Adrian and Margaret Loveridge shut down Peach & Quiet Hotel

April 17, 2012 is the last day

by Inverness Fanboy

Many in the Barbados tourism and hotel industry are crying the blues, but Peach and Quiet Hotel is going out with a bang after the ‘best ever’ winter tourist season in a quarter of a century since Margaret and Adrian Loveridge first took over. After spending a third of their lives doing 18 hour workdays, it’s time for the couple to back off a little. To them I say “Guid Luck!”

Peach and Quiet at Inch Marlow wasn’t always an award-winning hotel, but 25 years ago when the Loveridges bought the ‘fixer-upper’ they believed that if they worked hard enough and cared enough they could make a go of it. The hotel itself is situated on what is one of the most beautiful outpoints on the island – but without the hardworking owners and staff, it would only be a dead collection of buildings much like some of the abandoned and rundown establishments that now dot the coastlines of Barbados and every other Caribbean island.

The glory days of Caribbean tourism when every hotel was full with little effort are long, long gone. Those establishments and tourism economies that really care about delivering their best product and shaping that product to suit changing times and client expectations, survived and will continue to survive. Many didn’t survive though, and many more won’t survive the next few years.

The contrast between guest reviews at TripAdvisor for Peach and Quiet and the governnment-owned Gems Hotels is telling – and on a larger level well illustrates a good example of where Barbados’ national tourism product can improve. There are ‘better’, ‘cheaper’, ‘newer’ and more upscale hotels in Barbados, but year after year the same clientele return to Peach and Quiet, often booking a year or more in advance just to make sure that there will be room during their chosen time. For many, Peach and Quiet is the primary destination, rather than Barbados itself.

The Loveridges eschewed the mass-marketed, low-margin tourism model and instead provided excellent value in their chosen niche. Visitors could find cheaper hotels, lesser hotels for the same money, and better hotels for a whole lot more money but nothing that really delivered the same experience and service levels for anywhere near the price. The bar was an ‘honour system’ where guests could pour a punch or take a beer and sign the list. That trust and simple welcoming gesture helped to define the mood of Peach and Quiet. (Editor’s note: Obviously Goin wid Owen or Cliverton were not P&Q guests because that system wouldn’t have worked!) 🙂

The repeat visitors and loyal clientele meant that Peach and Quiet didn’t have to spend horrendous sums on advertising to lure new customers every year. A newsletter emailed to the existing customer base filled most of the rooms six and nine months in advance with a reminder that certain weeks were ‘filling up fast’! 90% occupancy was often the norm when other establishments struggled to do half that number.

On a national level the Barbados Tourism Authority is constantly spending huge sums ($100 million plus annually) forever chasing after new one-time clients in new markets instead of devoting sufficient energies and financial resources to improving and maintaining our product quality and offerings. Sure, any business needs new customers, but developing and maintaining a loyal customer base is always a better business plan than forever seeking new single-visit clients. You would never know that by watching the BTA.

Perhaps the BTA should look at the operational strategies of Peach and Quiet and several of the other similarly successful operations on the island. The ‘same old’ methods can work year after year if they are the right methods. Product quality is king. Purchased artificial hype and promotion are secondary. That is the lesson that Barbados should learn from Adrian and Margaret Loveridge’s success.

Further Reading

April 11, 2012 – Barbados Today: Shut Down

November 3, 2011 – BFP: Telegraph Travel gives Barbados hotel 10/10 for value, 8/10 overall

August 24, 2011 – Barbados Today: For Sale

January 18, 2011 – BFP: How a small Barbados hotel thrived with hard work and the right attitude

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39 Comments

Filed under Barbados, Barbados Tourism

39 responses to “Adrian and Margaret Loveridge shut down Peach & Quiet Hotel

  1. Well done, Adrian L.

    Yet another one bites the dust!
    How many more now unemployed??

    This is getting to be quite a trend!!
    Well done Barbados,too!

  2. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926 UP TODAY A ND SEE MASSIVE FRAUD ,

    Put people on the street to sell pictures
    Take down payments
    Have a run punch
    Go home and come back and nothing built ,, another way to you,,,,and let not for get the DEED,,,
    No DEED no deal.
    Vote Bajan Free Party

  3. tedd

    This one is a small hotel and easily in the reach of local investors or a group of very small investors. it was well manages and has a good reputation . The opportunity is there so let us not complain when someone overseas buys it.

    it is these kinds of investments that government shoul be looking facilitate through a public company that would allowq middle class people to invest a few hundred or thousand dollars in shares to create a truely barbadian wide base company. let us have a stake in our industry with the guidance of the government.

    in trinidad there is a company called National Enterprises Limited which is a public copmpany traded on the tock exchange that is owned by a multitude of small investors and medium sized one along with the government(51% i think). this company allows people to invest in development and commercial projects and have a stke in the economy, and the profits of course. It has shares in most government commercial ventures banking, flour mill, and i cant remember what else. it is profitable and investors do get dividends and government can fincance projects with only putting foward 51 % of the cash.

    a model to explore

  4. tedd

    this could have been a useful vehicle in financeing and barbadianizing our economy with Hilton, Almond resorts (all three), four seasons, the condos at the former dover convention center, etc. profitable investments with a partnership between government and the shareholders representatives ( Elected Directors)

  5. watcher

    It is always sad to see a close down but lets do a reality check here. Relying on mostly repeat visitors in any business is a slow march to the grave because repeat visitors get older every year and eventually they die. Then what do you do? The new young generation is not coming to Barbados….can’ t afford it. They are alll going to the Dominican, Cuba Mexico,Brasil and other locations where for $1000US or less they can have 5 star hotels, all the drinks they want and all the food they can eat as well as travel costs. And the ones that can afford more expensive vacation expenditues are going to places llike Thailand, Singapore and Costa Rica,

    Can the whole problem be turned around. I suppose there is a chance that it can be,but with such high basic costs, it will take a lot of sacrifice, hard work and planning to accomplish it. The matter gets complicated by government budget deficits which leasds to increased money supply which leads to high inflation which leads to foreign excahnge leaks. It is a complication that is going to take a very fresh new approach to resolve.

    “If you have a problem fix it. If you fix it wrong it will come back and slap you in the face then you get to fix it rght. Doing nothing is a comfortable alternative but a diasterous way to run a business or your lfe”

  6. 189

    Well ,, did ever give the a rate for Bajans to come there for the weekend?
    Bajan would love to come there and stay a weekend and get the feel of an hotel,
    Bajan dont want to hear no USD rate ,
    Like Liat, before 2007 it cost 80BDS to go to St Vincent , When the games came at the Oval it all went to 80USD,100% ?no one in Barbados make or prints USD,,, Bajans would love to take their ladies away on the same Island ,Advertise a local rate and see what happens , You all want Euro, USD, CAN, POUNDS and Euro. WE broke on our own Island,,
    So ,,, What is the RATE? All we can do is clean the rooms and dont make much to even stay where we work.

  7. Adrian Loveridge

    Tedd and others,

    First of all, thank you BFP for highlighting our current status.
    Please let me categorically state, that our concentration of efforts is on trying to find a buyer that will maintain P&Q as a going concern. We know that a great deal of our success has been brought about by our small but dedicated staff and everything within our power will be done to ensure any new owners absorb them. It would be somewhat silly if they do not as they are certainly the most capable in carrying the business on in the best possible way.
    We have also done everything possible to ensure any new owners start from a position of strength. We already have 188 deposited bookings for December 2012, January, February and March 2013, which effectively means that over 50 per cent of our 22 rooms have been sold for those four months.
    I cannot think of many small hotels on Barbados can that boast that in April of preceeding year.
    And perhaps even more important, these bookings are at full rack rate. NOT as discounted tour operator rates.
    Tedd, I think your concept is wondeful and I would love P&Q to go to a consortium of Barbadian owners and that would excercise the same passion for tourism as we have.
    I am afraid that first we have to see it from Government (s).

  8. what will they think of next

    Adrian, I guess trip advisor didnt do it for you?
    you can send all of your guests over to Accra Beach Hotel and Spa, Rockley, Christ Church, Barbados. Ask them to call 4358920 and ask for the resevation Dept.
    Accra Beach Hotel and Spa is not closing anytime soon.

  9. what will they think of next

    Adrian,I have a Bajan friend who lives in Miami who is looking to buy a Hotel here in Barbados.
    How much you asking for the little place?

  10. watcher

    @what will they think of next

    One of the articles linked above references the price as 9m$. If that is
    $9 million and your friend is interested, it must be a very profitable little operation.

  11. victor

    It is wrong to think that a long-term set of visitors will dwindle the income of a hotel in the long run because of ageing of the clientele. As long as the place is maintained up to a proper standard, these peoples’ children and friends will return, as they do all over the world to childhood memories etc. Instead of buying a pig in a poke, you are coming to a good value destination with a history of good reports These are not the customers who want to go and stuff themselves silly on an all-inclusive mass marketed deal. Nor are they the ones who want to do the same at a different location. It’s about loyalty and confidence. It’s about having a product that works and maintaining the profile of that product. The only problem would lie in lack of support from the local infrastructure.

  12. The Gardener

    Well well well, I told ya all so since last year that mr.Loveridge was planning on selling, but Mr.L came on here telling me he aint selling,he sucessfull,95% occupancy etc etc.
    A hotel that only operates approx. 5 months a year cant survive for too long esp. when dependent on repeat visitors.You have to be marketing marketing marketing and upgrading all the time, otherwise you will get left by the wayside. Mr.L , this job was taking a toll on you.It is very stressfull. This is not a job for two 60 year olds.On top of that many people didnt like you because you came across as “this small white man telling we what we should be doing”. I telling it like it is, and that is the truth.

  13. what will they think of next

    What is happening here is representative of :”businesses” in Barbados.
    These things are not “businesses” they are jobs for the owners. When the owners get old, tired and sick there goes the business/job.
    I have seen it so many times in my life time. I agree with “Gardener” you cant run a property a few months a year and expect that it will survive.

  14. what will they think of next

    A $9 million price tag for that property is steep. He will have to knock off something off that asking price.
    I crunched some numbers and it wont be worth it buying that property at that price.

  15. what will they think of next

    I know of another 25 room property which is up for sale right now and the owners are $3 million for it.

  16. repeat visitor

    i only stopped by the hotel once for a brief visit to see what it looked like and it seemed well-maintained and full of happy guests. too bad…over the years i’ve seen many small hotels close, like Kings Beach, just to name one.

  17. watcher

    When you are buying it is all about return on investment. $9 million at 6% is $540,000 per year and that has to be recouped in 5 months on 22 rooms. If there is 80% occupancy the investment cost works out to about $204 per night per room. Room rates would have to ttriple to have any chance of making a profit. If that happens one has to question whether the returning guests would return.

    The market always determnines the price of properties. It certainly is not what one would call a booming market for either property or tourism. There are many ways of structuring a transaction but investors who intend to operate the hotel willl only pay a multiple of earnings that will allow for a return on investment to be made. Whatever that number is is yet to be determined.

  18. Too many posters are somewhat CLUELESS!

    So many say…
    “you cant run a property a few months a year and expect that it will survive.”
    and yet Adrian managed to get that system to work for what? ..20+ years?

    Do you folks have any idea how many businesses on this island
    make their real money in the 5 tourist months
    so they can coast thru the other 7
    until they return to the viable 5 tourist months??

    Engage brain before putting mouth into gear, please?

  19. watcher

    @victor
    I doubt if anyone one will return to Peach and Quiet for childhood memories…they dont accept children under 12 and if my teenage children were at a place with limited wifi and no television……it would not work. They wold never return.

    Next time you are at Grantly Adams take a look around yu and check out the average age of people coming out the door and then take a walk along the St Lawrence Gap and check out the actvity.

  20. what will they think of next

    Too many posters are somewhat CLUELESS!
    has the business survived?
    or has it limped along for all those years?

  21. Adrian Loveridge

    Too many,

    Thank you for putting things in perspective.

    For the last three or four years, we have been open five to six months of the year for normal bookings, BUT we have re-opened for special groups, birthdays, wedding, yoga and walking, filmshoots (include Neiman and Marcus and Marks and Spencer) etc. This has provided a very valuable revenue (and profitable) stream for us. Only part of our 196,020 square feet prime oceanfront property has been developed, allowing a potential investor (subject to planning permission which was granted in the past) to take the hotel up to a minumum of 60 rooms or build some very nice apartments or houses with an unbeatable ocean view. Some poster questioned the sale price, but do the maths even at $25 a square foot. Add to that development potential, 20 years of profitability and an occupancy average level of closer to 94 per cent when we are open. If we are not worth around the asking price, then I am sure the Land Tax Department will be sending us a refund shortly.

    As I have tried to get across, we would ideally like to sell P&Q as a going concern, to maintain employment and hope the new owners take it to the next level.

    We have NEVER received any Government handouts, including the taxpayer TIRF (Tourism Industry Relief Fund) and have kept our staff employed over the last 24 years. Unlike, some other hotels who received Millions and have subsequenly closed or about to, laying off hundreds of workers.

    We have been model corporate ‘citizens’ spending our earnings overwhelmingly locally. We give free display and sales space to local crafts people and are the only small hotel I know of that features LOCAL musicians up to three times a week.

    We don’t owe ANYBODY, paid ALL our taxes, have no mortgage or bank loans.

    It might even be said by some, that we could be a role model example for out 120 small hotels and that organisations like the Ministry of Tourism and BTA would recognise the outstanding contribution to have made to tourism, which has won us several awards. Not a single award has been acknowledged by either of those bodies.

  22. watcher

    @Adrian

    You have done a great job of running the property. Everyone would be happy to see you get $9 million dollars….the reality of a transacation at that price is that it would have to signfiicantly increase room rates. Development..hmmmm….dont see that in the works in the near future either. Too many semi finished places in inventory already. Economic conditions may not be the best at the moment for that.

    The market will decide everything.

  23. rastaman

    @Watcher: Agree with you. $9 million.?? Not in todays market,don’t care what Adrian says.

  24. Wunnuh en brite..

    $9 million for a property that’s 196,020 square feet ???
    An acre is about 44,000 sq. ft.
    Do de Math. This man selling you half of Chrise Church!

  25. what will they think of next

    What about the little child who drowned in your swimming pool?

  26. PLANTATION DEEDS FROM 1926 UP TODAY A ND SEE MASSIVE FRAUD ,

    Love to see where that deed is recorded

  27. Newbie

    Such a shame to see a place like Peach and Quiet closing when there are other places that deserve to close except that they cater to an area that has little competition like Round House in Bathsheba where you can get unpaid for extras in your dessert such as dog,cat or human hair donated by the owner and her pets.

  28. Red herring? or just a poor attempt at a smear campaign?

    WHAT ABOUT the child that drowned in the swimming pool?

    Was it murder? an intentional drowning? Aforethought and malice?
    Why are you even bringing this up?
    Kids drown in pools everywhere, even on vacation. Even in flawless Barbados.
    What’s your point in bringing this up? Is the pool at P&Q inherently unsafe? -prone to drown kids? What?

  29. what will they think of next

    I am just wondering if the case against him re: the child’s drowning in his pool , is going against him. So he is seeking to cut his losses.

  30. Nihilistic poison

    WWTTON

    seek help

    you are one sick puppy

  31. The Gardener

    @Red herring, these are some of the same questions that this blog uses when it wants to attract attention to their topics.

  32. Adrian Loveridge

    Coconut Court Hotel – ‘on around 3 acres’ – Sales Price – BDS$45 million or about $344 per quare foot. $25 a square foot seems like a bargain to me!

  33. Adrian Loveridge

    ‘Almond Village was valued at around $100 million’
    $322 per Square foot.

  34. repeat visitor

    if it’s aggravating to be a visitor in barbados- due to high prices, rising crime and a changing climate- i would think it’s also very hard to be a hotel owner/operator in barbados for the same reasons, plus the general downswing in the global economy and the new preference for packaged, cruise holidays… my own feeling is that barbados will face an increasingly hard future full of empty over-priced condos and deserted hotels.

  35. Get Real.

    Dear Repeat Visitor,
    Thank you for your realism.

    Bajans have developed a liking for ‘living in the past’
    and are having great psychologicap difficulty in coming to grips with the harsh economic reality now facing them
    –that Barbados is now past its Best by: date.

    Instead of de-littering this now-messy island, we prefer to cling to fond memories
    in the sure knowledge that tourists are compelled to return to our unique beaches.
    beaches that no other tourism destination has.
    We are so myopic.
    ________________________________

    Please come back again, if you can manage to do so
    and thank you for all your past visits!

  36. Mark Fenty

    I think that the time is ripe now where Barbados and countries in the Caribbean, should make a paradigmatic shift from the antiquated industries like tourism etc, which bring us the foreign dollar. And focus its attention on Science, and technologies like China, and India.

  37. watcher

    It is not a question of what the value is but rather a question of whether any money can be made on the money to be spent. The question of value, whether it be Almond, Peach & Quiet or any other place will be established by the market place as will the choice of destination by tourists.

    Barbados has not kept up with the changing times. Values are related to rates of return on investment. $100 million in value for Almond is a number. It is closing down at the end of April becasue it can’t make money and the owners can’t see a clear way to continuing. It is all about making money and getting a return on investment.

  38. Anonymous

    Just like many industries there’s only a matter of time until the tourist industry dries up. There is nothing unique about the islands sun, sea and sand. There are emerging cities in the world such as Mauritius and even the Maldives that are unique and offer an exquisite tourism product.

    The “new tourist” are educated due to technology and are seeking new experiences. Therefore those that have been to Barbados several times are getting bored. They need more for their money and new experiences.

    With the increase of the UK ADP tax, tourist will seek closer destinations that offer value for money.

  39. 53

    Hi Adrian the places is unique could you email me m.chocolino@googlemail.com for more details