Sandy Lane Hotel says it continues to attract high ratings from international agencies despite “a dismal outcome looming overhead” in light of recent developments in the international arena that have already started to impact negatively on the tourism industry.
“This year we have received many accolades to boast of. We have maintained our AAA Five Diamond status for another year . . . Only 0.4 per cent of over 28,000 hotels reviewed made the cut. We have also, for the first time, been awarded with the Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award . . . These are all amazing achievements,” general manager Randall Wilkie told the hotel’s annual staff awards ceremony this week.
“Unfortunately, with every high comes a low, and Zika, the mosquito-borne virus, which has prompted worldwide concern because of an alarming connection to neurological birth disorder, has been our Achilles heel, negatively affecting our pace and revenues for the first quarter of 2016, with the month of February recorded as the lowest occupancy on record,” he reported.
The hotel executive also pointed to the weakening of the British Pound, which has caused short term instability in the UK market, as well as the referendum on whether Britain will remain in the European Union (EU), saying those developments “also unsettled the marketplace”.
However, Wilkie said that with the promise of a dismal outcome looming overhead, “we continue to challenge ourselves to be successful even when it seems most impossible”.
“Through creativity, due diligence and a commitment to excellence we will battle the storm,” he told the ceremony, which was held under the theme ‘Pride in Excellence’.
The St Patrick’s Day event, which took place at the hotel with the usual spectacular display, saw a number of staff members receiving awards in a range of areas including perfect attendance, long service and the most highly anticipated awards for the night – the Star Awards for 2015.
“Like so many companies across the world, we recognize that in this prevailing gloomy economic environment our focus needs to be on talent development, geared at advancing the organization from within through specific learning and development strategies,” Wilkie said.
Stating that the hotel was focused on looking forward, Wilkie added that they would be identifying, implementing and supporting succession planning, as well as training and development initiatives that would also ensure knowledge transfer.
He noted that the hotel also plans to improve a number of areas within its operations.
“Tonight we have much to be thankful for and much to celebrate. We salute 210 Champions and Coaches who showed excellence in attendance for 2015 . . . We salute our 135 long-service Champions and Coaches who showed their unwavering dedication and commitment to Sandy Lane, from 10 to as much as 25 years of service. We also salute our Star performers across the resort and in the areas of centre court, outfield and our Coaches of the year,” Wilkie said.
He announced that the hotel will close for about two weeks in September to facilitate maintenance, enhancements and changes across the property.