Ren­dezvous Re­sort Cel­e­brates 50th An­niver­sary

The Star (St. Lucia) - - LOCAL - By Doretta Fran­cois

Satur­day 16th July, 2016 marked 50 years to the day since a ho­tel was founded on the site presently oc­cu­pied by Ren­dezvous Re­sort. To com­mem­o­rate this golden an­niver­sary, a party was held at Mal­abar Beach Club, the beach bar and din­ing area that opened this Fe­bru­ary at the re­sort.

With live en­ter­tain­ment, fire­works, fairy lights and spe­cial edi­tion cham­pagne, it was ev­i­dent that Ren­dezvous Re­sort had paid the same at­ten­tion to de­tail for the cel­e­bra­tion as has made it such a success in cater­ing to the needs of guests.

An­drew Barnard, the re­sort's man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, out­lined the in­ter­est­ing his­tory of how the prop­erty came to be owned by his fam­ily. He ex­plained that his grand­fa­ther mar­ried a lady from Bar­ba­dos who, not used to living up in the moun­tains, per­suaded her hus­band to pur­chase the land at Vigie and make it their beach­side home.

The cou­ple gar­nered a rep­u­ta­tion for en­ter­tain­ing, with the able as­sis­tance of their but­ler, Lionel. This in­spired the grand­fa­ther to build twelve cot­tages which he opened to pay­ing guests on 16th July, 1966 as Mal­abar Ho­tel.

Dur­ing the late 1970s, when many ho­tels were strug­gling, the Barnards de­cided to op­er­ate on an allinclu­sive ba­sis, com­ing un­der the Cou­ples fran­chise in 1981. Nine years later the Barnard fam­ily took back the reins of in­de­pen­dence, wel­com­ing guests to the newly-named Ren­dezvous Re­sort. The re­sort now styles it­self as 'The Place of Stolen Time' - an oasis to which cou­ples can es­cape and in­dulge in each other's com­pany.

The fam­ily's ex­per­tise in en­sur­ing that guests en­joy ev­ery as­pect of their va­ca­tion has al­ways been bol­stered by the ded­i­ca­tion of pro­fi­cient and friendly staff, some of them em­ploy­ees for many years. An­drew Barnard ac­knowl­edged their con­tri­bu­tion, aware that it has helped the re­sort to earn con­sis­tently high oc­cu­pancy rates and an en­vi­able level of re­turn­ing guests, some of whom were de­lighted to be present at the party.

An­drew Barnard, with his own young son next to him, re­called some of the happy times he spent at the prop­erty as a child. Al­most over­come with emo­tion he de­scribed days of wind­surf­ing and sail­ing, sum­maris­ing that "grow­ing up in an all-in­clu­sive re­sort is a hard bag."

Min­is­ter of Tourism, Do­minic Fedee, con­grat­u­lated the Barnards on their success over the years, pro­claim­ing, "There is no other ho­tel here in Saint Lu­cia that can say it has been in the same hands for fifty years, and that is an ac­com­plish­ment."

May Ren­dezvous Re­sort en­joy many more decades of success.

Mal­abar Beach Club at Ren­dezvous Re­sort.

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