For the first time ever, the Caneel Bay Resort has closed its doors to guests.
The resort, which has welcomed guests to its charming, low-key North Shore property for more than 50 years, closed on September 1 and will not reopen until October 31.
September and October are the quietest for most Love City businesses, and Caneel has not been exempt from the annual slow season. “The decision to close the resort is based on historically low occupancy levels during these months, which is true for most Caribbean properties like Caneel Bay,” said Kristin Hutton of Hawkins International, which handles public relations for the resort. “We also have some maintenance which needs to be done, and saw this as a good opportunity, before the high season begins.”
The current state of the economy also factored into the resort’s decision to close, according to Caneel’s Managing Director, Nikolay Hotze.
During the two-month closure, a program of maintenance to the resort buildings is being implemented.
“We’ve already repainted the entire hotel,” said Hotze. “We’re doing general maintenance and upgrades to guest areas, just to make sure that they are all in tip top shape.”
Hotze expects most of the resort’s employees to return when Caneel reopens on November 1. Workers were given nine months notice, he explained.
“I believe everybody is coming back,” said Hotze. “We communicated nine months ago, so everybody had time to prepare.”
Caneel’s fiercely loyal guests have also taken the closure in stride, Hotze continued.
“We have a lot of loyal guests who usually come in October, and they’ve all rebooked,” he said. “We haven’t lost anybody. They’ve happily moved their vacations to the first of November.”
If the two-month closure proves beneficial to the resort, its October guests may have to permanently reschedule their annual vacations. Once the pros and cons of shutting down for two months have been weighed, a decision will be made regarding the possibility of closing to guests during slow season each year, explained Hotze.
“We need to see how we come out on October 31 and we’ll take it from there,” he said.
During the two-month closure, no residents or guests are allowed on the resort’s property; however, its Honeymoon and Caneel beaches are still open to the public, which must access the beaches by foot from North Shore Road.
Upon reopening, guests can expect to find business as usual at Caneel, explained Hutton.
“Guests can expect the same great experiences Caneel Bay has continuously offered throughout the resort’s stellar history,” she said.