2017 was launched in Grenada with a press conference featuring Government of Grenada, CTO and Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA) officials.  The theme for this year is “Supercharging the Caribbean Brand: Meeting the Needs of the New Explorer.” CTO Director for the US Sylma Brown Bramble promises that the theme presents a unique opportunity to focus on the changing dynamics in the industry. “We have to ensure that the Caribbean is positioned and ready to capture the interest of the new explorer who wants adventure and authentic experiences.”

Grenada’s Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Hon. Clarice Modeste Curwen remarked that the Government and people of Grenada are delighted to host the premier tourism forum in the region. Apart from discussing the major issues affecting the tourism industry, SOTIC is an excellent opportunity for member countries to showcase their tourism product to international and regional audiences.  The Minister announced, “Pure Grenada will be hosting destination tours in order that all delegates can get to know and love the Spice of the Caribbean. Indeed, we have so much to share- from our gorgeous waterfalls and pristine beaches to our ‘bean to bar’ chocolate and cuisine tours.”

The CTO is ensuring a packed programme with amazing speakers who are sure to provide keen insights on how to supercharge the Caribbean brand.  Chief Executive Officer of the GTA, Patricia Maher says local participation is key. “It does not matter how big or small your business is, if you play a role in Tourism or you contribute to the industry in any way, you need to register for SOTIC and take advantage of the international networking opportunities and the many informative seminars right here in St. George’s.”

The local delegate registration fee is US 75 dollars per day or US 200 dollars for the entire conference. The CTO State of the Industry Conference brings together some 300 tourism industry leaders from the 30 member-countries of the CTO, as well as representatives of the regional and international private sector, academics, media, students, travel trade partners and other industry stakeholders from within and outside the region.

For information regarding registration please click on the following link: http://sotic.onecaribbean.org/register/ .

To view an invitation from Dr Modeste-Curwen, please click on the following link: http://bit.ly/2uwSamx

Posted in: 2017 News, Blog, Destination News, SOTIC

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Saint Lucia Named On Top Caribbean Islands List

SAINT LUCIA (July 14, 2017): Travel + Leisure, a leading US travel publication, has named Saint Lucia as one of the best Caribbean islands to visit. The magazine has just released the results of its 2017 World’s Best Awards Survey and Saint Lucia emerged as one of its leading Caribbean vacation destinations. Every year, Travel + Leisure asks its readers to share and rate their holiday experiences from around the world. Readers are invited to give their opinions on categories such as hotels and resorts, spas, sights and attractions, food, friendliness and general value for money. Based on readers’ feedback and rating, Travel + Leisure then produces its annual top list of premier places to visit and experience.

For its Top Islands in the Caribbean list, the publication cited some key characteristics that these destinations shared such as secluded beaches, luxurious resorts and spas, and off-the-beaten-track experiences and sites. With a score of 82.6 out of 100, Saint Lucia emerged ahead of Barbados and other OECS countries except for Anguilla that got 86.8. Travel + Leisure highlighted the fact that travelers were attracted to destinations that offered more than the typical tourist experience of sun, sea and sand. Saint Lucia continues to be a favourite because it offers unique attractions such as the iconic twin peaks, the Pitons, the world’s only drive-in volcano and the Sulphur Springs mud baths. The magazine also named Jade Mountain in its top 100 hotels in the world with the hotel coming in at number 25, an outstanding achievement for the locally owned property.

For more information about the island of Saint Lucia, call 1-800-456-3984, or 1-888 4STLUCIA or visit http://stlucia.org/.

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Line up of Dominica’s 20th World Creole Music Festival Announced

On October 27 – 29, 2017, the Windsor Park Sports Stadium in Roseau will come alive for the highly anticipated World Creole Music Festival.
Launched to promote the Dominican  tourism product and create a world class platform for indigenous Dominican music, the World Creole Music Festival has become a renowned staple on the regional music gala calendar. Over a trinity of enthralling evenings beginning on the final Friday in October each year, patrons are treated to a cavalcade of star power, emanating from the Caribbean, French Antilles, Africa and North America, arranged to thrill the seasoned festival goer and novice alike.

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Antigua and Barbuda Welcome “The Voice” Winner Chris Blue & Wife For Their Honeymoon

St. John’s, Antigua (July 17, 2017) – Antigua and Barbuda welcomed ‘The Voice’ 2017 Winner Chris Blue and his new wife Stephanie to the popular destination in the Caribbean for their honeymoon with a VIP reception. The newlyweds landed in the Caribbean’s most romantic destination to the sounds of local musicians where they were personally greeted by the Minister of Tourism, Economic Development, Investment and Energy, the Honorable Asot A. Michael. As part of the VIP Welcome and reception, the newly-married couple, who arrived from London where their wedding took place, also received a special wedding blessing from the CEO of the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority, Colin C. James.

The couple will be spending the next week in Antigua and Barbuda, enjoying their time as a new couple at the Award Winning Hermitage Bay Resort, before Chris returns to the US to continue his concert and recording schedule. Chris Blue is the latest winner of the popular program, The Voice, and is celebrating his newfound popularity with sold out concerts in Tennessee and performing at the Fourth of July Concert in Washington, DC on PBS. Chris Blue is the second celebrity to choose Antigua and Barbuda as a honeymoon destination in recent weeks, following upon Lionel Messi, arguable the world’s greatest soccer player, honeymooning earlier in the month with his new wife at luxury getaway, Jumby Bay.

“We are honored that Chris Blue and his new wife Stephanie chose Antigua and Barbuda as their destination of choice for their honeymoon. This further asserts our position as the most romantic destination in the Caribbean. We look forward to providing the new couple with an unforgettable honeymoon experience with everything we have to offer visitors including our beautiful white and pink beaches, award-winning properties, gastronomy, and the friendliness and warmth of our people. We look forward to seeing the destination through their eyes,” said Asot A Michael, Minister of Tourism of Economic Development, Investment and Energy at the welcome reception.

Known for being the most romantic destination in the Caribbean, Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island paradise that offers visitors two uniquely distinct experiences, ideal temperatures year-round, a rich history, vibrant culture, exhilarating excursions, award-winning resorts, mouth-watering cuisine and 365 stunning pink and white-sand beaches one for every day of the year.

To find out more about Antigua and Barbuda visit www.visitantiguabarbuda.com.

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Start Your Summer With Antigua And Barbuda’s ‘Summer of 60’

July 11, 2017 (St. John’s, Antigua) – With the Summer now officially on, the Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority has launched an exciting ‘Summer of 60’ Promotion to ensure visitors to Antigua and Barbuda experience way more than the destination’s gorgeous 365 beaches, this summer.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Carnival Season is in full effect and visitors will be in the middle of the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival: Antigua’s Carnival (www.antiguacarnival.com) which officially runs from July 28 – August 8th.  The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s ‘Summer of 60’ promotion celebrates the 60th Anniversary of Carnival, highlighting the vibrant carnival events that visitors can take part in:

  • July 27: The Iron Band Jam
  • July 28: The Glow Opening Parade and Official Opening Ceremony of Carnival and Concert
  • July 29 :T-Shirt Mas
  • July 30: Jaycees Caribbean Queen Show
  • July 31: Scotia Bank Teen Splash
  • Aug 1: Emancipation Day;  Calypso Classic and Comedy
  • Aug 2:  LIAT Caribbean Melting Pot
  • Aug 3 : Flow Junior Carnival; State Insurance Junior Calypso Monarch; ECAB Junior Soca Monarch
  • Aug 4:  ACB Panorama
  • Aug 5:  Flow Party Monarch Competition
  • Aug 6: Wadadli Beer Calypso Monarch Competition
  • Aug 7: J’Ouvert; Carnival Monday’s Judging of the Bands
  • Aug 8:  Carnival Tuesday’s Parade of the Bands; Last Lap

The  hotels, restaurants, boutiques, tours and excursion providers in the country, have also teamed up with the Tourism Authority for the ‘Summer of 60’ Promotion, raising awareness of the destination as a lively summer holiday spot and providing an opportunity for visitors to save up to 60% off on various experiences while on vacation.

The ‘Summer of 60’ promotion (www.visitantiguabarbuda.com/summer60 ) features some amazing offers such as:

  • The Carib House’s up to 60% OFF our peak season prices over the summer season. thecaribhouse.com
  • South Coast Horizon’s ‘Stay and Play’ Summer of 60 room and half-day kayak tours from US$110 southcoasthorizons.com
  • Columbian Emeralds, up to 60% OFF on an exquisite selection of fine Jewelry
  • Ana’s on The Beach Restaurant US$60 Summer Day Pass which includes All day water sports, cabana beds day rental, lunch and drinks, shower and changing room anas.ag
  • Joy Sailing Tours US$60 OFF any tour booked using discount code SP60 joysailingtours.com
  • Thriller Tours 36% OFF on high-speed, luxury boat tours thrillertoursantigua.com
  • Dboat Antigua, 20% OFF with discount code “summer60” when booking on dboatantigua.com.
  • Elements Antigua 20% OFF on all treatments facebook.com/elementsantigua/
  • Wadadli Cats 20% OFF with booking made directly to Wadadli Cats wadadlicats.com 

The Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority’s Summer of 60 Promotion ends on October 12, 2017. The full list of discount offers and events are available on www.visitantiguabarbuda.com/summer60

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Anguilla Named Best Caribbean Island In Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017

The Valley, Anguilla, July 11, 2017…….The Anguilla Tourist Board (ATB) is pleased to announce that Anguilla has won top honors as “Best Island in the Caribbean, Bermuda & Bahamas”, in Travel + Leisure World’s Best Awards 2017.

Travel + Leisure is the largest travel magazine brand in the United States, and the winners of the prestigious award are determined by their annual World’s Best Awards survey, now in its 22nd year.  Readers are invited to participate through Travel + Leisure magazine, T+L tablet editions, newsletters, social media, and travelandleisure.com, and this year’s edition once again attracted record participation from their enthusiastic audiences.

“We are thrilled that Anguilla was voted the #1 Island in the Caribbean by the readers of Travel + Leisure, a discerning group of experienced global travelers,” said ATB Chairperson, Mrs. Donna Banks. “This Award represents a tremendous vote of confidence in our destination, and inspires us to take pride in our island, invest in our product, and burnish our unique brand of Anguillian hospitality that has no doubt enabled us to secure this privileged position,” she continued.

Two iconic Anguillian properties feature in the “Top 25 Resort Hotels Caribbean, Bermuda, Bahamas” category – Zemi Beach House, at #10, and Malliouhana, An Auberge Resort, at #19.

For a complete list of all the winners, visit www.travelandleisure.com/worldsbest ; the August 2017 “World’s Best Awards” issue goes on sale at newsstands today. A special cocktail reception to celebrate the winners will be held in New York City on July 26, 2017.

For more information on Anguilla please visit the official website of the Anguilla Tourist Board: www.IvisitAnguilla.com; follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/AnguillaOfficial; Instagram: @Anguilla_Tourism; Twitter: @Anguilla_Trsm, Hashtag: #MyAnguilla.

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