This year it’s all about Essential Detail celebrating twenty years in the industry representing luxury Caribbean hotels to the trade. Still run by our founders Annette Quinn and Helen Edwards it is really something to be proud of.

We decided to host a Gala dinner as a special celebration of our achievement and to acknowledge the special partnership we have with each one of our hotels. 

Held as part of our annual roadshow the gala was attended by our wonderful founders as well as everyone in the office: Siobhan, Katie and Jacquie. We missed Cheryl who was at home enjoying the first months with her new babies!

The evening shinanagins included a drinks reception, a delicious dinner and a very entertaining magiction! Part of event was to also say thanks to the hotels for the loyalty and trust that they have given Essential Detail over the years. After racking our brains as to what we can give them to show our appreciation, we came up with these rather wonderful Coconut Awards! Here are the speeches spoken during the awards which included snippets about the hotels along with a little history on each property:

“Curtain Bluff

We made contact with Rob in the summer of 2002 and persuaded him somehow or other to join our small portfolio of gorgeous hotels.Established over 50 years ago under the same private ownership Curtain Bluff has become one of the leading luxury resort hotels in the region today. 

Thanks to you, the trade, the UK share of their business has grown hugely in the last few years and Rob backs this up by referring to his detailed analytics: hearing a lot more English voices in the bar!”

“Little Good Harbour

We first met owner Andrew Warden in 2000, over a beer at WTM. At that time, he was still developing the hotel and restaurant. When he then asked us to visit the building site, we saw the potential of the boutique hotel gem that it has become, because it captured the essence of Barbados beach life in years gone by. 

And the Fish Pot soon became – and has remained – simply one of the most outstanding water-edge restaurants on Barbados, which I am sure many of you have visited.”

“Bequia Beach Hotel

A certain Katherine Hobbs from Caribtours introduced us to Bengt Mortstedt the entrepreneurial owner of Bequia Beach in 2011, and after a visit to the hotel by Helen and myself we soon persuaded him to come on board. 

Bengt recently commented to us that a decade had passed since he acquired the hotel – then just 10 rooms, a romantic little restaurant and a ‘rum shack’ on the beach. With him, we have watched the hotel blossom into the top resort on Bequia along with its expansion which includes gorgeous retro style villas, 3 restaurants, a luxury yacht and a private aircraft.”

“Young Island

We had known Vidal Browne owner of Young Island for many years from our tour operating days and after a drink at a bar in South Ken, he soon came board with Essential Detail in 2001.

We have enjoyed working with Young Island as a true Caribbean resort over the years and General Manager Bianca Porter is relentlessly passionate about keeping the romantic, private island experience intact, there is nowhere quite like it.”

“Jamaica Inn

We have represented Jamaica Inn twice over the last 20 years working alongside two dynamic managers, not least the wonderful Kyle Mais! Mango Cosmopolitans and Dry Martinis at their famous bar sealed the deal each time.

This iconic hotel celebrated its 60th Anniversary last year and the warmth of the Morrow family, the management and staff are key to the success and longevity of the wonderful Inn.”

“East Winds

This gorgeous hotel was one of the very first to join our portfolio in 1999 when it was owned by Giuseppe Olivares whom a number of you will remember very fondly, I am sure. 

It was over one of our regular lunches with him in South Ken (yes, the same watering hole!) that he suggested we set up a representation company, and the rest is history!

The simply inimitable skills of the current lady at the helm, Judith Milne, is testament to the high number of happy guests that continue to return along with her dedicated team who deliver an amazing inclusive experience.”

There are two more recent members of our portfolio who unfortunately couldn’t attend the roadshow. Firstly our ‘newbie’, Paradise Beach Nevis who joined the portfolio in January. 

We fell head over heels in love with this stunning property when we visited in December last year and met owner James Cabourne. Within a few weeks, they were on board and we realized then we hadn’t lost our touch! We trust that you will support this fabulous gem on Nevis.

And the other hotelier unable to join us tonight is Ann Chen, owner of Sandy Haven in Negril, Jamaica. However, we would like to thank you for your support since we launched this little gem into the UK market a couple of years ago.”

It was a lovely speech and really great to see all our wonderful hoteliers getting their coconut award – everyone had a lot of fun! 

Lastly, to thank, Jayne O’Gorman, MD at Azure for her lovely and amusing thank you speech. 

And to end, here is a funny piece from the event, a poem written for us from Lee Marshall Director of Agency Sales at ITC.

A POEM!

I thought it quite appropriate to share a little rhyme

I’ll only be a minute, so won’t take up too much time

Congratulations Essential Detail, it’s your anniversary

I’m reading out this poem, that’s been written, well, by me.

 

So best wishes to Essential, your anniversary’s china

And when it comes to representing, there is really no one finer

A brand that’s here for twenty years, is well worth celebration

Let us journey back to ninety-nine, so let’s have concentration

 

We didn’t have an I-phone, Instagram or Snapchat

Back then we had to talk to each other, can YOU remember that?

And in the luxury market, there was still room to swing a cat

With only one or two of us; yes, we really do miss that

 

So thank you Essential Detail, for twenty special years

We hope you liked the poem; don’t be shedding any tears.

You’re a very valued partner, here’s to another twenty

Enjoy the celebration, because we all love you plenty

 

Thank you to everyone who joined us for the evening. And thank you to all the trade for their support over the past 20 years.

Visit our YouTube page for more photos from the event.