NEW YORK CITY, New York - Travel Agent recently down with representatives of the Frenchman's Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort and learned how the St. Thomas resort is looking to draw a younger clientele without losing its longtime customers.
Besides a recent $48 million renovation project in 2011 to make the resort more chic in design, additional plans to draw a younger, more adventurous guest include adding Jetpacking, stand-up paddle boarding at night and yoga to the resort's already-robust offerings.
"Of course the intention is to get a little younger, to attract that younger segment that perhaps we were once missing," says Joyce D. Griffin, director of sales and marketing. "It all started with the renovation in 2011 when we decided to give the resort a younger, chic, more modern look."
The renovation at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort was completed in early November of 2011. In addition to giving the 302 guest rooms of the resort’s main tower a completely new interior that incorporates a fresh color scheme and modern furnishings, restoration also included an updated and expanded spa, new health club, a redesign of the outdoor common areas including the pool and water features, and a makeover of the Windows on the Harbor restaurant.
And to help drive that new focus on younger clients is Jean-Paul Nel, resort's new general manager. A 30-year Marriott veteran, Nel most recently served as area vice president for the U.K. North region, which is a part of Marriott Europe. Prior to this, he held the position of vice president of operations for UKIMEA (United Kingdom, Ireland, Middle East and Africa), where he oversaw all operational aspects of the region and played a key role in the development pipeline of new hotels.
"We couldn't be happier to have him as our general manager during this time of change at the resort," says Griffin. "It's really important to have someone with so much experience."