It has been a busy season when it comes to natural disasters in Mexico, the Caribbean and Southern United States. We’re sure you’re wondering if your favourite vacation destinations and resorts are where you should choose to vacation this winter.
Here is a list of destinations that we have received notifications about that are just fine or will be very soon:
Cancun & Riviera Maya
- This area of Mexico and the Caribbean has seen no significant damage! All of your favourite resorts in Cancun and the Riviera Maya are open for business as usual.
- This area of Mexico has not been affected by any tropical storms or the recent earthquake that hit the West coast. Feel free to visit whenever you like!
- The majority of resorts and hotels in this area of the Baja Peninsula are doing just fine. There are some that will need a week or two to open back up but you can confidently book your winter vacation packages to Los Cabos.
- Although the recent earthquake was felt in Huatulco all tourist areas and hotels are ready to welcome you.
- All of your favourite resorts in Jamaica are open for business, unless closed for scheduled maintenance, and ready to serve you.
TURKS & CAICOS
- Beaches Turks plans to reopen cleaned up and better than ever just in time for your winter vacation on December 14!
- Club Med Turkoise is welcoming guests back to their resort as early as September 30, 2017.
- The Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism reports that the country’s tourist destinations were not negatively affected by Hurricane Irma and are up-and-running as usual. All airports, seaports, highways, tourist attractions, and hotels in all major destinations, such as Punta Cana / Bávaro, Samaná, Sosúa, Cabarete, Puerto Plata, La Romana / Bayahibe, Juan Dolio, Santo Domingo and others are operating normally.
- Nassau and Paradise Island were not impacted by Hurricane Irma. Your favourite hotels like Sandals Royal Bahamian, Atlantis Paradise Island, Melia Nassau Beach Resort and Sandals Emerald Bay and more are all open and welcoming guests.
- Walt Disney World’s four theme parks have reopened with most attractions up and running. The Disney Resort hotels have returned to normal operation with the exception of Fort Wilderness Campgrounds and Disney’s Saratoga Springs Treehouse Villas. The two Disney water parks will reopen later this week. Walt Disney World is known as one of the safest places to be during an emergency – you can safely plan your next Disney vacation as soon as you like!
- Legoland Florida’s theme park is resuming its regular schedule today, Thursday September 14. Their water park will reopen soon as well.
- Universal Orlando Resort is open for business with minor damage to report.
- SeaWorld Orlando is back to normal as well.
- Port Canaveral has resumed operations.
- Power is returning to Miami neighborhoods as quickly as possible. Miami airport is open and hoping to return to full operations by the weekend.
- The port of Miami re-opened to cruise ships on Wednesday.
- Many Miami Beach hotels are currently open offering reduced rates for Florida residents who do not have power yet.
- The Fort Lauderdale airport is up and running normally – however some delays are to be expected.
- Port Everglades has been cleared by the U.S. Coast Guard and is open for business.
- Downtown Houston is dry but may areas of Texas have a long road ahead of them before they will fully recover from the flooding and destruction.
ANIGUA & BARBUDA
- In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the island of Antigua is pleased to report that no hotels have closed as a result of the storm, although a few of the properties had already closed prior to Irma for their annual renovations and general spruce-up, in preparation for the busy festive season. By supporting tourism in Antigua, your patronage will help to rebuild Barbuda.
- Information regarding the state of many of Cuba’s tourist areas like Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria is still limited at this time. We’ll work to keep you updated as we know more. The following details regarding hotels in Varadero was found in the Havana Times on September 12.
- Blau Marina Varadero – The hotel had to evacuate its guests yesterday morning. The Hotel received serious damage due to its location which is very exposed as it is located right on the tip of the peninsula. The main building suffered serious damage (roof, glass doors, etc.). Structural damage could be noted in the room buildings. The beach eroded due to the waves.
- Melia Marina Varadero – Some rooms have broken windows and damage to the balconies but the biggest damage can be seen in the common areas of the hotel, especially in the lobby. The hotel is located on a hill so the protection against gusts of wind is minimal.
- Grand Memories Varadero – The hotel suffered some damage due to gusts of wind. The lobby will require restoration work and it is one of the hotels that suffered major damage to the roof and common areas such as gardens and pool areas. According to reports from the General Manager approximately 40 rooms were damaged and have broken windows. In general, there is no great structural damage and the damage is considered moderate. Access to the beach is virtually blocked.
- Memories Varadero – The hotel is generally in good condition. Some recovery work will be required in corridors, public areas and some rooms on high floors where roof leaks can only be repaired by replacing the roof in its entirety. The hotel has already re-opened the lobby bar without alcoholic beverages at the moment. Recovery work is being done quickly by the hotel staff to be able to re-establish regular services as soon as possible.
- Paradisus Varadero – The hotel suffered extensive damage. Ceilings were blown off in some structures in the Family Concierge areas and will require considerable investment to recover. The main building was equally devastated; the new restaurant that was under construction near the beach collapsed.
- Royalton Hicacos – This is another hotel that suffered major damage. The beach area eroded due to the waves. The restaurant on the beach also suffered extensive damage. The main buffet area is very exposed so it suffered serious damage especially to the roof. You could see a lot of rubble in the area. The Caribeño restaurant has broken windows. The Rooms area did not seem to have major damage.
- Iberostar Varadero – The Hotel was severely affected. Part of the palapa-like straw roofs disappeared. The theater is partially destroyed. The palapa roof in some rooms was equally destroyed. The palapas around the pool were destroyed and there is debris in the area.
- Be Live Turquesa – The hotel was evacuated so it was not possible to perform a complete inspection.
- Playa de Oro – You could see broken windows in several rooms. The pool area was quite affected and the lobby area also has noticeable damage. The disco area has some parts of the roof collapsed. Landscaped areas have fallen trees. The restaurant is running and providing food service.
- ROC Arenas Doradas – The hotel seemed in good condition. Some air conditioners were ripped off the walls but light damage can be recovered relatively quickly.
- Meliá Las Antillas – The hotel is generally in good condition and without serious damage to its structures.
- Blau Varadero – The hotel has a very solid structure however being a tall building it always receives some damage when a hurricane hits the area. The lobby was in good condition however the rooms on higher floors may have suffered some damage.
- Starfish Varadero – The hotel was generally found in good condition. Lobby without noticeable damage.
- Brisas del Caribe – The rooms were badly damaged. During the inspection visit you could see several tourists waiting to be changed rooms due to leaks in broken ceilings and windows. The lobby also suffered some damage.
- Iberostar Laguna Azul – The hotel is located on a hill however it did not suffer serious damage considering its exposed location. Partial damage could be noticed on the roof of the restaurant in the beach area, some palapas destroyed.
- Starfish Cuatro Palmas – The hotel was evacuated. Some structural damage could be noticed, mainly in the ceilings of some buildings. It was not possible to make a full visit since no staff were found on the property.
Keep in mind that clean up and repairs after a disaster can be very costly on a country. Many of these destinations rely heavily on tourism and would greatly appreciate a visit from you and your family this winter.
Reach out to our team for more information on these or any other destinations you may be interested in for your winter 2017/18 vacation. We are here to help make sure you have the very best holiday possible.
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