Preliminary Reports Show Double Digit Growth in Stay Over Arrivals in 2012
Saint Lucia (April 30, 2012) – Early indicators are showing strong tourism growth for Saint Lucia in 2012 with a 20% increase in stay over arrivals in the first quarter of this year. Top source markets to the island report 9% increase from the U.S., the largest market to Saint Lucia, and a 30% increase over the same period from the United Kingdom.
Poised for strong growth in 2012, The Saint Lucia Tourist Board announces increased airlift from the Northeast, multi-million dollar hotel openings and renovations and new visitor attractions and tours.
“We will continue to strive to increase arrivals from all major source markets and are committed to further improving the destination by providing increased airlift accessibility and enhancements to many of our well-known properties and product offerings,” said Louis Lewis, Director of Tourism for the Saint Lucia Tourist Board.
This summer, Saint Lucia will welcome additional service from New York on JetBlue Airways. Beginning June 28 through September 4, 2012, JetBlue will offer daily non-stop flights between New York’s JFK International Airport (JFK) and Saint Lucia’s Hewanorra Airport (UVF), making the island even more accessible for travelers flying from the Northeast.
The Saint Lucia Jazz Festival, now into its 21st year, will feature performances from renowned local, regional and international superstars, with iconic and legendary diva, singer, record producer and actress Diana Ross and Grammy award winner, singer- songwriter, Toni Braxton, headlining this year’s festival. The 2012 event, runs from April 30 through May13, and will feature over fifty artists performing against diverse Saint Lucian talent. For more information and hotel deals visit www.stluciajazz.org.
blu St Lucia is a new addition to the Harlequin Hotels & Resorts portfolio. Recently refurbished, blu St Lucia opened its doors on April 1st 2012, offering both bed & breakfast and all inclusive meal plans. All rooms have 32” flat screen TVs and are furnished with Harlequin’s high standard of style and comfort. There is one restaurant providing all day a la carte dining, a bar, and a HQ coffee & ice-cream shop. The hotel also offers: a swimming pool; Alaia Spa with treatments by ESPA & beauty salon; Little Harlequins Kids Club with painting, drawing, games and outdoor activities; fitness center; tennis facilities; and a conference center. Visit: www.harlequinblu.com
Ladera Resort, the legendary St. Lucia hotel that is a fixture on top hotel and awards list, celebrates its 20th anniversary year with the unveiling of five additional connecting luxury one-bedroom Hilltop Dream suites on Paradise Ridge in October. Each new Hilltop Dream Suite will feature the famously breathtaking vistas from the open living rooms and will include private infinity pools. Other noteworthy developments include a new fitness room, outfitted with state-of-the-art workout equipment. The Ti Kai Posé Spa, which now incorporates natural, organic treatments, will offer new outdoor Couples Massages on Paradise Ridge, a completely private retreat area of the resort which overlooks the Caribbean Sea and Pitons. Dasheene, Ladera's award winning restaurant, will be taken to even higher culinary acclaim with celebrated guest chefs from the Caribbean, the United States, and Europe featured at the restaurant. Visit: www.ladera.com
Cap Maison is creatively refining its food and beverage venues this season, unveiling a new Rock Pool adjacent to Rock Maison. Rock Maison, which may well be Cap Maison’s best kept secret, lies directly below the Cliff at Cap restaurant. It’s a wooden deck built on a rocky outcropping, which is surrounded on three sides by the sea surging over the reefs. Guests access Rock Maison by a wooden staircase, while drinks travel down a zip-line to the deck below. It’s the ideal place for sunset drinks, private dining and special events. The new Rock Pool, a natural rock pool that fills with sea water as the waves surge to the base of the cliff, is tucked next Rock Maison. It has a submerged bench and is an ideal place for guests to immerse themselves while enjoying a cocktail. Three carved out “ice buckets” are also in the rocks, awaiting a bottle of white wine or champagne.
Cap Maison will also extend the hip and happening Cliff Bar this summer, while increasing the seating capacity for the popular Cliff at Cap restaurant, where the highly regarded cuisine of Executive Chef Craig Jones draws guests and visitors to its legendary Sunday Lobster Lunch annual Celebrity Guest Chef Series and other culinary and wine events. Visit www.capmaison.com
Freedom Bay has announced the launch of its early investment hotel villas and the first three and four bedroom private residences on 10 prime plots located directly at the foot of the Pitons. The eco-resort development will include the first Six Senses international branded five star hotel in the Caribbean which is structured to be owned in two ways: deeded fractional ownership or villa ownership. Early investors in phase one will have the opportunity to purchase at 25% from list prices with a sponsored exit strategy. The resort will offer 53 detached one and two-bedroom hotel villas, plus an exclusive private residential estate of 48 three and four bedroom luxury villas and 62 various sized apartments, all with concierge service. The resort will feature a floating champagne bar reachable by walkway, a spa that will incorporate the natural water running through the estate as well as the extraordinary properties of volcanic mud, and restaurants that will champion local produce, utilizing an on-site organic garden. The first phase, including the hotel, will be complete at the end of 2013. Visit:www.freedombaystlucia.com
In August 2012, Sandals Grande St. Lucian will break ground on 16 over-the-water suites, the first-of-their-kind in the Caribbean. The over-the-water suites are slated to open February 2013 and will feature see-through glass floors, over-the-water hammocks, outdoor showers and Jacuzzis, lit water for night viewing and butler service. Visit: www.sandals.com
Stonefield Estate Villa Resort and Spa opened a new 860 square feet yoga studio and a state of the art air-conditioned gym fully equipped with Cybex cardio equipment, free weights and multi gym machines. “Chez Anista” is Stonefield’s new luxury private villa addition. This five bedroom villa is over 3500 square feet with its own infinity pool and a private cook, Jacuzzi and service staff. Visit:www.stonefieldvillas.com
The BodyHoliday re-opened October 2011 following a US$20 million renovation. The renovation encompassed the total refit of public areas including Cariblue Restaurant, Piano Bar, the wellness center treatment rooms, TAO restaurant, new beach-front deck, new Clubhouse Pool, aerobics, scuba training, volleyball and more. The Standard Garden View rooms were renovated while the Grand Luxury Ocean Front room and Junior Suites received enhancements. Additionally The BodyHoliday debuted a new Penthouse Suite as part of the renovation, which encompasses its own Hammam Spa. Visit: www.thebodyholiday.com
The Jalousie Plantation, Sugar Beach is undergoing a US$100 million enhancement and will be re-branded and re-launched as Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort in late 2012. The physical transformation to-date includes the opening of eight new Luxury Beachfront Bungalows and the Rainforest Spa, the construction of new luxury villas and the gut renovation of its Luxury Sugar Mill Rooms. Visit www.jalousieplantation.com
Boucan Hotel & Restaurant, originally called Hotel Chocolat when it opened in 2011, and was recently rebranded, is a boutique hotel set at The Rabot Estate, a working cocoa estate of the upscale British chocolatier. The property features 14 luxury Cocoa Pods and Cocoa Pods Luxe, Club Boucan with an infinity pool, the cocoa-inspired Boucan Restaurant and CocoaJuvenate Spa with their exclusive range of wellness therapies. Guests are invited to walk the many estate trails and even make their own chocolate. Hotel Chocolat is considered one of the world’s few origin chocolatiers. Through its Engaged Ethics Cocoa Program, Hotel Chocolat is revitalizing the cocoa industry on Saint Lucia by offering high quality seedlings, technical assistance, advice and purchasing crops from local farmers. Visit:www.thehotelchocolat.com
As part of the Bay Gardens Hotel renovation project, several Standard Rooms have recently been converted into two Superior Rooms and a Jr. Executive Suite, each with an open terrace. The Superior Rooms were expanded to comfortably accommodate four and include enhanced amenities such as a flat screen TV, refrigerator, remodeled bathroom, and free Wi-Fi. Amenities in the expanded Jr. Executive Suite include a kitchenette, king bed, sofa bed, flat screen TV, dining table and chairs, remodeled bathroom as well as free Wi-Fi. The Bay Gardens Hotel will continue to expand and make room upgrades, in addition to the already completed lobby renovations. Visit www.baygardensbeachresort.com
In December 2011, Elite Island Resorts, a leading Caribbean hotel group, acquired the former Almond Morgan Bay St. Lucia, now renamed Morgan Bay Beach Resort. The all-inclusive, beachfront resort features 345 guestrooms and suites, offering stunning ocean and tropical garden views. The resort additionally features four freshwater pools, four restaurants and five bars, a fitness center and a full-service spa, which is being expanded in late 2012. Visit: www.morganbayresort.com
The Fond Doux Holiday Plantation launched a new Mamma La Terre Spa, meaning Mother Earth, in November 2011. The spa focuses on the powerful restorative powers of nature, with spa therapists utilizing all natural, organically grown ingredients of the purest quality. Mamma La Terre Spa proudly features local coconut oils and organic fruits harvested on the plantation – all available to guests without additives or chemicals. Fruits used are seasonal and include apricots as well as luscious local coconut, cocoa, lime, banana, cinnamon and guava. Visit: www.fonddouxestate.com
Opening March 2012, the Tree Top Restaurant at Crystals will be expanded to accommodate non-hotel guests on Saturday nights with reservations. The restaurant features live entertainment and French-Creole cuisine, with authentic coal pot cooking and organic ingredients from the property. Visit:www.stluciacrystals.com
Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa recently added multiple new décor developments, including new furniture in the lobby, refurbished blue bar and Splash rooms and a new bar on the Splash pool deck. The newly renovated waterfront Kai Mer Spa features three new oceanfront cabanas, an organic product line and a range of new treatments. Coconut Walk, the resort’s main restaurant serving all meals, and Calabash, the resort’s new Caribbean specialty restaurant featuring Creole and Caribbean cuisine, were both refurbished as well. In addition, the resort recently announced the appointment of the new executive Chef Eike Lauff, who is introducing new menu items at all the restaurants on-property, including the two new restaurants Calabash and Capri. The resort has also announced the recent appointment of a William Ingler as the General Manager. Visit: www.cbayresort.com
Coco Palm is currently upgrading the Ti Bananne Caribbean Bistro restaurant, now called KoKo Cabana, three conference rooms, the lobby with a new front desk and concierge desk. The Luxe Swim Up and Suites will showcase upgraded amenities and features. Visit: www.coco-resorts.com
Ti Kaye Village Resort appointed a new chef from Jamaica, Mr. Conroy N. Arnold, known for his passion for food and creativity. Chef Conroy is in the process of introducing new sets of menus for lunch and dinner, featuring items from his newly planted herb garden as well as using all local products. Ti Kaye will also open the beach restaurant twice at night to give more dining options to their guests. The resort has already completed major refurbishments and additions including newly upgraded cottages and installing wireless internet access throughout the resort. Additionally, a new Kai Manje Bar, a new Lounge Area, the largest Underground Wine Cellar on Saint Lucia, with more than 460 bins, were all completed in early 2011. Visit: www.tikaye.com
Saint Lucia’s new state-of-the-art visitor attraction Our Planet, located at La Place Carenage in Castries harbor, announced a new “Highlights” tour. The tour provides visitors with the opportunity to embark on a guided journey utilizing a NASA-installed sphere. A guide will lead visitors through a tour of the planets, a viewing of Japan’s tsunami from space and the opportunity to see current hurricanes and earthquakes. The “Highlights” tour is followed by a theater experience where visitors hear, see and feel extreme weather events as well as a laser show. Opened June 2011, the multi-million dollar Our Planet supports on-island conservation programs. It’s the first center of its kind in the Caribbean and all proceeds from Our Planet go to local environmental projects on island. Visit: www.ourplanetcentre.org