Reed Travel Features
ORIENT BAY -- The newly refurbished Hotel Mont Vernon here is
holding its rates for 1997 in an effort to win back guests in the
wake of Hurricane Luis.
General manager Patrick Xerri said the 370-room beachfront
property, which suffered severe damage in September 1995, opened in
The price tag on renovations was steep, about $12 million, Xerri
Completed at the end of October, the refit involved the
replacement of all roofs, the building of a new lobby bar and an
outdoor restaurant, the addition of a fifth meeting room and the
replacement of furnishings in all guest rooms, meeting rooms and
public areas, including the open-air lobby.
The grounds, too, were refurbished, although the property's
parcel of beach on Orient Bay lost some sand that has not yet
returned, Xerri said.
Unlike some of the larger hotels on the island, Xerri said, Mont
Vernon's guests are derived almost equally from Europe, South
America and North America.
Xerri blamed the hotel's average 55% occupancy level on agents'
unwillingness to book the destination and general concern following
"Agents are waiting for people to come back [from St. Martin]
and say it's OK," he said.
Many of those North American visitors who have decided to return
are repeat guests from the U.S., especially families who have grown
accustomed to spending the Christmas holiday on the island.
Xerri said the hotel offers plenty of activities that are
suitable for families and younger couples alike.
Three staffers maintain a roster of daily activities, he said,
as well as a free Miniclub activity program for kids ages 3 to 12.
Babysitters are available.
Guests have access to a large freshwater pool, the beach, two
lighted tennis courts, body boards, snorkeling equipment, kayaks
and windsurfers at no additional fee.
Scuba equipment and lessons are available at an additional
Shoppers and gamblers alike can take advantage of daily shuttle
service to Marigot and Philipsburg.
As for nightlife, he said, the hotel offers nightly
entertainment as well as shuttle service to the casinos in
The hotel is only a short distance by car to the restaurants and
nightclubs in nearby Grand Case and Marigot.
Mont Vernon also caters specifically to families with children,
Children age 12 and under can share a room at no additional
charge with either one or two parents.
A 50% food-and-beverage credit also is extended to kids, and
as-yet-unpublished summer deals will offer food, activity and room
discounts for older children, he said.
The hotel offers full and modified meal plans without drinks at
an additional charge.
Le Sloop, the outdoor restaurant, is open for lunch, serving
salads, burgers and light grilled items, and twice a week, dinners
are served here
Located in the main building, La Creole serves a full American
buffet breakfast daily and a different buffet meal each night.