Stewart says hotel took hit to Keep visitors coming to Barbados
Sandals Resorts has revealed that it lost “a fair amount of money” in the few months it operated the former Almond Casuarina Beach Resort after taking it over from Couples Resorts at the end of 2013.
However, chairman of the international hotel brand Gordon Butch Stewart said he had no regrets because keeping the resort’s doors open helped to maintain critical airlift to Barbados during the winter months.
“It cost us money and we lost a fair amount of money because we took over a hotel that didn’t have very much occupancy, and it had rates that couldn’t really pay much of a payroll,”
Stewart said yesterday, although not disclosing the extent of the loss.
“But we kept the hotel open for the sole purpose that the Government was concerned that if we had closed . . . other hotels would close too, and you always run a risk with airlift capacity.”
Stewart said it was a “snap decision” to take over the operations of the resort and his company did not have any time to market the property.
“We wanted to enter the Barbados hotel market and it came up,” he said.
Sandals took over the operations in the last quarter of 2013 and continued running the hotel until the middle of March last year when it began a US$65 million refurbishment.
The Dover, Christ Church hotel, which now operates as Sandals Barbados, welcomed its first guests on January 28.