The Intimate Hotels of Barbados group is celebrating 23 years of providing service excellence in the hospitality industry. This membership association of over 40 hotels started in 2000 under the trading name Small Hotels of Barbados Inc. and represents the best of the island’s small hotels, apartments, guest houses and villas.
To celebrate its 23rd anniversary, Intimate Hotels of Barbados is taking its valued public behind the scenes to learn some of its history and meet some members of the group. Today we introduce Angler Apartments.
The property, which is located in Clarke Road, #1, Derricks, St James is a beautiful purple property consisting of 14 apartments just a stone’s throw away from a picturesque beach.
Director of Angler Apartments, Chandra Gosain, said she bought the property on June 9th, 1987, and has been operating the property ever since.
“When I bought Angler Apartment it was not as it is today. It initially had seven units and in November 1990 I added seven more apartments. When I took over the management of Angler Apartments there was not even a brochure created, as the previous owner had a postcard that she would send to persons as her form of advertising. I went ahead and got brochures curated and began to advertise the property. In 1997 Angler Apartments became one of the first properties that went onto the internet with Caribsurf’s network. I then developed a webpage, a website, and a booking engine as I sought to increase our business at that time” she said.
Gosain said in the initial years, her major goal was to promote the property in order to ensure her Apartments were fully booked year-round.
“I started going to the World Travel Market to meet Tour Operators to really promote what was happening at Angler Apartments. To be honest with you, Angler Apartments took off in 1987 as our first set of guests were surfers. At that time, we had a lot of surfers in Barbados, and I was the person who accommodated them here at Angler Apartments,” she said.
Gosain has been operating Angler Apartments for the past 35 years and said that one of the memories she will cherish is when she held an impromptu wedding at her Derricks, St. James location which was officiated by the now President of Barbados, The Most Hon. Dame Sandra Mason.
“For a couple of years, Angler did a lot of weddings on the lawns as that was always an enjoyable time here. One of the weddings was for an English couple living in Dubai and at that time in Dubai persons could not live together if they were not married, so they decided to come to Barbados for a holiday. The couple sprang it on me that they wanted to get married in a few days after arriving at the apartment. I got the Chief Justice at that time, Sandra Mason to come and do the wedding. I made an arch, I invited all the guests here and quickly made a wedding cake to accommodate their last-minute wedding request and I am pleased to say that although impromptu it was a fun time,” she said.
Moreover, the Director of Angler Apartments added that outside of the weddings which were held at Angler Apartments the facility was formerly known for its bi-weekly Rum Punch Parties.
“Before I had the bar and restaurant, I used to do bi-weekly Rum Punch parties. All of the guests would come out and socialise with each other and I would make snacks and loads of rum punch as that was a good way of getting the guests to interact with each other, with some of them becoming life-long friends before they left Angler Apartments,” she said.
The Director of Angler Apartments whose smile can always be seen as she interacts with her guests at her intimate hotel said she was one of the initial members of Intimate Hotels of Barbados in the 1990s.
“At that time, we had five hotels under the Intimate Hotels of Barbados, it increased to seven hotels and then more and more hotels joined. Over the years, while I am not an active member of the organisation, I do appreciate the work that Intimate Hotels of Barbados has been doing to help Intimate Hotels in Barbados have a voice in the tourism industry,” she said.
Gosain said that while her hotel is small and intimate, she seeks to treat all of her guests like family and has been doing so for the past 35 years.
“I am not just a hotelier to them, as over the years the guests have become a part of my family. If they are sick, I call a doctor for them, if they need to run to the hospital at night, I get a taxi for them and I treat them as though they are family and not strangers, from the time I check them in. I address them by their first name and tell them all about the beautiful island and the must-see tourist attractions. My loving and caring nature with the guests has led to them calling me ‘mother’ due to the mothering that I give to each and every one of them,” she said. (Write Right PR Services)