Guests cite safety as The Reefs reopens
South Shore hotel The Reefs Resort and Club reopened on Friday.
David Dodwell, the owner, said The Reefs had seen enough bookings, including many from locals booking staycations, to give some of its employees a chance to get back to work.
He added that perceived safety of the island and the resort had been an important consideration for the first overseas guests who arrived over the weekend.
Mr Dodwell said: “While we won’t be seeing anywhere near the normal level of business in the hotel that we would in a regular year, we saw enough reservations to give our staff a much needed opportunity to begin to get back to work.
“We have already been amazed by the response from the local community in booking staycations and dinner reservations.
“We greatly appreciate all the continued support from the public, as this will be critical in the weeks ahead, and we are very thankful for the level of interest already.”
The Southampton resort has 61 rooms, as well as 19 resident suites. As of last Friday, its rooms and restaurants were reopened.
Mr Dodwell said staffing levels would fluctuate with the number of guests at the resort, from as much as about three-quarters of normal levels at weekends to approximately 25 to 30 per cent in midweek. He praised the staff and added: “We could not have opened on Friday without their dedication, hard work, and loyalty.”
The first overseas guests to check in at the hotel in more than four months said Bermuda’s success in dealing with the pandemic and the level of trust they had in the family-owned and operated resort were critical to their decisions to come, he added.
“I met many of those who checked in on Friday and Saturday personally,” Mr Dodwell said. “Every one of them, to a person, said ‘the reason we are here, in Bermuda and at The Reefs, is that this is a safe place to come and we value that’.
“The more we convey that and the more they go back and talk to their travel agents and tour operators, the better we will do.”
The future for Bermuda’s tourism industry was difficult to predict and the arrival and wide provision of vaccine was clearly key, he said. He expected group business, with its emphasis on socialising, and cruise ship travel, which puts many people in a confined area, to be slower to bounce back.
All staff members have been through extensive safety training “in order to provide a high level of protection for both themselves and our guests”, Mr Dodwell added.
“We have put in numerous new protocols for all areas of the hotel, as well as complying with all government regulations. Our goal is to provide an environment where our customers can feel safe and relaxed.”
Guests receive an 11-page document on The Reefs’ protocols and procedures, which include the requirement to wear face masks in all public areas of the resort, information about deep cleaning of rooms and how all staff will have their temperatures taken daily.
The Reefs is offering local packages, including specials for families and for couples looking for a romantic weekend away.
The hotel will be serving breakfast in its main clubhouse and on the terrace, and lunch and dinner at Coconuts, with an all-day menu, starting at 12 noon and going through to 10pm, with additional specials added each night for dinner.
Beach dining in the evening, with tables directly on the sand, will also return. Mr Dodwell said: “We are seeing interest from small groups for celebrating special occasions but advise that parties larger than ten must be split into multiple tables.”
• For more information, contact The Reefs on 238-0222 or e-mail email@example.com
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