To help travel agents reassure client concerns about the Coronavirus, TICO has issued a special Registrar Bulletin that includes relevant tips and information.
TORONTO — With major airlines suspending operations and governments enforcing strict travel restrictions due to COVID-19, hotel and resort companies are doing their part to help reassure travellers during this time.
All Sandals and Beaches Resorts will temporarily close during the period of March 30 – May 15, 2020.
For bookings scheduled to travel between now and April 30, 2020 only, Sandals is allowing complete name changes without penalties for the original date and resort of travel. This means guests can change all the names on the booking with new names without penalties.
Bookings travelling within the above date frame will be allowed to reschedule their trip up to 12 months out from their original travel dates. Sandals will protect their original rate in the same category and the same resort. Christmas and New Year blackout dates apply.
Confirmed prizewinner bookings travelling within the above time frame can revise to travel within six months from their original travel dates, based on availability.
Prizewinners certificates that have not been redeemed and are expiring by April 30, 2020 can be extended for travel for an additional six months from expiration date.
BAHIA PRINCIPE HOTELS & RESORTS
Bahia Principe is currently not permitting stays at the following hotels:
At Bahia Principe La Romana Resort:
Arrivals as from March 18 onwards will be redirected to Bahia Principe complex in Bavaro. Reservations for Bahia Principe Luxury Bouganville will be redirected to Bahia Principe Luxury Ambar, while reservations for Bahia Principe Grand La Romana will be redirected to Bahia Principe Grand Punta Cana.
At Bahia Principe Bavaro Resort:
All check-ins are being protected since March 15 to Bahia Principe Luxury Ambar, Bahia Principe Grand Punta Cana, and Bahia Principe Fantasia Punta Cana.
All arrivals to this destination are being redirected as of March 15 to Bahia Principe Luxury Cayo Levantado.
For the cancellation policy of Spain resorts, go to https://www.bahia-principe.com/en/covid-19/.
MELIA HOTELS & RESORTS
Currently, and until March 31, 2020, all rates that Melia have on sale can be cancelled at no cost. Cancellations can be made between 1-7 days before the scheduled arrival date.
For individual bookings made from March 2-31, 2020, guests can cancel the booking up to 24 hours before the check-in date without any cancellation fee or penalty.
For cancellation policies for individual bookings made from March 2-31, and those made before March 2, as well as a complete list of hotel closures, please refer to Melia’s website at: https://media.melia.com/covid-19/covid_en.html?v1&_ga=2.227852827.740986875.1584547487-25380940.1584547487
BARCELÓ HOTEL GROUP
The Barceló Hotel Group has made all changes completely flexible for bookings with arrival dates up to May 31, 2020. Guests have the option to change their booking date so that they can enjoy their stay within the 12 months following the check-in date.
“Given the exceptional circumstances, we would like to apologize for the inconveniences that this health crisis is causing you or your loved ones,” said the company. “The health and well-being of our guests and employees is a top priority for the Barceló Hotel Group.”
CLUB MED PUNTA CANA & CLUB MED MICHES PLAYA ESMERALDA:
Following the Dominican Republic’s decision to close their borders entirely to slow the spread of COVID-19, Club Med Punta Cana and Club Med Michès Playa Esmeralda are temporarily suspending operations from March 19 to May 1, 2020.
For guests heading to these two resorts before May 1, their files will be automatically cancelled. Affected guests will receive:
CLUB MED SANDPIPER BAY, FLORIDA:
In light of the Canadian government’s request to reduce unnecessary travel, Club Med is cancelling reservations for Canadian clients traveling to Sandpiper Bay, Florida from March 19 to April 26, 2020.
Guests with an existing reservation that has been cancelled will receive:
CLUB MED COLUMBUS ISLE, BAHAMAS
Club Med will temporarily suspend operations of Club Med Columbus Isle from March 21 to May 1, 2020.
Guests with an existing reservation that’s been cancelled will receive:
For updated policies for all other Club Med properties, go to https://www.clubmed.ca/l/revisedcancellationpolicy.
IBEROSTAR HOTELS & RESORTS
Across the Americas, Iberostar typically offers a free cancellation policy providing that reservations are cancelled 48 to 72 hours beforehand. The hotel chain has updated its policy for new bookings made between March 13-31, 2020 for stays up until June 30, 2020.
Accommodations in the United States, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Brazil booked within this window can now be cancelled free of charge up to 24 hours before arrival.
Iberostar has also extended this policy to its hotels and resorts in Cuba, which usually need to be cancelled four days before arrival. With the new policy, rooms booked between March 13-31, 2020 for stays up to June 30, 2020 can be cancelled free of charge up to 24 hours before arrival.
PLAYA HOTELS & RESORTS
Playa is waiving cancellation fees for all individual reservations scheduled for arrival before April 30, 2020. Existing bookings can be changed or cancelled at no charge up to 24 hours before arrival. This policy also applies to new bookings made from now and April 30, 2020 for travel through April 30, 2020. From May 1, 2020 onward, standard cancellation fees will apply.
Palace Resorts is allowing travellers with reservations throughout March and April to modify the dates of their bookings without penalty. Guests, including those with non-refundable reservations, can choose alternate travel dates from now until Dec. 15, 2020.
VIVA WYNDHAM RESORTS
Guests travelling with new or existing direct bookings for stays in any of Wyndham’s hotels through April 30, 2020 will have their cancellation or change penalties waived if the request is received at least 24 hours (or less if permitted by the hotel’s policy) prior to arrival.
Guests who are prohibited from travelling to their booked hotel under applicable law will have their cancellation or change penalties waived on direct bookings.
For new or existing direct bookings with arrivals after April 30, all of Wyndham’s properties are required to accommodate non-cancellable rate reservation changes if tihe request is received at least 48 hours prior to arrival and the same number of room nights or more are booked for a future stay.
ROYALTON LUXURY RESORTS
Guests travelling to any Royal Luxury Resorts property and who booked directly can reschedule their trip with no penalty if communicated 48 hours before the original check-in. Its flexible cancellation policy also allows guests unable to travel to the destination to cancel their existing reservation with no penalties 48 hours before check in.
Also, since March 17, Royalton has been relocating guests staying at Royalton Punta Cana and Hideaway at Royalton Punta Cana Royalton Bavaro with a room upgrade based on availability.