Bernard Sarme, Port Ferdinand and Saint Peter’s Bay

Bernard Sarme

Luxury with Soul

Editors’ Note

Most recently, Bernard Sarme was the Project Director of Porto Cupecoy, a luxury condominium development in St-Maarten. He has also worked at the following resorts and destinations: Cap Juluca, Anguilla; Bora Bora; French Polynesia; La Samanna, Saint Martin; The Caravanserai Beach Resort, St-Maarten; Divi Little Bay, St-Maarten; Grand Pavilion Hotel and Conference Center, Grand Cayman; Cayman Islands; Bahamas; Bermuda; New Orleans; and Houston. Sarme also held position as Chairman of the Marketing Committee for the Cayman Islands and on the board of CHA.

Property Brief

For those seeking refinement in all things, alongside exceptional dining and unlimited recreation, Saint Peter’s Bay Luxury Resort & Residences (stpetersbaybarbados.com) is the all-inclusive answer. With its pristine beaches, rich history, and welcoming culture, the island of Barbados is an unforgettable experience for residents and guests alike. The resort features a winding lagoon-style pool and a variety of onsite activities and watersports, as well as the unique opportunity to watch turtles nesting and hatching from their sandy white beaches. Other amenities include a private water taxi, access to their sister property Port Ferdinand, a state-of-the-art fitness center, kid’s activities, and more.

Port Ferdinand Marina and Beach Club (portferdinand.com) is an extraordinary collection of spacious villa residences, world-class amenities, and authentic legendary Bajan service, at the heart of which lies one of the Caribbean’s preeminent marinas set on the edge of the Caribbean Ocean. Port Ferdinand’s array of amenities include the best of the island’s watersports, beautiful beaches, pure relaxation at the Sandbox Tree Spa, kid’s clubs and activities, a fully equipped fitness center, and on-site yacht berthing and services. Waterfront dining ranges from casual and convenient at the poolside bar to fine dining at the marina restaurant. With its pristine beaches, rich history, and welcoming culture, the island of Barbados is an unforgettable experience for residents and guests alike.

Saint Peter’s Bay Luxury Resort & Residences

Saint Peter’s Bay Luxury Resort & Residences

How do you see the state of Barbados today as a destination, and what are its advantages?

One of the main advantages of Barbados is the safety factor. For someone that has been in the Caribbean all my life, it’s a pleasure to be able to go around Barbados and feel safe all the time.

Also, people here are very friendly, and they go out of their way to be nice to tourists, which is also a pretty unusual thing.

When it comes to a mixture of business and vacation, we have good connection on the island – the Wi-Fi is very strong, the Internet is very accessible, and the telephone system is good, so that’s something to keep in mind because people like to be connected.

In addition, Barbados has efficient airlift from different places in the U.S. and Europe.

Will you talk about the quality of talent you can attract?

We invest quite a bit in training. We have a person who comes from Florida to make sure that, as managers, we train our employees on how to speak with guests and also how to have a family life. We make sure that we try to lead by example and have our management team not only give orders but care about what they say and work with the employees in the same way.

Will you provide an overview of the two properties, and how are they both positioned?

Saint Peter’s Bay was opened about seven years ago so it’s well established and has a high level of return clientele who sometimes come a few times a year. It’s situated right on the beach and is very comfortable – the staff gets to know the return guests and makes everyone feel welcome.

We have found that many of the guests take photos of the staff and post their pics on social media because it’s like they’re a part of their families.

Port Ferdinand is only about a year-and-a-half old. It’s very chic, and there is an elegance that runs through the property. One feels they are in a world where the entire staff is there for them.

Port Ferdinand Marina and Beach Club

Port Ferdinand Marina and Beach Club

Are you happy with the product for both properties, and are there changes expected?

I’m happy because we have a high standard of product in both places. It will get even better because, in the fall of this year, Nikki Beach will open on Port Ferdinand’s beach. It is world famous and will enhance our product.

Will you talk about how the exclusive amenities have been a differentiator in the space?

We have an exclusive spa, and the product used there is 100 percent organic. The philosophy is that whatever one puts on their skin is as important as what goes inside one’s body. The spa is magnificent and it’s very busy, and we make sure we always give perfect treatment to each of our guests.

We also have one of the most beautiful restaurants in Barbados with an incredible wine cellar. It’s one of the most romantic spots to have a wonderful dinner.

On both properties, we have an amazing kid’s club that is manned all day and an outside kid’s club as well.

The most popular item we have is that every guest that comes in gets a complimentary turtle tour on our boat – they go out on the ocean and swim with the turtles. Guests of all ages love this amenity.

In addition, we have a meet-and-greet at the airport. Every guest coming to either property is met at the airport by an exclusive agent that will get them through customs and immigration.

How important is it to have ownership that is continuing to invest in the property?

Our owners’ model is focused on luxury with soul, and they want to give back to the country of Barbados, as they have been very successful there. They also have a polo club, and we’re getting into polo season now. Each of our owners has their own polo field, and guests are invited to watch the games free of charge.

Did you know early on that being a hotelier was the career for you?

I started hotel school in France and finished it in Switzerland, and my oodfather was Chief Executive of the Princess Hotel in Bermuda, and he told me to come and work for him upon graduation, so I was set.

Is the passion for this business still there for you?

I always look forward to work – I even come in on my days off.