Marriott Injects New Life Into Scrub Island Resort

After a handful of delays that kept it from opening for years, Scrub Island Resort, Spa & Marina finally opened it doors in the British Virgin Islands in 2010, but the five-star luxury resort has had its share of obstacles ever since.

Travel Agent was on site close to two years ago, shortly after the resort welcomed its first guests, becoming the first resort to open in the British Virgin Islands in more than 15 years. But the resort was not fully ready, although it had already begun accepting bookings; none of the resort’s five villas were close to opening; the staff seemed a little rough around the edges and the resort simply didn’t take off as much as many had hoped. But anyone who knows hotels knew that this one had great potential. It just seemed misguided.

Since then, the property’s staff has also seen a major overhaul with its general manager position changing hands in less than a year. The resort also changed public relations firms and, earlier this year, saw their prominent director of sales and marketing, Scott Ward, get scooped up by RockResorts.

But right when it seemed as though the resort was further losing direction, Marriott International announced last week that it will be giving the luxury resort a shot in the arm.

In early 2012, Scrub Island Resort will join Marriott International’s fastest growing brand, the Autograph Collection– a group of  independent hotels, each hand-selected for their originality, character and uncommon details.

Under a franchise agreement with Scrub Island Development Group Ltd., Scrub Island Resort will become Marriott International’s first property in the British Virgin Islands, as well as the first Autograph Collection hotel in the Caribbean.

And why is this such a big deal?

Marriott International’s Caribbean and Mexico collection is slowly becoming a powerhouse in both regions, mainly the Caribbean. And Scrub Island can really use Marriott’s branding and network if it wants to generate bookings to the level that the resort always dreamed they would be at.

The luxury resort is set on a serene, 230-acre private island east of Tortola, offering 67 guest rooms, suites and villas; a 60-slip marina; five food and beverage outlets including gourmet market, multi-level pool, three secluded white sand beaches all within swimming distance of spectacular reefs, nature/hiking trails and a fitness center and spa, which will be relocated and expanded by early 2013. With 7,000 square feet of meeting space, the resort now has the largest meeting facility in the British Virgin Islands.

Only time will tell if this recent partnership can put Srub Island in the Caribbean’s elite class of hotels, but we think it’s at least a great breath of fresh air for a resort that seem to desperately need a sense of stability.

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