IS­LAND ICON

From high-school dropout to Queen’s hon­ors, Gre­nada’s lead­ing hote­lier is a tourism cham­pion.

Yachting - - DEPARTMENTS - by lil­lian africano

Sir Roys­ton Hop­kin has been a leader in Gre­nada’s tourism in­dus­try for 50 years. He shares some must-see spots for vis­it­ing cruis­ers.

At age 17, roys­ton hop­kin dropped out of high school; 42 years later, in 2005, Queen El­iz­a­beth II knighted the hote­lier for his ser­vice to tourism in Gre­nada and the Caribbean. ¶ Hop­kin’s suc­cess story be­gan with a job at his par­ents’ guest­house. At age 20, he was ap­pointed to the Gre­nada Board of Tourism, and for the past 50-plus years he has worked tire­lessly to pro­mote tourism. To­day he owns the Spice Is­land Beach Re­sort, a prop­erty he nur­tured and el­e­vated to six-star lux­ury sta­tus. ¶ Though “Spice” is on scenic Grand Anse Beach, Hop­kin knows the set­ting only partly shapes a guest’s ex­pe­ri­ence. The hall­mark of his prop­erty is award-win­ning ser­vice. And he uses his suc­cess for good: While the is­land of Gre­nada was spared the dev­as­ta­tion of the 2017 hur­ri­cane sea­son, Hop­kin con­trib­uted to the re­lief ef­forts on other is­lands. ¶ He is a beloved lo­cal celebrity, not only for his per­sonal suc­cesses, but also for his phi­lan­thropy, no­tably the Roys­ton Hop­kin schol­ar­ship fund.

Your schol­ar­ship fund pro­vides tu­ition and books for needy chil­dren. Do you now be­lieve that all chil­dren should have an ed­u­ca­tion? I have never lost the be­lief that ed­u­ca­tion is em­pow­er­ment and that all chil­dren should have ac­cess to an ed­u­ca­tion. I de­cided on an early busi­ness ca­reer over se­condary ed­u­ca­tion, but that was my choice. Some chil­dren do not have that choice. My fam­ily and I are for­tu­nate enough to be in a po­si­tion to help oth­ers lift them­selves up and live up to their full po­ten­tial. You’ve ac­com­plished so much. Do you still have goals? Re­main­ing at the fore­front of the hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try is an on­go­ing goal that can be achieved, but never com­pleted. What we do that is unique to­day, some­one else will do to­mor­row. My goal is to con­tinue chal­leng­ing my­self and my chil­dren to be bet­ter than we were yes­ter­day.

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