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Destinations

Botswanas Xigera Lodge set to reopen

The Red Carnation Hotel Collection is scheduled to open the completely refurbished Xigera Lodge in June, its first safari property in Botswana.

Xigera, located on the western side of the Moremi Game Reserve in the heart of the Okavango Delta, comprises 12 fully air-conditioned suites. The focus at Xigera will be on the quality of the service, with 105 staffers attending 24 guests. Facilities include a library, where visiting specialists will give talks and screen wildlife documentaries, a dining room, an interactive kitchen, a bar and wine cellar and a traditional boma for storytelling and stargazing. Wellness areas include a gym, swimming pool and spa.

Travelers will be able to enjoy game drives as well as exploration of the delta by motorboat and traditional mokoro (canoes commonly used in the region). Private walking safaris, photographic safaris and workshops, private yoga sessions, helicopter excursions and bush lunch or picnics will also be available.

Red Carnation is a family-owned hospitality group that currently owns a trio of properties in South Africa.

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Dubai to close all eating outlets for two weeks; drive thru, deliveries to continue

Restaurants and cafes at hotels and hotel apartments serving their guests have been exempt

The ruling does not apply to restaurants and cafes at hotels and hotel apartments serving their guests (picture for illustrative purposes only). 

Dubai is to close all eating establishments, including restaurants, cafes, cafeterias coffee shops, for two weeks.

“In line with precautionary measures announced by MOHAP [Ministry of Health and Prevention] and NCEMA [National Crisis & Emergency Management Authority], Dubai Municipality announces the closure of all restaurants, cafes, cafeterias, coffee shops and all establishments offering food services in shopping centers/malls, and all locations in Dubai and halted all their activities for 2 weeks starting from 23rd March 2020,” it was announced in a statement on Monday.

However, the ruling does not apply to restaurants and cafes at hotels and hotel apartments serving their guests.

Drive thru, food delivery and food transportation services will continue, the statement added.

In a statement issued by the state news agency WAM, it was announced on Monday that the UAE has decided to close all commercial centres, and shopping malls along with fish, meat and vegetables markets for a period of at least two weeks.

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Margaritaville in Nassau to open this summer

The Margaritaville Beach Resort Nassau plans a summer opening.

The 284-room property is spread across two towers. The Hotel Tower offers 155 oceanview rooms and suites, and the One Particular Harbour Tower will have 129 residential condos ranging from studios to a four-bedroom penthouse, each equipped with a full kitchen.

The condos are privately owned but will be placed in the hotel rental pool when not owner-occupied.

Resort facilities will include the Fins Up water park with slides, a lazy river, climbing wall, dive pool, grotto, surf machine, beach with loungers and private cabanas and a 45-slip marina.

The entertainment complex features virtual reality sports, karaoke, bowling, billiards and a movie theater.

Eleven food and beverage venues include a two-story waterfront restaurant and lounge, a rooftop cigar lounge, a French bakery, pool bars and a steak and seafood eatery.

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Caribbean Resorts and Destinations Expand COVID-19 Restrictions

Top Caribbean hotels, resorts and destinations followed through with wider closures and shutdowns as COVID-19 spreads globally. The closures come as more destinations across the tourism-reliant region take action to prevent increasing their own coronavirus infection levels.

Two signature Caribbean resort operators were among the most recent COVID-19 victims. Nassau’s Baha Mar resort will suspend operations at 3 p.m. on March 25 until further notice, said company officials in a statement. “We will be working closely with our nation’s government to ensure that we do all we can to support our associates financially over the coming days,” said officials.

“As the global community grapples with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic, the safety, and well-being of our staff, partners, guests and citizens of The Bahamas are our top priority,” the statement adds.

“During this time, we will be working with reservation holders to refund or reschedule planned stays” at the properties three hotels, the Grand Hyatt Baha Mar, Rosewood Baha Mar and SLS Baha Mar. Officials are encouraging guests to “contact your travel professional or the resort directly.”

“The weeks ahead are sure to be trying,” the statement reads, “but we look forward with hope and anticipation to a time when we will welcome our guests and associates back to our property for the spectacular experiences we are known for around the world.”

Sandals Resorts will close its properties between March 30 and May 15, 2020 due to COVID-19, said Gordon “Butch” Stewart, the all-inclusive resort company’s chairman. Sandals operates 19 resort properties in Antigua, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas and the Turks & Caicos.

The firm’s Beaches Resorts properties will also close during the period, and the company will not accept new reservations beyond March 23. “Never could we have imagined the impact the current global health crisis would have on the world,” said Stewart.

“Now more than ever, the safety and health of our valued guests and team members is of paramount importance.” Stewart said the combination of “recent global travel warnings, coupled with airline carrier cancellations” led to the decision to close the resorts.

Stewart also pointed out that Caribbean destinations and tourism companies have frequently dealt with adversity and have proven their ability to rebound. “The Caribbean is resilient, said Stewart. “We have always come back better, stronger and more passionate than ever. We promise this time will be no exception.

He added, “Our team will be reaching out to you to assist with rescheduling your plans. This way, you can spend less time trying to reach us and more time with loved ones. We will take this time to make further enhancements to our resorts. Soon come back.”

Jamaica’s iconic luxury resort Half Moon also announced it would close temporarily due to COVID-19 restrictions. “We recognize the need to do all we can to ensure the health and safety for our entire Half Moon family: guests, service professionals and community,” said company officials.

“Therefore, we have taken the difficult decision to temporarily close the resort” through May 1, 2020, officials said. Half Moon’s reservations team and website however “remain open for bookings beyond this date range.”

“The company continues to liaise with the government on this situation,” officials add. “We are committed to reopening Half Moon as soon as it is prudent to do so.”

Destination Report

Several Caribbean countries, meanwhile, updated policies and enhanced preventative measures as the illness spread.

The Turks and Caicos has no confirmed coronavirus cases, said officials at the Ministry of Tourism and Tourist Board, yet still implemented new regulations that affect travel to the destination. All air and seaports have been closed and no visitors will be permitted to enter or transit through the Turks and Caicos for 21 days.

Turks and Caicos native and resident returning to the territory are exempt from the border closure, as are emergency, cargo and medical flights and ships. Residents will be required to self-quarantine upon their return.

Martinique has extended earlier-announced restrictions by closing Aimé Césaire International Airport to all international flights on March 23. The same regulations apply to the four other French overseas Caribbean islands of Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, Guadeloupe and French Guyana.

In addition Martinique’s hotels and villa rentals “are bringing their activities to a close, while waiting for the departure of their last guests,” Martinique Tourism Authority officials said. New guests will be prohibited and amenities including pools, spa and other activities have been closed.

Additionally, the Martinique Port Authority has halted all cruise calls scheduled for the season and “all maritime transportations are suspended.” Restaurants and bars across the country are closed, and public transportation, along with “all businesses” excepting supermarkets, banks and pharmacies are also closed.

Anguilla also announced a temporary border closure despite a lack of confirmed coronavirus cases. The country closed its air and seaports to “all passenger movements” for 14 days on March 20 “in light of the most recent global developments,” according to a joint statement from the island’s governor and premier.

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Abu Dhabi orders tour operators to halt services in new tourism blow

Special teams of inspectors will ensure the ban on activities for all sea cruises, desert camps, safaris is being enforced

DCT- Abu Dhabi has instructed all tour operators to immediately suspend services and activities for all sea cruises, desert camps, safaris and floating restaurants.

Abu Dhabi on Thursday ordered the suspension of all tourism tour activities in the emirate in the latest coronavirus-related blow to the industry.

In line with recommended preventative measures for Covid-19, the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi (DCT- Abu Dhabi) has instructed all tour operators to immediately suspend services and activities for all sea cruises, desert camps, safaris and floating restaurants.

“The suspension of activities and services comes into force with immediate effect and will be in place until further notice,” said a statement from the DCT Abu Dhabi.

It added that special teams of inspectors will ensure the ban is being enforced to guarantee the health and safety of all residents, visitors and employees.

“All operators are expected to comply with the ban, with penalties to be issued to any entities not adhering to the new rule,” said the statement, which was carried by state news agency WAM.

Previously, DCT Abu Dhabi announced the closure of cultural sites including Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, Qasr Al Hosn, Culture Foundation, Al Ain Palace Museum, Al Ain Oasis, Al Jahili Fort and Qasr Al Muwaiji.

Qasr Al Watan Tour, Warner Bros World Abu Dhabi, Yas Waterworld Abu Dhabi and Ferrari World Abu Dhabi were also be affected by the closure order which was effective from last Sunday.

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Hyatt unveils plan to open Makkah luxury hotel in 2025

Hyatt Hotels Corporation signs a management agreement with Umm Alqura for the construction of a Grand Hyatt branded hotel in the holy city of Makkah

Located close to the Grand Mosque, the 756-room property will be an integral component of the King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) mixed-use urban development project.

Hyatt Hotels Corporation has announced that an affiliate has entered into a management agreement with Umm Alqura for the construction of a Grand Hyatt branded hotel in the holy city of Makkah in Saudi Arabia.

Located close to the Grand Mosque, the 756-room property will be an integral component of the King Abdul Aziz Road (KAAR) mixed-use urban development project, a statement said.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is one of Hyatt’s prime focus areas within the Middle East,” said Ludwig Bouldoukian, regional vice president of development, Middle East and North Africa for Hyatt.

“The country’s significant strides to boost tourism complements our own commitment to creating a pipeline in markets that matter most.”

Slated to open in January 2025, Grand Hyatt Makkah will be the first Grand Hyatt hotel in Makkah and the second Grand Hyatt hotel in Saudi Arabia, joining Grand Hyatt Al Khobar which is slated to open later this year.

“Grand Hyatt Makkah represents a prestigious addition to the King Abdul Aziz Road project, which will contribute to our goal of better serving the needs of visitors and residents in Makkah,” said Yasser Abuateek, CEO of Umm Alqura for Development and Construction.

The kingdom aims to attract more than 30 million tourists annually by 2030.

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Seeing Bangkok in new light at Hyatt Regency

There are few skylines more compelling than Bangkok’s. As seen from above, the Chao Phraya river snakes through a sea of ancient temples and towering steel. At sundown, the sky fades to a bluish gray as the cityscape begins its steady nighttime transformation from flickering twinkles to a full-on grid of neon. To see Bangkok from its rooftops is an unforgettable experience, and a recently opened hotel is bringing it alive with a fresh perspective.

In December 2018, the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit opened its doors, marking the Hyatt Regency brand’s entry into the capital of Thailand. The luxe hotel embodies many of the buzzwords that make Bangkok so iconic: high-tech, traditional, a touch of audacity.

The hotel sits on one of the city’s most well-known thoroughfares, near the Nana neighborhood, the veritable red-light district of Bangkok. 

The nod to the traditional is matched only by the 21st-century touches that bring this hotel to the forefront of modern design. 

The 31-story, mixed-use development (it also includes condos and retail shopping) was conceived as a modern Thai house, and each detail is a nod to Thai history as told through decorative pieces of art, furniture and rugs. Walls and tucked-away corners pop with elegant sculptures designed by local artist Ajarn Nontiwat Jantanapalin.

The hotel features 273 guestrooms, including 21 suites. Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows that give a sweeping, clean line over the city. Rooms start at 377 square feet, and each one is equipped with the Hyatt Mobile Entry technology, which means that a guest can use a smartphone to open their room.

In addition, each room has a Handy smartphone that allows guests to stay connected while exploring the city. Guests on the 27th floor have access to the Regency Club Lounge, which includes privileges like private check-in and checkout as well as complimentary food and beverages with city views.

One of the highlights of the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit can be found perched on the top three floors of the hotel. Spectrum Lounge & Bar has positioned itself as a prime gathering spot for guests, business travelers and upscale residents looking to see and be seen with a cocktail in hand and the intensity of an illuminated Bangkok by night.

The lounge experience serves choice cuts of grilled meats, seafood, craft cocktails and whiskey, with live music permeating the three-story space, which opens to an open-air rooftop.

There are two other dining outlets, including a lobby lounge bar and Market Cafe, which serves authentic Thai cuisine.

For a different city view, this time during the day, step out onto the sixth-floor terrace for an outdoor, free-form swimming pool tucked amid a lush garden. Other amenities of this outdoor playground include a whirlpool, pool bar, steam room and a 24-hour gym.

To ease city exploration, the hotel is located with direct access to the BTS Skytrain Nana Station. It is within a short trip to the National Museum, Asiatique Riverfront, EmQuartier shopping and the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha.

Rates begin at $155.

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Destinations

Seeing Bangkok in new light at Hyatt Regency

There are few skylines more compelling than Bangkok’s. As seen from above, the Chao Phraya river snakes through a sea of ancient temples and towering steel. At sundown, the sky fades to a bluish gray as the cityscape begins its steady nighttime transformation from flickering twinkles to a full-on grid of neon. To see Bangkok from its rooftops is an unforgettable experience, and a recently opened hotel is bringing it alive with a fresh perspective.

In December 2018, the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit opened its doors, marking the Hyatt Regency brand’s entry into the capital of Thailand. The luxe hotel embodies many of the buzzwords that make Bangkok so iconic: high-tech, traditional, a touch of audacity.

The hotel sits on one of the city’s most well-known thoroughfares, near the Nana neighborhood, the veritable red-light district of Bangkok. 

The nod to the traditional is matched only by the 21st-century touches that bring this hotel to the forefront of modern design. 

The 31-story, mixed-use development (it also includes condos and retail shopping) was conceived as a modern Thai house, and each detail is a nod to Thai history as told through decorative pieces of art, furniture and rugs. Walls and tucked-away corners pop with elegant sculptures designed by local artist Ajarn Nontiwat Jantanapalin.

The hotel features 273 guestrooms, including 21 suites. Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows that give a sweeping, clean line over the city. Rooms start at 377 square feet, and each one is equipped with the Hyatt Mobile Entry technology, which means that a guest can use a smartphone to open their room.

In addition, each room has a Handy smartphone that allows guests to stay connected while exploring the city. Guests on the 27th floor have access to the Regency Club Lounge, which includes privileges like private check-in and checkout as well as complimentary food and beverages with city views.

One of the highlights of the Hyatt Regency Bangkok Sukhumvit can be found perched on the top three floors of the hotel. Spectrum Lounge & Bar has positioned itself as a prime gathering spot for guests, business travelers and upscale residents looking to see and be seen with a cocktail in hand and the intensity of an illuminated Bangkok by night.

The lounge experience serves choice cuts of grilled meats, seafood, craft cocktails and whiskey, with live music permeating the three-story space, which opens to an open-air rooftop.

There are two other dining outlets, including a lobby lounge bar and Market Cafe, which serves authentic Thai cuisine.

For a different city view, this time during the day, step out onto the sixth-floor terrace for an outdoor, free-form swimming pool tucked amid a lush garden. Other amenities of this outdoor playground include a whirlpool, pool bar, steam room and a 24-hour gym.

To ease city exploration, the hotel is located with direct access to the BTS Skytrain Nana Station. It is within a short trip to the National Museum, Asiatique Riverfront, EmQuartier shopping and the Grand Palace and Emerald Buddha.

Rates begin at $155.

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Redone Wyndham part of Puerto Rico comeback

Signs of the times in Puerto Rico point to a remarkable comeback from a series of natural disasters that rocked the island, including the hurricanes of 2017 and the recent earthquakes and shocks off the southeastern coast.

Resort renovations and reopenings, the arrival of new properties and brands, the upcoming April debut of El Distrito entertainment complex in San Juan, strong air arrivals and cruise numbers in 2019 and the ongoing #GoForPuertoRico campaign to remind travelers that the destination is open for business all factor into Puerto Rico’s rebound and rebirth.

On the accommodations front, recent additions to room inventory in the capital include the Aloft San Juan, the reopening of the InterContinental, the debut of the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve, the renovation of the Sheraton and the return of the iconic Caribe Hilton.

Many properties used the period of forced closure following the storms to not just repair but to undertake complete face-lifts from floor to ceiling and front desk to fine dining venues.

Here’s the story of one of these properties.

Nils Stolzlechner is general manager of the resort with the longest name in Puerto Rico: the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort.

“We’re about 25 minutes southeast of San Juan. We reopened five months after Hurricane Maria. When our first guests arrived at the property after it reopened, they said it wasn’t the same hotel that they remembered, due to all the work that had been done,” he said.

The multimillion-dollar renovation left no wall untouched, according to Stolzlechner.

“All the buildings had to be gutted due to water damage. The entire resort got a full transformation,” he said.

Stolzlechner, who joined the resort three years ago following management posts with Westin and Omni properties as well as Wyndham, got some valuable advice from a general manager who was on the scene when Hurricane Georges hit Puerto Rico in 1998, a year after the property originally opened under the Westin flag.

“He told me what to and what not to do in case another hurricane came my way. That helped me a lot. What also really helped in the immediate days following Maria was my staff,” he said. “Their homes had been destroyed, but 45 team members appeared on the scene a day after the storm with chain saws and tools to begin the resort cleanup.”

After Maria, the Wyndham remained open for relief workers.

Today, the property numbers 400 rooms, including 39 suites and the 1,600-square-foot Governor’s Suite. Nine restaurants and bars include the Roots Coastal Kitchen, a farm-to-table restaurant stocked with produce and seafood from local farmers and fishermen; the Paleo Seafood & Steakhouse; Iguanas at the golf clubhouse serving Puerto Rican cuisine; the poolside Tiki Hut with tropical drinks and local fare; and the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill for quick bites, brews and Jimmy Buffett vibes.

“Since the remodeling and design changes, we’ve tripled revenues in our food and beverage venues and added new guest activities on-site and off the property,” Stolzlechner said.

The resort’s three pools and 2-mile stretch of public beach feature 700 lounge and deck chairs, “plenty enough for everyone to avoid the 7 a.m. rush to grab a chair and throw a towel on the seat to reserve it,” according to Stolzlechner.

Activities are geared toward guests who prefer to stay on the property as well as those who want to venture farther afield, with hikes in nearby El Yunque National Forest or tours of Old San Juan and the nearby Bioluminescent Bay.

“On property, we offer a full roster from rum tastings, morning nature walks and bingo to mixology classes, iguana feedings at 11 a.m., kids’ activities, casino play and spa treatments,” Stolzlechner said, adding that “most guests don’t have enough time to do it all.”

Weddings represent a big chunk of business for the resort, according to the general manager.

“We had 136 ceremonies in 2019, and there are 160 on the books for this year. Sometimes we have up to three a day at different venues throughout the property, including a wedding deck at the beach and a tent with clear sides that we can install in case of inclement weather,” he said.

Bird-watchers, too, are an expanding market for the property. “I see them all the time, dressed in camo with binoculars. We do have a lot of bird life here, and I’m happy that so many species returned after the hurricanes,” Stolzlechner said.

The Wyndham’s overall bookings break out to approximately 40% group business and 60% transient.

Of the leisure segment, many are repeat guests who returned when the resort reopened and were later followed by their friends who came based on referrals and recommendations, according to Stolzlechner.

“We had our best Christmas ever last Christmas,” he said, “and our booking pace now is strong despite some fallouts due to concern from the recent seismic activity in the south of Puerto Rico.”

The Wyndham staff took supplies and food to the communities in need following the quakes and aftershocks.

To date, there are no reports of Covid-19 coronavirus in Puerto Rico, although the destination and government agencies have measures in place to monitor and contain its spread if and when it is necessary.

“We haven’t seen any cancellations due to the virus, but we are watching this closely,” he said.

Travel advisors account for more than 10% of bookings, a number Stolzlechner wants to increase.

“This is a market we take seriously. We run fam trips and have a dedicated salesperson just to deal with agent relationships,” he said.

The resort offers an optional all-inclusive plan, one that includes meals and another that covers meals and beverages.

“This is popular with groups and approximately 3% to 5% of our leisure sector,” the general manager said.

Currently, the resort is pushing its message that Puerto Rico is open for business, welcoming visitors and offering packages to drum up additional bookings, including golf incentives, spa offerings, a fifth night free with resort credit when four nights are booked and free stays for kids under 5.

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Destinations

Redone Wyndham part of Puerto Rico comeback

Signs of the times in Puerto Rico point to a remarkable comeback from a series of natural disasters that rocked the island, including the hurricanes of 2017 and the recent earthquakes and shocks off the southeastern coast.

Resort renovations and reopenings, the arrival of new properties and brands, the upcoming April debut of El Distrito entertainment complex in San Juan, strong air arrivals and cruise numbers in 2019 and the ongoing #GoForPuertoRico campaign to remind travelers that the destination is open for business all factor into Puerto Rico’s rebound and rebirth.

On the accommodations front, recent additions to room inventory in the capital include the Aloft San Juan, the reopening of the InterContinental, the debut of the Hyatt Regency Grand Reserve, the renovation of the Sheraton and the return of the iconic Caribe Hilton.

Many properties used the period of forced closure following the storms to not just repair but to undertake complete face-lifts from floor to ceiling and front desk to fine dining venues.

Here’s the story of one of these properties.

Nils Stolzlechner is general manager of the resort with the longest name in Puerto Rico: the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Puerto Rico Golf & Beach Resort.

“We’re about 25 minutes southeast of San Juan. We reopened five months after Hurricane Maria. When our first guests arrived at the property after it reopened, they said it wasn’t the same hotel that they remembered, due to all the work that had been done,” he said.

The multimillion-dollar renovation left no wall untouched, according to Stolzlechner.

“All the buildings had to be gutted due to water damage. The entire resort got a full transformation,” he said.

Stolzlechner, who joined the resort three years ago following management posts with Westin and Omni properties as well as Wyndham, got some valuable advice from a general manager who was on the scene when Hurricane Georges hit Puerto Rico in 1998, a year after the property originally opened under the Westin flag.

“He told me what to and what not to do in case another hurricane came my way. That helped me a lot. What also really helped in the immediate days following Maria was my staff,” he said. “Their homes had been destroyed, but 45 team members appeared on the scene a day after the storm with chain saws and tools to begin the resort cleanup.”

After Maria, the Wyndham remained open for relief workers.

Today, the property numbers 400 rooms, including 39 suites and the 1,600-square-foot Governor’s Suite. Nine restaurants and bars include the Roots Coastal Kitchen, a farm-to-table restaurant stocked with produce and seafood from local farmers and fishermen; the Paleo Seafood & Steakhouse; Iguanas at the golf clubhouse serving Puerto Rican cuisine; the poolside Tiki Hut with tropical drinks and local fare; and the 5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar & Grill for quick bites, brews and Jimmy Buffett vibes.

“Since the remodeling and design changes, we’ve tripled revenues in our food and beverage venues and added new guest activities on-site and off the property,” Stolzlechner said.

The resort’s three pools and 2-mile stretch of public beach feature 700 lounge and deck chairs, “plenty enough for everyone to avoid the 7 a.m. rush to grab a chair and throw a towel on the seat to reserve it,” according to Stolzlechner.

Activities are geared toward guests who prefer to stay on the property as well as those who want to venture farther afield, with hikes in nearby El Yunque National Forest or tours of Old San Juan and the nearby Bioluminescent Bay.

“On property, we offer a full roster from rum tastings, morning nature walks and bingo to mixology classes, iguana feedings at 11 a.m., kids’ activities, casino play and spa treatments,” Stolzlechner said, adding that “most guests don’t have enough time to do it all.”

Weddings represent a big chunk of business for the resort, according to the general manager.

“We had 136 ceremonies in 2019, and there are 160 on the books for this year. Sometimes we have up to three a day at different venues throughout the property, including a wedding deck at the beach and a tent with clear sides that we can install in case of inclement weather,” he said.

Bird-watchers, too, are an expanding market for the property. “I see them all the time, dressed in camo with binoculars. We do have a lot of bird life here, and I’m happy that so many species returned after the hurricanes,” Stolzlechner said.

The Wyndham’s overall bookings break out to approximately 40% group business and 60% transient.

Of the leisure segment, many are repeat guests who returned when the resort reopened and were later followed by their friends who came based on referrals and recommendations, according to Stolzlechner.

“We had our best Christmas ever last Christmas,” he said, “and our booking pace now is strong despite some fallouts due to concern from the recent seismic activity in the south of Puerto Rico.”

The Wyndham staff took supplies and food to the communities in need following the quakes and aftershocks.

To date, there are no reports of Covid-19 coronavirus in Puerto Rico, although the destination and government agencies have measures in place to monitor and contain its spread if and when it is necessary.

“We haven’t seen any cancellations due to the virus, but we are watching this closely,” he said.

Travel advisors account for more than 10% of bookings, a number Stolzlechner wants to increase.

“This is a market we take seriously. We run fam trips and have a dedicated salesperson just to deal with agent relationships,” he said.

The resort offers an optional all-inclusive plan, one that includes meals and another that covers meals and beverages.

“This is popular with groups and approximately 3% to 5% of our leisure sector,” the general manager said.

Currently, the resort is pushing its message that Puerto Rico is open for business, welcoming visitors and offering packages to drum up additional bookings, including golf incentives, spa offerings, a fifth night free with resort credit when four nights are booked and free stays for kids under 5.

Source: Read Full Article