General Manager of Dover Beach Hotel
The Intimate Hotels of Barbados group is celebrating 23 years of providing service excellence in the hospitality industry. This membership association of 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; the fourth of which is Dover Beach Hotel.
The 59-room hotel is located in Dover, Christ Church and is a family-owned operation which has been in the Kinch family for over four decades. The hotel which was founded by Robert ‘Jeffrey’ Kinch was opened in 1977. ‘Jeff’ as he was affectionately called unfortunately passed away on May 14th, 2021. Since 2014 his daughter Adua Kinch is the Managing Director of the property with the General Manager being Marcia Yarde.
Marcia Yarde who is loved by all of the staff at Dover Beach Hotel said she has been involved in the hospitality sector for the majority of her professional career after leaving the Barbados Hotel School where she studied Front Office Management and Sales. She entered Dover Beach Hotel in 1997 as Supervisor of Accounts and worked her way up to become the General Manager in 2005.
“It was in 1997 that I started to work here as the Supervisor of Accounts, Reservations, and Front Desk. There were a lot of changes that happened at the hotel as the hotel faced some financial challenges and I said, ‘We had to overcome this!’ I went through all of the accounts and reconciled the finances for the hotel. I also set about contacting some existing tour operators and new tour operators in a means of getting some more business. We had to remain viable. We went full steam ahead,” she said.
Yarde whose passion for the day-to-day-operations can be seen in her ever-present smile said over the past 18-years she has been the General Manager she has seen the hotel continue to grow from strength to strength.
“Over the years I have seen many changes not only physically but operationally as well. We went from the putting tape on the board for reservations to having a digital system. We continue to upgrade our physical plant as in the hotel industry you must continue to modernise in order to have the competitive edge. Over the years we have become a green hotel and we encourage our visitors to become a part of our green initiatives,” she said.
Yarde said the hotel also seeks to inspire and motivate those from within their community. Thus, they host clean-up campaigns, invite members of the nearby schools to the hotel to learn the ins and out of working in the tourism industry. They are also actively involved with the nearby senior citizens home Love and Care. She noted that the hotel has won a few awards since being involved in the Dover, Christ Church community which are: Apartment of the year (2007), Outstanding Property of the Year (2008), Friend of the Environment (2009), Friend of the Community (2010), Environmental and Sustainable Award (2018) and the Humanitarian Award (2022).
The hotel which has been a member of Intimate Hotels from its inception due to the late founder Robert ‘Jeffrey’ Kinch being one of the founding Directors of IHB. General Manager of Dover Beach Hotel Marcia Yarde said the company decided to join IHB not only due to the former owner having the roles of Chairman and Deputy Chairman but due to them realising that there was strength in numbers.
“IHB does marketing on behalf of the small hotels, they lobby Government for changes and revenue to assist with the small hotels as well as bring them together as a body so that they can exchange views and learn from Intimate Hotels of Barbados,” she said.
Yarde said that she believes Dover Beach Hotel is one of the best-kept secrets in the Dover, Christ Church area.
“I believe we are one of the best kept secrets as we have grown over the years. Our repeat customers from the USA, Canada, Europe, and the Caribbean come to this property year after year, and it is almost like they are coming home to family. I enjoy the growth of the hotel and how we are now a force to be reckoned with,” she said.
The General Manager of Dover Beach Hotel had some words of advice for any young person seeking to get into the hotel industry; “be prepared to work hard.”
“You must come into work with an open mind. You have to be careful of your attitude and once you have that in place you can reach the stars. There are a lot of opportunities out there awaiting young persons in the hospitality industry if they are prepared to work hard, have an open mind, and have a pleasant attitude,” she said. (Write Right PR Services)