The Runaway Bay HEART Hotel has been rebranded the Cardiff Hotel and Spa, and is being positioned to be a four star eco-friendly boutique hotel in the tourism sector.
The 56-room facility, located in the upscale Cardiff Hall community, in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, is undergoing extensive refurbishing as part of the rebranding process, all aimed at changing the perception of the hotel as a training facility; and to present the four-star Nature Boutique Hotel that has been created.
“The services that we will offer, especially as it relates to our guest rooms, will be enhanced,” General Manager, Michelle Thame disclosed while addressing a ceremony to mark the rebranding of the facility, held on the grounds of the hotel, on Friday March 30. “In addition to that we are going to be focusing on the culinary experience, we believe that with our award winning Chefs and the reputation of the Runaway Bay HEART Training Institute, where the majority of our Chefs and Food and Beverage servers graduate from, we will be able to carve our own place on the north coast belt as the best place to eat and to dine,” she stated.
Ms. Thame pointed out that 95 per cent of the foods offered on the menu at the facility will be Jamaican, with produce purchased directly from local farmers.
Minister of State in the Ministry of Tourism and Entertainment, Hon. Damion Crawford, in his address noted that small developing nations will always have to look to the service industry, such as tourism, for economic stability.
“Because of our geographical blessings with the climate and the topography etc, and because of our genuine and natural hospitality, and because of our diversified attractions that we have, tourism as a service, I believe is the engine of growth within Jamaica,” he stated.
He advised that the role of the Cardiff Hotel and Spa will be to ensure that human capital is engaged and sufficiently trained. He noted the training offered at the facility, pointing out that this is important in assisting persons to improve upon their skills and talents.
Mr. Crawford praised the staff of the Cardiff Hotel and Spa, noting that the facility is already doing an excellent job. “What you have done is to change your name, your services and your décor to move from being a training hotel to a hotel that trains, and that is a big difference,” he stated.
Meanwhile, Executive Director of the HEART Trust/NTA, Dr. Carolyn Hayle, said that the Cardiff Hotel and Spa can be described as a “workforce college”, aimed at capturing all components of the tourism sector. She noted that internship at the facility will not be restricted to HEART Trust/NTA trainees, but will also open to small business operators and students from other universities and community colleges.
“The essence of separating the Teaching from the commercial activity of the hotel, is to ensure that there is hands on experience, and that the whole concept of sustainable development will be built into the learning process and become a way of life for those who trod here,” she stated, adding that the Cardiff Hotel and Spa will become a sustainable tourism property.
By Bryan Miller, JIS Reporter