Elegant Hotels Group a Model for Success

Hearty congratulations to the CEO, Sunil Chatrani and his team at Elegant Hotels Group plc on their latest results for financial year ending 30th September 2015.

Included in the highlights is overall revenue up 4.3 percent to US$60.1 million, RevPAR (revenue per available room) up 4.9 percent to US$255, ADR (average daily rates) up 5. 7 per cent to US$373, Adjusted operating profit up 15.7 per cent to US$19.2 million

, Adjusted EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes and amortization) up 12.7 per cent to US$22.2 million, Adjusted EPS (earnings per share) up 15.7 per cent to 14.7 US cents per share and Net debt down 61.2 per cent to US$40.8 million.

What is perhaps especially remarkable is that this improved financial performance has been achieved without the unilateral extraordinary tax and other concessions which were granted to other competing accommodation provider on Barbados.

Commenting on the results, the CEO is quoted as stating ‘Although the occupancy at our hotels has remained relatively stable, we have seen a strong period of growth in tourism arrivals’. ‘Adding ‘After a number of years of relatively stable visitor numbers, the total number of tourism arrivals for 2015 up to the end of October has grown by almost 14.7 per cent. Arrivals from the UK and the United States, which are the key markets for customers in our hotels, have risen by 12.7 per cent and 28.2 per cent respectively. We believe this reflects the recovery in both of these economies, with a delay of around six months due to the lead time in booking long haul holidays to the Caribbean. There may also be demand over from some competing winter-sun destinations in North Africa and the Middle East, due to ongoing instability and uncertainty of some of those destinations’.

Mr. Chatrani also pointed out what is often overlooked ‘Increased demand can drive Group profits even if there is little change in occupancy. Higher demand allow us achieve better yield by increasing headline prices or by reducing discounts’.

As the largest private sector owner of hotel rooms on Barbados, Elegant’s continued success is good for the entire hospitality sector here. And while the majority of their five hotel’s room stock operate on an all-inclusive basis, there is a secondary spread over benefit from any additional guests for our car rental companies, activities, attractions, shopping and even off-property dining experiences.

Since floating the group on the London Stock Exchange seven months ago, the share price has risen 15 per cent and as I was quite rightly reminded, not bad for a Barbadian based company with one ‘expat’ out of over 900 employees.

While it is a company objective ‘from which to grow and expand, both organically and through acquisitions in Barbados and the wider Caribbean’, hopefully they will be able to do that, at least on Barbados, while being forced to compete with no or reduced tax competitors and low interest Chinese funded, but state driven alternative accommodation offerings.

Ultimately, it will be absolutely critical to our economic survival that we have a viable private sector led tourism industry.


48 Comments on “Elegant Hotels Group a Model for Success”

  1. Anthony Davis December 28, 2015 at 6:53 AM #

    I am averse to all-inclusives, seeing that the stand-alone restaurants, bars, and garment and local jewellery stand owners, taxi operators, etc. seldom see those who use such facilities, because everything is paid for up front and they don’t have to leave their fortresses for anything. It also encourages bigots to stay at such hotels where they can stay without coming in touch with the indigenous people – except those who work at the various hotels – and could pose a threat to some of the workers at them because of their attitudes. I am calling for a moratorium on all-inclusives and condominiums.


  2. Caswell Franklyn December 28, 2015 at 7:08 AM #

    Elegant is probably the best example of a modern day slave plantation and the remarkable thing according to the writer is that is has only one expat.


  3. David December 28, 2015 at 7:09 AM #

    There is a lot to be said about the advantages and disadvantages of the all-inclusive model. Commonsense makes one ask why would a tourist want to travel hundreds/thousands of miles and restrict their experience to the facilities of the hotel. However if this is what they want for whatever reason this is their ‘right’. As a country our focus must be on getting the mix of services right by ensuring there is good diversification in the sector.


  4. David December 28, 2015 at 7:10 AM #


    In fairness to all you should support your position.


  5. Caswell Franklyn December 28, 2015 at 7:16 AM #

    I will when I go to canvass for James Paul to make sure that tyrant never gets into government to practice his brand of human resource management. Mind you, I have no particular fondness for James Paul but I am talking lesser evil here.

    Sent from my iPad



  6. David December 28, 2015 at 7:24 AM #


    It is understandable there will be a tension between you and Mr Ian Gooding-Edghill who leads the BEC afterall.


  7. lawson December 28, 2015 at 8:02 AM #

    It is pretty simple if you don’t like people going to an all inclusive clean up the island make it safer and quit treating tourists as sheep to be shorn. But before anyone treats this success story as the norm you may want to track it for a few years especially if you are thinking of gambling your life savings in the markets . To not think American money is headed for Cuba is delusional But it is nice to see someone seems to have found the right formula to show a profit


  8. David December 28, 2015 at 8:07 AM #



  9. Vincent Haynes December 28, 2015 at 8:27 AM #

    @David December 28, 2015 at 8:07 AM #

    Sad,sad,that we have come to this sorry pass…..not long ago our economy was on a tripod of Sugar,Manfacturing and Tourism,with tourism being the shortest leg.

    Now all of our eggs are in the tourism basket and should we get hit with an epidemic we are wiped out for a long time.

    We have reversed the vision of our forefathers and created a society of servants as opposed to service providers who could market their wares all over the world…….in fifty years we have gone back 80 years….sad.


  10. David December 28, 2015 at 8:33 AM #


    We voted for the BLP in the years of plenty who committed to a service based economy.We accept the lip service from the Opposition who now forms the government. Remember the disagreement between Estwick and Sinckler about budget allocation to agriculture?

    It is all reminiscent of when Cuba in the 50s was the playground of the rich and famous and in recent times Spain. We must be familiar with history or we are doomed to repeat it.


  11. Caswell Franklyn December 28, 2015 at 8:38 AM #


    It has nothing to do with his leadership of BEC. It has everything to do with his treatment of people which I believe to be unconscionable.

    Sent from my iPad



  12. Vincent Haynes December 28, 2015 at 9:06 AM #

    @David December 28, 2015 at 8:33 AM #

    You are correct with your analogy to Cuba of the 50’s.

    The question as to why our brothers and sisters irrespective of melanin content have let us down cannot simply be answered by statements such as greed,slavery,lack of vision,crabs in a barrel,etc,it has to be more than that.


  13. David December 28, 2015 at 9:22 AM #


    It is easier to go along for the ride. An avarice is one of the oldest vices.


  14. Exclaimer December 28, 2015 at 10:08 AM #

    lawson December 28, 2015 at 8:02 AM #

    “It is pretty simple if you don’t like people going to an all inclusive clean up the island make it safer and quit treating tourists as sheep to be shorn.”

    It is nigh impossible to disagree with this statement.


  15. lawson December 28, 2015 at 1:56 PM #

    Vincent of course it is more than that…the world is changing….the problem is trying to keep up….who would have imagined that when china became more progressive and capitalistic a steak would cost me twice as much as what I used to pay in Canada, or that it would be cheaper to sell our wood, transport it overseas to be made into plywood shipped back to us and it would be cheaper than us making it at home.The days of worry free investment is gone because someone is just around the corner with something better. What is needed now is people who can think ahead of the curve, all barbadians white ,black,or whatever to unite in defence of the homeland and make this everyman for himself attitude a thing of the past.


  16. Vincent Haynes December 28, 2015 at 4:41 PM #

    @lawson December 28, 2015 at 1:56 PM #

    Well said and put………will we understand and act?……..only time will tell.


  17. David December 28, 2015 at 9:09 PM #


    Come on down and enjoy like these tourists featured in the vid on Boxing Day.


  18. Colonel Buggy December 28, 2015 at 10:24 PM #

    Do not want to be a spoil sport, but I see that CBC is taking Q in the Community to the Guard House at the Garrison on Old Years Night. This old building ,probably some 200 + years, is a feature of the Garrison World Heritage Site. Has any impact study been done to determine if this building is safe to withstand the mon-a ton of mega watts that will be pushed out by the sound system ,and the accompanying vibrations ? As a young soldier, I recall when marching over stone bridges,in the UK, as part of a squad, we had to “break step ” and just amble over , as the constant rhythmic thumping of our boots to the strains of Left Right Left Right,was enough to cause structural to the bridge. A fact that General Joshua of Jehrico fame took advantage of some 3,500 years ago.


  19. lawson December 29, 2015 at 8:02 AM #

    Not just tourists having fun David, that could easily have been the yacht club with all those white faces. Looks like fun and no sargassum in sight . Keep the party going my wife and kids are going down this month, but I will have to hang around home. Someone has to hold trudeau to his promise a selfie stick for all


  20. David December 30, 2015 at 5:04 AM #

    Isn’t this what some of us have been saying repeatedly? Now that it is coming from Billy Griffith may be the yardfowls will stop crowing.



  21. David December 30, 2015 at 5:39 AM #

    Is it fair to Barbadians for the government/BTMI to be touting numbers based on Year over Year increases? Is it not realistic to also offer comparisons to 2007 and 2008 period?


  22. Nostradamus December 30, 2015 at 12:17 PM #

    Caswell Franklyn December 28, 2015 at 7:16 AM #
    “I will when I go to canvass for James Paul to make sure that tyrant never gets into government to practice his brand of human resource management. Mind you, I have no particular fondness for James Paul but I am talking lesser evil here.”

    Caswell, who is the “tyrant” you are referring to?


  23. David December 30, 2015 at 1:34 PM #


    Have a reread, the person was identified.


  24. Artaxerxes December 30, 2015 at 7:46 PM #

    @ Adrian Loveridge

    It is true that after being approached by a number of Black Barbadians to purchase your hotel property and refusing to sell to them, you have sold the hotel to Black Americans, who were here this week to finalize negotiations, after which you will be returning to England?

    I understand that, despite your claims of patriotism, you were of the opinion that Black Barbadians did not have the funds to purchase your hotel (since you refused offers made by potential buyers) and decided to sell to Americans one of whom is a chef. The property is beings “landscaped” and prepared for the prospective owners who are in Barbados to complete the purchase agreement.


  25. lawson December 30, 2015 at 8:57 PM #

    Artaxerxes who were the people and what did they offer, otherwise you are mouthing something you heard from a guy who knows a guy. This is how I see it, the property has been on the market for a while, that means it must have been wanted sold . Most businessmen know the color of money is green not bajan black or American black or any other shade of white. being patriotic doesn’t mean stupid so whoever came up with the cash or variation of with the best terms would get the place.


  26. Artaxerxes December 30, 2015 at 9:17 PM #

    lawson December 30, 2015 at 8:57 PM #

    I heard this from a guy who WORKS at the property. He also mentioned they were cleaning the premises because the potential buyers were there yesterday for an inspection.

    The guy said that although the property was on the market for 3 years, Loveridge refused offers from Black Barbadians because (to quote the guy verbatim) “he believed Black Barbadians did not have the money to purchase the hotel.”

    I was only asking for clarification.

    Did you get your information from someone who is intimately involved in the business or are you jumping to defend Loveridge based on what you are assuming or you answering for him?


  27. Adrian Loveridge December 31, 2015 at 4:49 AM #

    David often cautions me NOT to respond to what clearly are ill-informed comments.


  28. ac December 31, 2015 at 6:37 AM #

    Adrian why would you have a mouth piece tell you how to respond to comments pertaining to your article ?after posting, your articles are fair game for criticism and the oneness therfore is on you to clear up misinformation before forgone conclusions are made
    the encampments made in reference to prejudice actions on your part can be seriously damaging to your reputation and should be clarified and corrected as to what has been said


  29. David December 31, 2015 at 6:51 AM #


    No problem, discussing a personal transaction on a blog is not recommended.

    Happy New Year.


  30. ac December 31, 2015 at 8:14 AM #

    David your hypocrisy knows no bounds


  31. lawson December 31, 2015 at 8:24 AM #

    Artaxerxes …so you didn’t hear it from a guy who heard it from a guy. You heard it directly from the guy himself. Well that must make it true . You don’t think your guy may have an axe to grind considering he may soon be out of a job, you know a new broom sweeps clean and his penchant for gossip and all. Barbadians never let the truth get in the way of a good story, especially it involves white man betrayal.


  32. TheGazer December 31, 2015 at 8:52 AM #

    Am wondering if there ever was a guy without an axe to grind? And in the abundance of axes, why have I never seen one. I guess for the New Year, with all the cleaning and thing we need some new brooms.


  33. ac December 31, 2015 at 9:10 AM #

    But David how is it that pertaining to ministers family financial matters/dispute you have always be the mouthpiece in your execution to reccomend that the parties involved aptly apply BU as a way to confront or dispute said allegations.
    Now recommend Adrian be given a free pass to ignore scathing allegations against his reputation


  34. lawson December 31, 2015 at 10:13 AM #

    I am not sure about how Barbados business works but ,who wants your poxy possibly in the future IMF devalued currency. If it was my business that was for sale the money would never enter the island. What use is millions of dollars in Canadian tire money that you cant take out of the country. No it is better to find out what the tax implications are on the sale subtract the vat you have never been paid… pay what is owed to the govt and transfer fees in Barbados paper you already have on the island. Keep the sale money in a real currency outside the country. AC don’t pretend to get your nickers in a knot, we all know the misdirection game keep everybody’s mind on the evil white man so your cronies ( nothing to do with the bajan sir name) can make back room deals while a lot of short attention spans are directed somewhere else.


  35. TheGazer December 31, 2015 at 12:04 PM #

    The last posting was a game changer.
    Very sound reasoning. It reminded me of when a rich T&T businessman died some years ago and his assets were described in the papers. Most, if not all, was outside of T&T.


  36. NorthernObserver December 31, 2015 at 1:58 PM #

    The name of the game…..get assets offshore. One of the few remaining levies is a wealth tax.


  37. David December 31, 2015 at 3:58 PM #

    Many local companies in Barbados have established offshore companies in St. Lucia to receive payments from clients in USD, The funds will never make it to Barbados.

    On 31 December 2015 at 17:58, Barbados Underground wrote:



  38. Sargeant December 31, 2015 at 5:45 PM #

    Many local companies in Barbados have established offshore companies in St. Lucia to receive payments from clients in USD, The funds will never make it to Barbados.
    Isn’t this what many were accusing Sandals of doing? Seems like Butch just joined a party in progress.


  39. David December 31, 2015 at 6:02 PM #


    It is a big problem and if you attach the thieving by commercial entities through under invoicing it is magnified. Any bets that the central bank is aware of the problem?


  40. Artaxrexes January 1, 2016 at 1:30 PM #

    ac December 31, 2015 at 8:14 AM #

    “David your hypocrisy knows no bound..”


    It seems as though CERTAIN individuals who gained the blog-master’s favour have been conferred with being granted “BU Diplomatic Immunity.”


  41. David January 1, 2016 at 1:36 PM #

    Yes Artax, the ones who use their real names.


  42. Artaxrexes January 1, 2016 at 2:17 PM #

    @ David

    Yes, I anticipated that would be your response. If an individual opts to use his/her “real name” that’s their choice.

    However, that choice does not automatically prevents or gives them a “free pass” from being similarly SCRUTINIZED in a manner applied to those who they would want to scrutinize or criticize.

    Unfortunately, the double standards come to fore when you did not offer any “immunity” in the case of Claire Cowan, politicians and where snide remarks are made about private citizens such as Peter Harris, or did it not prevent you from publishing Douglas’ article relative to Lisa Marshall.

    You may want to present the argument that many of the names I listed above are in “PUBLIC LIFE” and have to expect criticism. I could similarly argue that BU is a PUBLIC FORUM and should any contributor choose to use his/her real name, they should be subjected to the same level of scrutiny.

    But, hey, what the heck…….. this is your forum.


  43. David January 1, 2016 at 2:58 PM #


    You are entitled to your view and BU will continue to exercise ours. Sometimes we are aware of info not in the public place.


  44. de Ingrunt Word January 1, 2016 at 4:34 PM #

    @David December 31, 2015 at 3:58 PM re “Many local companies in Barbados have established offshore companies in St. Lucia to receive payments from clients in USD,…”

    Why is this such an issue? The government certainly can institute processes to ensure that the ForEx funds sold to a company are ‘balanced’ in some way based on the business the local company is doing outside the country. I would imagine that the CB can demand that the business maintain some % of forex on account from the monies paid to them after the initial purchase disbursement to the company.

    There is nothing illegal about such an offshore a/c as far as I am aware and one still will have to pay taxes on all profits, anyhow.

    Also @January 1, 2016 at 2:58 PM if your remarks were coming from the starting point of Artax’s question to Loveridge at December 30, 2015 at 7:46 PM then I am unclear why Mr Loveridge needed to be defended re “… discussing a personal transaction on a blog is not recommended.”

    The query was straight-forward and posed to the man who could answer plain and simple. It is either that he did he not sell to Bajans due to practical $$ and cents issues or for other considerations.

    To put the fine point of reality on it…Adrian Loveridge writes here every week but yet he can’t follow through on his apparent credo of public exposure and awareness to answer that question… A tad hypocritical, wouldn’t you say!

    Maybe it was as simple as “The Bajans were a great group but unable to meet my terms which the Americans did”. And what is left unsaid is that those terms could have been as simple as ” I need 85% of the purchase price in US$$ on a US Bank A/c”.

    I certainly expect a PR pro like him to craft a decent and proper reply still.

    You David should be one of the last people to facilitate that type of dippsie-doodling…regardless of what you know which is not in the public domain. Just saying, bro!


  45. David January 1, 2016 at 4:45 PM #

    @Dee Word

    You are entitled to your opinion.

    Happy New Year!


  46. David January 2, 2016 at 11:52 AM #

    Today’s telegraph

    It’s peak season in Barbados and as the rum punch flows at the new beach club of the Platinum Coast’s most famous restaurant, The Cliff, the hangover from the global downturn is finally fading.
    Even our favourite Caribbean playground took a battering in the years since 2008, and as we head into the year that Barbados will celebrate its 50th anniversary of independence from Britain, there’s a sense the tide has turned in “Little England”.
    “After a five-year hiatus in the market, property prices have stopped falling and are likely to start going up,” says Paul Altman of Altman Real Estate. “There are now some amazing new properties being built (again), although it’s the $2 million to $5 million [£1.34 million to £3.36 million] price band that is the most active.”
    Barbados, with its daily direct flights from Britain and well-established high-end tourism, remains the go-to Caribbean destination for many, but how far will $2 million stretch these days?

    $15m villa designed by Jeff Harrell on a ridge in St James, Altman Real Estate (001246 43 2 0840)
    For many second-home owners, an apartment – with good security, concierge and a flexible rental programme – is ideal. At St Peter’s Bay, a beachfront development on the upper west coast of the island, a very spacious three-bedroom apartment kicks off at $1.9 million, although you can get a four-bedroom penthouse with roof deck and pool for $7.75 million.
    The 57 three and four-bedroom apartments are cleverly laid in a U-shaped complex so the large breezy terraces with hot tubs do not overlook each other, noise is reduced and everyone gets a sea view. A third of the apartments are privately owned – with owners predominantly a mix of British and Canadians, according to Alastair Brown, sales and marketing director of the managing company, UNNA. “Most owners are buying homes to pass on to their children and will rent them out when they are not there,” he explains.
    St Peter’s Bay is a great resort for families, with child-friendly pools, a new kids’ club this winter and activities organised by the staff, which include watching newly hatched baby turtles climb up the hotel beach.
    Its sleek-looking sister resort Port Ferdinand will suit those who seek a marina setting. Just 10 minutes up the coast by water taxi, Port Ferdinand offers 120 berths surrounded by 46 apartments ranging from $2.15 million to $7.5 million for four-bedroom penthouses. Owners will receive duty-free concessions on their furniture, car and yacht, and the option of a berth to keep it in.
    Residents will also have access to a spa, golf simulator, two restaurants, gym, movie theatre and a kids’ club.
    “We have learnt a lot from Port St Charles [the island’s first marina development, which was built in 2004] in the way the buildings have been c
    Residents will also have access to a spa, golf simulator, two restaurants, gym, movie theatre and a kids’ club.
    “We have learnt a lot from Port St Charles [the island’s first marina development, which was built in 2004] in the way the buildings have been constructed,” says Bjorn Bjerkhamn, chairman of the JADA Group, the developer behind both.
    “The houses are raised 14ft above the water to offer the owners greater privacy, and more storage.”
    If you prefer to be within strolling distance of Holetown, the glitzier social and designer-shopping pulse of Barbados, there are swish apartments available at One Sandy Lane, the condo complex attached to the Sandy Lane hotel and golf course. Eight 10,000 sq ft coral stone five-bedroom apartments set among lush gardens with a shared pool in front of the public beach cost $19 million each and rent for $25,000 per night in peak season (local celebrity Rihanna is a frequent guest). A buyer would need to be worth $100 million or more to afford to own one of these apartments, says Jason Applewhite, agent for One Sandy Lane. “We’ve had most interest from British, Russians and Americans,” he adds.
    Barbados is already home for part of the year to 66 ultra-high-net-worth individuals – as defined by those with at least $30 million in assets, according to global research company Wealth-X. Some of these owners will use JetBlue’s new business class service between New York and Barbados, or the Royal Jet private jet service from Heathrow to Barbados that started in 2014 to fill the gap in the market left by Concorde.
    The island’s most expensive villa on the open market is Palazzate, at $125 million, next door to St Peter’s Bay, on 1½ acres of beachfront. The six-floor “sky mansion” offers four self-contained five-bedroom homes, each with their own infinity pool, and two floors of shared amenities such as restaurants and bars.
    Everything is finished in the highest spec that you might imagine for this price tag, including a show-stopping 4,500-gallon fish tank and cutting-edge biometric security system. How quickly it finds a buyer will be proof indeed of the strength of Barbados’s recovery.


  47. chad99999 January 2, 2016 at 11:59 AM #

    Can we have a careful comparison of foreign exchange earnings for inclusives, conventional private hotels, and government-owned properties? Who has access to the data?


  48. David January 2, 2016 at 12:06 PM #


    Data collection is a problem in Barbados. More of a problem is the fact there is no central database.


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