by Linda Straker
- Grenadian by Rex rebranded as Starfish Resort as of 1 December
- Property to undergo refurbishment in April 2019
- Reopens as the Royalton Grenada in December 2019
In December 2019 the Grenadian by Rex resort will have a new name as a result of a US$80 million investment by the new majority shareholders. In the interim, as of 1 December, it will be rebranded as the Starfish Resort, before shutting down in April 2019 to undergo refurbishment.
Stephen Hunter, CEO of Sunwing Group, disclosed the new developments about the hotel on Tuesday during a news conference held jointly with Finance Minister Dr Mitchell. He said that the new action plan in going forward will see the hotel evolving to become the location in Grenada for the world’s top all-inclusive brand.
“The hotel will reopen as the Royalton Grenada in December 2019. Royalton is the number one all-inclusive hotel in the world, so the number one all-inclusive hotel is coming to Grenada,” Hunter disclosed to the media.
Sharing more information about the investment, Hunter said, “We have agreed that as of April the hotel will be shutting down. We will be renovating the whole hotel and adding another 60 rooms to the hotel which will bring the room inventory to about 300.”
Expressing his happiness about the new development, Prime Minister Mitchell said the government never wanted to take over the operations of the hotel but always wanted to see its services upgraded and improved. “We wanted to see upgraded operations at the Rex Grenadian site, knowing in fact that this tourism product is one of important activity in the country,” he said. He confirmed that when government conducted the acquisition of the property which was challenged in the Court, the aim was not for government to own and manage the hotel but government was, in fact, acquiring the property for the Sunwing Group.
He said that while the matter was pending before the Court, the Sunwing Group began conducting its own negotiations with the Rex owners being conscious of the many years matters can stay before the Court before a final judgement.
Speaking about the renovations and rebranding of the property, Dr Mitchell said, “I am happy that the fact that Sunwing Group will be expanding the property, there will be serious construction and renovation, and this will be providing an enormous amount of jobs.”
The largest integrated travel company in North America, Sunwing Travel Group comprises 2 leading leisure tour operators, Sunwing Vacations and Vacation Express; Sunwing Airlines, Canada’s premier leisure airline; SunwingJets, a luxury private jet charter service; together with the group’s own travel retail businesses, SellOffVacations.com and Luxe Destination Weddings.
Blue Diamond Resorts is the group’s hotel division, an innovative organisation that operates popular resort brands including Planet Hollywood Hotels & Resorts, Royalton Luxury Resorts, CHIC by Royalton Luxury Resorts, Memories Resorts & Spa, Starfish Resorts and Mystique Resorts across the Caribbean and Mexico. NexusTours is a full-service destination management company offering affordably priced and reliable ground transportation, popular tours and excursions, as well as other travel management services.
In October, Sunwing Travel Group announced that the group’s hotel division will begin operating 6 of Rex Resorts’ Caribbean hotels as part of a newly formed strategic alliance, effective 1 December 2018. As part of this landmark agreement, Sunwing’s growing hotel division plans to make significant improvements to each of the resorts over the coming years.
The release at the time explained that the 6 Rex Resorts will be absorbed within 2 of the hotel division’s brands: the new luxury boutique hotel collection, Mystique Resorts and the popular mid-market chain, Starfish Resorts. Mystique Royal St Lucia will be the second addition to the Mystique Resorts brand, with the first opening later this month in Holbox, Mexico. The Starfish Resorts brand will see 5 new additions: Starfish Discovery Bay Resort, Barbados; Starfish Halcyon Cove Resort, Antigua; Starfish St Lucia Resort, St Lucia; Starfish Grenada Resort, Grenada and Starfish Tobago Resort, Tobago.
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