SPOTLIGHT ON Andrei Mocanu, General Manager at Hôtel Barrière Le Carl Gustaf – St Barthélémy

Insight into the challenges of the last two years from the Caribbean and initiatives to ensure guest satisfaction and seamless travel

What initiatives have you put in place to make guests and staff feel safe?
Andrei MocanuCommunication is key. We are sending a pre-arrival WhatsApp to all our guests three days before their trip with a picture of the view from their room, our contact information, and a welcome note that mentions we are here to assist with any question or concerns. This message forms an immediate bond with guests and they keep in touch with us throughout their whole stay. We also have a nurse that can be booked via WhatsApp for the guests to administer a covid test or to help with any other concerns. Apart from having sanitizer everywhere for guests and staff, we spray all frequently touched surfaces with disinfectant regularly and the entire team wears masks.

What lessons have you learned that you will be taking into 2022?
That anything is possible. After a difficult two years, we are happy to report that our Festive season has been outstanding and a record-breaking one in terms of occupancy and guest satisfaction. We also expect the rest of the year to be busy and successful.

What trends are you seeing as travel opens up?
There is a lot of “catch up” travel from guests that were not able to visit the Caribbean in the past two years but they are now ready to explore. This results in longer stays and higher spend in our restaurant. A lot of our guests want that special bottle of champagne or special wine that they weren’t able to try during lockdown. Now guests are ready to splurge and are ready to pay a premium for hard-to-find labels. We are also seeing an increase in multi-generational travel with big families traveling together. The beauty about Le Carl Gustaf is that members of the same family can have privacy in our different bungalows or suites around the property but can also all meet at our Beach Club Shellona or at our beautiful Fouquet’s restaurant to spend time together.

How are you incorporating technology into the guest experience?
All of our room features are controlled by a powerful Barriere app on our tablet. Our guests can control the blinds, play music and movies from their phone through the whole room TV & sound system and can even request housekeeping via the app. Temperature, lighting ambiance, and ventilation can also be controlled via the in-room tablet. For 2023 we are working on implementing virtual guest keys so that our guests can unlock their room door with their phone.