DALLAS -- Rosewood Hotels & Resorts will debut its newest
Caribbean property Dec. 15 with the reopening of the 39-room Jumby
Bay resort, located on the 300-acre Jumby Bay Island off the north
coast of Antigua. The reopening follows a $5.6 million, four-month
The island's Home-owners Association acquired the resort from
hotelier Heinz Simonitsch in April and immediately tapped Rosewood
to manage the upscale property.
Simonitsch and his partners had purchased Jumby Bay in November
1999 from Rockresorts, which took over the operation in December
1998 after a two-year closure due to hurricane damage in late
Raymond Jacobi, Rosewood's chief operating officer, said the
reopening signals the "repositioning and renewal of Jumby Bay with
new facilities and landscaping, a new restaurant, a new look to the
guest rooms, a new fitness center and treatment rooms, upgraded
food and beverage operations and new bicycles for the guests."
In fact, there is little that Rosewood did not tweak or replace
during the renovation.
Guest room interiors, including floors, window coverings, soft
goods, lighting and furnishings were redone; bathrooms were gutted
and a pedestal soaking tub and an outdoor garden shower added to
Guests will experience a new outdoor dining venue at the Beach
Pavilion, which supplements both the Verandah and the Estate House,
Jumby Bay's signature restaurant located in a 230-year-old English
Jumby Bay will continue to be an inclusive resort, at least for
its first season, Jacobi said.
However, two ferry boats will offer frequent 10-minute trips
between the island and the mainland to enable guests to go ashore
for dining, shopping or sightseeing.
Jacobi said the "guest experience will be enhanced from arrival
to departure," including escorts for guests from the airport to the
resort and beach amenities such as chilled towels, beverages, fresh
fruit and sorbets.
Eleven villas on the island will be in the resort's rental pool
this winter; the units will be equipped with golf carts for guest
use during their stay.
Peter Bowling is the managing director at Jumby Bay.
Rosewood's other two Caribbean properties -- Little Dix Bay on
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands, and Caneel Bay on St. John,
U.S. Virgin Islands -- also tout new features for the winter
All three properties welcome children and offer specialized
programs and activities in designated play centers separate from
Commission is 10% at the three resorts. A rundown of the other
two properties follows:
• Caneel Bay. Jacobi said the 166-room resort
is undergoing a soft goods renovation, "which will not include the
addition of telephones or televisions in the rooms, as per Caneel's
The resort's Self Centre facility moved to a permanent home in
January on a bluff overlooking Honeymoon beach. The center offers
self-improvement classes in yoga, meditation, lifestyle counseling
and water aerobics.
Wedding business, a lucrative market for the resort, "had growth
this year,"according to Jacobi. "We did not lose market share or
business in that segment." Executive retreat bookings also grew in
2002, he said.
Brian Young is managing director of Caneel Bay.
• Little Dix Bay. The resort's new managing
director is David Flack, formerly general manager at the Cerulean
Villa Resort on Anguilla.
The 98-room property will launch its full-service Spa at Little
Dix on Dec. 15, complete with nine treatment cottages set on a
Spa treatments will utilize natural ingredients from Virgin
Gorda and nearby islands, said Karen Shawn, spa director.
The debut will coincide with the opening of the resort's two
residential-style beachfront villas, both with private plunge
pools, situated on the west end of Little Dix's crescent beach.
For additional information on all of the resorts, visit the Web
Occupancies on the rise
By Gay Nagle Myers
Dallas -- A Return To "Normal" Business Levels Is What Raymond
Jacobi, chief operating officer of Rosewood Hotels & Resorts,
said he is beginning to see.
Occupancies this year at both Caneel Bay on St. John, U.S.
Virgin Islands, and Little Dix on Virgin Gorda, British Virgin
Islands, are higher year-to-date over last year.
"Business is coming back. Our guest rooms and villas are sold
out for the holiday season at our three Caribbean resorts," Jacobi
said. "The call volume for the winter season has definitely picked
up, although the buying and booking patterns remain close in as
they have for the past year." Even the European market is "starting
to loosen up," Jacobi said.
Air travel, or the business of getting to the resorts, is a
frequent gripe of clients.
"Air travel is no longer pleasant. It is something we all have
to endure, which is why we have tried to make the arrival process
at the resorts as seamless and as pleasant as possible," Jacobi
He said Rosewood is "stronger than ever."
The firm's current roster includes seven hotels and six resorts,
with three more properties opening in the next three years. Further
expansion in the Caribbean is a possibility, according to
"We are poised for acquisition and on the lookout for one or two
more hotels in strategic locations in the Caribbean," he said.
Destinations under consideration include Anguilla and Turks and
Rosewood did not join the rate-discounting fray as many other
Caribbean properties did this year, but instead "offered a small
number of rooms at each resort at a 'hook' rate, which is our
lowest rate. We also lengthened the off-season by offering the hook
rate beginning in March rather than in May," he said.
Jacobi described the travel market this past summer as
"Although we have not been swayed by customer perceptions, we
had to steal market share by accelerating the length of time we
traditionally offer lower rates," he said.
Rosewood's 2003 peak rates for its Caribbean properties do not
reflect an increase over 2002 prices.
The firm's schedule of fam trips next year is "strong," Jacobi
said. In addition, the firm's Collection Preview series this fall
targeted top-producing agents and corporate accounts in Chicago,
Dallas, Los Angeles and New York.
Book it: Rosewood's Caribbean resorts
Caneel Bay, St. John
Rates: From $450 per room, per night, EP, Jan. 3
to March 31.
Jumby Bay, Antigua
Rates: From $1,050, double, inclusive
Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda
Rates: From $450, double, EP
Reservations: (888) 767-3966