Waldorf Astoria to Premiere in the Caribbean with Antigua Property
The Caribbean is set to welcome its first Waldorf Astoria hotel in 2020. The luxury flagship brand under the Hilton Worldwide umbrella is currently under construction in Antigua.
Charles Max Fernandez, Minister of Tourism for Antigua and Barbuda, made the announcement at the recently concluded State of Tourism Industry Conference (SOTIC) held by the Caribbean Tourism Organisation (CTO) in The Bahamas. Fernandez said Antigua aims to attract different star properties to the island.
“The feeling is that it will be a special target market anyway. The good thing about luxury brands is that they tend to employ more persons per key because of the high level of service,” he told Loop.
On its website, the Waldorf Astoria said the exclusive resort will cover 30 acres of prime beachfront, with an additional five acres to be developed into a National Park and will comprise 95 rooms, 25 branded villas, a world-class spa and several waterside-dining concepts.
The Waldorf Astoria is among 15 new properties that will be built in Antigua and Barbuda over the next two years.
The others include The Royalton, The Hammock Cove by Elite Island, Marriott Autograph Collection, Rosewood, Best Western and Elegant Hotels’ Hodges Bay Resort and Spa.
He said these new properties will add just over 2500 rooms to the island to double the existing stock.
“The aim is to double our room count by 2023. It is now close to 3000 and that does not include Airbnb,” Fernandes told Loop.
In an effort to attract new types of tourists, Fernandez revealed that Antigua and Barbuda will be accommodating "glamping', a luxury way of camping.
Fernandez said luxury glamping is available on Valley Church beach in Jolly Bay which will accommodate tents and will include comfortable double beds and stylish furniture. He said glamping will be promoted in Barbuda with its pristine water and pink sand beaches.
He said the Barbuda Belle will be the first hotel to be reopened on December 1. Despite the hurricanes of 2017, Antigua has seen an increase in tourist arrivals.
Fernandez said 2017 was a landmark year with over one million visitors largely driven by the cruise industry
Cruise arrivals for 2018 up by 17.8 percent and air arrivals were up by seven percent in August this year.