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.
Here’s the latest from major sun destination resort brands (scroll down for complete details). Updates will be added as soon as they become available.
LATEST UPDATES: March 31 – Solmar Hotels & Resorts, Curtain Bluff, Coconut Bay; March 30 – Palace Resorts and ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa, FL; March 26 – Iberostar, Spice Island Grenada, Holiday Inn Montego Bay
AMResorts has implemented the ‘Move the Date, Keep the Rate’ program to allow guests to change the date of their travel for a future travel date between now and one year of their original travel date.
Additionally, they have the option to change to another AMResorts property within the same brand, in a different destination, with no additional fee or cancellation penalty. Travel must be completed within one year of their original travel date.
Clients can call AMResorts’ customer care team at 1-800-597-4761.
BAHIA PRINCIPE HOTELS & RESORT
Bahia Principe is proceeding with the gradual closure of its hotels in the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Jamaica. These include:
For relocation updates prior to closures, as well as Bahia Principe’s new cancellation and modification policy and updates about new bookings, go to https://www.bahia-principe.com/en/covid-19/.
Banyan Tree has adjusted its policies accordingly to provide guests with added flexibility:
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.”
BLUE DIAMOND RESORTS
Blue Diamond Resorts has temporarily closed its hotels throughout Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, with no reopening date confirmed at this time.
Below are the temporary closures, determined based on the soonest possible safe departure of all guests:
Guests travelling to any of its properties and who booked directly can reschedule their trip with no penalty if communicated 48 hours before the original check-in. Plus, guests unable to travel to the destination can cancel their existing reservation with no penalties 48 hours before check-in
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
For guests heading to Club Med Punta Cana, Michès Playa Esmeralda, Sandpiper Bay, Cancún Yucatán, Ixtapa Pacific, Columbus, Turkoise, Caravelle, or Buccaneer’s Creek before May 1, their file will be automatically cancelled.
Files will also be cancelled for guests heading to Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa or Brazil before May 1.
Impacted guests are being offered a future travel credit for 100% of the land costs, valid for travel through April 30, 2022 to travel again in the resort of their choice, as well as a credit for 100% of flights booked through Club Med, applicable on the same airline and non-transferable.
For complete terms and conditions, as well as info on stays on or after May 2, 2020 and new bookings, go to https://www.clubmed.ca/l/revisedcancellationpolicy.
COCONUT BAY BEACH RESORT & SPA, ST. LUCIA
Coconut Bay Beach Resort & Spa and Serenity at Coconut Bay will close from April 1 through May 15, 2020, with a reopening planned for May 16, 2020.
Guests with an existing reservation made directly with the resort for a stay between March 16 and June 30, 2020 can change their dates or cancel at no charge for a full refund up to 24 hours before their scheduled arrival.
Any new reservation made directly with the resort between March 16 and June 30, 2020 for any future stay can be changed or cancelled at no charge for a full refund up to 24 hours before their scheduled arrival.
The resort has extended its reservations office hours from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 12:00-5:00 p.m. on Saturday. They can be reached at email@example.com or at +1-758-456-9999.
CURTAIN BLUFF, ANTIGUA
Curtain Bluff has clod its doors for the first time in its 58-year history. It plans to reopen on Oct. 24, 2020, as per its usual yearly renovation schedule.
Guests whose deposited vacations will be affected from April to August are being offered a room credit on their return reservations for a maximum of 24 months. Those who choose to postpone their booking will also receive a US$200 resort credit to their updated booking.
THE EXCELLENCE COLLECTION
Two properties, Excellence Punta Cana and Beloved Playa Mujeres, temporarily closed on March 20, with plans to reopen on June 5, 2020.
Any current or future reservations will remain open, however, all guests visiting Excellence Punta Cana during this period will be accommodated at its nearby sister property, Excellence El Carmen. Similarly, all guests booked at Beloved Playa Mujeres during said period will be accommodated at Excellence Playa Mujeres, which is located next door.
The hotel chain says it will go a step further by offering affected guests a suite that is equivalent or higher in quality and value to the one originally booked.
Any guests who can no longer travel on their original dates can reschedule through Dec. 22, 2020.
HARD ROCK INTERNATIONAL
Hard Rock International has temporarily closed select Hard Rock Hotel and Hard Rock Hotel and Casino locations in the U.S. and abroad.
The closures, says the company, will support local, state and international efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus through social distancing. It also announced the temporary closure of all company-owned Hard Rock Café locations around the world.
HOLIDAY INN RESORT MONTEGO BAY
The Holiday Inn Resort Montego Bay will close on a temporary basis from March 27 to May 31. According to Managing Director Kevin Hendrickson, the resort intends to resume operations on June 1, “however, as circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and its effect on global airlift remain beyond our control, we reserve the option to adjust our plans.”
IBEROSTAR HOTELS & RESORTS
After updating its cancellation policies to offer more flexibility to its guests amid COVID-19, Iberostar Hotels & Resorts has announced a wave of resort closures in Mexico, the DR, Jamaica and Brazil.
For updated cancellation polices for Cuba, America, Europe and other destinations, go to https://www.iberostar.com/en/covid-19/?covid19.
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.
LOPESAN HOTEL GROUP
The Lopesan Hotel Group has temporarily closed the Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort, Spa & Casino in Punta Cana. The closure, which went into effect on March 22, will continue until further notice.
To accommodate impacted guests, the resort is waiving all reservation change fees for travel through Nov. 30, 2020.
For all Marriott International hotels worldwide, the following policies have been implemented:
For complete terms and conditions go to https://marriott-re-2019ncovc.com/.
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
UPDATED MARCH 30: Palace Resorts & Le Blanc Spa Resorts have announced several resort closures due to COVID-19.
The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun and Le Blanc Spa Resort Cancun will remain closed until April 20, 2020.
Moon Palace Cancun, Sun Palace, Beach Palace, Playacar Palace, Isla Mujeres Palace, Le Blanc Spa Resort Los Cabos, and Moon Palace Jamaica are all closed. The company aims to reopen all properties on May 1, and will continue to monitor the situation.
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.
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.
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.
All Sandals and Beaches Resorts will temporarily close from March 30 – May 15, 2020.
The company has also suspended all incoming calls from its call center to methodically deal with existing bookings. Guests will be contacted directly according to their arrival date.
SOLMAR HOTELS & RESORTS
Operations have been temporarily paused at all Solmar properties. A tentative reopening date of May 2, 2020 has been set.
Guests with an existing reservation can cancel up to 24 hours before their stay. For reservations made under the non-refundable reservation policy, the company is honouring deposits towards another date.
For more information call 1-800-344-3349 (hotel only), 1-844-413-2654 (flight + hotel), or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
SPICE ISLAND BEACH RESORT, GRENADA
The popular resort, located on Grenada’s famed Grand Anse Beach, will close through April 30, 2020 due to COVID-19 travel restrictions. The resort’s reservations team will be available Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at (473) 444-4258 and via email at email@example.com.
‘TWEEN WATERS ISLAND RESORT & SPA
Executive management of Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts has announced that ‘Tween Waters Island Resort & Spa will voluntarily close to April 24, following Federal, state and local Coronavirus Health and Safety Guidelines. All Sanibel Captiva Beach Resorts properties are currently accepting reservations for April 25, 2020 and beyond.
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 the 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.
For the latest list of Airline updates, click here
For the latest list of Cruise Line updates, click here
For the latest list of Tour Operator updates, click here