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Tropical Tidbits Fall 2019

by Sue C Travel

Visit Bahamas to Help the Bahamas

As I sat down to write this edition’s column, I’d just been discussing with my Caribbean tribe of how fortunate we were to have such a quiet hurricane season this year. Then bam! Along came Dorion.

No doubt you’ve already seen the apocalyptic aftermath left behind on Grand Bahama and the Abaco Islands, so I won’t dwell on the destruction. But I do want to tell you how best to help, and why the Bahamas should still be on your go-to list this winter season.

One way to help of course is through donations to well-vetted organizations that will make sure the funds go to where they are needed most. The Caribbean Tourism Organization is one such organization that I highly recommend:
www.gofundme.com/hurricane-relief-fund-cto.

But regardless of what you might have heard or seen on the news, you should NOT assume that the entire Bahamas is a no-go region right now. The Common Wealth of the Bahamas is comprised of 700 islands (though many uninhabited) covering 100,000 square miles of ocean. And though some of the northern region was badly damaged, much of the archipelago was not, including New Providence Island where Nassau and Paradise Island are located and host the bulk of the big, beautiful resorts. Most of the awesome Out Islands were also virtually untouched like Eleuthera where you can swim with pigs, or Bimini famous for its pods of wild dolphins close to shore, and Inagua, known for its abundant wildlife and excellent birding. And all the islands offer blindingly white sand beaches and stunning aqua waters, truly paradise for those seeking a winter escape.

The Bahamas really need your tourist dollars right now to help rebuild the affected regions. So right now, the best way you can help the Bahamas is to simply to visit the rest of the Bahamas. These islands are all interconnected like one big family, so when you help one, you help them all.  Visit: www.bahamas.com

Chefs to the Rescue?

After every natural disaster the first responders and unexpected heroes get a lot of the attention, but there’s a group of dedicated volunteers that get boots on the ground fast after hurricanes, floods, earthquakes and fires that could use a big shout out too. Chefs! The World Central Kitchen Relief Team has served more than 8 million meals to feed victims of natural disasters all over the world, and they were first on the ground in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, and now in Marsh Harbour in the Abacos- setting up their portable camp to feed thousands of hungry people free of charge as quickly as possible. Headed by famous Chef Jose Andres, the thousands of volunteer chefs and workers give their time to the needy during dire conditions, but they also need our help to keep going. Show them you appreciate their work by donating at: www.wck.org

Curacao North Sea Jazz Fest

Mark your calendar for next fall to head to Curacao’s North Sea Jazz Festival for an open-air concert on the charming Dutch Caribbean island of Curacao. This year’s gala three-day festival over Labor Day weekend attracted big names like Mariah Carey, Adam Levine’s Maroon Five, Black-Eyed Peas, Pitbull and classic stars like Gladys Knight, Earth Wind & Fire, Kenny G, and so many more. The annual festival also gives back to the community – run by Fundashon Bon Intenshon and produced by Mojo Concerts- the proceeds are donated to local charities.
Visit: www.curacaonorthseajazz.com

New Hotel & Resort News

It’s been a busy year for AMResorts with the all kinds of new openings all over the Caribbean and Mexico, and now is the time to book ahead for great opening specials.

Open now:

Now® Emerald Cancun made its debut in the famous Hotel Zone region in June 2019, on a beautiful beach as a new family-friendly all-inclusive featuring their signature brand of Unlimited Luxury® with 427 rooms and a gorgeous spa by Pevonia®. There’s something for everyone including adults-only areas, a dedicated Core Zone teens club and an Explorer’s Club for kids.

Opening soon:

Sunscape® Akumal Beach Resort will open October 1st, 2019 in the lush jungle and sea region of Riviera Maya with the Unlimited-Fun® for the whole family.

Dreams Acapulco Resort & Spa will open November 1st, 2019 with 605 rooms on stunning Icacos Beach near the Acapulco Golf Club with Unlimited-Luxury® for all-inclusive family fun.

Another AMResort will open on Nov. 1st, 2019 in Mexico as well- Dreams Vista Cancun Resort & Spa brings the Unlimited-Luxury® concept to the exclusive gated community of Puerta del Mar with 232 new rooms adjacent to Puerto Cancun Golf Club.

In Curacao, a Dreams® brand resort will take over the property of the Curacao Marriott by December 2019. Dreams Curacao Resort Spa & Casino will turn the legendary Marriott hotel into a family-friendly all-inclusive with Unlimited Luxury® in 336 rooms on a beautiful beach close to the colorful capital of Willemstad.

For more information on all new AMResorts openings visit: www.amresorts.com.

The Birthplace of the Pina Colada is Back!

Puerto Rico Caribe Hilton has reopened after a $150 million restoration just in time to celebrate its 70th birthday and as the Hilton brand marks it 100th anniversary in 2019. The iconic hotel is the birthplace of the delicious Pina Colada cocktail and was the favored hotspot of famous visiting celebs and the jet-setting elite in its heyday. It is now ready to welcome guests to enjoy a brand-new deluxe and modern oceanfront experience close to the colorful, exciting and historic capital of San Juan.

Visit: www.caribehilton.com

Award-winning travel journalist Sue Campbell is based in Montreal but makes it her business to be on top of everything cool, hot, and new under the sun throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. World Traveler welcomes her as a regular columnist.
Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @suectravel