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Wednesday, 13 March 2013 11:28

Selling the Top Shelf Caribbean

Written by  Melanie Reffes

Selling uber-luxe vacations is easier than it sounds. Despite the tough economy, clients looking for a break from the nine-to-five are putting their budgets on hold and booking a holiday away from the winter doldrums at home. No warm weather region is easier to sell than the Caribbean, and with a cornucopia of upscale indulgences; a luxurious getaway is well worth the splurge. 

Whether your choice is a seaside massage or an en suite dinner prepared by a world-class chef, the Caribbean is extending a warm welcome to those seeking the good life, if only for a week. 


Brands on the Beach 

The largest resort on the island, St. Kitts Marriott Resort & Royal Beach Casino ( invites with the “Super Escape Inclusive” package that includes a round of golf, a massage in the Emerald Mist Spa and coupons for casino play. The only American brand on the island, the resort is a one-stop-vacation shopping experience with eight restaurants, nine bars including the swanky Cigar & Rum Bar, three pools and the largest Vegas-style casino in the Caribbean. Fronting North Frigate Bay Beach, the brand on the beach is a seashell away from the Royal St. Kitts Golf Club course, making it the top choice for couples, singles and families. 

On the southwest coast of sunny St. Maarten, Sonesta Maho Beach Resort (
is celebrating a $3 million facelift that has freshened up the largest resort on the island. Sitting pretty on Maho Beach, the resort tempts with tennis courts, a variety of restaurants and nightly entertainment to beat the band. With more than five hundred rooms and suites (we recommend the Moonlight Suite on the 10th floor), the resort is now fully all-inclusive, which means nightly rates include meals, cocktails (shaken or stirred) with top-shelf liquor and no hidden surcharges if you indulge in a lobster dinner or watch the movie screenings by the pool. 


Flip flops to Fendi

An Elite Island Resort, Morgan Bay Beach ( sits amidst pretty gardens on the north end of St. Lucia. A short hop from the Cap Restate Golf Course, the luxury resort is recently renovated with superior ocean view rooms offering expansive views of the lights of Castries as the sun goes down. High tea is elegant every afternoon in The Palms Restaurant and for the energetic; tennis courts and banana boats are guaranteed crowd pleasers. “We greatly value our travel agent partners and recognize the importance of sharing Morgan Bay’s story with clients from a firsthand perspective,” said Steven Heydt, president. “We are eager for the agent community to experience our newest resort and look forward to welcoming their clients with the superior level of service that they have come to expect from the Elite Island Resorts brand.” 

No detail is overlooked at Grenada’s AAA Four Diamond Spice Island Beach Resort (www.spiceisland,
from the Frette bathrobes and ooh-la-la fabulous spa, to the mini-bar stocked with Grenadian Clarke’s Court rum. Saluted for stellar service resort-wide, kudos are always given to the bartenders at The Sea & Surf Bar who pour a sweet and savory Spice Seduction cocktail that blends local rum with orange and lime juice. Note to agents: For finicky clients who will pay handsomely for a view, the Seagrape Room #47 is particularly memorable, with vistas of the cruise ships docked in the harbor. 

From a buff to a scrub and a massage to a manicure, nothing says luxury like a day of pampering. In Jamaica, the spa at The Ritz-Carlton ( boasts a massage menu good enough to eat, and too good to miss. From the “Chocolate ‘N Cherries Jubilee” wrap to the “Blue Mountain Body Scrub,” therapists work their magic in an eight thousand square foot spa that is visually spectacular with elegant mahogany furnishings and eleven treatment rooms


New Kid on the Block 

Slated to open early next year and already accepting bookings, Kittitian Hill ( is St. Kitts’s first upscale hotel with uber-fancy cottages and villas, featuring claw-foot outdoor bathtubs, comfy beds and terraces that open to spectacular vistas of the island. Managed by Sedona Resorts in Arizona, the $400 million complex will also include a golf course dotted with fruit trees and vegetable patches, a gourmet staff cafeteria that will be open to guests and electric cars for those who put a premium on the environment. 

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