ARUWAI RESORT – GUYANA
There is no official reference to a 4th World as it relates to developing countries, but if there were, Guyana would certainly fall in that category.
Guyana is second only to Haiti as being the poorest country in the Northern Hemisphere. This is mind boggling to say the least, since Guyana’s lush and unspoilt tropical rainforest covers 86% of the land and is home to the famous 741 foot drop Kaieteur Falls, which is of great ecological value to the country. Not to mention the 630 miles long Essequibo River. The land is also endowed with minerals including diamond, gold, semi-precious stones and bauxite, among others. Guyana even boasts having the South American Goliath bird eater, (theraphosa blondi), allegedly the world’s largest spider.
As with other islands of the Caribbean, Guyana has a diverse ethnic population – made up largely of people from Africa and India.
Though located on the mainland of South America, Guyana has earned the distinction of being a part of the Caribbean because of its strong ethnic, cultural, historical ties and political background.
Guyana too was under British rule back in the late 18th century and it is the only country in South America where English is the official language. Guyana is also a member of CARICOM (Caribbean Community & Common Market), an organization of 15 Caribbean countries bent on promoting economic integration.
But despite the forgoing, the vision and motivation of outstanding nationals have not waned as it pertains to entrepreneurship and if the Aruwai Resort is any measure of what the future holds, it should be moving in leaps and bounds, as this venture solidifies hope and promise to not only bring Guyana back to its former glory but to implement such ambitious undertakings that may well bring the country up to speed with its developing counterparts.
The 5 Star Aruwai Hotel may yet be Guyana’s best kept secret even though it teems with a mix of tourists and locals all year round. It warrants making the next trip to Guyana a priority and should definitely be the first choice to titillate the senses in the lap of luxury. Aruwai Resort is far removed from anything in the country, not just in location but panache.
Aruwai Hotel is the only resort in Guyana that actually sits on an island, in the Mazaruni River.
The “Aruwai White H2O Resort,” Essequibo, as it is officially named, opened its doors in December 2015. It has 50 smartly decorated rooms, blue waters and sandy beaches among a host of other amenities which took all of four years to complete and is indeed a trend-setter in the local tourism industry.
Proprietor Chunilall Baboolall’s venture in the tourism industry was as a result of falling gold prices. He was a career miner. He stated at the opening back in 2015 that, “the perks accruing to visitors to the facility will include boat rides on the Essequibo, Cuyuni and Mazaruni rivers and visits to local mining camps. Visitors to Aruwai will also experience the White Water Falls as well as the Resort’s ‘Banana Boat’, the ‘Love Boat’ and the Jet Ski and water slide trampoline, and the facility is designed to facilitate elderly persons. Its inventory will include wheelchairs.”
Aruwai H2O Resort sits on a once under-developed island that was known as “Bucktrack Island.” The island is a quarter square mile.
Recipient of the President’s Award for Investment in Tourism in 2014, Chunilall Baboolall has charted a course that underscores the belief expressed by the then President Donald Ramotar, that tourism has a pivotal role to play in Guyana’s future.
Wellness at Sugar Beach – St. Lucia
A Viceroy Resort
St. Lucia’s Pitons – twin mountains rising up from the Caribbean Sea – were created by volcanic activity almost 300,000 years ago. The peaks were considered to have mystical properties and were worshipped as Gods by the local Arawaks. Now deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the bay of white sand beach between them is the setting of Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort. Drawing on the spirit and beauty of the site, the property is a haven for wellness of the mind and body.
Dotted along the treetops, the Rainforest Spa offers all-natural rituals using locally sourced ingredients like coconut, aloe vera, and cocoa. There are seven traditionally built treehouse treatment rooms along with a relaxation pavilion and an earthen Amerindian steam dome—known as a temascal. Guests can venture off-property with the Sulphur Seduction treatment which involves a morning trip to the volcanic sulphur springs near the resort to bathe in the black waters, followed by a sulphur mud bath and exfoliation treatment, shower in the Piton waterfalls, and a massage back at the spa.
NO DAYS OFF
The property’s fitness program includes daily classes on the hour, ranging from gentle sunset yoga and morning walks to military bootcamp and ‘beast mode’ body burn classes. For the more intrepid guest, the Piton Recovery starts with a hike of the island’s Gros Piton followed by a stretching session, rehydration with coconut water, and revitalizing snack of potassium-rich bananas before having a muscle releasing massage back at the Rainforest Spa.
In anticipation of Yoga Month in September, guest can practice their flow while the sun sets behind the Pitons.
The Christopher Unveils Three New Villas in St. Barth – December 2019
Just in time for the Caribbean high season, The Christopher will open its three new four-bedroom villas in December 2019. With the addition of these spacious retreats, the 42-room hotel concludes a tiered renovation following the hurricanes of 2017, which included the addition of the new Christo restaurant and a Sisley Spa.
French designer Olivia Putman created the spaces to integrate a modern aesthetic seamlessly with nature. The villas are completely open to the sea, evoking feelings of ease and relaxation. Taking inspiration from the bow of a ship, Putman used a mix of natural materials including bamboo, sandstone, and volcanic stone, accented with pops of the hotel’s signature orange. Interior lighting was strategically configured to maximize the exterior light and its ever-changing nature throughout the day. Each villa will have four bedrooms and a private pool, blending the privacy of a personal rental with the comforts of a hotel.
The Christopher is an under-the-radar gem on St. Barth with a strong base of repeat clients. With its location on Pointe Milou – among some of the poshest villas on the island and minutes from hopping Le Ti St. Barth night club – it has a prime westward view towards the bay of St. Jean, making it the best place to catch the sunset. Its Christo restaurant, new as of 2018, focuses on organic meat and vegetables and its Mango Beach Club offers casual poolside fare. The Sisley Spa treatment rooms look out over the water and have a natural soundtrack of lapping waves.
Unlike other islands, visitors to St. Barth don’t stay put at their hotel or resort. Instead, they visit the beautiful area beaches, go into the town of Gustavia for a gourmet meal or some shopping, or stop at bakeries for freshly made croissants. (St. Barth is part of France, after all!)
What else is new at The Christopher?
- The Sixth Annual St. Barth Gourmet Festival kicks off the season November 6-10. The Christopher is hosting the festival’s patron chef, Arnaud Faye, Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF) and two-star chef at Château de la Chèvre d’Or in Eze. He will be joined by seven top French chefs, each working at a restaurant on the island during the festival and creating special multi-course menus.
- November 20-24 is the St, Barth Cata-Cup, a catamaran race that circumvents the island. The Christopher is the perfect spot to sip a cocktail and watch all the catamarans sail by.
- During festive season, St. Barth becomes the place to see and be seen – celebs throw parties on yachts and clubs are packed to all hours. The Christopher is the ideal spot to sneak away from the madness and relax – maybe before joining in again the next night
BELMOND CAP JULUCA – ANGUILLA
Belmond reveals its newly designed flagship Caribbean resort, Belmond Cap Juluca, through the lens of British movie star Naomie Harris, in a short film portraying the serenity and magic of this iconic barefoot luxury escape in Anguilla. Located on one of the Caribbean’s best beaches; wrapped around the pristine white sands of a half crescent bay, Belmond Cap Juluca has been transformed to encapsulate the art of living well.
With an authentic connection to the Caribbean, clean-living values and a truly international lifestyle, Naomie’s experience of Belmond Cap Juluca speaks to the modern traveler who seeks sanctuary and the luxury of time to indulge in pure escapism.
Arnaud Champenois, Senior VP Brand & Marketing, Belmond, comments, “We are delighted to work with the beautiful Naomie Harris on this film to capture the essence of ‘barefoot luxury’ that we have created at Belmond Cap Juluca, a true authentic escape. Naomie brings this genuine feeling to the narrative that inspires you to walk in her footsteps.
With the opening of our new flagship property on Anguilla and sister hotel, Belmond La Samanna on Saint Martin, with its retro-chic pastel refresh celebrating contemporary nostalgia, we have redefined luxury Caribbean escapism.”
Designed to create a sense of calm and total escapism from the moment of arrival; every detail of the resort, by US design firm Rottet Studio, complements the outstanding natural beauty of the view and signature Greco-Moorish architecture. The result is a world of timeless glamour and barefoot luxury that is as beguiling as the setting itself.
Offering new levels of beachfront service and seamlessly connecting the Main House with the cove of Maundays Bay, is the stunning palm-lined terraces with sea view infinity-edge pool. The show-stopping new space offers guests the best of both worlds – direct access to the beach and shaded corners to enjoy refreshing cocktails and healthy poolside tapas.
Located along one of the most spectacular beaches on Anguilla, the 108 newly designed rooms and suites embrace laid back island life – with cozy nooks to read and write and space to dine alfresco. The outrageously large bathrooms open onto walled botanical courtyards, providing serene sanctuaries for relaxation. Flowing natural fabrics, injected with a mix of blues, greens and botanical prints, along with the clever use of handcrafted dark grey floor tiling create an instant sense of calm in a space flooded with natural light.
The three and five-bedroom private villas offer generous space for families and groups of friends to embrace the exclusivity of dining, swimming and socializing in private but with front row access to the island’s best beach.
THE ART OF DOING NOTHING
New traditions and modern luxuries define the guest experience at Belmond Cap Juluca. Mornings begin with an invigorating ‘swim to breakfast’, where staff meet guests at the water’s edge of Cip’s by Cipriani with a fresh towel, robe and fruit juice in hand. Stylish pedal bikes and VW vans, painted in the resort’s signature color turquoise, provide a novel way to potter about the property. A lesson with the resident yogi at the pavilion offers a tranquil setting for sunrise yoga and a coaching session with the tennis pro or game of basketball and croquet are a fun way to punctuate relaxing beach days. The elegant crescent of the cove and crystal clear waters provide the ideal backdrop for all things aqua – be it paddle boarding, kayaking or swimming the length of the bay.
The Arawak Spa is a space to awaken the senses and experience the healing powers and holistic rituals of the ancient Arawaks, with signature treatments featuring locally-harvested Anguillan-salt and local rum. A haven to disconnect, the villa is nestled within landscaped gardens and boasts a private swimming pool, fitness center, three all-suite treatment rooms and access to two private beach cabanas for pampering on the edge of the lulling Caribbean Sea.
FEEDING THE SENSES
Whether in the mood for rum punches around the pool or fresh seafood tapas at sunset, Belmond Cap Juluca feeds the senses with relaxed dining experiences unique to Anguilla. Freshly squeezed fruit juices, smoothies and light bites are on offer at the fashionable new Maundays Club and by night, service turns to sophisticated Peruvian tapas as reggae music fills the night air and cocktails flow.
Casual all day dining is on offer at Cip’s by Cipriani where breakfast is served overlooking the water’s edge and delicious Italian cuisine takes inspiration from the famous ‘Cip’s Club’ menu in Venice. For a more sophisticated ambiance, destination restaurant Pimms is an invitation to dine on modern Caribbean classics and Anguillan delicacies in elegant surroundings.
Reasons to Go – The Caribbean Edition
You don’t have to go far to reach the beach—yet. But in just a few short months, travelers will be looking to swap cold and grey winters for the delights of white sand beaches. It’s never too early to start thinking about heading to the Caribbean, and here are your reasons why:
Two Nations One Destination
Why visit: Not sure which island is best for you? Take advantage of Belmond’s “Island to Island” package, which offers accommodations in both Anguilla and St. Martin – and a seamless connection via a 25-minute Caribbean boat ride.
With over 200 new restaurants already operational and almost 40 more on the way, St. Martin is coming back as an even more effervescent culinary destination. Belmond La Samanna sits on the French side of the island – crisp white villas are dotted along the coast of Baie Longue’s mile-long white sands. The property was renovated and restyled in December 2018 by London interior design firm MuzaLab. New seaside restaurant L’Oursin serves fresh seafood and French cuisine. Top your meal off with a bottle from La Cave Wine Cellar, a treasured piece of the property that was built in 1972 and is located two stories below sea level. As the largest private wine cellar in the Caribbean, it holds 12,000 bottles of wine and Champagne, including 150 varieties of Bordeaux and the property’s own private label: Hospices de Beaune La Samanna. What’s more: St. Martin is now easier than ever to get to, with a 30 percent flight route increase since 2018. But, book soon, as stay-over arrivals are up 144 percent over 2018 year to date.
After a few days of channeling your inner bourgeoisie exploring St. Martin’s chic shops and restaurants, head across the Caribbean Sea to Anguilla, just a 25 minute boat ride away. Sister resort Belmond Cap Juluca also reopened in December 2018, following Belmond’s acquisition of this long-beloved property and a top-to-bottom redesign by Rottet Studio. The white sands of Maundays Bay, known to be one of the most crystal-clear beaches in the Caribbean, offer a private and quiet escape from the rest of the world. Once a place of worship by the indigenous Arawaks, the energy of the property exudes a peaceful, barefoot luxury that has kept loyal guests returning year after year. Each of the 108 rooms has private access to Maundays Beach, as well as a dedicated butler. Soak in the Caribbean sun in complete privacy or sway to live calypso and reggae at the Cap Shack, a laid back beach bar with a vintage ’ 80s food truck serving up everything from fish tacos to rum punches and poke bowls. Mornings begin with a leisurely swim directly from guest suites over to the seaside Cip’s by Cipriani, where a ‘Julucan’ – a.k.a. staff member – awaits with a warm robe and fruit juice in hand. Afternoons can be lolled away with yoga next to the crashing waves, rides on any of the bicycles that are left dotted around property, or a more adventurous sunset sail or kite surf around the Caribbean Sea.
Why visit PONANT: Guests will be able to see the Caribbean like never before onboard two of its new PONANT EXPLORER ships, each featuring an underwater lounge – an industry first – and a collective seven new itineraries.
Maya Treasure of the Yucatan / Le Champlain
The Essential of the Caribbean / Le Dumont-d’Urville
You Can Be Well in Yucatan
Why visit Viceroy Riviera: Maya’s on-site shaman offers a breath of traditional wellness activities and rituals.
In the Footsteps of 007 in Jamaica
Why visit Jamaica: Walk in the footsteps of Ian Fleming at GoldenEye ahead of the release of the 25th James Bond film in April 2020.
The Sunsets of St. Barth
Why visit: Set on the quieter western side of St. Barth, The Christopher offers epic sunsets and will soon unveil three brand new villas.
Contributed by: Kathryn Coughlin – Alice Marshall Public Relations
Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club, Hamilton – Bermuda
During World War II the hotel was used for high level intelligence meetings and over the many years they have amassed an art collection of stupendous proportions. Art enthusiasts and aficionados can feast their eyes on the collection which has among them, renderings of Shepard Fairey’s “Station to Station,” Robert Indiana’s “Flag (Moratorium),” Keith Haring’s “Statue of Liberty,” pieces by Magritte and Matisse and Andy Warhol’s 1985 collection of “Reigning Queens,” among a host of others.
But it doesn’t stop there. The island also has 3 lagoons which are accessible year round and with 60-85 degrees temperature year round, there should be no holds barred in exploring a bit of the island as long as time permits.
Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort – St. Lucia
The 27 mile long island has indigenous plant and wildlife, some of which are listed endangered species. The vast majority of the inhabitants are Blacks who speak a French patois known as Kwéyo`l, which is virtually identical to that spoken on Dominica and the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. Two sons of the soil have been recipients of The Nobel Prize. In 1992 Derek Walcott won it for literature and in 1979 Sir Arthur Lewis won it for economics.
- The Times, Sunday Times and Sunday Times Travel Magazine Travel Awards 2016 Best Long Haul Hotel in the World
- 2016 U.S. News & World Report rankings – Best Hotels in the Caribbean
- 2017 U.S. News & World Report Best Hotels in the Caribbean
- Conde Nast Traveller (UK) Readers’ Choice Travel Awards 2016, #98 in the world and #9 in the Caribbean, among a slew of others.
CHEVAL BLANC ST BARTH ISLE DE FRANCE, ST. BARTHS
Go with the understanding that your stay will be almost as French as France with the hottest name brand designer boutiques to boot, and do expect to see topless beaches and experience discos that start jamming by noon. And while wandering around Gustavia, the main harbor, keep an eye out for the arrival of the super yachts with the who’s who of fame and celebrity.
Belmond Cap Juluca Hotel – Anguilla
The award-winning property features Greco-Moorish architecture spread over two crescent-shaped coves with ocean-view suites and villas that offer secluded privacy set within lush tropical gardens. There are four restaurants and bars, a large salt water pool, tennis courts, a fitness center, a library and private screening room. The property was developed by Linda and Charles Hickox, nearly 30 years ago.
The laid-back island of Anguilla boasts some of the best beaches in the Caribbean with the softest white sand and clear blue waters where dolphins swim in the surf. There is a well-developed food scene and colorful beach bars. The island is a haven for those wishing to escape and disconnect from everyday distractions.
Belmond Andean Explorer – Luxury Sleeper Train
Ani Villas, Anguilla
Quite apart from its offering of breathtaking views of the Caribbean sea, guests have all the amenities they may desire, including: infinity swimming pools, cliff top hot tubs, roof decks, open lounges, a cliff top ceremony platform and state of the art gym.
Additionally, there is blue whale watching or kayaking under limestone cliffs, mixologist-curated bars, executive chefs and stimulating children’s activities. Ani Villas offers the ideal package for the discerning tourist experience. Not to mention that within a short stay one could actually bask in the sun at several of the island’s 33 beaches.
Built primarily to host large groups or families, the two villas offer a combined experience of ten bedrooms, which is essentially the entire estate.
So, there is more to see and do in Anguilla than just beautiful beaches and villas. The island has a unique history bolstered by its historical sites which are all within a 20 minute drive from any given point.
JUMBY BAY – ANTIGUA
NOTRE DAME BASCILICA – Montreal, Canada
Half Moon Hotel – Jamaica
The Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari – Johannesburg, South Africa
LALIBELA GAME SAFARI, SOUTH AFRICA
A GLIMMER OF LIGHT ON THE DARK CONTINENT
Linda decided that the best course of action would be to train some of the housekeeping staff to become cooks. It was a decision that did not meet with immediate approval from others in management. They were at first skeptical that these ladies, with limited education and little exposure to the extreme culinary requirements that would be placed upon them, would be able to make the transition into safari cooks. Several years later the issue is no longer under debate. Linda has more than proved her point.
WADDESDON MANOR – London, England
Photos courtesy of Tourism South East www.visitsoutheastengland.com
Strawberry Hill Hotel – Jamaica
The resort’s bar, overlooking Kingston’s glimmering city lights is the central meeting point and pulse of the property. Guests may cozy up to the bar’s fireplace for exotic elixirs and traditional tipples while feasting their eyes on the photographs of famous guests, including Bob Marley, Grace Jones, Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, Lee “Scratch” Perry, U2, Tom Waits, and Keith Richards; fitting since Strawberry Hill is owned by Grammy award winner Chris Blackwell, founder of Island Records.
- Aruwai Resort – Guyana
- Wellness at Sugar Beach – St. Lucia A Viceroy Resort
- The Christopher Unveils Three New Villas in St. Barth – December 2019
- Belmond Cap Juluca – Anguilla
- Reasons to Go – The Caribbean Edition
- Hamilton Princess Hotel & Beach Club, Hamilton – Bermuda
- Sugar Beach, A Viceroy Resort – St. Lucia
- Cheval Blanc ST Barth ssle De France, ST. Barths
- Belmond Cap Juluca Hotel – Anguilla
- Ani Villas, Anguilla
- jumby bay – antigua
- Notre Dame Bascilica – Montreal, Canada
- Half Moon Hotel – Jamaica
- The Royal Madikwe Luxury Safari – Johannesburg, South Africa
- Lalibela Game Safari, South Africa
- Waddesdon Manor – London, England
- Strawberry Hill Hotel – Jamaica