‘Beau’ had a ‘natural gift’ for hospitality
The man who was the “heart and soul” of Rosedon Hotel passed away on May 5 after a lengthy illness
Frederick Brooks Barakel Robinson, who was 80 years old, was fondly known as “Beau” and had worked at the hotel for more than 50 years.
Mr Robinson was such an integral part of the hotel that its “Beau’s Bar” was named in his honour.
Muriel Richardson, the general manager of Rosedon, said: “The staff of the Rosedon Hotel are deeply saddened by the death of their former colleague and stalwart of hospitality,” adding Mr Robinson had “played a key role in winning the guests over who came back again and again to experience the magic, warmth and true Bermudian hospitality that emanated from him.”
In 2008, the Kitson family — who own Rosedon — found a unique way to show their appreciation of Mr Robinson.
Kitson family member Scott Kitson recalled: “When Beau retired for good, we named the Rosedon honour bar ‘Beau’s Bar’ after him. His bar and cooking skills and love for hosting and entertaining guests continues; the bar is a testament to the contributions he made over his storied career with Rosedon Hotel.
“Some of my favourite memories of Beau were watching him interact with my children — he touched four generations of our family and countless guests at Rosedon Hotel.”
“Beau had a natural gift for real Bermudian friendly and welcoming hospitality with our guests. To a large degree his love for people and happy, welcoming and fun-loving nature is something that we still seek to deliver as part of our authentic Bermudian guest experience.”
Ms Richardson continued: “The antics of Beau are legendary. He would always go above and beyond in an effort to please both guests and fellow workers.”
She said he had trained countless new employees over the years, and he had set a standard of excellence for all who served along with him, helping Rosedon to maintain its reputation for outstanding customer service.
Mr Robinson had held many positions at the hotel, but he was most famous for his culinary skills. “Every staff member has a story about Beau with food, and guests would often write back with commendations to the hotel of the delicious meals he had prepared to make their stay special,” she said.
“Guests tell tales of going fishing, and Beau volunteering to cook the fish they caught and setting them up with a really great meal from the fish. Or, there is the story of the guest that arrived a little under the weather and not feeling so great, who shortly after would be served chicken soup to help them recover.
“These are just a few examples of the many acts of hospitality and kindness that Beau displayed without prompting. Even today, one of our guests who has been coming back for 30 years arrived, and immediately inquired about Beau.”
His partner of 15 years, Shirley Hassell, attested that Mr Robinson was both a good cook and a natural host. “He loved to cook, and he loved to see people,” she said. “He was always willing to feed anyone who came,” she said. “His favourite meal was peas and rice — everyone says they are going to miss his peas and rice.”
Occasionally, he invited Rosedon guests to their home for dinner, she recalled.
He was also a sports fan, avidly watching golf and tennis on television.
And Ms Hassell remembered that he would buy her flowers. “I didn’t want for anything. He never got mad — we got along good together. We had 15 years together — he was a real companion for me.”
Ms Richardson said: “He will fondly be remembered by the Rosedon family for many years to come.”
The Kitson family members each had memories of the man with whom they had worked for decades. Elizabeth Kitson said: “Beau had a real gift for making everyone feel welcome and comfortable, both hotel guests and co-workers loved Beau. He was incredibly even tempered, and I never saw him get ruffled — he always managed to be welcoming and receptive.” Kirkham Kitson said: “Beau was a huge personality and a real lover of life, he had a real passion for people.
“Beau retired many times over the years from Rosedon, but he always seemed to find a way back through the front door, and we always felt fortunate to have him with us,” he said.
Lee Kitson Petty, who is responsible for interior decorating and marketing the property, said: “I have great memories of Beau, he had a wonderful way of bringing Bermudian hospitality to every guest and making them feel special; the outpouring of notes from past guests following his passing has been amazing.”
“Beau had a way of always making me smile when I saw him; I will always remember his happy and loving nature.”
Funeral services will be private, in accordance with Mr Robinson’s wishes.
In addition to Ms Hassell, he leaves a daughter, Valerie Robinson.