Safety First

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Why King's Beach Failed

Not good for tourism!
Published on: 5/1/06.


ALL-INCLUSIVE HOTELS and powerful international tour operators could bury Barbados' tourism product in the sand.

This charge has come from hotelier Martin Richards, who is just about to sell his all-inclusive King's Beach Hotel to a British investor, who will tear it down and build 50 multi-million-dollar condos.

He told the DAILY NATION in a recent interview at the 60-room, St Peter resort that the biggest mistake he made was converting to an all-inclusive back in 1999.

"A number of the resorts and restaurants are closing and turning into condominiums because the all-inclusive product has killed the restaurant trade, and it is killing the smaller, independently-run hotels.

"[All-inclusives] don't provide any business to Barbados, with the exception of the resort the people stay in. They don't provide any business to the restaurants, taxis, shops, supermarkets, gas stations, because people go to the resorts and stay there . . . . It's not good for Barbados; it's not good for tourism," he said.

Richards said the hotel he owned for ten years had also suffered the consequences of the big tour operator and the larger [all-inclusive] hotels, with their 600-plus rooms, agreeing rates as low as US$65 a night. He said with King's Beach rack rate at US$285 a night, they couldn't survive.

"That's because the tour operators are not prepared to pay that per person per night. They have been squeezing and squeezing us and they're the ones who are making all of the money." - more -

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  1. I'm not sorry the Kings Beach failed. It was a peoor hotel with few facilities and terrible rooms. It was in poor condition when i stayed there and appeared to have suffered from under investment. In a competetive market the Kings Beach wasn't able to compete - that down to the management itself - not others. Mr Richards should count his blessings that he got his cash before the crash - he can probably buy back the site now for much less.

  2. I really loved the Kings Beach Hotel. Both times I stayed there the staff were great and the whole ethos was about being relaxed and having freedom. Also, I know that Mr Richards does loads of good that few folk find out about. However, this is just the view of someone who can spell. Liz Holden.

  3. me and my wife stayed a week at kings beach in 1990 for our honeymoom,,i am saddened it no longer exists,it was such a friendly place,staff would give you the shirt off there back,the fried flying fish was awesome,the windowless bars restaurant nitely entertainment was awesome,the trade winds blowing through,our room was bottom floor with our patio right on the beach,the calm ocean waves lapping off the low retaining wall,it was magical,i have been on a few more trips to mexico and jamaica,nothing comes close to our week in kings beach. ps. rebuild it