Monthly Archives: August 2016

How to Buy a Caribbean Private Island With a Solar-Powered Bungalow


One of the Caribbean’s top private island real estate listings is now even cheaper.

The only private island off the southern Salinas coast of Puerto Rico, this property has 25 acres of mangroves, jungle foliage and beach.

It’s the ultimate castaway fantasy, a self-sustaining private paradise with palm trees, beaches and total seclusion.

Private Island

And while the original price was $2.5 million, the price has been slashed to just $1.45 million.

Private Island

But, unusually for most private islands listed in the Caribbean, this one already comes with a place to live: it includes a three-bedroom wood cabin with panoramic views and a swimming pool.

Private Island

The island is located just six minutes by boat from the mainland.

The property, which runs on solar power, has backup generators, a 300-gallon water cistern and is navigable by either foot or dune buggy.

The bungalow is solar-powered.

The bungalow is solar-powered.

It’s listed with Sotheby’s International Realty Puerto Rico. And it’s perhaps the Caribbean’s top private island bargain.


The post How to Buy a Caribbean Private Island With a Solar-Powered Bungalow appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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Checking in to Jimmy Buffett’s Newest Margaritaville Resort


The newest Jimmy Buffett hotel

By Sarah Greaves-Gabbadon
CJ Travel Editor

I’m not a Parrothead. I’ve never stepped on a pop top or blown out my flip-flop. And I’m definitely not searching for my lost shaker of salt. Yet I was impressed with Margaritaville Hollywood Beach Resort, a new Caribbean-style South Florida oasis for Jimmy Buffett fans  – and the rest of us.

More Tommy Bahama chic than tropical island kitsch, the 11-month-old hotel is unparalleled on Hollywood Beach Broadwalk, where cheap low-rise motels and a non-descript high-rise have, until now, been the only games in the tourist town.

Light-filled and spacious, the ‘Ville’s 349 rooms (most with beach or Intracoastal views) are decorated in contemporary beach house style, with a pastel palette and theme-appropriate details such as faucet handles shaped like whale tails.

Jimmy Buffett

Three pools (two oceanfront and one adults-only oasis on the 11th floor) keep water babies happy, and guests can also set up camp with a pair of complimentary loungers and an umbrella on Hollywood’s broad sands.

If you simply must have the Cheeseburger in Paradise Buffett famously sings about, you’ll find it at Margaritaville, one of eight bars and restaurants on property. But for casual eats my pick is Floridays, the resort’s beachfront Airstream trailer-turned-cafe, where the Hula Girl hot dog (topped with pineapple relish, bacon and aioli) was worth definitely worth the trip from my chaise.

Jimmy Buffett

Sunset at Margaritaville

Appropriately, there’s music all over the resort, whether playing in the elevators, restaurants, at the pool decks, or live from the Broadwalk’s iconic bandshell stage, which offers free nightly live music performances for both guests and the public. But if all that’s a little too intense for your taste, find serenity (and, perhaps, that missing condiment) at the St. Somewhere spa, where the signature Lost Shaker of Salt exfoliating scrub comes complete with a margarita.

Jimmy Buffett

Because, as Buffett himself says, “It’s five o’clock somewhere.”

It makes it all the more exciting to think about Jimmy Buffett’s next hotel, the soon-to-open Margaritaville in Grand Cayman.

The post Checking in to Jimmy Buffett’s Newest Margaritaville Resort appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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New Antigua Adults-Only Resort Planning October Grand Opening


The new Pineapple Beach Club adults-only all-inclusive resort in Antigua is planning a Oct. 1 grand opening.

The debut will follow a month-long renovation project that will include upgrades to the property’s guest rooms, grounds, facilities, equipment and ovreall operations.

The new Antigua Adults-Only resort will be closed for renovations from Aug. 25 to Sept. 30.

Earlier this summer, the Antigua property returned to the Elite Island Resorts group led by Chairman Rob Barrett, who had originally owned and operated the resort from 1986 to 1998.

“This resort and I share a history together that makes its reopening all the more significant for me,” said Barrett. “I’m very excited to have Pineapple Beach Club Antigua back under our care. We’ve got some great plans to gently steer the property in a new direction. Starting with the transition to a more laid back, Adults-Only environment, and continuing with the renovation project, we’re carefully crafting a vacation experience that I know our guests will love.”

The post New Antigua Adults-Only Resort Planning October Grand Opening appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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Marriott’s AC Brand Opens First Hotel in Mexico


Mariott’s AC hotel brand has opened its first hotel in Mexico.

The new AC Hotel Guadalajara opened its doors this week with 188 rooms.

The property was developed and is owned by FibraHotel, and is operated by Marriott International.

The AC brand is Marriott’s design-focused marque; it was first founded by hotelier Antonio Catalan in 1998; there are now more than 90 AC Hotels properties around the world.

“AC Hotels’ rapidly growing portfolio illustrates Marriott International’s commitment to making distinctive architecture and design affordable and accessible for creatives, innovators and entrepreneurs around the world,” said Toni Stoeckl, Vice President of Lifestyle Brands for Marriott International.

AC will be continuing its Latin America and Caribbean expansion with new hotels in Mexico City, Panama City and Santiago, Chile in the coming months.

“Guadalajara is one of Mexico’s most vibrant cities, its active arts scene is central to the energetic urban culture,” comments Tim Sheldon, President of the Caribbean and Latin America (CALA) for Marriott International. “This hotel is located in the thriving arts and financial district, not far from the city’s main cultural attractions – perfect for a new generation of travelers looking to experience everything Guadalajara has to offer.”

The property was designed by Sordo Madaleno Architects, with interiors by Jihei Aoki.

The post Marriott’s AC Brand Opens First Hotel in Mexico appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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Martinique Seeing Huge Jump in US, Canadian Visitors


Martinique is booming.

The French Caribbean department is seeing a significant increase in visitors from the United States and Canada, following a concerted push in recent years to focus on the North American market.

This year’s peak tourist season saw a 179 percent increase in visitors from North America, with just under 17,000, up from 6,071 in the 2014-2015 tourist season, according to data provided to Caribbean Journal by the Martinique Tourism Authority.

The jump has come from a number of factors, most notably the launch of nonstop flights from Miami to Fort-de-France on American Airlines, along with last year’s launch of nonstop flights on Norwegian from a number of northeastern US destinations.

Martinique Boom

Les Anses d’Arles, one of Martinique’s top beach destinations

The island is poised to build in these gains, with continued flight service and the launch of more new hotels.

Chief among them is the Hotel Simon, a new boutique hotel in the Fort-de-France urban core that includes a new eatery helmed by a Michelin-starred local chef, Marcel Ravin.

The other, French Coco, is set in the hills above the beach town of Tartane on the island’s Atlantic coast.

Plein Soleil

One of the island’s top hotels, the Hotel Plein Soleil.

Martinique has also had success marketing its rum production with what’s effectively the Napa Valley of rum, with 11 distilleries making rhum agricole, or rum distilled from sugarcane juice, not molasses.

Martinique Boom

The Rhum JM distillery in northeastern Martinique.

It’s all adding up to what’s becoming one of the more in-demand destinations in the Caribbean for high-income travelers from the US and Canada.

The post Martinique Seeing Huge Jump in US, Canadian Visitors appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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