Industry NewsManagementBenchmark to Manage Former Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina

Benchmark to Manage Former Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina

NIEUWPOORT, Curacao—Santa Barbara Hospitality, N.V., a hotel investment group, today announced that the former Hyatt Regency Curacao Golf Resort, Spa and Marina is under new management and will operate under a new name.

The owner terminated its management agreement with Hyatt Corporation and Hyatt Curacao, N.V. (“Hyatt”) on November 21 and installed Benchmark Hospitality International (“Benchmark”) to operate the luxury Curacao resort. The resort has been renamed as the Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao.

According to the owner, owner representatives assumed control of the resort at approximately midnight local time – in order to avoid any inconvenience to guests or employees. The owner informed Hyatt of its plans, and assumed operational and financial control of the 350-room property.

Employees were notified of the change in management. Benchmark plans to offer employment to most current hotel staff members, who will maintain their current rate of pay, original start date and accrued vacation. All current reservations and event bookings will be honored without change.

“This is an exciting development for the resort, its employees, and the thousands of international guests we soon expect to welcome,” says David Maxfield , a representative of Santa Barbara Hospitality, N.V., owner of the hotel. “We believe this property is now poised to become one of the world’s premier luxury destinations.”

The owner announced that it terminated Hyatt amid allegations that the hotel management company violated the terms of a management agreement.

According to claims from the owner, under Hyatt’s management, the resort missed revenue projections by almost $12 million in 2011, and occupancy rates that year were approximately 22 percent lower than expected. Both revenue and occupancy are also lower than projected in 2012, according to the owner. The owner alleges that Hyatt failed in its duties and responsibilities with regard to the service, training and supervision of the resort’s personnel, budgeting and forecasting, and sales and marketing of the resort.

The Santa Barbara Beach & Golf Resort, Curacao is a beachfront resort located in the Santa Barbara Plantation area of Curacao. The resort offers three pools, a private spa, tennis courts, two marinas, and an 18-hole Pete Dye championship golf course.

Hyatt released the following statement regarding this resort: “Hyatt Curacao N.V. denies that owner has the legal right to remove it as manager of the property in this manner. In late November, in accordance with the terms of the Hotel Management Agreement, Hyatt Curacao N.V. had commenced an arbitration, which is still underway, seeking a declaration of the parties’ rights under the Management Agreement. The owner, however, has elected to take this precipitous action rather acting as set forth in the Management Agreement to resolve matters in the arbitration. Hyatt Curacao N.V. will be taking action to protect its rights under the agreement and expects to have control of the resort restored. Hyatt Curacao N.V. is concerned about the impact of owner’s disruptive action on the Resort, its guests and employees. “