Resorts are pulling out all the stops for the Caribbean holiday season: Travel Weekly

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Gay Nagle Myers

Hotels, resorts and destinations end the vacations for their guests during the holiday season, with Caribbean-style culinary offerings, decorations, events and music, including familiar Christmas carols and traditions. local.

The merry old Saint Nick will also make an appearance, swapping his iconic sled for his arrival on a jet ski, water skis, parachute, bike and even skateboard on the dunes, all while lifting a waterproof bag of toys.

Hotels and resorts across the region are forecasting high occupancy rates this holiday season, when gatherings hold special significance in light of what many missed over the past year.

Events at Casa de Campo Resorts & Villas in La Romana, Dominican Republic include chamber orchestra performances at Altos de Chavon, the 16th century Mediterranean village replica, visits to the Santa Claus themed casita, mariachi evenings, traditional religious services at Altos de Chavon the church and the end of year fireworks display.

“We are grateful to be full for the holidays with so many longtime guests returning to spend the holidays with their families,” said Jason Kycek, senior vice president of sales and marketing. “We are fully booked for New Years and plan to operate at 98% throughout the Christmas / New Years period in our luxury rooms and villas. “

Jamaica celebrates the holidays with snowmen made of sand and Christmas trees in the colors of the Jamaican flag.

T1227CASADECAMPOSANTO_C [Credit: Casa de Campo]

Enthusiastic toddlers visit Santa at his casita at Casa de Campo in the Dominican Republic. Photo credit: Casa de Campo

The celebrations include the traditional “big markets” set up in the main squares all over the island, Christmas dinners based on ham shoulder, gung peas with rice and curry goat cheese, topped with a cake topped with almonds. rum-soaked fruit accompanied by sorrel, the designated Christmas drink made with hibiscus.

The Junkanoo Street Parade takes place on December 26 through the streets of every town and village. Communities dress in extravagant costumes, showcasing popular Jamaican characters including Belly Woman, Horse Head and Pitchy Patchy, to name a few.

“The holidays are a great time to experience our distinctive way of celebrating here in Jamaica,” said Donovan White, director of tourism. “It is important for us to provide authentic experiences to travelers in order to broaden their understanding of the culture and history of Jamaica.”

Santa arrives at Half Moon in Jamaica, accompanied by singers and two elves with overloaded gift bags.

During the holiday season at Half Moon, guests will learn how to make classic Jamaican dishes and drinks, like the Christmas Sorrel Cocktail, a sweet ginger and wine drink that is a tradition on the island around this time of the year. year.

Kids can build their own character toy Anansi, one of the most important figures in West African, African American and Caribbean folklore, often portrayed as the god of all knowledge of stories.

Families can come together around Jamaican barbecues on the beach with nightly entertainment brought to you by a calypso band playing the traditional Jamaican mento, a style of folk music that fuses African rhythms with European elements.

Santa will be in the Bahamas from December 23-24, preparing to welcome visitors ahead of his busiest night of the year, including guests from Atlantis Paradise Island.

Festive events planned at the resort include its signature Royal Deck poolside New Years Eve party with an open bar, desserts and performances by pop group The Modern Gentlemen, who toured with Frank Valli as the Four Seasons at the time, and Bond, a string quartet.

Atlantis will ring in 2022 with fireworks, followed by an event to kick off the New Year on a high note: a concert at Atlantis’ Imperial Ballroom with a surprise featured artist.

Zemi Beach House on Shoal Bay East in Anguilla will celebrate with a BBQ dinner on Christmas Eve at 20 Knots Restaurant which features a chef’s tasting menu with food and wine pairings, followed by a jazz and sushi offering on Christmas Day accompanied by rum tastings.

The youngest get in the mood with cookie decorating, treasure hunts and a Christmas party with Santa Claus.

To end the year on a high note, Zemi will host an intimate cocktail party with a New Year’s Eve dinner and fireworks display.

Lovango Resort & Beach Club, a sustainable resort on a private, off-grid island that is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands chain one mile northwest of St. John’s, reopened to guests and day trippers on December 20 after a summer break.

The resort, named after the island of Lovango Cay, plans to ring the bell in 2022 at an under the stars party in Cay after a day-long party on the island.

Windjammer Landing in St. Lucia has a sleigh full of holiday events, including a mini version of the island’s July Carnival. Customers have access to authentic accessories to participate in the Carnival festivities and parades.

Other activities range from live shows, water sports competitions, treasure hunts and two full days of Caribbean culture on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with dancers, waders, acrobats and a marching band full of costumed characters who tell the story of Saint Lucia.

“As the year draws to a close, we welcome our guests to Divi & Tamarjin Aruba as they celebrate in a stress-free, all-inclusive environment,” said Marin Bijl, Managing Director.

Highlights of the holiday lineup include live musical dinners, holiday karaoke, Christmas Eve buffet dinner, mimosa champagne breakfasts, New Year’s fireworks display, and live performances by violinists , pianists and ballet dancers.

Guests can swap snow for powdery sand at Carlisle Bay in Antigua, which has a program of seasonal delicacies: cocktails, rum tastings, dance performances, beach cricket tournaments, Christmas movie night by the sea. swimming pool, live music, steel bands and New Years Eve gala at the Indigo On The Beach Casino, followed by the midnight ringing with fireworks on the beach

A lazy brunch on January 1 will help give 2022 a fresh start, helped by the island’s original rum cake.

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