Virtuoso Traveler - February/March 2018 - 53
After a challenging 2017,
the region looks forward to
recovery and rebirth.
(SAINT LUCIA) DANIELLE DEVAUX/SIME/ESTOCK PHOTO,
(ILLUSTRATIONS) ELENA MEDVEDEVA/GETTY IMAGES
BY SUSAN HANSON
This winter's bone-chilling temperatures have many
eager to escape to the tropics. For Virtuoso travel advisor Linda
Allen, the go-to destination is still the Caribbean, where "the
allure of the area's warm waters, beautiful beaches, and gentle
people continues to entice those seeking relief from the cold."
It's welcome news, of course, considering that only a few
months ago a string of record-shattering hurricanes made
landfall in the area. While many islands suffered widespread
devastation, the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association reports
that nearly three-quarters of the diverse region - which spans
more than a million square miles - was completely unaffected,
and many destinations that sustained mild damage were back to
business soon thereafter.
More than 40 of the 70 Caribbean hotels and resorts in the Virtuoso portfolio are once again welcoming guests, and even more
are planning to reopen later this year. Many popular cruise ports
are fully operational as well. Allen, who's based in Harrison, Arkansas, notes that none of her clients who had planned Caribbean
vacations over the recent holidays canceled due to storm concerns,
and upon returning home, all relayed positive experiences. Best of
all, she adds, traveling to the Caribbean is an important way to support ongoing relief efforts. Here, an update on select islands - some
unscathed, and some damaged but undeterred.