After 20 years, the hotel known as the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman will no longer be called that next year.
And it will no longer be managed by Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.
Instead, the 53-suite hotel will operate under the new name of Grand Cayman Beach Suites and be independently managed by the owner.
‘Following a successful presence on Grand Cayman for two decades, Hyatt has announced that its 20 year contractual agreement expires on December 31, 2007 after which date it will no longer manage Hyatt Regency, Grand Cayman,’ said a statement from Hyatt Hotels and Resorts.
The owner of the hotel, Embassy Investments Limited, will independently operate the 53-suite hotel under the new name of Grand Cayman Beach Suites.
General Manager of the Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman Diego Concha told the Caymanian Compass that the hotel will still be operating under the same ownership so all the staff members’ benefits and salaries will carry on through, remain the same, and retain their continuity into the future.
‘The only thing that really changes is the name,’ he said.
Mr. Concha met with his management group and staff at the hotel on Tuesday to announce the decision. He described it as an ’emotional but very good’ meeting.
He said full flexibility is being given to staff members for whatever decision they make. If some members wish to go to another Hyatt that decision will be supported, or if they wish to stay on with Grand Cayman Beach Suites that will be welcomed.
He said he expects the transition from Hyatt to an independent property to go very smoothly.
The hotel will no longer bear the venerable Hyatt brand, but Mr. Concha said that Embassy Investment has a lot of experience in running independent operations, with very strong team support for that process.
‘I believe the transition will be very smooth,’ he said.
Mr. Concha himself, being Hyatt management, will eventually be leaving the hotel, but he asserted his commitment to the transition process.
‘I will continue to be here for as long as I’m needed, until the key executive positions are in place.
‘Hyatt will maintain a presence here as long as necessary to ensure a good transition.’
He also noted that Hyatt is committed with the owner for future investments.
‘Hyatt has enjoyed a positive and mutually beneficial relationship with Embassy Investments and both parties will continue to pursue future opportunities together,’ the press release stated.
Other aspects of the property such as Bamboo and Hemmingways restaurants and Britannia will remain known by their current names, Mr. Concha said.
When asked about the insurance settlement for the landside of the hotel, which has been pending now for nearly three years, Mr. Concha said the owner is still in negotiations on the issue and it is hoped an outcome will come about soon.
That side of the hotel has lain disused since Hurricane Ivan damaged it in September 2004.
He said the Hyatt pulling out of the hotel is purely because its 20 year contract has come to an end.
Speaking about his roughly 135 staff members, Mr. Concha said, ‘I’m so proud of each and every one of them. They’re attitude is ‘we will move on and make this an even greater place’. They are such an amazing group.’
Speaking about the hotel’s achievements as an operation within Hyatt, he said that they were in the top 20 hotels for customer service and number two for food and beverage.
‘That says a lot about our people,’ he said. ‘And I believe our style will have continuity.’
Mr. Concha said he told his staff, ‘You are the soul of the property’, and added that the property would go from strength to strength because of them.
The press release notes that Hyatt takes pride in providing opportunities for the people of the community for the past 20 years.
‘Hyatt remains fully committed to Grand Cayman as a luxury resort destination and remains optimistic for the future as opportunities on the island present themselves.
‘Hyatt will be forever grateful to the owner, employees and loyal guests of Hyatt Regency Grand Cayman, and wish the very best to Embassy Investments and the employees in the future success of the property.’
One benefit that staff enjoyed exclusively under Hyatt was a number of free room nights at other Hyatt hotels, a privilege which will no longer be available at the independently managed property, Mr. Concha confirmed.