Anguillas midprice hotels make promotional push

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Charming Escapes, an Anguilla Tourist Board program that features the islands midmarket hotels, intends to step up its marketing efforts.

Training sessions are being organized for hotel managers, and standards are being established that each Charming Escapes hotel must uphold, said Donna Banks, a member of the House of Assembly and an advisor to the Anguilla Tourist Board.

We still have work to do in terms of marketing, goals and organization, but were getting there, Banks said.

Banks is initiating a dine-around program at restaurants close to each member hotel. A rent-a-chef program already is in place for guests who want a catered dinner in their suite.

Another innovation is a mobile massage spa that can be arranged in guest rooms. Properties in Anguillas Shoal Bay area also can send their guests to Malakh Day Spa for massages in tents on the beach.

Next month, the Charming Escapes marketing committee will examine affordable ways for members to participate in trade shows and joint promotions.

A Web site, logo and central information number at the tourist board office should be in place within a few months.

Although Anguillas reputation as a haven for the affluent has served it well, the Anguilla Tourist Board was looking to increase arrivals when it introduced Charming Escapes two years ago.

Most member hotels are family-owned; some are operated by sons and daughters of the original owners.

Participating properties are Allamanda Beach Club, Anguilla Great House Resort, Arawak Beach Inn, Brookland Island View Apartments, Caribella Beach Apartments, Caribbean Seaview, Carimar Beach Club, Ferry Boat Inn, Hotel La Sirena, Lloyds Bed & Breakfast, Masara Resort, Paradise Cove Resort, Patsys Villas, Royal Palms Holiday Apartments, Serenity Cottage, Shoal Bay Villas and Syd-Ans.

A one-bedroom apartment at Carimar Beach Club is $992 per week, including taxes and service charges, during its off-season promotion when the sixth and seventh nights are free after five are booked.

At Paradise Cove Resort, a two-bedroom, upper-floor apartment starts at $280 per night for four plus taxes and service charges. At Arawak Beach Inn, where fishermen stop by the bar and schoolchildren come daily to the cafe for a pizza lunch, daily rates start at $145 per room, double, from spring to fall. Guests stay in octagon-shaped, two-level cottages painted in bright colors.

Lloyds Bed & Breakfast is an old homestead on a hilltop where rooms start at $80 per person, single or double. Daily afternoon tea features johnnycake and bread pudding. Guests gather in the living room or on the front porch for informal chats with the family.

Information is available about Charming Escapes members on individual hotel Web sites and in the Charming Escapes booklet available from the Anguilla Tourist Board. Call the tourist board at (877) 426-4845 or visit www.anguilla-vacation.com.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to [email protected].

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