Shermans Travel » Blog » Caribbean
Known for warm weather and beautiful beaches, Caribbean resorts aren’t usually thought of as true foodie destinations. Discerning travelers, however, are increasingly demanding good cuisine, and tropical resorts are happily answering their culinary prayers. From cooking classes to bespoke menus, these Caribbean hotels go beyond conch fritters and strawberry daiquiris, offering true tastes of their respective regions.
Things change. Those words are particularly apt when talking about the current hotel expansion happening in the Caribbean. On Wednesday, we showed you photos of the still-in-construction 1,000-acre mega resort Baha Mar, set to open on New Paradise Island in the Bahamas in late 2014/early 2015. Of the resort’s four hotels (totaling 2,200 rooms), one will be flagged as a Mondrian, the design-forward brand normally associated with urban destinations like New York and Miami.
With its trendy cocktail bars, pool cabanas, and “Sunset Strip vibe,” the Mondrian will be specifically targeting fashion and nightlife crowds. This signals a 180-degree shift from the Caribbean’s usual family-oriented, mid-range hotel offerings. But this could be just the tip of the iceberg. Read more
Ah, those pesky resort fees. We’ve all encountered them in our travels, lurking on our hotel bills.
They’ve been around since the 1990s when they were generally utilized to pay for the upkeep of high-end facilities at upscale resorts; the beach clubs and tennis courts, for example. However, in the last five years or so, more and more hotels have been tacking on these annoying – and often spendy – extra charges for considerably lower-end facilities. For example, almost every explanation of these fees we’ve encountered includes such uninspiring “perks” as a newspaper and local phone calls.
According to research by Bjorn Hanson, divisional dean of the Preston Robert Tisch Center for Hospitality, Tourism, and Sports Management at New York University, the U.S. hotel industry collected approximately $1.55 billion in fees and surcharges in 2009. Not all of which were resort fees, but you can see how fees and extras add up. Here’s a breakdown of these fees, how they work, when they’re charged, and how you can avoid them. Read more
There is generally one main factor at play when it comes to cruise prices during the holiday season: the strength of the cruise industry. If it’s been a gangbuster year, don’t expect the cruise lines to wave you aboard for a pittance. Conversely, if sales have been lagging over the past ten months, they’re more likely to roll out holiday deals in a bid to shore up fourth quarter revenues. Value offers will vary by line, so consumers will benefit from some comparison shopping.
Though 2013 brought some challenges to the cruise market – remember the Carnival Triumph power loss in February? – deals seem to be on the scarce side this season. Nevertheless, we found a few decent ones floating around: Read more
What are you doing between now and December 19? If your answer is ‘nothing,’ you may want to consider a trip to the Caribbean; specifically, Anguilla, where the ultra-luxe Viceroy Anguilla recently unveiled a snazzy new package that offers partial reimbursement on the cost of your flight. Seriously. By booking five nights at a four- or five-bedroom villa, guests will be eligible to receive airfare compensation of up to $1,000 or $2,000, respectively. Read more
Fall is a great time to take a trip: In many destinations, you’ll find lower rates and smaller crowds than in summer, making for a relaxing and easy-on-the-wallet travel experience. Our deals expert, Lisa Hubner, rounded up some of the best deals for fall travel to Europe, the U.S., and the Caribbean: Read more
All-inclusive resorts can be both a blessing and a curse – and an incredible deal. But it’s easy to lose control of your eating habits when your options are unlimited, and offered at no additional cost. Why, yes, I will have another hamburger. Oh sure, throw in another daiquiri. I’m on vacation!
Suddenly you’re 10 pounds heavier by the time you get home, and your whole health routine is shot. Sound familiar? Here are five tips to help you maintain your bikini bod at an all-inclusive resort. Read more
Just because you don’t yet have vacation plans as the first day of summer approaches doesn’t mean you’re out of luck. Get in on a hot hotel deal with CyberSummer, a one-day only sale that begins at midnight EDT on the summer solstice – this Friday, June 21! Travelers will be able to find exclusive online deals, including four-diamond resort stays from $99/night, five-star hotels offering 50 percent savings, free nights, and more. Want examples? Here are a few, just to whet your vacation appetite. Read more
If you’re looking to take an exotic vacation this season, we’ve got deals for you from all over the world; from Africa to Europe to the Caribbean islands. Stray outside of your comfort zone and take the journey you’ve always dreamed of; with these fantastic deals, you’ve got few excuses not to. Read more
Don’t let the Carnival Cruise Line’s recent newsworthy items deter you from hitting the high seas. There are millions of cruises that sail each year without making the news. They have great customer service, activities for families, couples, and seniors, onboard entertainment, and unique ports around the world. Today we’ve rounded up the best of the best, from exotic international cruises to the always-popular beach destinations. Read more
Looking for a 2013 cruise adventure that won’t break the bank? Set sail into the New Year and save with one of these five budget-friendly cruise picks. Cruising from close-to-home cities to popular ports in Mexico, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, and beyond, these great-value 3-, 4-, and 7-night cruises all ring in from under $409/person – and one from as little as $199.
Just hurry up and book – prices are sure to spike soon, so don’t miss the boat on these priced-to-go sailings. Read more
People travel for myriad reasons: to see new places, to conduct business, to escape wacky family members. More often than not, people venture out into the world for a respite from their everyday lives. A break from the daily grind is always welcome, and most vacationers are happy to escape to a realm of peace and tranquility.
Of course, in today’s tech landscape, where many of us have our smartphones fused to the palms of our hands, that can be nigh impossible. Even in the most remote corners of the Earth, you can still hear the faint buzzes, bells, and whistles of your or your neighbors’ electronic devices. We’re all guilty of giving in to technology in times when we should log off – checking our work email on vacation, or wondering which Instagram filter will get your sweet landscape photo the most likes. For those of us who need the internet pried from our cold, dead fingers, some hotels are taking a more forceful route.
Recently, my friend and I took a girls’ getaway to St. Lucia. We were both excited to get away from the office for a week; we planned on unwinding at the beach on Sunday – the day we left New York – then spending six days swimming, sunning, and sleeping.
Then we looked at our plane tickets. Yes, we were leaving Sunday morning and returning Friday night, but we actually had just four full days in St. Lucia – and eight hours in the San Juan airport in both directions. While more and more direct routes to smaller Caribbean islands are becoming available, the cheapest flights still require layovers, and often long ones, in the Puerto Rican capital. Read more
Like snowbirds, cruise ships migrate south for the winter, repositioning from San Francisco to Sydney or Vancouver to Miami, among other seasonal switch-ups. In search of aquamarine water and swaying palms, these cities at sea ply the open ocean offering sun seekers a taste of the good life, complete with Broadway-style entertainment, umbrella drinks, chocolate fountains, and a bevy of stops along the way.
Working on a cruise ship, and then cruising on a variety of vessels as a passenger, I’d say I’ve earned my stripes at sea. Not only do I suggest packing Breton stripes and boat shoes, I’ve assembled a fleet of other fashion-meets-function essentials worth stuffing into your suitcase.
Here’s how to make the gangway your runway: Read more
Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals