After more than 30 years in operation, SuperClubs Resorts has gone through a major transformation, eliminating two of its brands and making each of its resorts a four-star, boutique style hotel.
Travel Agent recently made two trips, one to Jamaica and another to Panama, to see the new SuperClubs marketing strategy at work and arrived at the conclusion that the new product will be easier to sell and perhaps less confusing for agents. We chatted with SuperClubs Chairman John J. Issa, who gave us two reasons for the rebranding.
SuperClubs decided to go with a four-star, middle-priced brand to combat the influx of the Spanish all-inclusives that have taken the Caribbean and Latin America by storm in the last few years. Products like Ibersotar Hotels and Resorts and Riu Hotels and Resorts, which both offer a large number of rooms (some pushing nearly 1,000) for a very affordable price, have forced brands like SuperClubs to restructure its products, Issa said.
This so-called “Spanish Invasion,” Issa says, “changed how we priced and I thought it cost all of us a lot of money.” Another reason for the rebranding, he revealed, was that it had become too costly to market five different brands, as opposed to three. “We really want to get out the message that Breezes is a very personal, full-service, super-inclusive brand where clients will be treated as individuals,” said Issa.
Unveiling the New Brand
On November 1, three SuperClubs properties were rechristened Breezes Resorts under the newly expanded brand. The super-inclusive chain, which is popular with value-conscious vacationers, now has nine resorts in five countries: Jamaica, Curaçao, the Bahamas, Brazil and Panama. All Breezes Resorts vacations comprise multiple dining options, including regional fare and the resorts’ signature Munasan restaurants serving Teppanyaki dishes and sushi, unlimited premium-brand drinks and a host of complimentary land and water sports ranging from windsurfing and scuba diving to tennis, golf and the flying trapeze, where available. All Breezes properties also boast a full-service à la carte spa.
The all-suite Breezes Grand Resort & Spa Negril is still widely considered SuperClubs’ signature resort. Formerly Grand Lido Negril, the doting staff at this Jamaican resort set on 22 acres will continue to pamper guests with their renowned service, and those staying in the one-bedroom, luxury and Presidential accommodations can indulge in complimentary 24-hour room service. Guests would still enjoy the resort’s au naturel side as well as the full-service à la carte Blue Mahoe spa, which will now add its signature manicures and pedicures to its services for an additional fee.
Breezes Resort & Spa Rio Bueno, formerly Grand Lido Braco, launched Braco Village at Rio Bueno—a private hideaway with 52 beachfront suites and a clubhouse with a full-service bar open 24 hours serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Breezes guests not staying in the “hotel within a hotel” who would like to make use of the Village’s beach or clubhouse can do so for an additional fee. All guests enjoy Rio Bueno’s super-inclusive amenities including complimentary rounds on the resort’s executive golf course, a selection of fine dining options, including French standout Piacere, room service in suites, cooking classes with the award-winning culinary team and access to the sauna as well as the fitness center with floor-to-ceiling views of the beach.
With the rebranding has come the changeover of Starfish Trelawny to Breezes Resort & Spa Trelawny, SuperClubs’ newest super-inclusive Jamaican resort. Now with a host of complimentary amenities, including airport transfers, motorized water sports and Kids Club activities available to all guests, the resort is great for sports enthusiasts. Breezes Trelawny is perfect for families and guests of all ages with its four pools, rock-climbing wall, four tennis courts lit for night play, trapeze lessons, kayaking and windsurfing. After a long day of frolicking, guests can unwind at one of the five bars or with a massage at the à la carte Blue Mahoe Spa.
The three resorts credited with putting the Breezes brand on the map have all undergone recent refurbishments. On Cable Beach, Breezes Bahamas completed a $10 million upgrade outfitting rooms with plasma TVs, new mahogany furnishings, renovated bathrooms and soundproof balcony doors last year.
Breezes Curaçao, the only super-inclusive property on that island, also underwent a $2 million renovation, which included building an outdoor playground for its 12,000-square-foot Kids Club; revamping guest rooms with 32-inch LCD TVs and reappointed bathrooms; refurbishing its swimming pools; and expanding its beach grill.
Breezes Runaway Bay in Jamaica underwent a $20 million renovation two years ago, adding verandah suites with private plunge pools, two new freshwater swimming pools and a misting pool, as well as a wedding chapel on the beach with carved pews to accommodate up to 40 guests.
In all, there are now three brands: Breezes Resorts & Spas, Hedonism Resorts and Rooms On The Beach. The rebranding could lead to some confusion but once agents get a grasp of what SuperClubs is doing, selling the product will be much easier than it used to be. Here’s what you need to know about the new brands.
First, SuperClubs is the parent company of all its resorts. It is an umbrella body—there has never been a SuperClubs resort. The name will now disappear from consumer-facing materials, but will still exist in business-to-business conversations (between retailers and wholesalers, in travel trade, etc.).
Hedonism Resorts, which are two adults-only resorts in Jamaica, will remain unchanged. They will have a newer, fresher brand presence in late 2009/early 2010. With the removal of “SuperClubs” from the public eye, Hedonism Resorts will disassociate from other SuperClubs brands.
Grand Lido Resorts & Spas ceased to exist as of November 1 with the renaming of Grand Lido Negril as Breezes Grand Negril and Grand Lido Braco as Breezes Rio Bueno. To bring these a star down, some features will discontinue, including 24-hour room service and free manicure and pedicures. All other facilities remain unchanged. Starfish Trelawny Resort & Spa, in its new avatar of Breezes Trelawny as of November 1, will be a super-inclusive resort like Hedonism and Breezes.
In sum, there are now nine Breezes resorts: In Jamaica, there are Breezes Grand Resort & Spa, Negril (formerly Grand Lido Negril); Breezes Resort & Spa, Trelawny (formerly Starfish Trelawny); Breezes Resort & Spa, Rio Bueno (formerly Grand Lido Braco); and Breezes Resort, Spa & Golf Club, Runaway Bay; in the Bahamas, there is Breezes Resort & Spa, Bahamas; in Curaçao, there is Breezes Resort, Spa & Casino, Curaçao; in Panama, there is Breezes Resort & Spa, Panama; in Brazil, there are Breezes Resort & Spa, Costa do Sauipe and the soon-to-open Breezes Resort & Spa, Buzios.
Rooms On The Beach is SuperClubs’ non-all-inclusive hotel brand currently in Jamaica (there are two of these). This remains unchanged and, like Hedonism, will part with the SuperClubs tag.