Regional hotelier batting for boutique hotels
BOUTIQUE HOTELS in the Caribbean have stories that visitors to the region want to hear, asserts a leading international hotelier.
Bill Clegg, regional vice-president, Franchise Services and Programmes, of Choice Hotels International, Inc, believes that good things often come in small packages, and the Caribbean’s unique and historic accommodations are remembered long after their guests depart.
Clegg, who addressed this subject at the Caribbean Hospitality Industry Exchange Forum (CHIEF) at El Conquistador Resort in Puerto Rico last weekend, said his company has been engaging with hotel operators to discuss ways that boutique hotels can deliver and enhance a highly personalised accommodations experience, and to have them share best practices – in particular, what’s working for them as they develop their own stories.
“Boutique hotels offer visitors to the Caribbean the opportunity to truly explore the destination,” Clegg stated, explaining that “guests staying at boutique hotels can often immerse themselves in the real culture, history, beaches, and tropical amenities that make the region unique”.
The hotelier, who addressed a panel entitled Experience the Intimacy – Tips for Delivering a Boutique Experience to the Caribbean traveller, said while all variety of hotels meet travellers’ needs, personalised touch is a key selling point for today’s discerning visitor.
Rounding out the panel with Clegg were Lourdes Hainlin, vice president, client services of Forbes Travel Guide; Delroy Lake, general manager of Anacaona Boutique Hotel in Anguilla; and Roberta Garzaroli, owner of Graycliff Hotel in Nassau, Bahamas.
Choice Hotels’ Ascend Hotel Collection, the world’s largest global portfolio of diverse independent hotels and resorts, allows boutique hotels to align and benefit from Choice’s broad distribution channels, global and regional marketing and promotion, educational opportunities, and other franchise services that offer hotel owners and operators the chance to maximise revenues and guest satisfaction.
Ascend Hotel Collection affiliated hotels are located in Abaco, Bahamas; Willemstad, Curaçao; Georgetown, Guyana; San Juan, Puerto Rico; and in Dutch St Maarten.
The company is seeking to expand its Caribbean footprint with new Ascend Hotel Collection affiliations in key Caribbean destinations, including Anguilla, Antigua, Aruba, Barbados, Jamaica, St Lucia, the United States Virgin Islands, and others with known demand and ease of access.
CHIEF is produced by the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.
Stuart Bowe accepts the coveted award from Karolin Troubetzkoy, president of the Caribbean Hotel and Tourism Association.