Here are my own personal thoughts as a UK travel agency.
I own Barbados Ambassadors Travel Agency in England , and I put all my eggs in one basket and used to sell Almond Beach Village to customers with all my heart and soul.
After over 20 visits myself there, I knew the product in great depth, when the village closed its doors (I was the last guest to leave) I too like many other visitors left my heart at the Village, and my business took a nose dive. And only just now a year later I am just about convincing customers to try the Club or Elegant Hotels, but my customers know nothing will ever replace the Village.
I check the newspaper online every single day in hope and pray for positive news that the Village will be reopen by Almond.
They should never have bought the two St. Lucia hotels or Casuarina — that’s what got them in money trouble. Well now they have got rid of those extra hotels they surely are in a position to reopen the Village! I never did understand why they kept promising multi-million refurbishment projects when clearly they had stretched themselves with too many hotels.
Maybe that’s why they didn’t make a quick sale to any of the interested buyers, because they knew that in time with the other properties sold they could in fact reopen the village.
Would the Village be the same without the staff that we all grew to love like family? It was the staff who made it home away from home, but even if half of those staff have new jobs, with financial job guarantee I am sure they would slowly come back. It was their family too.
Well nice to gets my thoughts to someone who may listen! Hoping and praying that Almond does the decent thing — it would bring so much business back into Barbados and indeed Speightstown.
On my last day at the village one of the senior managers said to me: “Don’t be sad, it will all work out in a positive way in the end!”
Well one year and one month on we still wait. Let’s hope and pray that they can move forward with positive plans. Even if they tidy up the grounds and open la Samarita as a fine dining restaurant to start with — step by step and fingers crossed.
Please feel free to pass this on to the minister of tourism !!
— Polly Gould