Sir Hopkin: Spice upgrade is not about Sandals

Managing Director of Spice Island Beach Resort, Sir Royston Hopkin has dismissed claims in some quarters that he was fearful of competition and moved quickly to upgrade the facilities at the Spice Island Beach Resort due to the presence of Caribbean hotel magnate Butch Stewart with the Sandals La Source resorts at Point Salines.

“I have been upgrading in the hotel every year ….”, said Sir Royston as he responded to the question posed to him by THE NEW TODAY newspaper.

The island’s leading hotelier has just completed a multi-million dollar renovation to Spice Island in order to meet the growing demands of its clientele.

Hopkin brushed aside the critics who have been making allegations that his resort was trying to keep up with the standards of Sandals La Source, which started operations in December 2013.

“You have to be man enough to know when you need to. If my guests continue to come this year and they paying my (top) rates, they going to start to say (the) hotel (is) tired, he needs to upgrade. So you can’t wait because then you have to come from behind,” he said.

Sir Royston pointed out that he has been number one for the entire Caribbean on Trip Advisor and he is winning every accolade in the industry and as such he does need any other motivation to get him to always improve on the Spice property.

He noted that as a local man trying to keep a five star hotel afloat with limited resources, there is only so much that he can do at any given time but he was able to do some upgrade.

“In all honesty, it’s not just Butch – we all had the experience of impotence for a five-year period, whether we like it or not we did nothing. British Airways disappear, everybody disappear and all man against a wall, “fellas” fold, if you see the amount of hotels that fold, you all ain’t even know. The one up in St. David’s, she burst, Marlmount burst and everybody else…he said.”

“…Everyone of them owe GRENLEC hundreds of thousands of dollars so everybody went down. I’m the only man that’s fighting there but I inside my place night and day and I have the (zeal) for excellence and getting there and that’s how I survive and I’m at the other end of the market”, he added.

His reference to the five year period of impotence is an apparent reference to the governance of the tourism industry under the 2008-13 Congress government of Tillman Thomas.

Most of the hoteliers in the south of the island reportedly threw in their support behind the New National Party (NNP) of Dr. Keith Mitchell, which swept all 15 seats in the February 2013 general elections.


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