BY ALEXANDER BRITELL

Before the planes land, the cars have to stop, and so do the chickens.

That’s what happens when your runway is also the Island’s main road.

There aren’t Islands left like Little Cayman, the frontier outpost of the Cayman Islands with less than 200 people. Maybe there never were any to begin with.

There’s a single main road here, the one that begins with the airport and stretches along to Point of Sand.

Lots of Islands claim to be the Old Caribbean, the ones that escaped time and mass tourism and retain their old charm.

Little Cayman is different. It didn’t need to escape.

And that’s what makes it just so perfect.

Even electricity didn’t take its wires here until about two decades ago, but there’s another kind of energy here, happy go lucky and full of quirks, the kind that puts the liquor store in the same room as the car rental office.

Everyone here knows they’ve found someplace special, a place with just a few hotels, empty sand and some of the world’s greatest diving.

The Little Cayman Beach Resort.

There’s the Little Cayman Beach Resort, the lovely dive resort and then the colorful, delightful Southern Cross Club, or you can rent a little bungalow or villa and make a go of it.

The afternoons are simple: a beer or a bottle of Havana Club on the beach, a grill or a suntan.

Little Cayman is about what isn’t here, the crowds and the construction and the sound.

Come here for a day or two or seven.

Just watch out for the chickens on the landing.

How to Get Here: There are approximately 166 flights every week into the Cayman Islands, including 42 every week between Miami and Grand Cayman.

Little Cayman is accessed via four-times-daily flights from Grand Cayman. The Cayman Airways flight takes about 35 minutes, although some flights stop first to drop off passengers in Cayman Brac.

— Alexander Britell

The post Why You Need to Visit Little Cayman appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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Fast-growing Panama-based carrier Copa Holdings has announced an order for 15 new Boeing 737 MAX 10 aircraft.

The company will be the first airline in Latin America to operate what is the newest addition to Boeing’s MAX portfolio.

“Due to the long-term success we’ve had operating 737 NG we had placed a sizable order of 737 MAX aircraft for our future, and the 737 MAX 10 provides additional flexibility for certain segments of our network,” said Ahmad Zamany, Copa Airlines’ Vice President of Technical Operations.

The MAX 10 will be introduced around 2020, with what Boeing bills as the “highest efficiency, reliability and passenger comfort in the single-aisle market.”

Copa provides service to 75 destinations in 31 countries through its operating subsidiaries, including much of the Caribbean.

“We are thrilled that Copa Airlines is one of the launch customers for the 737 MAX 10,” said Van Rex Gallard, vice president, Latin America, Caribbean and Africa Sales for Boeing Commercial Airplanes. “The 737 MAX 10 will be the most profitable single-aisle airplane, offering the lowest seat costs ever and will help Copa Airlines grow their business and win market share in the competitive single-aisle market.”

— CJ Staff

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There’s a major new resort on the Caribbean coast of Mexico: The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun.

Palace Resorts’ newest project has more than 1,300 guest rooms, nine outdoor swimming pools, an adults-only “unique day club” with a live DJ spinning poolside, five swim-up bars, a beach club, a children’s waterpark, a six-lane bowling alley and more than 80,000 square feet of meeting and events spaces.

The property also has 10 new restaurants, ranging from the Asian “Jade” to a steakhouse called “JC.”

A swim-up room.

Wellness is also a focus, thanks to a new 76,876-square-foot “Awe-Spa” containing a whopping 60 spa suites, along with a hydrotherapy circuit, plunge pools, steam and sauna rooms and more.

The resort, which is located within the brand’s signature Moon Palace Cancun, was envisioned by Palace Resorts’ exclusive designer, Francois Frossard, aiming for a “new standard in “luxury all inclusive” accommodations.

“The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun is without a doubt our most unbelievable project yet,” said Gibran Chapur, executive vice president of Palace Resorts. “Palace Resorts envisioned a property that would truly take luxury, convenience, and entertainment and upscale culinary dining and combine it to surpass any traditional, luxury all-inclusive around.”

The on-site bowling alley.

Prices start at $295 per person per night, according to the company.

Palace has 10 all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.

The post The Grand at Moon Palace Cancun Officially Opens appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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Sandals has officially launched its new resort project in St. Lucia.

The company held a launch event this weekend for the new Sandals LaSource Saint Lucia, which will be the fourth Sandals Resorts International property on the island.

The more than 330-suite resort gets its name from Sandals’ LaSource Grenada property, representing an expansion for the LaSource sub-brand, one of the company’s most innovative resorts.

It will include over-the-water bungalows, along with Sandals’ Skypool, Rondoval and swim-up suites.

Sandals LaSource Saint Lucia will be located along Pigeon Island Beach, adjacent to Sandals Grande Saint Lucian.

The resort, which will break ground later this year, will introduce new culinary concepts including the American-inspired “Tavern,” Greek restaurant “Eros” and a noodle shop, among 10 total restaurants.

Guests will have access to the three other Sandals resorts on the island.

Crucially, Sandals LaSource Saint Lucia will be the first Sandals property to have continuous winding river pools surrounding every room block, all with unobstructed access to the main pool.

SRI Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart at the launch event.

“We continue to be the innovation leader and the designs we reveal are proof of that,” said Gordon “Butch” Stewart, founder and chairman of Sandals Resorts International.

The resort will also have a rooftop infinity-edge sky pool, along with two additional pools including a 9,000-square-foot, curved-glass-fronted infinity pool with a swim-up bar and an adjacent fire pit lounge area.

Other additions include an entertainment facility with a four-lane bowling alley, game room, living room and bar.

Stewart led the ceremony, joined by St. Lucia Prime Minister Allen Chastanet, Jamaica Prime Minister Andrew Holness and St. Lucia Tourism Minister Dominica Fedee.

It’s the latest in a wave of activity for the company in St. Lucia, where it recently debuted new overwater bungalows and purchased the island’s only 18-hole golf course, the Saint Lucia Golf Club.

The latter is being renamed the Sandals St. Lucia Golf & Country Club at Cap Estate.

That’s as the company plans another new resort, Sandals Royal Barbados, slated to open later this year.

“Saint Lucia has been and continues to be an excellent destination for Sandals offering our guests beauty, tremendous facilities and attractions and truly friendly people. We are thrilled to continue our long tradition of investment here, adding even more reasons for holidaymakers to visit Saint Lucia,” Stewart said.

— CJ

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United Airlines has launched its new, expanded service to the United States Virgin Islands for the summer.

The carrier has begun new daily service between Houston and St. Thomas, up from four weekly flights.

The new service will operate through Aug. 14.

Magens Bay, St. Thomas.United already operates flights to St. Thomas out of Newark and Chicago.

United is also operating daily flights between Washington Dulles International Airport and St. Thomas this summer, while extending its weekly Saturday service between Newark and St. Thomas beyond the summer and into September and October.

Houston flights are priced at $538 round trip, according to United’s Web site, while Washington-St. Thomas flights are around $472.

Maho Bay, St. John.

“United is reporting strong demand for the U.S. Virgin Islands and we look forward to the additional lift to the Territory, ” said United States Virgin Islands Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty, who said the goal was to achieve year-round flights from Houston.

The USVI has been seeing strong tourism growth of late, with a 4.3 percent jump in tourist arrivals last year and a 4.5 percent jump in arrivals so far this year, according to the most recent data.

Don’t miss our list of the top U.S. Virgin Islands hotels.

The post United Expands U.S. Virgin Islands Flights appeared first on Caribbean Journal.

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One of the Caribbean’s most hotly-anticipated boutique resorts has debuted on the island of St. Lucia.

Serenity at Coconut Bay, a boutique adults only all inclusive hotel-within-a-hotel at St. Lucia’s Coconut Bay, opened its doors last month with 36 luxury suites.

Each suite includes its own plunge pool and butler service; amenities include 24-hour room service, fully-stocked wet bars, private check in and check out, pillow menus, Bose entertainment centers and Molton Brown toiletries, among others.

Serenity also includes an adults-only 3,000-square-foot pool with daybeds and cabanas and an 85-foot lap pool at its center.

The hotel, located just a short drive from St. Lucia’s Hewanorra International Airport, also includes a signature restaurant called Greathouse featuring “Caribbean-inspired” cuisine.

“We recognized a demand for a luxury product with a high level of quality and service, and the ambitious design and service concept for Serenity came to life,” says Mark Adams, CEO of Serenity. “Our butlers will be an integral part of the outstanding, personalized all-inclusive experience seeing to guests’ every need from in-suite spa services to romantic dining and more.”

It’s a major new addition to the Caribbean’s all inclusive resorts.

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