HAMILTON, Bermuda -- Tourism initiatives didn't break the back of
softer occupancy levels here this summer, but a sampling of the
island's smaller hotels showed the deals did attract some leisure
business that otherwise might not have come their way.
Lesline Williams, front office manager of the Rosedon in
Pembroke, termed the Bermuda Department of Tourism's free companion
air ticket offer on five-night minimum stays "a success."
She said the 47-unit Rosedon required guests who took advantage
of the offer to occupy luxury category rooms for five nights.
Operators such as Certified Vacations, Gogo Worldwide Vacations,
Mark Travel, TNT Vacations and Red Seal Vacations (Canada) sent
guests, Williams added.
U.S. travelers fill 80% of the Rosedon's rooms, Williams said,
but agents account for only 5% of the business.
Meanwhile, the property is offering a six-night honeymoon
package priced at $1,460, double (room portion commissionable at
To enhance honeymoon stays, Rosedon added four Royal Rooms priced
at $310 per night, double, for the fall. Among the amenities are a
four-poster bed and a Jacuzzi. Room-only rates through Nov. 30
start from $214, double.
For more information, call (441) 295-1640.
Among developments at some of the island's other smaller hotels
• Business at the 44-unit Surf Side Beach Club in Warwick
"snapped back" thanks to late bookings -- some made a day in
advance -- according to general manager Bryony Harvey, but the fall
outlook for the property is "slow."
As a result, Surf Side introduced value-added deals, including
free breakfasts with stays of three nights and longer during
September and October, and the eighth night free when seven are
paid. A free daily breakfast and one free dinner will be provided
during the stay.
This winter, the resort's one-bedroom suites and de-luxe rooms
will be upgraded, Harvey said. The refrigerators will remain, but
the kitchens will be removed in order to enlarge the bathrooms.
Agents generate 20% of the property's business, unchanged from
2001, with 80% of the guests arriving from the eastern U.S. and
California, according to the hotel.
For more information, call (800) 553-9990 or visit www.surfside.bm.
• The 47-unit Ariel Sands is experiencing "a very tough" 2002,
said managing director John O'Brien, but he credited the department
of tourism's air fare deal with stimulating some leisure business.
Late-booking patterns, which began in 2001, continued, he said.
"People are looking for a good air fare first, and then they
book the rooms." O'Brien blamed relatively high air fares from
North America for the slow summer, which, in turn, caused the
hotel's management to discount room rates by up to 25%.
In addition, the property is requiring only four nights compared
with the usual five as the minimum stay for the free companion air
Fall rates remain the same as last year, he said, starting at
$469 per night, double, with full breakfast, through Oct. 31. From
Nov. 1 through Nov. 30, rates become $351.75 for two, also with
breakfast. The rates include tax.
Agents earn 10% pay on sales, with negotiable pay available for
volume, he said, noting Gogo and TNT as among the most productive
U.S. operators this year.
The hotel will be closed Jan. 3 to Feb. 1 for renovation. For
details, call (800) 468-6610 or visit www.arielsands.com.
• At the 86-unit Pink Beach Club in Tucker's Town, occupancy
this summer was down about 10% compared with 2001, with the period
of July 7 to 15 being most affected.
The downturn was due largely to the economy, said Michael
Williams, the property's managing director. "I believe we will be
stronger this fall," he said, due to promotional efforts that
include a consumer newsletter and contacts with agents. Williams
predicted a 10% increase in occupancy this fall compared with last
The hotel will be closed for the season Dec. 10 through March
20. Renovations to three cottages will be completed in March.
Through Nov. 15, rates are $415 per night, MAP, and from $375 with
For details, call (800) 355-6161 or visit www.pinkbeach.com.
• Lorri Lewis, assistant manager at the 47-unit Rosemont,
credited agents with generating 20% of the property's business,
with 70% of the guests coming from the U.S.
"We are one-half mile from Hamilton, so we get up to 70%
corporate business, and it has held up," she said.
On the leisure side, Gogo, Magic Carpet Vacations and TNT sent
agent-booked clients, Lewis said, but many leisure guests reduced
their stays this year from five nights to two or three.
The hotel is offering rates of $164 per night for a gardenview
room and $270 for a larger room with a harbor view, full kitchen
and a Jacuzzi. The hotel lacks a dining room but will stock
kitchens with food if requested in advance.
For more information, call (800) 367-0040 or visit www.rosemont.bm.
A second component of the Department of Tourism's initiative,
the Compliments of Bermuda discounts, featured a $100 credit toward
recreation, food and other services. The program expired Aug. 31,
but an extension is tentatively planned, according to the Bermuda
Department of Tourism.
The department said the program would apply to bookings made
between Nov. 1 and Dec. 31 for travel between Nov. 15 and March
For information, call (800) BERMUDA.