Some of the country’s leading hotels and guest houses have been talking up their favourable occupancy levels during the peak period of the 2016 Jubilee Independence Anniversary celebrations. The hotels have also been talking about the various forms of entertainment, souvenirs and cuisine provided for their guests during their stay at the various facilities.
This week the Pegasus, Opus, Status, Regency Suites and Plaza Hotels all told Stabroek Business that their occupancy rates reached 100 per cent during the peak period of the Jubilee celebrations while the Cara Lodge reported a 99 per cent occupancy rate. Most of the hotels reported that bookings were made several weeks in advance of the peak period and that there were few cancellations. On the contrary, guests who had already make bookings contacted them with several requests for additional rooms on account of additions to their respective parties for attendance at the Jubilee celebrations.
Pegasus General Manager Susan Isaacs told the Stabroek Business that apart from the hotel’s focus on hospitality-related services, during the Jubilee period it offered guests an event-filled programme that included poolside parties, craft exhibitions and a Guyana Night that allowed guests to ‘soak up’ elements of Guyanese culture that included food, music, and fashion. She said that during the period, guests staying at the hotel demonstrated a particular appetite for indigenous cuisine including the hotel’s popular pepperpot and salt fish and bakes. Throughout the period, mealtimes had to be extended by at least an hour to accommodate what the hotel said was a surfeit of occupants and walk-in customers.
Cara Lodge General Manager Shawn McGrath told Stabroek Business that a number of the hotel’s guests during the Jubilee period were Guyanese, some of whom had remained abroad for 30 years.
Accordingly, the souvenirs, including the special anniversary coins and banknotes were particularly popular. McGrath said that he gleaned the distinct impression that having returned home to be part of the country’s 50th anniversary celebrations his hotel’s guests were likely to be better ambassadors for the country upon their return to their adopted countries.
Opus Hotel General Manager Marcia Wilson-Castello told Stabroek Business that setting aside the pleasing level of in-house hospitality offered during the Jubilee period, the hotel was also pleased with its success in collaborating with a number of tourist agencies to facilitate visits to popular interior resorts and other places of interest.
The Opus, too, its general manager said, provided a range of traditional Guyanese dishes during the period and had to extend its hours of service during peak meal periods. Some of the hotel’s guests, Stabroek Business was told, have already made preliminary arrangements to return here at Easter next year.
Stabroek Business was unable to secure information on occupancy rates from the Herdmanston Lodge though the hotel’s General Manager, Keith Williams, told this newspaper that local cuisine and fruit-based beverages were particularly popular with their guests during the period.
The popular Le Ressouvenir, East Coast Demerara hotel Grand Coastal told Stabroek Business that only a handful of visitors for the Jubilee celebrations stayed at the facility.
Its General Manager Ramesh Bayoo said the focus of the facility during the period was on exposing guests to its high-quality cuisine.