Properties are once again operational – just in time for high season.
(Courtesy of Gansevoort Turks + Caicos)
During hurricanes Irma and Maria and the wildfires in Napa Valley and Sonoma, it seemed that the devastation was insurmountable. In the aftermath, many travelers were forced to cancel their reservations. However, many places fared better than expected. Some impacted destinations recovered quickly, with minimal or no damage to hotels and tourist attractions. Yet, in other destinations, the recovery process will be long and arduous, especially for larger resort properties and outlying areas. With the recent disasters behind them, these beautiful destinations are resilient and properties across California, Florida and the Caribbean are open for business and ready to warmly welcome you back.Las Alcobas Napa Valley
Las Alcobas Napa Valley
(Courtesy of Las Alcobas Napa Valley)
St. Helena, California
This beautiful 68-room luxury resort in St. Helena features lovely Napa Valley vineyards in the backdrop. While the property was closed during the fires, its acclaimed restaurant by celebrity chef Chris Cosentino, Acacia House, remained open to serve first responders and neighbors who had lost their homes. Today, the property is eager to host visitors and entices travelers to extend their stay with unique amenities such as rooms outfitted with spacious terraces, outdoor fire pits and soaking tubs, along with a lavish spa highlighting holistic treatments. Explore this legendary wine region, which only lost one winery during the fires and had already harvested 90 percent of the season's fruit.The Gaige House + Ryokan
The Gaige House + Ryokan
Glen Ellen, California
Sonoma County was harder hit than Napa Valley, with 10 percent of its 1 million acres destroyed by fires and high winds, including two hotels and a winery in Santa Rosa. The Gaige House + Ryokan, one of the area's acclaimed luxury boutique properties, had to close for a month for cleanup, but is now welcoming guests at their 23-room Zen-inspired property in Glen Ellen. Begin the day with a hearty breakfast prepared by the innkeepers before heading out to explore this beautiful and resilient wine region. Then splurge on a relaxing hot stone massage at the hotel, followed by dinner at one of the area's newest restaurants, Umbria Glen Ellen.Gansevoort Turks + Caicos, A Wymara Resort
Gansevoort Turks + Caicos, A Wymara Resort
(Courtesy of Gansevoort Turks + Caicos)
Providenciales,Turks and Caicos
A modern boutique property, Gansevoort Turks + Caicos is located on beautiful Grace Bay Beach. The sleek design of this hotel resembles Florida's South Beach, with its minimalist yet trendy décor and stunning 7,000-square-foot infinity pool. As with many properties on Providenciales, the hotel sustained minimal damage during the hurricanes and reopened in October. Ramon Andrews, director of the Turks & Caicos Islands Tourist Board, says just two resorts remain closed, with Beaches reopening in mid-December and Club Med scheduled to open at the end of January.The Shore Club
The Shore Club
(Courtesy of The Shore Club)
Turks and Caicos
This luxury resort features 106 ocean view suites and six luxury villas and is the first hotel property to be built on the pristine sands of Long Bay Beach on the southeastern coast of Providenciales. With little damage, the property reopened at the end of September. For a relaxing getaway, spend time at the Dune Spa, which uses a holistic approach that incorporates natural elements of the Caribbean. As for dining, guests can pick from three restaurants including Sui-Ren, a unique upscale venue that combines Peruvian and Japanese cuisines and techniques.Carlisle Bay Antigua
Carlisle Bay Antigua
(Courtesy of Carlisle Bay Antigua)
Carlisle Bay, Antigua
This elegant and modern luxury resort located on Antigua's south coast is set against a lush green rainforest, mountains and pristine white beaches, making it one of the most picturesque resorts on the island. With little damage to Antigua, Carlisle Bay opened on time in October after its annual closure. The property boasts 82 contemporary suites with ocean views and private terraces. Take time to recharge at Blue Spa or take a private class at the Yoga Pavilion. What's more, four dining venues offer selections from casual beach fare to one of the best Asian restaurants on the island.Siboney Beach Club
Siboney Beach Club
(Courtesy of Siboney Beach Club)
This small boutique property, which boasts just 15 rooms and suites, weathered the storm when Irma and Maria hit in September. The resort sustained very little damage, with minor cleanup around the property. Set on the beach on Dickenson Bay, Siboney Beach Club offers a more relaxed alternative to larger resorts on the island. Enjoy striking Caribbean sunsets every evening at Coconut Grove Restaurant and let the front desk arrange guided rainforest tours or a lobster lunch and snorkeling expedition.The Marquesa Hotel
The Marquesa Hotel
(Courtesy of The Marquesa Hotel)
Key West, Florida
Located on Fleming Street, near the Gulf of Mexico and a mile from the Atlantic Ocean, The Marquesa Hotel offers guests a romantic getaway and convenient location within walking distance to top attractions in town. Accommodations range from elegantly restored rooms and suites in 19th-century-style houses to new rooms, suites and cottages with private balconies and porches overlooking the pool and gardens. The assistant manager of the property says that while the area and the hotel did experience damage, most of it was downed trees and debris that had to be cleared, and the property was able to reopen once the roads were repaired.Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
Casa Marina Key West, A Waldorf Astoria Resort
(Courtesy of Casa Marina Key West)
Key West, Florida
This stately historic resort located in charming Old Town and on the island city's longest beach is close to museums, historic homes, boutiques, shops and restaurants. Andrew Rosuck, sales and marketing director of Casa Marina, A Waldorf Astoria Resort, says the property reopened in mid-October, and the Key West experience is as incredible as ever. For an excursion to remember, book a seaplane trip to Dry Tortugas National Park from the resort's beach, where you can enjoy aerial views of the park while sipping champagne over the crystal-clear waters. For the ultimate indulgence, book a beachside massage with Spa Al Mare.Le Village St. Barts Hotel
Le Village St. Barts Hotel
(Courtesy of Le Village St. Barts Hotel)
This intimate and chic Caribbean property features rooms, suites, cottages and villas and is located on La Colline de St. Jean, a hillside above one of the largest and prettiest bays on the island, the Bay of St. Jean. The property suffered hurricane damage in a few of its rooms, but it reopened to welcome guests for the season beginning in December. Just a short walk to the quaint village of St. Jean, the property offers a convenient location for easy access to top-notch restaurants, bars and boutiques and a lovely perch for admiring views of the bay.Les Ilets de la Plage
Les Ilets de la Plage
This quiet and understated resort in St. Jean features 11 beautifully restored and renovated villas located directly on the beach and in tropical gardens. The hotel, which sustained considerable damage to its buildings and infrastructure, has recovered quickly, thanks to a team of dedicated architects and engineers, according to Laurie Smith, a spokesperson for the property. Enjoy early morning pastries delivered to your door, cocktails in the evening by the pool with other guests and wrapping up the day at a favorite local restaurant with French flair for a romantic dinner.Baker's Suites
Located in Simpson Bay on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, this intimate all-suite boutique hotel is situated next to Kim Sha Beach and is just a short drive to Princess Juliana Airport. All suites come equipped with small kitchens and balconies. Alexia Best, a representative of the hotel, says the property fared well and primarily had only cleanup work after the hurricanes. Once water and electricity were restored, it reopened just two weeks later. Even better, there are shops, restaurants, grocery stores and casinos, all within walking distance of the hotel, that are open for business, she adds.Princess Heights Luxury Boutique Condo Hotel
Princess Heights Luxury Boutique Condo Hotel
A luxury boutique condo hotel, Princess Heights offers studios and suites outfitted with kitchenettes and ocean views from its balconies with vistas of St. Barts in the distance. This hotel, located on the Dutch side of St. Maarten, had minimal damage, reopened several weeks after the hurricanes passed through and is now fully operational. A representative of the property says only one restaurant, Infinity, is open in nearby Oyster Bay, but that many shops, restaurants and grocery stores are available in Simpson Bay and on the French side of the island.Rejens Luxury Hotel
Rejens Luxury Hotel
Dominica was one of the hardest hit islands in the Caribbean. The best way to aid in the recovery process is to participate in a voluntourism package. Rejens Luxury Hotel is collaborating with Cobra Tours to host cleanup projects of the Indian River. Featured in the 2006 film “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest,” the Indian River is the island's longest. Colin Piper, Discover Dominica Authority's director of tourism, says the island is still assessing the damage, but many of the walking trails are clear and 22 properties have reopened for business. They also hope to offer additional voluntourism packages in the near future.San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino
San Juan, Puerto Rico
This high-rise oceanfront resort located on Condado Beach is seeing business return to normal as more leisure guests book upcoming reservations. Joaquin Cruz, the property's director of marketing, says the San Juan metro area and cobblestone streets of Old San Juan are alive with people visiting the beaches, restaurants and shops and taking in the city's nightlife. While the city is back in business and welcoming tourists, the countryside is still rebuilding, he cautions.Carimar Beach Club
Carimar Beach Club
(Courtesy of Carimar Beach Club)
Located on Meads Bay Beach, one of the most loved beaches on Anguilla, this one- and two-bedroom villa resort is planning a grand reopening for guests for the Christmas holiday. As with other islands that sustained significant damage, smaller properties fared better and are open for business. Carimar Beach Club entices guests with its spacious and tropical-inspired interiors and beautiful lush garden that's been restored since the storm. Spend a little island time on the beach and then head to nearby local spots, like Blanchards and its Beach Shack, which will be open by Christmas.Shoal Bay Villas
Shoal Bay Villas
(Courtesy of Shoal Bay Villas)
This enclave of four upscale buildings located on Shoal Bay East reopened in November to welcome guests after the storms. The property boasts 23 accommodations, ranging from poolside apartments to deluxe oceanfront rooms, each appointed with a kitchen and porch or patio. Rachel Haskins, operations manager for the property, recommends heading out to local crowd-pleasing hot spots for cocktails, bites and entertainment, including Tropical Sunset, Madeariman, Elodias, Pitt Stop, Falcon's Nest and Johno's. For a special evening, try the internationally inspired restaurant Hibernia.Blue Sandcastle Villas
Blue Sandcastle Villas
(Courtesy of Blue Sandcastle Villas)
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
These private luxury villas, all with fantastic views, were spared from the hurricanes. Owner Ingrid Widvey, says they have been renting villas to tourists wanting to return to the island and that the beaches are beautiful, the water is clear and the vegetation is coming back lush and green. The smaller properties are some of the best options on St. Thomas right now. Book one of these villas and enjoy personalized concierge service and perhaps even a private chef during your stay. The restaurants are also open nearby, and there are even a few new ones to try, Widvey adds.Sand Castle on the Beach
Sand Castle on the Beach
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
This boutique beachfront property has been home to government and relief workers following the hurricanes, but is now open for business and ready to host guests returning to St. Croix. Craig Estep, marketing director and guest relations coordinator, says the storm took part of the beach away, but it's steadily coming back as is much of vegetation that was destroyed by the storms. He expects tourism to pick up after the holidays, which is traditionally high season. Escape the frigid temps in the Northeast and enjoy a cocktail with your feet in the sand at the Beach Side Café.Hotel Cruz Bay
Hotel Cruz Bay
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
David Guidi, the owner of this small hotel located in the heart of Cruz Bay, was in Spain when Hurricane Irma hit St. John. He flew back to open the hotel and assist with the shortage of rooms available on the island. Guidi says everyone is working hard to get things back to normal, and the attractions St. John is known for – its beautiful white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters – have almost entirely recovered. He recommends booking a room at least six weeks in advance for your winter getaway to the island since accommodations are in demand.Before you go: Check current recovery efforts.
Before you go: Check current recovery efforts.
In Napa Valley and Sonoma, the wine is flowing, restaurants are open and there are special deals on hotels and attractions. In Florida and the Caribbean, the beaches are beautiful, the weather is warm and the sunsets are spectacular. It's best to check current information with each tourism board before making travel plans, as many properties are not yet open and some are still housing relief workers, but they're all working hard to get everything back to normal as quickly as possible. The best way to aid in their recovery process is to visit and support the local communities, hotel properties and businesses over the holiday or in the new year.Read More
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