by Linda Straker
- Grenadian by Rex Resorts to become Starfish Grenada Resort
- Sunwing Travel Group to absorb 6 Caribbean Rex resorts
- 2016 court matter between government and property owners yet to be settled
Tourism Minister Clarice Modeste has confirmed that the Grenadian by Rex Resorts is under new management. The new trading name for the 211-room property located on Magazine Beach in the south of the island will be Starfish Resort.
“The agreement is between the owners of Rex and Sunwing, so I have no details as yet about the agreement because it’s a private purchase,” said Modeste. Representatives from the new owners/management will soon be coming to hold discussions with government.
Since 2016, government and the owners of the property began a court matter, after government served notice through the Gazette that it would be acquiring the property in accordance with Land Acquisition legislation. However, the owners were successful in having the court through its lawyers issue a temporary order that remains in effect until the court says otherwise. The matter is yet to be settled.
Modeste said that government was not part of the negotiation and learned of the new ownership via an official correspondence recently issued by Sunwing Travel Group in which it announced that the group’s hotel division would begin operating 6 of Rex Resorts’ Caribbean hotels as part of a newly formed strategic alliance.
“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. We are excited to be entering into this partnership which reflects our commitment to the Caricom countries of the Lesser Antilles,” said Stephen Hunter, President & CEO of Sunwing Travel Group.
He added, “We look forward to increasing tourism in Grenada, Tobago and Barbados as we have recently done in St Lucia and Antigua.”
The release disclosed that the 6 Rex Resorts properties which will be absorbed into 2 of Sunwing’s brands are the new boutique brand Mystique Resorts, and the mid-market chain, Starfish Resorts.
Starfish Resorts will see 5 new properties: 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.
Mystique Royal Saint Lucia will be the first Mystique-branded property in the Caribbean. The first Mystique in the wider region is opening in Isla Holbox, Mexico later this month as the Mystique Blue.
Christopher Forbes, General Manager for Grenada, said that as of 1 December the new brand and name would be unveiled. “There are lots of plans for the property, but the first thing to happen will be the renaming of the property to the Starfish brand,” he said.
The release quotes Alison Palin of Rex Resorts as saying that this strategic alliance will enable the group to rejuvenate and further enhance these popular resorts which are all situated in prime beach locations.
“Leveraging Sunwing’s distribution and scale will allow us to boost our occupancy and tighten our operational costs and ultimately position these properties to provide even more value to our guests. We look forward to the continued support of our valued employees, local suppliers and tour operators as we finalise this exciting and transformational agreement,” she said.