Caribbean hotels are stepping up to aid in the fight against COVID-19, providing accommodations for quarantine centers and housing for essential personnel during the outbreak.
Gordon “Butch” Stewart, chairman of Sandals Resorts International (SRI), is providing Jamaica’s government with the 52-room Carlisle Inn hotel in Montego Bay as an incubation center, said company officials in a Jamaica Observer report (the newspaper is owned by Stewart).
The SRI chairman has additionally helped finance the purchase of 40 ventilators for $20 million, “to be used to treat COVID-19 patients,” the report said. “The hotel will be at the disposal of the Government for as long as it takes to bring this COVID-19 disease under control,” said Adam Stewart, SRI’s deputy chairman.
Dr. Christopher Tufton, Jamaica’s minister of health and wellness, had earlier this week appealed to Jamaican hoteliers to provide emergency accommodation for patients recovering from COVID-19. covid-19-lockdown.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>Jamaica had 27 confirmed coronavirus cases through March 27, with one death and two recoveries.
Tufton said SRI’s offer “[is] the kind of response that we are very appreciative of as part of the national plan to respond to this COVID threat,” in the Observer report. The hotel is “very appropriately positioned to assist, in that it has its own rooms with bathrooms, a common area from which our staff can manage the process, and the location is strategic to Cornwall Regional Hospital,” Tufton added.
Although the company’s Caribbean resorts remain temporarily closed, Stewart is also retaining Sandals’ permanent workers rather than instituting layoffs, opting to pay 40 percent of employee salaries fortnightly. SRI workers will also receive health insurance benefits and paid vacation leave.
SRI also distributed food and vegetables from its freezers to create care packages for employees. “We were very proud to have done it,” Stewart said. “It shows the relationship we have with our team members who are at the center of who we are as a brand.”
Meanwhile, several covid-19-prompts-us-virgin-islands-to-close-borders.html” target=”_self” rel=”nofollow noopener noreferrer”>U.S. Virgin Islands hotels are keeping their doors open to essential personnel during the COVID-19 outbreak, said officials at the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association and the St. Croix Hotel & Tourism Association.
The territory’s government has authorized hotels and resorts to remain open to provide housing for essential personnel including government workers, relief workers, business travelers and airline associates, officials said.
The properties remaining open include St. Thomas’ Bluebeard’s Castle, Calypso Realty, the Green Iguana Hotel and St. Croix’ Buccaneer Hotel, Carambola Beach Resort & Spa, Hotel Caravelle and Tamarind Reef Resort.
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Velas Resorts Invites Future Travelers to Dream Together
As hotels and resorts throughout many popular tourist destinations remained closed over the past few months, eager travelers sat home awaiting the day they can safely board a plane to their favorite home away from home.
Although Velas Resorts‘ properties may not have been open for visitors, the company kept travelers busy from afar, offering daily inspiration on the Velas Magazine and inviting people to continue #DreamingTogether.
“After all this time staying at home, we are gearing up to welcome you and continue creating special moments for you. Please join us on this countdown to add new travel anecdotes while we keep #DreamingTogether!” the company said.
From fun activity ideas to do with children and DIY projects to test creative skills to wardrobe and fashion inspiration and recipes to try making at home, the Velas Magazine’s daily content provides plenty of ways to spice up life in quarantine.
There is even advice available on how to capture the best vacation photos on your phone and helpful tips on how to compost at home in order to maintain a beautiful garden.
All of these exciting pastimes are only a small sample of what guests staying at Velas Resorts’ properties will experience.
In addition to using this time to provide future travelers with things to do while staying safely at home, the company has also created new post-COVID-19 hygiene protocols. Its Stay Safe With Velas program includes new guidelines such as physical distancing measures, touchless sanitizer stations and frequent hand washing in addition to enhanced cleaning measures for guestrooms and resort areas.
Velas Resorts includes three luxury resorts—Grand Velas Riviera Nayarit, Grand Velas Los Cabos and Grand Velas Riviera Maya—totaling 1,170 rooms and suites. Visitors to these properties are treated to gourmet restaurants, stunning landscapes, luxury wellness opportunities and top-notch hospitality throughout their stay.
The company looks forward to welcoming guests backs soon and until then, encourages people to keep #DreamingTogether.
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