Elite Island Resorts has announced reopening dates for its collection of world-class Caribbean properties, along with the introduction of some new policies, taxes and fees. Hammock Cove Antigua is currently the only resort already open and accepting guest arrivals, while Pineapple Beach Club Antigua is scheduled to reopen on July 10, 2020.
The remainder of Elite Island’s resorts will open their doors again later in the year. On October 14, 2020, St. James’s Club Morgan Bay, St. Lucia; St. James’s Club & Villas, Antigua; Galley Bay Resort & Spa, Antigua; and Palm Island Resort & Spa, the Grenadines will be ready to welcome back guests.
The Verandah Resort & Spa, Antigua; The Club Barbados Resort & Spa; and Los Establos Boutique Inn, Panama will follow suit on November 1, 2020.
Guests who had reservations and were scheduled for arrival dates prior to their resort’s new reopening date may reschedule their stays for later dates without incurring any change fees.
The brand has also launched an updated and improved cancellation policy, applicable to bookings made between June 12, 2020, and December 24, 2021, for travel through January 02, 2022.
—For all dates excepting Christmas Week and the month of February, reservations may be canceled for any reason without incurring any penalties up to seven days prior to their scheduled arrival. Bookings canceled under seven days before arrival will incur a cancellation fee equal to three nights’ worth of their planned stay.
—During Christmas Week (defined as December 25 to January 1) and all of February bookings can be canceled for any reason up to 30 days before arrival without incurring fees or penalties. However, those canceled in less than 30 days ahead of arrival will be charged the full price of the stay.
And, to ensure that clients can book with complete confidence, certain that they can cancel their trips if necessary, Elite Island Resorts is solely offering refundable booking options for the foreseeable future.
Additional changes on the horizon:
—Resort Fee: Starting July 1, 2020, all Elite Island Resorts properties will begin applying a new Resort Fee of $24.00 per room, per night to guest stays. The Resort Fee includes wi-fi service and any applicable taxes. A portion of the fee will help cover the resorts’ added expenditures relating to new, heightened health and safety protocols instituted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
—Sales Tax: Guests should be aware that the Government of Antigua & Barbuda has increased its sales tax (ABST) from 12.5 percent to 14 percent, but the statutory service charge remains fixed at 10 percent. Elite Island Resorts’ net rates will continue to include sales tax and service charges.
—COVID-19 Liability Waiver: Perhaps most importantly, and effective immediately and as a condition of staying or setting foot on any Elite Island Resort property, all guests and visitors are required to acknowledge the risks associated with potential exposure to COVID-19 and assume all such risks.
The policy requires visitors to confirm their understanding that, despite targeted preventive measures, and heightened health and hygiene practices implemented on the part of the resorts, the risk of viral exposure cannot realistically be reduced to zero; and releases the company from any liability associated with “injury, illness, losses or damages” that may be sustained in connection with COVID-19.
This in no way implies that the resorts haven’t taken comprehensive steps to ensure that the risk of viral transmission remains minimal. All Elite Island Resorts properties are using state-of-the-art cleaning and disinfection products and equipment, with the local Ministry of Health performing inspections daily. Each resort has even created a “Clean Team” whose duty it is to continuously clean and disinfect common areas and high-touch points throughout the resort.
Contactless check-in and check-out services have been implemented to minimize face-to-face interactions. Guest accommodations are free-standing and share no ventilation or air-conditioning systems with other rooms or villas. Plus, guest rooms and villas already enjoy access via open-air entryways, hallways and corridors. For more fresh-air access, nearly all accommodations also include spacious, private balconies or patios.
Most Elite Island Resorts dining venues are open-air, but protocols have been altered so that staff serves guests from the buffet, social-distancing guidelines will be adhered to between tables and in the buffet queue. Dining areas and bars are thoroughly and routinely cleaned using electrostatic disinfection following each meal service, along with route disinfection of high-touch points. Hand-sanitizing stations have also been installed in prominent locations throughout and food and beverage areas.
The extensive set of Elite Island Resorts’ new health and safety protocols and procedures are too numerous to name, so customers may wish to contact their travel advisor or the company’s customer service team directly for further details.
For more information, visit eliteislandresorts.com.