By Neto Baptiste
Management at the Starfish Halcyon Cove Resort said the recent incident with the Jamaica men’s national football team, has left both staff and management baffled and has sought to debunk reports that some rooms posed a “health risk” to members of the team.
General Manager, Arlene Marsh, while admitting the resort is not five star, said her team works hard to ensure guests are comfortable with their accommodations.
“Our staff works extremely hard. We are very proud Antiguans, we’re proud of our island, we’re proud of the hotel industry, so we are proud of the product we offer. Halcyon is not a young hotel and the entire world knows that. We don’t pretend to be a new resort or a posh resort but what we offer is good quality service, good food and clean accommodation,” she said.
On Tuesday, news broke that the Jamaica Reggae Boyz had refused to attend early morning training sessions as they were not pleased with the accommodations at Halcyon Cove.
Amongst the gripe from players were complaints of old furniture, malfunctioning equipment and inadequate bedding.
Marsh said, however, that the rooms allocated to the Jamaica delegation were the only ones available at the time, as the Jamaicans had failed to confirm their booking in a timely manner. She added that no one from the Jamaican contingent had attempted to address the issue with management.
“It’s quite unfortunate the way it happened because we were contacted by the Jamaican team some time in October when they were speaking with the accountant, Shawn Rogers. They asked for rates, said the hotel came highly recommended, so we sent them the rates, the backing details like if you need to book that these are the conditions that we book under and we hadn’t heard a single word from them,” the manager said.
“About three days before they arrived, Mr Rogers contacted them to let them know that the hotel is practically full, there is an international tennis tournament going on in Antigua so the majority of the rooms would have been already taken. They sent back to say fine, they were coming and they send through the payment. Unfortunately, they did not say what type of rooms they wanted, where they wanted the rooms to be located, what type of bedding, nothing of the sort,” Marsh added.
Reggae Boyz team manager, Roy Simpson, denied claims the team left the hotel without first consulting with management, stating he had dialogued with at least one member of the resort’s management.
“The very night we checked in, we had issues with the room that we brought to the attention of Mr Rogers and he was the one dealing with our reservations and bookings. Even when some of the players checked in their rooms that were supposed to be double rooms, it ended up being single so we had to do a lot of manoeuvring and moving around of persons. So even from the initial check-in, the hotel was aware that the rooms were not adequate enough in terms of basic accommodations that we had expected,” he said. The Reggae Boyz will take on hosts Antigua and Barbuda Benna Boys in a CONCACAF Nations League fixture here at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground on Friday, starting at 8 pm.