Overlooking the township of New Amsterdam stands the magnificent ‘Leisure Inn Hotel’ and Multi Purpose facility. Boasting five floors from ground up on its solid foundation, the structure is dubbed, “one of its kind.”
Sunday night saw the cutting of the ribbon and the opening of its doors to the first class facility.
Many in attendance were dazzled and anticipated a viewing of the building’s exquisite, yet modern interior. An investment of over $400M, the proprietors expressed that it was an intention of theirs to raise the bar of service offered in Berbice.
Inclusive of its main attraction, a pool and poolside bar on the third floor, the facility includes 30 luxury rooms along with a never before done, two rooms to facilitate the differently abled customers and an elevator.
Co-owner Kesha Phillips said, her husband, Shervington Lovell, wanted to be different from the rest, hence such a huge investment.
At the opening ceremony, Mayor of New Amsterdam Winifred Haywood, said it was an honour to have such a facility adorning the New Amsterdam main road, “I am happy that such a thing could happen now and it is timely”. She thanked the owners for bringing such a modern facility to the town and applauded the services that would be offered.
Haywood posited, “we cherish the hotels that were here before who offered a service but when I go to the Tower and other places in Georgetown, I say to myself, I wish if we can have such a thing but everything takes time and here we are”. She implored to the other businesses, particularly the hotels, with one just a stone’s throw away, to “step up”.
President of the Berbice Chamber of Commerce, Ryan Alexander, in his brief remarks, lauded the initiative and extended an invite to the owners to also be a part of the BCC. He added that Leisure Inn has transformed the landscape of the township and applauded the “out of the box thinking”.
“This has undoubtedly raised the bar of the hospitality industry in Berbice”, Alexander said.
Touching on the business environment, which he regarded as ‘challenging’, Alexander made public his commitment in partnerships in investments across all sectors in Berbice.
“One such industry that has continued to show great potential is the hospitality and tourism industry.”
He called on all stakeholders in the central government, local government and the private sector, to join and set up framework to offer a complete tourism package. According to him, the tourism package should capitalize on the strengths of the region, from bird-watching to the restoration of the Number 63 Beach; canoeing and sports fishing are some of the other activities that were pin pointed as areas to look at for the development of tourism in Berbice.
This, he said, will maximize the benefit of the sector in the ancient county, “this will also allow an investment like Leisure Inn to optimize its true potential”.
He added that with the oil and gas sector set to take shape, “I am quite certain that a huge number of human resources will enter into the country and will look to have services, which the ‘Leisure Inn’ presents”.
Apart from the most modern rooms with prices ranging from $18,000 per room to a three room suite at a price of $30,000, the building cocoons an exquisite restaurant called ‘Keuken’, the Dutch word for ‘cuisine’ and set to cater for an array of delicacies, most of them that are not offered at the local eateries or hotels.
The cafe/restaurant will also operate 24 hrs a day, the proprietress, Kesha Phillips noted that too often persons who are out and about late at nights are left with very little, if not, no option at all when finding something to eat, “The food criteria was something that we looked at whenever we come to Berbice.
I am a late person; I travel late and when you get to New Amsterdam, there is nothing but Chinese food most of the time. We therefore wanted to do something different, hence the push to have the restaurant running for 24 hrs with a variety of dishes.”
The head chef is Surinamese and has been cooking professionally for over 20 years. He said he is looking forward to tantalizing the patrons’ taste buds with his delicious meals.
Phillips also stated that quality customer service is of utmost importance to the Leisure Inn team and making the hotel convenient for the differently abled persons was a critical aspect of business, she opined, “all hotels should be able to accommodate disabled persons that is why we have the wheelchair ramps and the elevator. You see it doesn’t matter how an investor tries, if workers don’t give good service, it will always bring your service down”.
The building holds three-rental spaces, a sports bar on the fifth floor and the much anticipated ‘Club Privilege’ to open in six weeks. There is also a conference room and a boardroom.
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