Cures for the Winter Blahs

How to turn cabin fever into cabana heaven

By: Eleanor M. Wilson

While the weather service predicts a long hard winter, several Caribbean resorts have come to the rescue with enticing discounts, packages and bonus offerings. Won’t your clients be pleased when you find them a reasonably priced tropical getaway in the heart of the Caribbean’s high season?

Tee It Up
The TIA reports that golfers averaged 2.6 trips over the past year a market waiting for your invitation. St. James Club Morgan Bay, on St. Lucia, caters to golf enthusiasts with a new program that includes three complimentary rounds for each guest booking a minimum three-night stay. Transportation is free to and from the 18-hole St. Lucia Golf & Country Club course, but a cart is mandatory at $25. The rate, effective to April 2, including all meals and beverages, tips and taxes, is $450 per double room per night.

Tie the Knot
Elite Island Resorts has a soft spot for romantics as well. Effective Jan. 1, all nine of its all-inclusive Caribbean properties began offering a complimentary wedding ceremony to couples staying seven nights in deluxe category or above. This $699 value provides all the basics from license and marriage official to flowers and cake, plus paid options for videos, private dinners and beauty treatments.

Rev Up Romance
Although the Caribbean consistently rates among the top 10 choices for honeymoons, specials do exist. Divi Aruba and Tamarijn Aruba combine romance, relaxation and fun in their 2005 packages. We’re talking candlelight dinners for two, tennis, windsurfing lessons, rock wall climbing, Alhambra Casino coupons and a free night for the couple’s first anniversary. The two resorts are next-door neighbors, and several facilities are interchangeable to guests. All-inclusive rates to April 16 are $374 per couple per night at Tamarijn Aruba and $380 at Divi Aruba, with a three-night minimum stay required.

Romance blooms at the Hilton Curacao when booking their package for lovers. This deluxe beachfront property tops the flowers and champagne with a convenient early check-in and late checkout. Daily breakfast, a gourmet candlelit dinner for two with wine and a tour that includes the very interesting Kura Hulanda Museum are included in the year-round rate of $219 per room per night, with no minimum stay required. Romance Package code is HV.

Family Matters
SuperClubs debuted its first non-inclusive resort, Rooms, in Ocho Rios, just in time for mid-term school breaks. The new addition (formerly Club Jamaica) is located beachside, with 97 oceanview rooms.
Daily continental breakfast, pool with swim-up bar, fitness center and a tour desk are complimentary amenities. Well-appointed rooms contain satellite TV, safe, coffeemaker, high-speed Internet connection and more. Rates start at $94 per room per night through April 3, with a two-night stay required. Children 2-13 in room with adults cost $13 per night. An oceanview junior suite sleeps four, while five family rooms can accommodate up to six guests.

Let the family spread out at LaCabana All Suite Beach Resort in Aruba. Two children stay free with two paying adults. An on-premises mini-market stocks kitchen essentials. One of two playgrounds delights kids with a yellow maze of winding tubes for crawling and sliding. Adults frequent the spa, fitness center and the casino. Together, families enjoy trail walks, the Pizza and Pastables cafe, an ice cream stand, plus miniature golf next door. Fun-filled “Club Cabana Nana” costs $25 per day per child. Suites are $292 for Grand Superior, $541 for two-bedroom, per night, to April 8. Optional meal plans and all-inclusive rates are available.