May 16, 2016 News
By Rehanna Ramsay
Fully equipped with a swim up bar, nightclub, banqueting hall and 78 guest rooms inclusive of à la mode penthouse suites, the newly opened Tower Suites Incorporated is promising patrons a modern yet historic hotel experience.
The hotel was rebranded to continue the legacy of Guyana‘s oldest hotel brand “Hotel Tower.” The landmark edifice is said to be 150 years old and has been at its Main Street Georgetown location for 106 years.
The revamped hotel officially opened its doors on Saturday. The event was described as timely, given the opening is mere weeks before Guyana’s 50th Independence Anniversary celebrations.
Operations Manager of Tower Suites Incorporated, Chandrika Hemraj noted that the project was commissioned in anticipation of the influx of visitors during the observance of Guyana’s historic milestone. Hemraj said that owing to its traditional prominence, the hotel has already gained popularity with visitors and is “fully booked” for the upcoming fete.
“The Golden Jubilee celebrations are a plus for us. We want to start off with showcasing the hotel at this time but continually promote our brand of comfort, style and bliss. As of May 18, we are fully booked,” he added.
Hemraj said that given its central location, Tower Suites is the ideal hotel choice for the business class.
“We are located in the heart of the city, where persons can quickly access virtually any service available that is the banks, shopping malls, hospitals, the government agencies and so forth.”
Additionally, the Manager said that the hotel is equipped with the banquet hall/conference facility which can accommodate more than 200 persons.
According to Hemraj, Tower Suites also offers leisure experience with Club Privilege, Café Nouveau, a modern gym and soon to be commissioned fine dining restaurant.
“Besides our modern gym facility, a café and lounge by the poolside is fully opened to the public,” he declared.
The Manager also boasted of the complement of trained and courteous staff and the competitive hotel rates.
He explained that the hotel is currently under the management of a Board of Directors; some of whom are knowledgeable of the local hotel and tourist industry.
“When the hotel was repossessed by Citizens Bank and put up for auction it was purchased by S and S Mining,” Hemraj explained adding that “the hotel’s current Board of Directors believes in the potential and historic quality of the Tower brand so much so that they are working to revive and promote the name further.”
Last year Hotel Tower was sold to its new owners for over US$8 million. The hotel which first opened its doors in 1866 had gone through a series of managements and suffered a series of closures due to lack of occupancy, economic downturns and political turmoil.
In the early 1900s Hotel Tower was acquired by a Guyanese/Barbadian family, the Humphreys and 50 other shareholders. In 1966, the same year Guyana acquired Independence, a commemorative stamp was struck in honour of Hotel Tower which at that time was celebrating its 50th Golden Jubilee Anniversary. Yet the brand struggled to perform but appeared determined to survive.
By 2010, the hotel had undergone a series of remodeling and ownerships including a local investor group of businessmen RL Singh, Amarnauth Muneshwer and Ashoka Singh of Canada and later Canal Hospitality Inc, a business partnership headed by Salim Azeez, with US-based businessman James Manbahal, as well as Guyanese Varendra Shiwratan and Bharti Persaud Misir. In 2015, the hotel abruptly closed its doors leaving 50 staffers jobless and a debt of over $10 million in wages, salaries and severance.
At the opening ceremony on Saturday, Minister of Public Telecommunications, Cathy Hughes and Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority (GTA) Indranauth Haralsingh congratulated the new owners of the establishment and wished them continued success in the area of tourism.
The GTA director encouraged the new owners to continue to invest in development of tours, eco- tourism packages and training its staff.
“We welcome the Tower Suites, which provide additional choices and encourage persons to patronise and review Tower Suites’ brand and experience,” Haralsingh stated.
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