NEW YORK -- John Scott, the new president and CEO of Rosewood
Hotels & Resorts, is no stranger to the hotel business.
He's worked on and in hotels in the Pacific, the Far East and
the U.S.; has firsthand experience with assets and acquisitions;
and knows a lot about what high-end travelers want, require and are
accustomed to getting.
All in all, Scott seems a perfect fit for Rosewood, whose 12
luxury properties consistently rank in the top 10 of reader surveys
and consumer research.
Scott took the helm as president and CEO of Dallas-based
Rosewood in April after seven years with St. Louis-based Maritz
Wolff & Co., a private equity real-estate investment group.
At Maritz, he handled acquisitions and assets for a portfolio of
17 hotels and resorts in the U.S., Canada, Australia and the
Caribbean, some of which operated under the Rosewood brand
"My second week at Rosewood coincided with our annual Collection
Preview," Scott said. "The timing couldn't have been better for
The managing directors and executive staff of each Rosewood
property met with the company's top-producing leisure and corporate
agents in key markets, such as Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles and New
"We had one-on-one contact with agents -- we listened to their
comments, heard what their clients were saying about our properties
and got to tell them about Rosewood's plans," he said.
Agents account for most of Rosewood's bookings, according to
"Our guests -- many of whom are repeat visitors -- are leisure,
transient, FIT and corporate travelers who are most comfortable
working with a travel agent they have used before," he said. "We
nurture those relationships and endeavor to drive business to
A small percentage of guests do book direct or via Rosewood's
Web site, although Scott said the site is used more as an
"awareness-generating tool than as a booking engine."
Also coinciding with Scott's arrival at Rosewood was the launch of
a $2 million ad campaign entitled "Something Extraordinary
"The idea had been in the works a while," Scott said. "Hotels
have suffered along with all market segments for the past two
years. This campaign supports our properties during a specific time
frame -- the summer getaway season -- with incentives and a message
that focuses on family reconnection."
Many of Rosewood's guests first visited the resorts as children
and later returned with their own families in tow, he said.
Scott described Rosewood as "a small company with unique
"We are not a hotel chain," he said, "but a collection of
intimate hotels and resorts."
Components of the "Something Extraordinary" campaign include
special rates and packages, which, according to Scott,
"dramatically" boosted summer bookings to its three Caribbean
resorts -- Caneel Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands; Little Dix
Bay, British Virgin Islands; and Jumby Bay, Antigua -- in the past
"The increase is due to the exposure from the ad campaign plus
the fact that people are beginning to travel again, especially to
the Caribbean," Scott said.
If future Caribbean expansion for Rosewood takes place, it will
"probably be in a north-south direction, such as Turks and Caicos
in the north and Barbados and Costa Rica in the south," according
"We do not want to be over-represented in the Caribbean, nor do
we have a stated strategy of owning the Caribbean," he said. "If
the property and location fit, we will consider it. We have a
strong franchise in the Caribbean and are good at managing and
marketing specific destinations to a specific client group."
Rosewood launched Jumby Bay, its newest Caribbean resort, last
December, a project Scott described as "restoring a classic hotel
to its original grandeur."
That restoration carried a $6 million price tag.
Jumby is the only all-inclusive property in Rosewood's
portfolio, and the concept apparently is a hit with the resort's
clientele, Scott said.
"Guests view the property as their own private island. We offer
different menu options and a variety of locales where food and
drink are served."
The all-inclusive plan will be in effect for next winter, as
well. Caribbean rates, which have held steady during a two-year
period of flat bookings, may be seasonally adjusted "if demand
continues," Scott said.
• Make copies of the readers' hotel survey in the May/June 2003
issue of Departures magazine (published by American Express for
Platinum Card and Centurion members) in which three Rosewood
properties ranked No. 1 in their respective categories and three
others placed in the top 10. Send the surveys, along with a
handwritten note about Rosewood's summer packages, to affluent
clients in your database.
• Arrange a fam visit to Rosewood's new properties or those not
visited before, such as Jumby Bay in Antigua or Las Ventanas al
Paraiso in Los Cabos, Mexico.
• Send a goodie basket of kids' beach toys to clients with
grandchildren to remind them of Rosewood's family packages to the
Caribbean this summer.
For more details on this article, see Firm offers opportunity for 'Escape'.