New Edgewater Hotel closed: another Barbados hotel bites the dust

Edgewater’s closure by bankruptcy receivers yesterday takes Barbados up to a staggering 34 hotels lost over the last 20 years. How many thousand rooms are gone over the last decade alone?

Does anyone keep track of the numbers?

I feel like a wife whose husband constantly assures her that everything is okay – despite that she sees the evidence all around her that the mortgage payments are behind and the car is about to get repo’d by the bank…

… but the husband says “Don’t worry darling. Everything is just fine.”

Barbados is the wife. The politicians are the husband…

… and the husband is saying “Doan worry, darling. Everything is okay, fine so fine!”

Further Reading

End for Hotel

One of this island’s older hotel properties has fallen into the hands of receivers KPMG.

A team from the audit firm shut down the NewEdgewater Hotel yesterday, and with that action sent nearly 30 people on the breadline.

The Bathsheba hotel, which boasted 24 rooms and suites, and had a history dating back to the 1700s, was ordered closed just after 2 p.m. The staff members were informed of the situation and asked to leave the premises.

Read the full story at The Nation: End for Hotel

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37 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

37 responses to “New Edgewater Hotel closed: another Barbados hotel bites the dust

  1. 189

    where they any rates for locals?
    If not who cares, out side people need to get in side and the planes are not landing to keep open all year around ,
    In St Vincent they give local rates all year . It help for the off season long and it helps all ,
    But the Hotel owners of Barbados dont seem to want the Bajan in side unless they live overseas.
    Once again Who cares for they dont care for us,,,Oh , we can make the beds and clean at low wages.

  2. jrjrjrjr

    If a hotel is not fully occupied then it is common sense to offer discounts to help fill the rooms. Whether it be to locals or tourists it matters not. Money is money. Some of the hotel rooms on the island are way overpriced. Tourists want sunshine not any particular location so if they can get a cheaper accommodation elsewhere they will take it

  3. Anonymous247

    Another symptom of the Golden Goose dying?

  4. Mark Fenty

    Sometime discount hardly covers operational cost.

  5. what will they think of next

    Not only Barbados, this from Bermuda:-

    If you look at Tourism Department statistics, the number of hotel-staying tourists has dwindled to less than 180,000, when we once enjoyed close to 500,000 guests.

    The statistics also show the number of hotel properties on the Island has fallen from more than 100 in 1980 to 48 last year, although the website TripAdvisor.com only lists 29 being actively reviewed and the Tourism website lists only about 40, of which several no longer appear to be taking tourist bookings, or are very small guest houses.

    http://www.royalgazette.com/article/20120315/BUSINESS/703159915

  6. caribeye

    To 189: like a typical Bajan you ask who cares? It isn’t you among the 30 Bajans with no jobs, mortgages and other financial commitments to pay, children to school, dependents to support, taxes and NIS to pay to help run things in our country. No, you’re not among the less fortunate so why in hell should you care?
    Remember when public workers lost 8% in salary? Only 500 people marched. Then Govt. sent home 2,500 plus, including both employees from the same household and the Private sector sent home approx. 2,000 and what happened then? 20,000 marched! Ever asked yourself why? Because at first the 8%-losers didn’t affect the private sector employees so they didn’t care about their fellow Bajan’s plight. But when the cuts spread and people realised how they were or could be affected everyone marched! So don’t draw the tired red herring about hoteliers not wanting Bajans in their properties.
    Do you know how hard it is to keep a staff of 30 employed with only 30 or 40 rooms to generate income? Even Almond with 400 rooms couldn’t cover their expenses because of, quote ” their top-heavy Management structure”. It would be great if a Forensic Audit (a la CLICO) would be done at Almond to see where all the earnings disappeared? Maybe some top people would get charged too! Who knows?

  7. rastaman

    @caribeye: A forensic audit sounds good,but will never happen.

  8. Sunshine Sunny Shine

    Oh No I honeymooned there. Darn that is a nice spot. If only I had the money to buy that place I would convert it into cheap and affordable long and short term apartments. And convert a section into my dream home. Any of you rich tycoons want to loan this half white gal 60 million. i WOULD MAKE IT WORTH YOUR WHILE

  9. de hood

    Sunshine Sunny Shine
    April 21, 2012 at 10:14 pm
    So…….. Which is de white half, above de waist or below de waist? :)

  10. victor

    Though in a lovely location and with beautiful views, it always made me think of the film “The Shining”

  11. what will they think of next

    Debt-ridden Jamaica appeals to IMF for help

    Seventeen percent live below the poverty line on less than US$4 per day.

    Many resorts in jamaica have had to cut prices to attract customers.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-17803664

  12. watcher

    it is all about the price of the tourism product including the price of travel Other places going to take a lot of the USA tourism business from Barbados. From Dallas Fort Worth to Barbados a return ticket is almost 800$ US….to Jamaica about $275. Check out Spirit Airlines and where they go. You can’t fill rooms if people can’t afford the travel cost.

  13. 32535834/24346-C66

    Barbados is geographically a long way out from Europe and North American airports

    Based on distance-air-travel considerations
    we should be looking to encourage tourism from Trinidad
    from Venezuela and other South American countries
    but that would mean that Bajans would have to seriously brush up on their Spanish and Brasilian-Portuguese
    when dum cyan even talk English too gud.

  14. jrjrjrjr

    Air fares from the UK are about £150 up on last year

  15. an observer

    Has anyone else checked out the link to the Royal Gazette of Bermuda posted by “what will they think of next”? Bermuda faces the identical problems as Barbados – declining visitors, hotel closures, high rates for rooms and food, poor service and exploding crime. Perhaps the new mega cruise ships are also partly to blame – after all, they are floating cities, a destination itself. You don’t even have to get off the boat.

  16. The Watcher!

    Hmmmm.
    Whenever I have a comment to make regarding a tourism related matter, I stress diversification of our foreign exchange base away from tourism, whose failings are now too numerous to mention.

    However, I’d like to say something on the Edgewater matter. Firstly, the potential to disseminate false and in-accurate information via this medium is very profound. Why I say this is because I have had the opportunity to have a short stay at this very hotel this year and its quite amazing that there were so many staggering maintenance and upkeep issues while RIGHT NEXT DOOR the owners of this very property were engaging in the construction of some form of Condos or Townhouses. You cant miss them once you commence your decent into the Edgewater property. I’m even vaguely recalling the either Moorjani C’Bean Ltd or JADA were the contractors on site.So say A when you say B. It looks to me that they had or have money to invest in what’s important to them. This action of letting the hotel fall into receivership may not be based entirely on hardship.

    So my question is here, ” Is tourism that important when the very owners of these properties let them run to ruin, while investing in more lucrative ventures?”

    I think with the right owners /management, this quaint little hotel perched on the edge of a Bathsheba cliff could be a real winner among a specific targeted group of Barbadians and International visitors alike.

    Its uniqueness is only shared with one other hotel in the area; The Atlantis Hotel. And while Ive never gone to The Atlantis, the quaint and unusual characteristics of the Edgewater make it a real winner, if someone knows how to market it correctly.

    I’d like to think that the staff at the hotel are taken care of via NIS and will find work with some other hotel(s). Interestingly enough some of the every uniqueness that I found was of the staff and their very backgrounds, some of them hailing right from the immediately surrounding areas. Edgewater was a Bajan Hotel with a Bajan flare! Bull-Jol on Sunday Mornings for breakfast! That is classic Bajan!

    While I’m all for diversification, I am also all for saving unique and novel ideas that make the Barbadian experience, different from any other. We need to develop Competitive Advantage and Customer Loyalty if small hotels like these are going to survive. The Hilton’s and Marriott’s aren’t going to make Barbados a worthy tourist destination, they’re are way too predictable and regimented in franchise protocols and procedures. Its the little hotels that truly emulate what its like to be a Barbadian living in Barbados and transferring that experience to our visitors, that will help us to make our mark in tourism.

    I’ve said enough! Sorry to see this one go like this!!

  17. Breadfruit

    I live not far from Edgewater & didn’t realise it was still open, think we assumed it had closed when they started construction of the new villas, as that is supposed to incorporate the original Hotel. Last time we were in there it was in a dire state of repair, the only people staying were the elderly couple we were visiting, they had got back late & missed dinner, the staff wouldn’t even make them a sandwich instead bought out a bowl of crisps for them! The bar man asked my husband how long we were going to be as they wanted to go home, he pointed out the residents could stay in the bar as long as they liked! The barman poured extra drinks for us, shut the bar & left about 9.30pm. We saw the couple to their room, the entire Hotel was left open, no security in sight.

    Round House was packed when I was taken there for lunch by visitors in March, staff were friendly & polite, food was very slow, took an hour, bathrooms disgusting, nothing changed there over the years, they want local musical entertainment but not the locals to drink there, we used to go there a lot but stories of people being robbed in their rooms or being mugged on the walk back to Bathsheba put a lot of people off. Glad we got the Atlantis is all I can say!

  18. The Watcher!

    @ Breadfruit.
    I messed up some of what I was saying last evening when I posted my comment to this story, but hopefully, the jist of what I wanted to convey was conveyed.
    I would have to agree with you on a few things here though and to be honest, I did not relate the negative experiences of my stay purposely because I wanted to focus on positives and those elements that could be used to help the industry to grow.
    The property was in a sad state of dis-repair. Some of the rooms leaked when it rained, and I am talking abut the prime rooms overlooking the ocean. The bathrooms for the most part weren’t up to any code and looked like if the Ministry of Health came by, they would shut the place down as a potential health hazard immediately. Some of the staff were not as friendly as they could or should have been, but you get what you pay for. That’s no excuse, it is a fact.
    Security, lol well that’s a real belly-full of laugh. The night watchman doubled as the security on site and many times if you knew where to look, you could find him leasurly napping by the pool in a tight little corner @ 2:00am. But as I said earlier, you get what you pay for.
    I think that with the right management(and I think that I said this earlier in my original post) the place could be a gem.
    Those villas! Hmmm. Question I’d want to ask is this: ” Can any real value be derived from these luxury villas and condos and that value spread across the island?”
    If these things only serve to enrich those who invest in them, we don’t need them!
    Bring back The Edgewater Hotel!

  19. Over and over

    I’m sure that this is not the first closure of the Edge Water Inn. The property has passed hands many times at regular intervals. The maintenance and upkeep of the hotel is high as compared to most due to prevailing ocean breezes. As a boutique hotel it has not much to offer in terms of luxury and has resisted all attempts at beautification. It is as wild as its rugged surroundings.

    Looking to market the hotel as a unique isolated getaway has always been a problem. The property could never meet the expectations of management, guests or staff. A hotel is a living thing and this one is completely savage.

    Barbados over the years has become a world class surfing destination. The soupbowl is one of the premiere surfing spots in the world and entertains some of the worlds most Ferrel surfers. The season for surf is av 5 months, Aug-December. Surfers tend to spend months at a time waiting for swell at locations like this world wide. Slacker immigration laws offering 6 month holiday work visas (as done in Australia) actually bring in more money to the country than short stay. That in my opinion is the market for this beautiful rugged hotel. The place its self will never change so we should sell it for what it is.

  20. BOYCOTT travel to the UK!

    I notice that…
    Air fares from the UK are about £150 up on last year
    and wonder if this is due to their recent Far-Flung-Destinations exit tax!
    Almost certainly!

    Personally, I am boycotting all travel to the UK because of their outrageous taxes
    and take every opportunity, including this one
    to encourage anyone who will listen, to do likewise!

    Britain also depends on tourism…Summer tourism…
    and if enough people are made aware of WHY their travel costs to/from Britain have jumped
    maybe they’re travel elsewhere instead.

    We can make the Brits feel some of the same pain we are feeling
    -for the very same reason: their aberrant departure taxes!

    If you don’t HAVE TO go to England, don’t go.

  21. Donna

    I surprised my mom with her 65th birthday banquet there. I had great customer service, they allowec us to dance way beyond the reservation time. The staff was great, and worked well with us. This is so sad, as I made friends with the staff, and even found one of my sisters working there. This is really sad, I will treasure the pictures I have.

  22. Duppy Lizard

    Unfortunately more to come,,,and not only hotels but businesses,which include restaurants,boutiques,service oriented small one man businesses who cannot cope with rent etc.,
    Bermuda is a good example……..Bad service,outrageous prices are the predominant factor there (sounds sooooo familiar).And to top it all a Govt that aint got Jack Squat about nuffing………..Hmmmm Eli Eli Lama Sabacthani…………………..

  23. jrjrjrjr

    No offence but I don’t think a lack of tourists from Barbados will have any impact whatsoever on UK tourism. You only have to go to the large cities to see that most of the tourism does not come from the Caribbean

  24. what will they think of next

    BFP now that Peach and Quiet is history, will you give Accra Beach Hotel and Spa, Rockley, Christ Church, Barbados tel. 1-246-435-8920 a plug?

  25. BFP

    Hi what will they think of next

    You’ve mentioned that place many times, and we always say: if you like the place, write it up and we’ll publish it. Not only did Adrian and Margaret Loveridge run a good establishment that garnered many positive comments here, at TripAdvisor, and at Expedia, Adrian ENGAGED THE INTERNET. He used it, became a fixture on it and in the regular news media too.

    Who are the people associated with Accra Beach Hotel and Spa? Where are they online? Where is their engagement worldwide?

    We’d be happy to give them a plug if they would only approach us and provide a reason for our readers to be interested in their hotel and what they as owners have to say.

    Thanks!

    Marcus

  26. what will they think of next

    thanks Brother Marcus.
    http://www.accrabeachhotel.com/welcome.html

    4 two bedroom luxurious and ultra modern Ocean Front Suites
    24 Ocean view Luxury Suites
    8 elegantly appointed Penthouses
    Total of 224 rooms
    3 restaurants
    2 Bars
    Pamper yourself in our World Class CHAKRA SPA.
    4 Meeting rooms
    1 Boardroom
    totaling 6500 sq. ft.
    hotel equip with High speed internet and Video Conferencing facilities
    Wedding and reception facilities
    IP phone system(teleBarbados)
    satellite television
    In room Coffee and tea service
    On property Laundry service
    Gym
    2 swimming pools
    in room Jacuzzis
    Business center
    Kids Club
    Guest services dept.
    Turndown service
    Diamond Club Membership program
    Diamond Club Lounge
    Birthday Special Program
    etc., etc., etc.,

  27. jrjrjrjr

    Thanks for the Accra info but how much per night ?

  28. what will they think of next

    I will post some of the rates.
    Most days we run between 80% and 100% occupancy.

  29. repeat visitor

    When we stopped off this past January for a lunch at the hotel, things didn’t look good- it was more like a work site for the condo builders, although the view, vibe, were the same as they were when I first went there more than 20 years ago on my first visit to Barbados….I say blame the condos, the cruise ships and just the lack of focus by the BTA on people like us who love Barbados and will visit- no matter what- every year, don’t have the kind of money to buy a condo, would never take a cruise, etc. The Edgewater was a favourite with Bajans too, so I find it’s not my loss but the loss of people who loved to share the beauty of the vista and of the hotel with friends and family. Probably the Edgewater needs a few million to become the place it should be, but it looks like the elected officials would rather sink money into the trashy “Four Seasons” development. Does anyone remember the Kingsley Club that was torn down for a condo development that never happened? That kind of marked the start of realty gambling and the beginning of the end.

  30. Victor E. Stewart

    The Edgewater and Kingsley Club were the two major destinations on the Bathsheba Coast when I was a young boy in the 1950s and 1960s, and they represented a strong part of the traditional Bajan view of an East Coast holiday resort, as opposed to a tourist-oriented place. It is sad indeed to mark the passing of these two venerable places; at least the Atlantis Hotel is working hard to reverse that march to oblivion in Bathsheba.

  31. victor

    You only have to look at the Atlantis hotel to see how it has turned itself around with a small number of lovely rooms and a good restaurant. They also realise that there is no point staying open all year round if there are no bookings. This is a high-end destination for those who want to be away from the all-inclusives, offering something different; peace and quiet, yet no beach to speak of. Edgewater has an equally enchanting location but without the vision and anyway, too many rooms to appeal to the same group of visitors who stay at Atlantis and indeed, SeaU,, which has a loyal bunch of return visitors even though it’s not all that cheap and again no proper beach. East coast hotels have to accept that they will never get the average tourist, but those who seek something different. For dedicated surfers, most of whom are not very rich, Edgewater is too expensive. There is a pool of keen Bajans who love to spend time on the East coast during the hot months, but they can’t afford Edgewater’s prices either so I suggest turning the Edgewater into a place where Bajans can afford it and so can surfers. The place would be packed if it were a little cheaper. The problem is that because of its location and the impredation caused by the sea air, maintenance of the building’s structure is very expensive and this makes it a difficult prospect for any owner. It’s too expensive to maintain as it is. They advertise it as a honeymoon destination, etc. but most visitors are looking for a West Coast experience. More fool them! I’ll be sad to see it go.

  32. jrjrjrjr

    I remember Paradis Beach Hotel – now home to the building site of Four Seasons. It was a beautiful location

  33. repeat visitor

    i have to say, Victor E., that we had a very bad experience at the Atlantis two years ago with a Bajan friend. We went there because I thought it would be fun to go somewhere he hadn’t been but we were served stale salt biscuits with a shred of flying fish as an overpriced cutter…it was really embarrassing to have such a dreadful meal. Although we have since laughed about that expensive and memorably bad lunch. The Edgewater was never like that, on the numerous occasions I went there, always gracious to visitors and Bajans, whoever…it was a unique and splendid place that gave good memories to everyone who went there.

  34. 130

    Very sad to hear this news as we stayed there Jan/Feb 2011. Our first holiday in Barbados will be a memorable one for us as the view/sites from the Edgewater were absolutely priceless! The staff were wonderful and although there could of been lots of changes our holidays was excellent, so much so we had to go back last Christmas with our family. Hope someone comes along and repairs this place to what it should be.

  35. 160

    This is very sad news indeed . I do hope all of the wonderful people associated with the Edgewater have found other employment . While there are many good points made by all who commented here , I noticed just last summer rooms were under repair , one at a time. Sadly, the bad internet press may have killed off all but the loyalest visitors to this lovely majestic
    old Bay house . I spent my 50th here – will never forget it . Erica was always
    so good to me the many times I visited , and while the few surly employees are all you read about on Trip Advisor throughout my travels within the Caribbean I have learned to take the good with the bad .

  36. Harry callihan

    nothing to do down there .feels like dangerous place to be white down there.
    not to mention too far from anything.unless you a surfer/?
    should be opened as a surfing hotel.

  37. Jersey

    Gutted!! Having stayed at the edge water a couple of times, my wife and I are very sad to hear of it’s closure. For us there really was no better place to stay in Barbados and our thought are with the first rate staff who I assume are now out of a job.

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