Paradise Found – a Saint Lucian success story

22 Jun 2022

Saint Lucia

Our slice of Saint Lucian paradise just achieved something quite astonishing.

Chrys Alcee at the Cacao Bar

Let us be candid for a moment. We are gobsmacked. Bowled over. Ecstatic, humbled and imbued with renewed ambition to make a stay at our St Lucian hotel the greatest of our customers’ lives.

After all, it’s our customers we have to thank for a quite astonishing accolade. Tripadvisor receive millions of reviews each year. Our Rabot Hotel, St Lucia, has just entered the top 1% of hotels in the Carribean. We’re officially among the Tripadvisor Traveller’s Choice ‘Best of the Best 2022’. We’re no. 22 and 23 in two categories, rubbing up against some of the most established names in the industry.

Hotel and restaurant reviews are hard won. There are so many things that can go wrong when somebody is literally staying with you 24 hours a day. Surely only a Herculean effort from all our staff at the hotel could have earned us this coveted accolade? Who better to answer than Chrys Alcee, our charismatic hotel manager. He’s palpably thrilled, “this is an outstanding achievement and a very proud moment for us all here {at the hotel}. I am very proud of the entire team.”

What does he put this achievement down to? “{It is} mainly down to everyone’s hard work, dedication and ability to deliver on a consistent day to day basis. We strive on the best standards in the service that we provide. It boils down to everyone’s hard work, attitude and team effort. Our mantra here at the hotel is ‘Amazing Standards Everyday’”

As the man in charge of our spellbinding getaway at the heart of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, he’s responsible for ensuring every guest feels both at home and in heaven.

“Every time someone checks in for the first time, they have the same million-dollar reaction to the view. As they walk up the stairs to the restaurant platform, the Petit Piton mountain slowly reveals itself, from the tip to the base, like a curtain lifting. You get the same reaction:

“Oh my god, look at this! It’s beautiful!”

When you grow up here, you take the Pitons for granted, but hearing that makes you sit back and realise how lucky you are to be working somewhere with a backdrop that looks like this.”

A view from Rabot hotel. Wish you were here much?

I want my staff to be happy, so that they can make the guests happy.

“Our staff have that typical warm and friendly Caribbean attitude. Everyone is pretty much down-to-earth. We make you feel at home, like family, you know? You feel the genuineness and connect on a personal level. I’m not just saying that – our guests’ comments speak for themselves. We have a comment card that we leave with guests to let us know what they thought of their time with us. When you read stuff like that – how our resort is the best they’ve visited, praise for our staff – it kind of melts you on the inside. That’s what sends me to sleep smiling at night.”

It’s more than manners and attitude that sets the hotel apart. Nothing is left to chance, and everything is firmly rooted in the island and its communities. As Chris explains, “everything we serve in our restaurant is local. It’s either grown here on the property, or comes from local farmers. We grow basil, chives and spring onions, mangoes, green bananas, sweet potatoes and more. I reach out to local farmers for whatever else I need, so that money is going back to the community instead of import companies. We’ve started market tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays, too: the chef takes guests over to discover all the local produce and the different ways we could use it.”

I reach out to local farmers for whatever else I need, so that money is going back to the community

Chrys has the captivating smile of a man content with his life. So was hotel management his destiny? He laughs at the notion. “Everyone thought that one day, I’d become a policeman. I was raised in Saint Lucia, pretty much by my grandparents. My grandfather was a police inspector, known throughout the community. His police discipline and mindset definitely had an influence on me. Where I grew up, it was easy to swing in the wrong direction, but the morals he instilled made me stay on the right path. He played a vital part in the person I am today.”

Detail, discipline and drive. It’s easy to see why Chrys has found his stride at Rabot. What does a day in the life of Rabot’s hotel manager look like? “My typical work day can go from zero to 100 miles per hour in the blink of an eye. I need to oversee everything that happens at the hotel to ensure it comes out the way it should. If I really need a break, sometimes I just take a walk on one of our trails to connect with nature. At the end of the Marcial trail there’s a hut with a nice view, the sounds of the birds, the breeze blowing. It’s cool and comfortable in the afternoon. Just a few minutes there is enough to recharge.

We encourage guests to have picnics there, go forest-bathing.”

Sometimes I just take a walk on one of our trails to connect with nature

Chrys is clearly passionate about his work. “I always tell my staff, don’t settle for mediocre.

My grandparents couldn’t afford to send me to college, so I started work at a very young age. But I built up a fire in myself to strive and work hard. When I joined Rabot Hotel eight years ago, working at the restaurant, I set a goal to develop my career. After I became a Bartender, I got promoted to Bar Captain, then Bar & Beverage Manager, Operations Manager, and now I’m Hotel Manager. John, the CEO, showed a lot of confidence in me, and handed me the opportunity. I always believe we can push for more. And I’m bringing up my kids the same way.”