All-inclusive resort BodyHoliday in St. Lucia emerged from a $20 million renovation last year that included a makeover of all guest rooms, the addition of two villas and updates to the Wellness and Asian-fusion restaurant TAO. Along with its sister all-inclusive property—the couples-focused Rendezvous, also in St. Lucia—a combined and comprehensive travel agent program, including an online education platform, an electronic tool kit and a rewards program, is offered.
The resorts’ Deputy Managing Director Andrew Barnard sits down with TravelPulse to explain the properties’ popularity with guests and how travel agents can benefit from booking the resorts.
TravelPulse (TP): Could you talk about the $20 million renovation at BodyHoliday?
Andrew Barnard (AB): Our renovation last fall was quite an exciting time on-property as we celebrated thirty years in striving to achieve our company vision ‘to change people’s lives, one person at a time.’ Translating to our promise to our guests, ‘Give us your body for a week, and we will give you back your mind.’
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With the renovation came sweeping upgrades across the resort and enhancements to our award-winning approach to an individual’s total wellbeing. We debuted refreshed Luxury Ocean View guestrooms, which enhance a guest’s wellbeing and energy through new amenities such as an eco-friendly air conditioning system that improves the quality of the air. The purpose was to enhance the sleep quality that each and every guest experiences at BodyHoliday, and all these enhancements are to complement our Sleep Well program.
We also introduced upgrades to our signature dining experiences, providing greater flexibility and control to our guests in shaping their meals. At TAO, our award-winning Asian-fusion fine dining restaurant, guests can savor an extended organic menu and new wine cellar in a fully refurbished restaurant, while enjoying a new outdoor deck. Additionally, The Deli, our casual open-air restaurant serving healthful lunch and snacks, now offers a sushi counter and juice bar serving fresh, organic juices and made-to-order smoothies.
We are also excited to debut two new luxury villas in the coming months as a further component to our renovation.
TP: Are there plans for anything new at Rendezvous?
AB: At the moment, Rendezvous will continue to focus on delivering its signature all-inclusive service for couples, offering them ‘a place of stolen time’ where they can focus on each other as our expert team helps craft the ideal romantic holiday. We do not have any immediate plans for any changes.
TP: What has made each of these two resorts their own well-established independent brands?
With BodyHoliday, it is very much about the wellbeing experience we provide, which is far more comprehensive and customized than a traveler can find elsewhere. BodyHoliday was the first, and still is, beach vacation that gives guest long-term gain to better their wellbeing.
Throughout our thirty years in operation, we increasingly strive to provide the ideal well-being programming and hospitality that allows our guests to maximize their experience. It is this customized, hands-on, individualized approach with the aim to deliver clear, measurable results that has guests wanting to return year after year and refer us to their networks. Our strong commitment to each guest’s personal well-being speaks volumes and it is something we are very proud of.
Likewise, with Rendezvous, our commitment to personalized service has made the resort a standout for couples. It is the resort’s level of dedication to ensuring each couple’s experience is custom-tailored to their individual preferences that has earned Rendezvous a reputation of being a go-to tropical escape in the West Indies for vacationing couples around the world, whether they are newlyweds or more seasoned couples.
TP: Will BodyHoliday and Rendezvous Resorts ever expand its portfolio?
AB: We are always looking for opportunities to bring our service and hospitality philosophies to new heights, whether through expanded experiences in Saint Lucia or by introducing our resort concepts to new markets around the world. While we do not have any expansion plans on the immediate horizon, it is something we have our eye on for the future.
TP: How do BodyHoliday and Rendezvous Resorts work with travel agents?
AB: We very much value our relationships with all agents and for both resorts. As evidence of this, we do not work with any Online Travel Agents, ensuring we can offer full dedication to our agent partners. We have also created a robust Specialist Program, which serves as a rewards program exclusively for them and other travel professionals.
Our program, which can be accessed here, is designed as an ‘easy to use’ portal that allows individual agents and professionals to input client bookings and track their rewards. Our Specialist Program utilizes different award levels, ranging from a ‘Preferred Agent,’ who has made one to four bookings, up to a ‘Partner Agent,’ who has made 10-plus bookings, unlocking various rewards at each level. Our rewards include commissions on bookings to complimentary nights with a guest and more.
We also work closely with partner agents to ensure we provide them all the tools they need to fully explain our unique guest experiences—such as training days, webinars, events and support material—and as we have direct relationships, we can offer a personalized experience to enhance the services offered by travel agents to their clients.