Chef-led cooking demonstrations are part of the hotel’s new wellness offerings. © // 2014 Elegant Hotels
Colony Club in Barbados recently developed an on-site organic garden as part of the resort’s expanded focus on wellness. New offerings include a range of fitness and health-conscious culinary options. Colony Club is one of five high-end resorts that are part of the Elegant Hotels collection in Barbados.
“Our many new guest experiences at Colony Club include healthy dining, such as super foods at breakfast and an all-natural kids menu,” said Sylvia Scholey, vice president of sales, marketing and ecommerce at Elegant Hotels. “We also offer a wide range of new activities and tours that include daily yoga, Pilates, Zumba and other fitness programs.”
The resort also offers garden tours, fishing excursions with the chef, cooking demos, a monthly organic farmers market, stand-up paddleboarding, swimming with sea turtles, bespoke island tours and walking tours of nearby towns.
An educational tasting tour was recently introduced to acquaint guests with Colony Club’s new culinary offerings. The tour begins with each guest receiving a glass of cumila, the hotel’s signature wellness welcome drink. Crafted by the hotel's “mind and body” team, the drink contains mint, cucumber and agave. The tour then moves to the resort’s garden where guests meet the head gardener and hotel chef. A cooking demonstration follows, using fresh organic vegetables and herbs from the garden and tilapia raised on an onsite aquaponics system.
I spoke with Scholey to get the story behind Colony Club’s new focus on health and wellness.
What prompted the Colony Club to focus on organic foods and wellness?
Our research has shown that more and more travelers want to explore and experience a personalized vacation in line with their lifestyle at home. At Colony, we built on that concept and customized the wellness and sustainability theme for our guests. Also, creating an additional unique selling point will help grow business while helping us distinguish ourselves from competition in the Barbadian, Caribbean and global marketplace.
Is the emphasis on wellness a growing trend in the Caribbean?
There are few dedicated wellness properties out there, and these are often targeted to the adults-only traveler. However, we see this becoming a stronger trend for family travel. Parents want their kids to learn about the local culture, have healthy dining options and participate in sports activities on and beyond the resort.
How can the organic focus at the Colony Club be a selling point for travel agents?
Given the trends we just talked about, we believe that the offerings at Colony — all included of course — give agents a great distinguishing selling point.
Will the wellness and organic focus at Colony Club be extended to include your other properties in Barbados?
We have started to deploy some of the concepts at other hotels, including bespoke tours and fitness programs. Turtle Beach, our all-inclusive property on the south coast, offers complimentary spinning classes and professional on-site personal trainers for a nominal fee. We have beach walks, Pilates, yoga and aqua aerobics at all sister properties as well. And both of our all-inclusive properties — Crystal Cove and Turtle Beach — have received the Travelife Gold Award for Sustainability based on efforts made in the community and green initiatives at the resorts.