By Theresa Goodwin
A US couple, with over a decade of experience in the hotel industry, are set to open Antigua and Barbuda’s first resort aimed at ‘plus size’ guests.
James and Karin King are the entrepreneurs behind The Resort, a new concept in the tourism industry which caters specifically to the needs of larger people by providing an environment where they can feel safe and at home – while having the time of their life.
The complex – at the Catamaran Hotel in Falmouth – will be only the second of its kind in the Caribbean, and follows its Bahamas counterpart which opened some years ago and continues to attract headlines.
The hotel is currently being upgraded and staff, according to James, are being trained ahead of the completion of the process. The upgrades will include specially designed wider beds and other furniture, pools and specialised amenities to accommodate bigger people.
James told Observer that the idea for The Resort was conceptualised following an incident he witnessed while working at a resort in Grenada, where a larger lady was forced to pay for a lounge chair which broke when she sat on it.
He said fellow beachgoers laughed at the woman who was visibly embarrassed.
“Forty percent of the world is plus sized and unfortunately most hotels are not built to accommodate them. My goal was to create an environment where everyone can go and be themselves without worry about being embarrassed or humiliated,” James said.
“The Resort looks no different than any other resort that you would see anywhere else in the Caribbean, except everything has been customised to accommodate you whether you weigh 90 pounds soaking wet or 390 pounds soaking wet.”
He said that, years ago, specially designed furniture for plus sized people was non-existent, however, things are changing slowly.
The entrepreneur also said while the resort is designed for larger people, all body sizes will be welcomed.