Manager Paul Ingram” I can’t wait for the new season to start” – Tamarind Hotel at its best

POSTED: 11/16/12 6:05 PM

St. Maarten – The Tamarind Hotel located in Pointe Blanche has made its return into the market, by being number 1 on Tripadvisor for the past six months. Last year the hotel’s ranking was number 12 out of 13 hotels located in Philipsburg. But with the arrival of new Managing Director Paul Ingram last year, the hotel made his way back to the top.

Tamarinds first owner, former Managing Director of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam Jan Visser, bought the property in the early eighties. He started the construction of several apartments but when he ran out of money he asked two business owners to invest in the project. After finalizing the hotel, Visser didn’t have the money to pay his investors so he gave them apartments in return. When he called Ingram to invest in the hotel’s pool he did the same thing and paid him with real estate. This was the first time Ingram came into contact with the hotel. Over the years he stayed involved with the Tamarind and when the offer came to buy the hotel 30 years later, he didn’t hesitate. “I always had sentimental feelings for the hotel,” Ingram said. “My children grew up here and it’s still a special place.”

After buying the Tamarind Hotel Ingram did a lot to change it. “When I bought it, the hotel was in a really bad state. Paint was falling off, it was outdated and the garden was nothing of how it should be,” he said. “I worked 16 hours per day to build it back up, all my time went into cleaning, repairing and replacing so the hotel looked as new again.”

Ingram did what he had to do; he replaced all doors and windows, painted the hotel and gave the garden around it new life. He has a new full time maintenance service which the hotel did not have before. “Before I came, for example, if a key was broken it sometimes could take up to two or three days to get it fixed. Now with the full time maintenance service the guests won’t have to worry that their room can’t close, we can fix it now right away”.

That and the friendly staff made the hotel go to the top of the list. Not long after de hotel’s deli unexpectedly closed a few months ago, it went back from number 1 to number 2, but Ingram does not see that as a setback. ”My goal is to place us back to the number 1 spot which will be very good for the hotel and its guests. Holland House which is the number one now, is on the ocean, but we have tropical gardens and a swimming pool which they do not have. In order to improve what we have, for a start, I bought new garden materials and plants to make the garden even look better for the upcoming season.”

Ingram looks with confidence and good expectations at the upcoming season. “We did a lot of advertising on the island, but also in the Dutch newspaper ‘De Telegraaf’ and in ‘Winair Island Destinations’ which is available in the airplane. I am pleased to see that we are almost fully booked for the coming period, so I can’t wait for the season to start.”

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