Diary and News

It’s our 50th Anniversary 16th July

The site of the original family home was once a vast coconut estate where in the 1950s, St Lucian planter, Dennis Barnard built his house on the Malabar Beach. Shortly thereafter, the family decided to extend the property. With 20 bedrooms, The Malabar Beach Hotel that catered to the needs of commercial transient traveller was opened.

In August 1982, Craig Barnard took out a franchise and began operating their hotel as “Couples” – the first all – inclusive resort for the holiday – maker on the island. The franchise, originally taken out for ten years, finally expired in April 1993 and “Rendezvous” – the most intimate, romantic all-inclusive resort for couples only in the Cariibbean was born.

50 Years of Commitment

Since Malabar Beach Hotel opened its doors in 1966, the aim was to provide a truly personalised, intimate and romantic holiday. That vision has never changed. Today, Rendezvous is still an escape for couples from the stresses and strains of everyday life. What better way to celebrate this momentous occasion than with our wonderful guests. On the 16th of July, 2016, join us in celebrating 50 years of continuous service to you!

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Summer Tryst

Welcome to holiday of StolenTime, designed to remind special couples like you, what made you special together in the first place.

Within the context of the frenetic pace of life today, we recognize that spending quality time together to reconnect is not easy to orchestrate. This is why we have created a place and a holiday of StolenTime that you can fully customise to meet your specific needs and desires. Within Five Holiday Experience Themes carefully selected to inspire you and enrich your relationship, we invite you to select activities or experiences that speak to you

This summer, Rendezvous will be presenting for the first time ever – Summer Tryst, the discovery of new experiences together. Our guests say they come to the resort to pause and reboot. A summer break at Rendezvous offers just that. From July to September, couples can look forward to cooking and discovering exotic herbs and spices, taking photography classes set against the backdrop of breathtaking scenery, diving through turquoise blue Caribbean seas, seeking adventure through rain forests, majestic mountains and magical sites and relaxing by learning yoga or Pilates or being pampered with sensual spa experiences.

If you are looking for new, refreshing experiences you can share together or just want to have fun discovering the undiscovered St. Lucia, Summer Tryst is ideal for you.

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Our Golden Anniversary

On July 16, 2016 Rendezvous celebrated its 50th Anniversary. With warm wind, white sand and special edition champagne flowing, it was an evening to remember. Guests from the hotel as well as the local business and government community were greeted by the Rendezvous’ senior management team and escorted to Malabar Beach where a bonfire was lit, food was served and drinks were poured.

Speeches were made by General Manager Yhasmine Remy-Hylton, Managing Director Andrew Barnard and Minister of Tourism Dominic Fedee before the onset of a spectacular fireworks show. Celebrations ensued with live music and a performance by a fire breather to cap the evening.

We would like to thank all those who came out to celebrate our Golden Anniversary as well as those who have supported Rendezvous over the years.

Diary and News

Why Should I Take Dance Lessons with my Wife?

Every man  at one point or another ask themselves that very question.

I have an answer, but first I need to tell you a little story.

Imagine we are on the beautiful island of St Lucia. Its a few minutes until 11 am and we are about to start a dance class overlooking the beach. Breathtaking.

I cross the sand to the Rotunda for the first JiveJune dance class at Rendezvous: Foxtrot.
Social Foxtrot is a sweet dance. If you enjoy Frank Sinatra, Micheal Buble, Natalie Cole, then I recommend learning a bit of social Foxtrot.

As I started, I notice one couple in particular: Mike and Pat. Pat is VERY excited about the class… Mike not so much. “I’m not much of a dancer,” Mike murmured.

I smiled and replied to the class, “If you can walk, then you can dance social Foxtrot.’

I went over the basics and noticed immediately Mike was having trouble just taking a single step.

Dancing simply said is MOVEMENT. You can find dance in parts of your everyday life. Just add some music and a bit of structure; now we’re DANCING! However in a dance lesson environment, some people get anxious and overcomplicate things. I can’t dance echoes in their heads. Then all of a sudden a simple moment like walking becomes strained and awkward.

This was happening with Mike. He was stuck in his head and made things complex and different — it didn’t have to be.

“No worries. Let’s all kick off our sandals and just walk. Really, just walk like normal. Across the floor. How would you do it?”

Mike hesitantly walked across the floor. I said, “Would you walk like that? Really just walk normally.” He relaxed, I grabbed his hand, and we walked across the dance floor.

That was my first glimpse of Mike as a dancer.

Mike and Pat became regulars in my classes: Foxtrot, Swing, Jive, Merengue, Salsa, Cha Cha. It didn’t matter what type of class was listed, they where there. They even joined the mini lesson before the Thursday Merengue Dance Party night.

During the party I sat with them. “You did GREAT,“ I said. “You’ve come along way!’
Mike replied, “ Do you know how outside of my comfort zone I was? I knew there would be TONS of people watching!”

Later that week Pat, Mike and I chatted over dinner.

“I always wanted to dance,” said Pat, “We just didn’t really have the chance. We love Strictly Come Dancing and watch it every week.” Even Mike admitted he had become a big Strictly fan.

Mike and Pat had been married 29 years and had never taken a dance lesson together.

I had to know WHY? Why NOW? After 29 years?

Pat said, “We saw all the dance classes offered and realised we had the opportunity to take two dance lessons everyday —as part of the all-inclusive package. And the activities staff were just so welcoming. We thought why not give it a try. “

Mike said, “Well she asked me.’ He continued, “and you know its good to keep the wife happy.”

Pat smiled, “A wife just wants to be able to dance with her husband.”

Mike and Pat have come a long way. They took 10 lessons at Rendezvous and started practicing moves in their room. They even videoed the steps in order to practice when they returned home.

Pat smiled and said, “We will always have this memory of learning to dance on holiday. Now when we dance, we will remember Rendezvous.”

Who would have thought a simple all inclusive holiday would open up a new way for them to relate to each other. That after 29 years they still love and care for one another enough to go way outside of one’s comfort zone (Mike) and to have patience with the learning process (Pat).

Who would have thought? But this isn’t just any couples resort, it’s #JiveJune at Rendezvous, where #StolenTime may mean you ask your lady…

Can I have this dance?

By Jennifer Benavidez, pictured here with our friendly activities staff, is one of the guest presenters for JIVE JUNE. She shares her passion for dance the world over. @SalsaJennifer

Diary and News

Do we REALLY need to switch partners in dance class?

It happens all the time in dance classes. The teacher yells SWITCH PARTNERS! But why you ask, when I have my own partner! I want to dance with THEM! There’s several reasons but most likely there is not an even ratio of leaders to followers. Simply, there’s either more ladies, or perhaps more men, in the dance class.

However, I’m teaching at Rendezvous, a couples resort, and there’s a perfect ratio of leaders to followers. However, attend my class and you will still hear me announce SWITCH PARTNERS!
It’s JiveJune and I’m teaching Social Foxtrot. It’s raining outside so we have a busy class: 5 couples and 4 activities staff. 15 people in a dance class, that mean its going to be a party. We will be working on our dance floor maneuvering skills.

One of the couples, David & Carly, I had met a few days before during their first dance consultation.  Normally when I help a couple with their first dance, the initial lesson is at least 2 hours. However I’m in St Lucia and beach time is precious! The month of June is dedicated to all things dance so Rendezvous is offering a complimentary 45 min first dance consultation with a wedding dance specialist —yours truly! Perfect for couples getting married on the resort.

It was Wednesday, Carly and David were getting married on Friday in front of a small group of family and friends. They weren’t too worried about dancing here on resort. However, back in the UK there’s going to be a BIG party. Now the pressure is on for their first dance.

“We’ve talked about it,” said Carly as she looked at David, “But we just didn’t have time.”  David smiled and nodded. “We were just so busy moving house and getting ready for this trip. We simply ran out of time.”
This happens to many couples who are planning a wedding. One of the last things they think about is a first dance. As a dance teacher, I wish it was one of the first.

I asked what is their song. David replies, ”Rule the World by Take That.“  I search for it on YouTube and have a listen.  It’s a 45 min lesson and I need to figure out quickly a routine that fits the song type and their dance ability.

Now for my second question, “Have either of you taken dance lessons?”  They both reply “No.” “Ok, well then we better get started!’ I respond.

I teach David and Carly a few step patterns, and to my surprise, they move pretty well together—like really well. The whole concept of lead and follow was very natural for them. W O W. This ONE concept of the man leading and the lady following can really be an obstacle for couples. Sometimes it is the one thing we work on for an entire hour.
But for Carly and David, it’s smooth sailing on Caribbean seas.

We had great lesson. I was so excited I ran over time.  I wrote down some notes, and they promised to practice! I told them to attend the dance classes on the JiveJune schedule; besides it’s part of the all inclusive package!
So now we are in the Foxtrot class. 5 couples. Different ages from different backgrounds, cultures, and countries. They are moving together and having a laugh, some struggling some floating. Midway through the lesson I say SWITCH PARTNERS.

I get a few strange looks.

I repeat, “OK everyone switch partners!” I joke “That should be the easiest part of the lesson!”

I start the music and everyone starts the patterns. I see David now having trouble doing the steps. Actually a few people, ladies and men, had a challenge, while others continued easily.

Five minutes left in class and I’m about to play the last song. I announce, “Ok go back to your original partner.” You see everyone smile and find their other half. Music and dancing. Laughter and chatting with Micheal Buble singing in the background.

Class ends, we all clap and it’s time for sundowners, a great way to relax after a dance lesson!
Later after dinner,  I join David and Carly for drinks. We chat about the dancing. David said, ”The class was great but I really had a difficult time when we switched partners!”

“Yes, I know, that’s why I do it,” I explained. “In a dance class environment, people are likely to be more polite to a stranger than their own partner. Switching stops most of the fussing.” David and Carley weren’t fussing, but two OTHER couples were.

“But more importantly,” I added, “It allows people to see just how well their partner can dance. You have something to compare things to.”

“Yes, I was really struggling with a few of the ladies,” added David

I continue, “One realises wow I’m not so bad. Or oh this is how it should be lead.  Overall, it really makes you appreciate your dance partner.”

Carley smiled and said “Yes! It sure does! “ as she touched David’s hand.

I saw David and Carly on their wedding day. She has these soft amazing green eyes. She was glowing. David has this confident strength, you could see how proud he was.
They were with a small group of friends and family— all smiles and laughter and love.

#JiveJune at Rendezvous, where #StolenTime allows you to prepare for your first dance, and perhaps rediscover just how wonderful your partner is.

Jennifer Benavidez is a guest presenter for JIVE JUNE. One of her specialties is teaching First Dances. She shares her passion for dance the world over.  @SalsaJennifer

Diary and News

Barnard Family is honoured by the Prime Minister of Saint Lucia

The Saint Lucia government recently acknowledged the 50-year contribution of the Barnard family to the growth of the hospitality sector.

The Government of Saint Lucia has paid tribute to a local family for its contribution to the development of Saint Lucia’s tourism industry.

On Aug. 16, government officials led by Prime Minister Hon. Allen Chastanet, and the Minister in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Tourism, Hon. Dominic Fedee, gathered at the official residence of the Prime Minister, along with representatives from the  Saint Lucia Hotel and Tourism Association (SLHTA) and the Saint Lucia Tourist Board (SLTB), to recognize the contribution of the Barnard family to the growth of the hospitality sector over the past 50 years.

“This family, under the Rendezvous brand, has the distinction of being the only hotel proprietors on island to have managed a property for 50 years without changing owners.” Minister Fedee said. “When you consider the complexities and challenges of the hotel industry just surviving for that length of time is amazing. However when you consider the manner in which the Barnard family achieved this milestone, all the while holding the flag of Saint Lucia high and with distinction, its simply an extraordinary feat.”

Prime Minister Allen Chastanet presented a commemorative plaque to hotelier Andrew Barnard, and expressed government’s appreciation for the Barnard family’s contribution to the tourism sector, and made mention of the hundreds who had gained employment over the years and the hotel’s direct economic injection into the local economy over the past five decades.

The 10-acre Rendezvous hotel is located along Vigie beach, near the George F.L Charles Airport in Castries. The Barnard family not only owns and manages the award winning Rendezvous hotel, but also the acclaimed Body Holiday property located in the island’s extreme north.

Sourced from Access Government 

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New Honeymoon Experiences at The Holiday of Stolen Time

At Rendezvous, the holiday of “Stolen Time”, there are new inventive ideas for honeymoon couples to choose from to make the start of a new life together unforgettable. The idea of Rendezvous’ themed weddings – the “Ever After Collection” has now inspired “Ever After Honeymoons” and there are three wonderful experiences so far to choose from.

Of course because Rendezvous has a team of real romantic specialists – it is perfectly possible simply to design your own wonderful time on the Romantic island of Saint Lucia.

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Online Check In Now Available

If you have already booked, then here’s the perfect way to begin stealing time, even before you leave home. Rendezvous’ new online check in facility, allows you to pre register saving time at the hotel lobby when you arrive. After a long plane journey, the best thing for both of you is to get to your room with no fuss so you can start to unwind.

It’s also possible to prebook services and activities so please take full advantage. It really doesn’t matter if you book direct with us, through a travel agency or a tour operator, everyone can check in.

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Travelers’ Choice Award

We Won!

TripAdvisor has announced the winners of its 2018 Traveler’s Choice Awards for destinations, recognizing travelers’ favorite places around the world. We are very happy to announce that Rendezvous is a proud recipient of this award!

A Travelers’ Choice award is a huge achievement, and a powerful way to stand out from our competitors. We are honored that we have been recognized by the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice for this prestigious prize.

Established in 2002, Travelers’ Choice awards are the highest honor TripAdvisor can bestow. The only travel industry awards based on millions of reviews and opinions from travelers around the world, these annual awards reflect “the best of the best” for service, quality, and customer satisfaction, from hotels and accommodations to destinations, attractions, and even brands and products.

Travelers’ Choice award winners are selected annually based on feedback from millions of TripAdvisor members. Travelers’ Choice awards single out not just popular choices, but truly exceptional ones that keep travelers coming back.

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2018 Staff Recognition

Each year, the management and staff at Rendezvous come together to celebrate each other’s dedication and commitment to the brand. On Wednesday January 31st 2018, the team came together in large numbers to do just that!

Special recognition was given to various persons like Veronica Charles and Michael Adonis for “Employees of the Year”, Sandra Jn Baptiste and Paulin Biscette for “Most Customer Focused” and “Team Leader of the Year”, Angus Sexius.

Also, various departments were given recognition for team effort and for the second year in a row, The Spa in the Water Garden won the award for “Department of the Year”!

We would like to thank all our guests for all the wonderful comments you have made through various platforms which helped us with the selection process. Your feedback, together with their stories of excellence, paves the way for our winners every year.