The Magdalena Grand Beach Resort after six months of operations has performed beyond expectations.
In this short period the hotel has recorded an occupancy rate of 60 per cent in May. In addition the Trinidad and Tobago Hotel and Tourism Association has rated the hotel number one in Tobago, ahead of the Coco Reef Resort and Spa which for the fourth consecutive year won the World Travel Award title of Best Hotel in the Caribbean. Magdalena was also rated number two in Trinidad and Tobago after the Hyatt Regency Hotel.
Executive Vice President of efm Hospitality Solutions John Murphy in making these disclosures on Thursday credited the hotel’s 287 members of staff for making these achievements possible. He said the hotel was working towards one day achieving the title of Best Hotel in the Caribbean.
Magdalena in which the Central Government pumped US$25 million to carry out refurbishment works and for its initial operations reopened on November 1under an operations contract with the Miami-based efm Hospitality Solutions which has been operating 14 other hotels in the Caribbean region for 22 years.
The hotel can now boast of having 172 rooms including 22 suites that provide 200 beds.
Following a tour of the hotel by officials of the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) headed by Chief Secretary Orville London, Murphy said: “We are very optimistic about the future, we are very optimistic about next season; we are working hard in developing regional and local tourism with the THA and with the local Tourism Department.
We took the approach that this needed to be a touch and feel resort bringing all the elements of Tobago, indeed 86 per cent of the 287 staff are from Tobago, the contractors involved are also from Tobago and we have focussed on the local market, we are part of the community, we want to be very involved in the community going forward.
“The other major point we have been able to bring forward is our ability in making it a global hotel, we care working marketing wise in the United Kingdom, Europe, Canada, the United States and also here regionally,” he said.
Murphy said special rates are offered to locals with the big focus on the family; the major focus on recreational touch and feel and the food and beverage.
Chief Secretary Orville London said the Magdalena with all its troubles had taken a long time to reach this point and congratulated all involved. He promised that the THA will partner with the hotel in the future.
“I am particularly impressed by what I have seen today and to a certain extend it makes all the efforts that have been put into this particular initiative worthwhile. It takes my mind back to the very hopeless situation we would have four to five years ago and the fact that through the efforts of various people over a long period of time that we have been able to have what I think to be a magnificent facility that has significant potential for the development of Tobago.
“We now have and I can say it without any fear of favour, we have a first class facility here in Tobago that can in fact compare favourably to similar facilities anywhere in the world. These are some additions for example, the facilities for kids, some of the suites in my mind that are superior to many of the areas that are world renown,” London said.
The Chief Secretary also commended the Tobago sub contractors who were able to “bring this place up from what it was just about a year or two ago”.