At a private dinner held at the Dorchester Hotel in London, Bermudian Hotelier John Jefferis was presented with Caribbean World’s “Lifetime Achievement Award in Tourism and Travel.“The only other recipients of this prestigious award have been Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Chairman of the eponymous Sandals Resorts Group and John Issa the originator of the all inclusive hotels concept and owner of the Superclubs Group which has resort properties throughout the Caribbean and South America.
Ray Carmen, the Publisher of Caribbean Life stated, “We are delighted to honour Mr. Jefferis with the “Lifetime Achievement Award” this year. Not only for his great achievements as an award winning and successful world class Hotelier and entrepreneur, but also for his engaging personality and charisma.”
Jefferis is the owner of Coco Reef Resorts Ltd which has Resorts in Tobago and Bermuda with another under development in Panama. He is also the owner of Island Resorts International Ltd a hotel management company whose latest project involves managing a group of hotels in Belize.
Jefferis’ other business interests include Inflite Catering, an airline catering company with operations in a number of Caribbean countries including Bermuda and Tobago and property businesses in Cuba and Panama.
Jefferis is a past Chairman and President of both the Bermuda and Caribbean Hotel Associations and was the first ever “Bermuda Hotelier of the Year.” In 1991, for his success in making the Elbow Beach Hotel in Bermuda a model of excellence and his contributions to both national and regional affairs, Jefferis was elected “Caribbean Hotelier of the Year.”
Jefferis’ current projects include a Five Star resort in Panama and the development of a “Caribbean Fine Art Gallery, Wine and Tapas Bar,” in Bermuda. Additionally a luxurious 66 unit all suite extension is planned for Coco Reef - Bermuda.
In an interview after the presentation, Jefferis reiterated his philosophical view of the business:
“More and more the defining point of excellence in the Resort business is perfect service. We can and will build more luxurious properties, with increasingly complex technological innovations that will meet our guests’ ever increasing expectations. However, without flawless, friendly, personal service the investment in these properties will never meet their full potential. When we opened the first Coco Reef in Tobago I told all of the Managers and Staff that our business is similar to the Theatre. I will build the sets that will provide the backdrop, but you are and must always be the actors and actresses who will interact with our guests. Hopefully many of you will become Stars in their eyes.”
The Coco Reef Resort in Tobago won Caribbean’s Leading Hotel at this year’s World Travel Awards.