By Ben Kilbey
There was jubilance in the air at Lindsay House in London’s West End last night, as Ralph Taylor, chairman and MD of Almond Resorts, made clear the company’s plans of expansion in the Caribbean. Mr. Taylor indicated that as of today both Morgan Bay Beach Resort in St. Lucia and Casuarina Beach Resort in Barbados would be closed and will reopen in late 2005 and early 2006 respectively, under the Almond Brand.
These acquisitions follow an extremely successful year for Almond Resorts following the completion of a US$15 million refurbishment that saw each and every room in both Almond Beach Club and Almond Beach Village completely refitted. The Village is also currently undergoing a US$15 million expansion.
Ralph Taylor commented:
“This is a very exciting time for our company we are extremely pleased to be able to offer our customers not just two new hotels but also the new destination of St. Lucia. We have undertaken this acquisition to offer even more holidaymakers the opportunity to experience our “All About You” tailored a la carte all-inclusive holiday concept.”
Almond defines itself as offering clientele a different approach to the all-inclusive concept. It takes it off the traditional tracks and gives a more personal experience. Taylor believes that other all-inclusive properties are too organised and that many traveller’s simply do not want the formulaic approach that takes the originality out of a holiday.
“We found a number of people like to know what the holiday would cost before they leave but are not willing to be organised to every hop, skip and jump. Therefore, there was a niche market to be tapped with the al a carte all-inclusive. Almond is all about you, this is the reverse to most all-inclusive holidays,” stated the Almond chairman.
St. Lucia is the first new destination outside of Almond’s home of Barbados. The first property to be opened in 1991 was Almond Beach Club. This was followed by Almond Beach Village. The expansion aims to give holiday goers more options. The geography of both islands is vastly different with Barbados being primarily flat and St. Lucia having lush rolling hills. There will be the option to combine both in a two-centre holiday.
Mr. Taylor concluded that:
“At Almond Resorts we are very serious about offering our guests the best all-inclusive holiday experience in the Caribbean and are confident that the doubling of our portfolio will help us to maintain our position as the premier all-inclusive hotel group of the Caribbean.”
Both new properties will feature swimming pools, fitness centre a la carte restaurants, a spa and activities/facilities for kids.
Pictured: Ralph Taylor speaking last night at Lindsey House in London’s West End