Several Large Resort Projects Could Change the Face of St. Vincent
When the 102-room, all-inclusive Buccament Bay Resort opened on St. Vincent in 2010,
it seemed to herald the beginning of a new chapter for tourism to the largest island in the Grenadines, which previously had no large resorts.
That dream suffered a major setback in 2016, when the resort closed under a cloud of scandal and non-payment of bills, but several new projects in the works could put St. Vincent back on the map for Caribbean travel planners seeking a unique and lightly visited destination for clients. The opening of the modern Argyle International Airport in 2017 has also helped spur new development on the island.
Sandals Resorts purchased the Buccament Bay resort in 2020 with an eye on converting it to an all-inclusive, family friendly beaches property. Preliminary construction work is underway on the resort, with a target opening date for the first quarter of 2024, St. Vincent and the Grenadines Minister of Tourism Carlos James told reporters in October.
And that’s not the only big resort project being developed on St. Vincent. The local government has inked deals to bring Marriott and Holiday Inn hotels to the island. The 250-room Marriott, slated to being construction this summer, will be located on a black-sand beach on St. Vincent’s west coast, at Mt. Wynne. The project was initially announced by Marriott in 2019, but construction was delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The 92-room Holiday Inn Express planned for the Diamond area of St. Vincent and close to the country’s main international airport, will double as a teaching facility for local students interested in hospitality as a career. The hotel is expected to open sometime in 2023.
Ground has also been broken on Royal Mill, a high-rise, five-star mixed use property with resort and residential accommodations. Located in Ratho Mill, a former plantation, on the southern end of St. Vincent, the sleek 80-room property will feature luxury penthouses, a spa, pool, fitness center, and multiple dining options. The contemporary resort will be the tallest building on St. Vincent when completed; a projected opening date of late 2022 has come and gone, however, with no updates announced.
New Villas Open in Bequia and Palm Island
Two of the Grenadines’ most prominent resorts have added new villas to their menu of guest accommodations.
The Bequia Beach Resort, located on the laid-back island of Bequia, recently un-veiled a new villa complex called Grenadine Hills. Located next to the main hotel property on Friendship Bay Beach, Villa ONE has 7,000 square feet of living space with 6 bedrooms sleeping up to 12 guests, an outdoor dining gazebo and a garden jacuzzi. The 6,000-square-foot Coral Hill villa sleeps 8-10 guests and features a large, top-floor master suite. A third villa, called Rock Villa, will debut soon.
Rates start at $5,949 per night and include butler, housekeeping, and laundry service as well as daily breakfast and access to all resort amenities.
The Palm Island private island resort has added to its already sumptuous amenities with the Seahorse Villa, which debuted last year. With nightly rates ranging from $3,000-$6,000, the 4,000-square-foot ocean-view villa has two bedrooms, a full kitchen, dining room, veranda and a private garden surrounded by a white picket fence.
Canouan’s Soho Beach House Now Open to Non-Member Reservations
When the Soho Beach Club debuted on Canouan in 2021, stays were strictly limited to Soho House members. Now, anyone can book a room at stay at the exclusive, 40-room resort on Grand Bay — one of 27 Soho House resorts worldwide, and the first in the Caribbean. The resort offers spa services and other wellness activities, a beach bar, and fitness center; Soho House and Soho Friends members get discounts over standard room rates.
InterCaribbean Adding New Flights to SVG
Regional carrier InterCaribbean Airways is making it easier to get to St. Vincent and the Grenadines from other destinations in the region. The airline recently ac-quired two new aircraft and announced new nonstop flights between St. Vincent and St. Lucia as well as additional nonstops between St. Vincent and Barbados. The airline operates Embraer 145 50-seat jets, ATR42 48-seat turboprops, a Embraer 120 30-seat turboprop, and a 19-seat Twin Otter aircraft. It serves 28 cities across 17 countries in the Caribbean.