Saturday, November 21, 2009


telegraph.co.uk/travel Travel news and holiday reviews

Hot tips for the West Indies this winter
Fred Mawer selects the pick of the new openings and places to head this season
This exclusive little island has some of the best beaches and hotels in the Caribbean. With a prime beachfront location overlooking two lovely bays, three restaurants and an ocean-front spa, all spread over 35 acres, the Viceroy (www. viceroyanguilla.com) will fit in seamlessly: it is probably the most luxurious hotel to open in the region this year.
Packages through Caribtours (020 7751 0660, www.caribtours.co.uk)

Sandals Emerald Bay (www. sandals.co.uk) is opening in January on Great Exuma. Converted from what was a luxurious Four Seasons resort, the upmarket all-inclusive includes an 18-hole golf course, tennis centre, spa, marina and much more.
Packages through Thomas Cook Signature (0844 879 8015, www. tcsignature.com)

salubrious part of Kingston, opened earlier this year.

Olveston House (www.olveston house.com), owned by the former Beatles producer Sir George Martin and visited over the years by Sting, Eric Clapton, Elton John and Paul McCartney, has opened as an inexpensive six-room guesthouse and restaurant – rates are about £73 a night. An even more affordable new option is Mount Pleasant Eco Lodge and Campsite (www. greenlivingmontserrat.com), where a pitch (a wooden platform), tent and other essential camping equipment costs £28 a night for two.

which has quickly established itself as one of St Lucia’s best hotels, has just opened the much more affordable Mango Beach Inn (www.mangobeach marigot.com). The four-room b&b also overlooks Marigot Bay and is yards from the highly rated Rainforest Hideaway restaurant.

St Vincent and the Grenadines
Buccament Bay Beach Resort (www.buccamentbay.com), an ambitious development due to open next July on the littlevisited island of St Vincent, is being billed as a five-star resort with outstanding facilities. These include a Liverpool FC Soccer School, a Pat Cash Tennis Academy and a performing arts centre. Scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean were shot nearby.

The Atlantis (www.atlantishotel barbados.com), a Barbados institution dating from the 19th century overlooking the island’s wave-pummelled, unspoilt east coast, is being lovingly restored by the owners of Little Good Harbour (one of the island’s best boutique hotels). It should reopen this month. The Barbados Gourmet Card

Puerto Rico
There are direct flights from Britain for the first time for a decade this winter. Earlier this month, Virgin started a weekly service from Gatwick (via Antigua) to the capital, San Juan. The flights, which will continue until late April, are designed chiefly to serve Virgin Holidays’ cruise-andstay programme (0871 781
9877, www.virginholidayscruises. co.uk)

Nonsuch Bay Resort (www. nonsuchbayresort.com), a large waterfront property due to open just before Christmas, sits on a secluded bay in the south-east of the island where conditions are ideal for learning to sail. A fleet of dinghies, and sailing lessons and courses, are on offer. Accommodation comes in the form of apartments, town houses and villas. Jumby Bay (www.jumbybayresort. com), a luxurious hotel on its own 300-acre island just off Antigua, officially reopens next month after an 18-month overhaul. The biggest change is the addition of an open-air spa. Other developments include new suites, estate homes and restaurants.
Packages through ITC Classics (01244 355550, www.itcclassics. co.uk)

This normally idyllic island has sadly had security problems of late, including attacks against Britons – see www.fco.gov.uk for advice. The Bacolet Beach Club (www. bacoletbeachclub.com), a stylish little hotel with an Asian/ Cuban restaurant set above a secluded cove near the capital Scarborough, opened last winter to good reviews.
Packages through Just Tobago (01373 814234, www.justtobago. co.uk)

was introduced this year, giving 25 per cent discounts on meals taken between midApril and mid-December at featured restaurants (including several very good ones). The card should be available for the same period next year.

British Virgin Islands
The BVI is the Caribbean’s premier sailing playground. The Moorings (0844 463 6386, www.moorings.co.uk), a charter yacht specialist, has spent £10million on its Moorings Village marina complex on Tortola. It has a new spa, restaurants and shops, and an expanded hotel.

St Barts
The Eden Rock Hotel (www. edenrockhotel.com) recently unveiled its most luxurious accommodation yet. Villa Rockstar has a dedicated butler, its own golf putting green, gym, screening room and recording studio – for upwards of £13,500 a night.

Turks and Caicos
Following an inquiry that showed the local government to be corrupt and incompetent, the Government imposed direct rule on this British territory in August. For tourists, everything should be business as usual. Gansevoort Turks and Caicos
(www.gansevoortturksandcaicos. com) opened last spring on

Cubana, the national airline, restarted flying between Gatwick and Havana over the summer. The weekly flights stop off in Holguin (in eastern Cuba) on the way out – useful if you seek an overland adventure to Havana. For fares, Havanatour (01707 646463, www.havanatour.co.uk) – are usually cheaper than Virgin. The most recent addition to Cuba’s stock of hotels in restored colonial buildings is the eight-room Casa Verde (www.gran-caribe.com) in Cienfuegos, an atmospheric port on the south coast.
Packages through Captivating Cuba (0844 412 9916, www. captivatingcuba.com)

St Kitts
British Airways, which started weekly flights (via Antigua) to this scenic and culturally rich island last January, is to make them twice-weekly in March.

Shorter breaks to the Dutch Caribbean island are becoming easier. Thomson Airways (www.thomson. co.uk), which last summer increased the frequency of its flights from Gatwick from fortnightly to weekly, is doing the same next May for flights from Manchester. Aruba has a new water park: Morgan’s Island (www. arubamorgansisland.com) is apparently the largest such park in the Caribbean.

With its rainforests and mountains, Dominica is the most rewarding Caribbean island for hikers. By the middle of 2010 you should be able to walk its length in about a fortnight on the 115-mile Waitukubuli National Trail. Many sections are already open: it’s the linking bits that are being worked on.
No website information as yet: for walking on Dominica in general, see www.discoverdominica.com

Several major developments on the Spice Island have come to a halt. However, an English couple has just opened Petite Anse Hotel (www.petiteanse.com), a comfortable, rustic-colonial, 11-room property with a good restaurant on a wild and breezy beach on the isolated north coast. Reviews have been enthusiastic.
Packages through Just Grenada (01373 814214, www.justgrenada. co.uk)

Clockwise from left: pool deck at the Viceroy Anguilla; the Gansevoort, Turks and Caicos; Calabash Cove, St Lucia; and Bacolet Beach Club, Tobago

British Airways started twiceweekly flights from Gatwick to Montego Bay last month (www. ba.com/montegobay). Expansion is under way at the famous GoldenEye resort at Oracabessa, where the writer Ian Fleming once lived. New beachfront cottages are due to open in late 2010 (www. goldeneyedevelopment.com). The Spanish Court Hotel (www. spanishcourthotel.com), a boutique property in a

St Lucia
Calabash Cove (www.calabash cove.com), which opened last spring, is a small-scale hotel on a hillside near Rodney Bay. “Swim-up” suites have direct access to the hotel’s large infinity pool and Water’s Edge cottages have private plunge pools and outdoor showers.
Packages through Tropic Breeze (01548 831550, www.tropicbreeze. co.uk)

Providenciales’ fabulous Grace Bay Beach. Trendy and expensive, with “lounging islands” around an infinity pool that serve as daytime sunbathing spots and nighttime dining areas, it derives much of its style from its sister property in Manhattan.
Packages through Expedia (www. expedia.co.uk) www.caribbean.co.uk has links to the websites of all the Caribbean countries

Judith Verity, owner of Discovery at Marigot Bay,

Indian Ocean’s jewels and Egypt’s antiquities
18 day fly-cruise from only £1,099 including a free cabin upgrade*

low cost
cruise offer

his unforgettable itinerary highlights the Indian Ocean’s jewels and Egypt’s antiquities. Your home for this adventure, mv Discovery, combines modern comforts with a sleek exterior, reminiscent of the classic liners of yesteryear. Enjoy the comprehensive programme of guest speakers, including historians, explorers, naturalists and diplomats who will share their expertise, anecdotes and interests with you.


Ports of call include: Þ Mombasa, Kenya: enjoy the Swahili architecture of the Old Town, take a boat tour or a ‘big five’ game drive Þ Seychelles: view the exotic flora and fauna, relax, and snorkel

Þ Salalah, Oman: visit the fishing village of Taqah and the ruins of Samhuran, a trading centre dating back 5,000 years and said to be the arrival place of the Queen of Sheba Þ Sharm el Sheikh: relax at a Red Sea resort, take a glass-bottom boat ride to a coral reef or visit St. Catherine’s Monastery and Mount Sinai Þ Aqaba, Jordan: visit the fortress city of Petra, walk down the Siq gorge; optional excursion to Wadi Rum Þ Safaga, Egypt: gateway to Upper Egypt; plus opportunity to tour Luxor, Karnak, and The Valley of The Kings Itinerary: Day 1 Depart UK by air Day 2 Mombasa, Kenya (overnight)

Day 3 Mombasa, Kenya Day 4-5 Cruising the Indian Ocean Day 6 Praslin, Seychelles; La Digue, Seychelles Day 7-8 Cruising the Indian Ocean Day 9 Salalah, Oman Day 10-13 Cruising the Red Sea Day 14 Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt Day 15 Aqaba, Jordan Day 16-17 Safaga, Egypt (overnight) Day 18 Fly home from Safaga, Egypt Price includes: Þ All meals, entertainment and gratuities on board Þ Return flights Þ Informative talks by guest speakers Þ Prices on board are in British pounds

To book, call 0844 873 0738 quoting TGOF113,
or email telegraph@voyagesofdiscovery.com
Fare shown is per person in UK£ based on twin occupancy in lowest inside cabin category available and includes all applicable discounts. *Free one category cabin upgrade applies to categories between O and J (excluding Cat L, II and GG). Cabin upgrade and all offers are capacity controlled, subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time. Offers are applicable to new direct bookings only. Terms and conditions apply, see brochure for details. Travel insurance is not included. Calls from a BT landline cost 5p per minute, mobile and other networks may vary. Voyages of Discovery is a trading name of All Leisure Holidays Ltd and is a company independent of Telegraph Media Group Limited. Please refer to the Data Protection Act in today’s Personal Column.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful