When you run a hotel there is a busy season and a slow season. Even with the relatively consistent weather that we have in Hopkins Belize this seasonality applies to us as well. For us, December through April (Christmas through Easter) is high season. This is when hotels and restaurants are completely full, our staff are pulling double shifts and we may have 25-30 guests staying at our resort. Our occupancy slows down in May, picks up a bit during summer, and then comes to a stand still during September and October. Some hotels and restaurants close down for a month or two. It can even be difficult to find a restaurant that is open for lunch during September.
It has not been easy for me to transition from my old office job rhythm to the rhythm of hospitality high and low season. During high season I can feel like I never sit down; there is so much to do. But during slow season, it’s hard for me to relax. It helps me to have a project or two to work on….
This year we have undertaken a fairly large room renovation project during slow season. Since we are not closed, we work on the rooms when they are not occupied by guests and we focused on getting 2-3 rooms finished early on, so they can be used by guests. It’s been a really exciting project. When we took over the resort 2 years ago, the decor was inconsistent and a little dated. Some rooms were painted a coral color, some were a light green. The bedspreads varied from floral to mayan to granny crochet. Some bedspreads were pretty, some were ugly. Some were in good condition and some were fading. Same with the shower curtains and rugs.
Paint all rooms white and add wood accents
We’ve decided to paint all the rooms a nice crisp white, invested in beautiful white bedspreads and chosen 2 colors to accent the rooms (blue and green). We’ve also had new futons frames built locally (Belizean wood and craftsmanship is top notch) so every single room will have a beautiful futon couch to enjoy with the option for extra sleeping room. We’ve replace old ceiling fans. And we’ve removed all the metal rods from the rooms in favor of hand crafted wooden rods. So your curtains for window and shower will not rust and are actually quite beautiful. Its the little things!
Here is a photo of the couches that used to be in each room, and the new futon frame we will put in each room (We are still waiting on the futon mattress)
We’ve had a local furniture maker make the curtain rods and futon frames, but in order to save on some money we have also asked our regular maintenance team to do some of the wood work. We love all of the paintings that decorated our rooms from day one. But none of them had frames. To emphasize the color scheme and new focus on Belizean wood, we’ve added wooden frames to our room paintings. It makes such a difference. Greg (head of maintenance) has also designed and built these new wooden foot baths (instead of plastic bins!).
Functional art piece
In each hotel room we are also adding new coffee tables to go with the new futons. This is probably my favorite addition. I’m hoping this will be a piece to make people gasp when they walk in the room. This coffee table was also hand-crafted locally and has a beautiful blue resin running down the middle like a river.
We are not quite done. Each change is taking its time and the rooms are slowly but surely reaching completion. Our maintenance crew only has so many hours in the day and we are also waiting on some more purchased items yet to be delivered. We are confident we’ll be done by November!
But for a bit of a sneak peak, take a look at this before and after of one of our cabanas. New paint, new bed cover and beautiful new wall fans! And also a cameo of Francine 🙂