GENEVA, Switzerland — In the wake of the opening last year of Cuba’s first luxury five-star hotel, Gran Hotel Manzana Kempinski La Habana, Kempinski Hotels continues expanding selectively in the Caribbean with luxury developments in Cuba and Dominica, including the upcoming Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica.
Set to open in 2019, this luxurious island hideaway is surrounded by Cabrits National Park in Dominica. Known for its natural beauty and eco-tourism, Dominica is located in the Lesser Antilles region of the Caribbean, and is home to 365 rivers, waterfalls and hot springs.
Kempinski has appointed Michael J. Schoonewagen as general manager of Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica. Schoonewagen is an experienced and passionate hotelier with some 30 years of experience and deep expertise in luxury resorts, honed in missions across Europe, the South Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Caribbean with renowned luxury brands. He will lead the team to open this first luxury resort for Kempinski in Dominica, working closely with partners, Range Developments, to position the island as the new go-to luxury travel destination in the region.
Commenting on this appointment, Xavier Destribats, COO The Americas, said: “We are delighted to welcome Michael to the Kempinski family. With his successful track-record of managing luxury resort properties in pioneering destinations, and his focused expertise in the luxury segment, I am confident that Michael will build on our considerable momentum in the region with the opening of Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica next year.”
Schoonewagen added: “It is a great privilege to join Kempinski and lead this exciting development in Dominica. I have long admired the pioneering spirit and cultural empathy of Kempinski as a luxury heritage brand, and look forward to building on these roots to create the ultimate luxury destination in the Caribbean.”
Mohammed Asaria, founder of Range Developments, said: “Hiring a general manager is a key step in completing a successful project – it shows the project is 12 months away from opening. Having Michael Schoonewagen on board at this stage is a clear sign of commitment from Range and Kempinski and reflects well both on the development and the future of tourism in Dominica.”
Range Developments is the award winning and leading developer of resorts in the Caribbean under the citizenship by investment programmes. Range’s flagship development, the Park Hyatt St Kitts, opened its doors in November 2017 and has established itself as the finest hotel in the Caribbean. CNN has singled it out as “the Best Hotel in the Caribbean”. It has also been included in Condé Nast Traveler’s 2018 hot list “Best New Hotels in the World”.
Range’s second development, the Cabrits Resort Kempinski Dominica, is rapidly advancing and is expected to open in the third quarter of 2019.
Six Senses St Kitts is Range’s latest project, located on the northwestern side of the island and will further complement the country’s CIP and tourism product. The Six Senses St Kitts is scheduled to open in 2020.
Established in 1897, Kempinski Hotels is Europe’s oldest luxury hotel group and now comprises a portfolio of 75 five-star hotels and residences in 33 countries and continues to add new properties in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.