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Hotelier: Rosewood Tucker’s Point expansion on the cards

An expansion of Rosewood Tucker’s Point remains on the cards as bosses hope to cash in on the hotel’s increase in popularity.

About 50 rooms look set to be added to the “area immediately around” the hotel’s main building at Castle Harbour.

It comes as the hotel has “capitalised on the Rosewood name” with its occupancy rates rising ten percent this summer compared to last year.

Rosewood Hotels and Resorts took over the management of the five-star hotel in April with the intention to expand the 80-room five-star hotel.

The hotel’s expansion plans were at the centre of a Special Development Order (SDO) controversy earlier this year.

Planning permission in principle was granted to build 78 private homes and 70 hotel rooms on the 240-acre site. After adjourning mid-debate in March, the Senate returned and approved a scaled-back version of the development.

Hotel managing director Brian Young said: “One of the ideas of the SDO was a potential expansion of the hotel and that is still under very serious consideration for the future.

“We are looking at future expansion, but it won’t happen in the next few years.

“Our current aim is to optimise the product that we have.”

Mr Young, who has been at the hotel’s helm for almost two years, stressed that no plans had yet been drawn up as an environmental review would have to be carried out.

He added that they would not be going “over the top” as they prided themselves on having a “boutique hotel feel”.

Mr Young did however say that they would be looking at “having as much business in our property that we can operate”. He said Rosewood Tucker’s Point would remain a hotel with less than 150 rooms so its current amenities could cope with the extra demand.

Mr Young said the hotel’s ten percent increase in summer occupancy was down to the Rosewood name attracting “a very sophisticated traveller”.

It means the hotel appears to be painting a brighter outlook for Bermuda’s struggling tourism industry, which is suffering from closing hotels, empty beds and a decreasing number of visitors.

Mr Young said many guests had told him they would not have thought about travelling to Bermuda if it hadn’t been for the Rosewood property.

The reach of Rosewood Tucker’s Point is expected to “be developed even further” when a photo of the hotel features on the cover of the Rosewood Magazine in February next year.

The quarterly magazine is placed in every hotel room of all the group’s properties.

Mr Young said: “Our season on the whole was very positive, it was up from 2010 in both occupancy and overall revenue.

“We are experiencing some positive growth, but at the same time we can only notice that overall visitorship to Bermuda is not on the increase.

“If we’re experiencing growth, it may be at the expense of other properties in Bermuda.”

Rosewood Tucker’s Point occupancy percentage was in the mid-80s during the summer, but is expected to fall to the high 20s in the winter months.

Mr Young said January and February were “typically the slowest months of the year” and staff worked even harder “to get our fair share of guests”.

This winter they will be focused on trying to attract businesses wanting to host small conferences and also residents who want to take advantage of ‘staycations’.

The hotel prides itself on its high level of customer service among its up to 240 staff 95 percent of whom are Bermudian.

Mr Young said feedback forms indicated guests were most impressed with the hotel’s small size and the range of activities available. They also indicated they liked to “meet locals and experience the local environment and traditions”.

Mr Young said there had been “a lot of activity” since Rosewood Hotels and Resorts signed a 25-year management agreement in April. Rosewood, which was founded in 1979, is known for its small-style luxury hotels in North America, Canada and Mexico.

Since Rosewood took over, the hotel has changed its entire computer and reservations system so that it is in line with the group’s other 18 properties in eight countries across the globe.

Hotel staff continue to “learn the Rosewood way” through extensive skills and service training. This is an ongoing process but some staff have already had the chance to visit other hotel group properties for on-the-job training.

The hotel’s rooms are gradually being upgraded to include “important little touches” like higher-quality bed linen, slippers and clothes hangers.

The in-room toiletries from the Bermuda Perfumery are also in the process of being replaced with international products.

And the hotel’s spa will be relaunched in the spring and renamed Sense, a Rosewood Spa at Tucker’s Point.

Mr Young said: “Rosewood has made a long-term commitment.

“Rosewood is such a strong fit for us at Tucker’s Point and also to sustain Bermuda as a destination … it’s a match made in heaven.

“Being part of Rosewood has been very good for us indeed. The staff also love being part of a larger family.”

The hotel has already welcomed several senior bosses from Rosewood, and hope to have a visit from Rosewood president Radha Arora “in the not too distant future”.

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Published November 14, 2011 at 1:00 am (Updated November 14, 2011 at 8:58 am)

Hotelier: Rosewood Tucker’s Point expansion on the cards

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