Grenada has been recognised as a destination to visit as international review experts have singled out two of the island’s leading hotels, the Spice Island Beach Resort and the Calabash Hotel.
U.S News & World Report has ranked Grenada’s leading all-inclusive property, the Spice Island Beach Resort the fourth top-performing hotel in the Caribbean and Trip Advisor ranked the Calabash Hotel as the 8th top-performing hotel.
Calabash was also ranked number 7 of the top 25 luxury hotels in the Caribbean and number 16 of the top 25 hotels for romance in the Caribbean.
According to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Grenada Tourism Authority (GTA), Rudy Grant it is always a positive move when Grenada gets international recognition like the ones given to the two local hotels.
Speaking to THE NEW TODAY newspaper, Grant describes the accolades as very positive for Grenada’s tourism industry.
“It does demonstrate that in terms of quality and experience and a good visitor experience when you come to Grenada that the hotels here predominantly Spice Island and Calabash that they are offering good quality for money”, he said.
“I’m sure you will also recognize that there are other hotels that are offering good value for money as well,” he added.
The GTA boss made specific reference about the two hotels being recognised as boutique hotels and delivering international industry standards to their guests.
“The service is exceptional, the value that is given, the experience, the feedback from all of the guests is very positive. You know word of mouth is still a very important element and when persons have an exceptional experience … they will tell their friends and they will tell their associates and that can only be to our benefit and it could only be very positive for us so I really am happy,” he told this newspaper.
Grant complimented the operators of the two hotels – Sir Royston Hopkin and Leo Garbutt and their team – for the significant work they have put into their businesses and the industry.
The Barbadian-born Grant pointed out that the success of the tourism sector will have significant economic and social benefits for Grenada and called on everyone to play their part.
“The experience starts when the visitor gets off the airplane and you will constantly hear me referring to visitors as opposed to tourists. There is a deliberate reason I do that because the persons who come here we are essentially welcoming them into our homes, we are essentially saying to them come home to us in Grenada and enjoy what we have to offer and therefore in my mind the terminology of visitor should be utilised because when we have visitors in our homes, we as Caribbean people often bring out the best and the finest,” he said.
THE NEW TODAY Newspaper spoke with Sir Royston on his latest recognition and achievement.
He noted that U.S News & World Report with its over 20 million unique visitors and 120 million page reviews, is a good medium for marketing his hotel.
“A lot of people go online, just like they would go on Trip Advisor. They will put in their comments – this hotel is one of the best, best service I’ve ever gotten, nice experience in the region and they will then tabulate all of that with all their guests comments and … so a lot of it is your guest information… it’s based on how people perceive you to be…”, he explained.
According to Sir Royston, his aim is to stay focus and try to not lose sight on what is important to him and the development of his hotel.
“I don’t look left or right. We challenge ourselves to deliver a beyond an expectation experience with all our guests and that’s why even now during the January/February/March period even December, we have between 55- 60% repeat guests”, he said.
“… Now that says a lot because for a repeat guests to come back, you have to deliver something that he expected so he’s gonna come back”, he added.
Sir Royston spoke of being very proud of the positioning of his hotel and as the owner, he has achieved all of this through the hard work that is delivered by his staff, as well as listening to his guests.
He also congratulated Calabash hotel on its achievement, however, he said there need to be more hotels in the Boutique category as they are the ones who bring in the first class guests.
“Everything is achievable; it all depends on who is running it and the effort that they put into it. The reason why people come to a boutique hotel is that they get better service”, he said.
“…Grenada needs a balance, they need the five star boutiques as myself, Calabash and they still need the hundred, two hundred rooms,” he added.
Resort Director at Calabash Hotel, Adele Garbutt told THE NEW TODAY that their secret is looking after their guests and developing a friendship with them.
“…My family who own the hotel and rest of management …. we meet all guests on arrival so that they know …. the image that we try to create is…more like you coming to someone’s home,” she said.
Garbutt sees the recognition given to the hotel by Trip Advisor as great news for the hotel.
“…There are a million places in the world that people could go to and even more hotels and the fact that they’ve chosen Calabash and they’ve chosen Grenada is really special to us, so we really try and get that across to them and I think that’s what people really do feel, they feel the genuine warmth of Calabash and Grenada,” she remarked.