LETTER: Disappointed with Elite Island Resort

I’m writing this letter because I’m frustrated and disappointed with Elite Island Resort.  After watching Kelly Ripa, from the nationally syndicated show “Kelly and Ryan Live” on ABC network rave about the St.James Club, we started planning a 70th Birthday celebrationn for my Father.
We booked 24 rooms consisting of 65 people, totaling $ 53,045.97.  Two weeks ago we were informed by family members who live on the island, of the sargassum seaweed problem affecting the beach at St James Club.  We immediately contacted our group sales representative, Shelia Camille and asked if we could be relocated to Verandah Resort and Spa.
We were told on Wednesday, June 13, 2018, that they had the availability and we would be relocated,  On Tuesday, June 19, 2018 we received a call from Shelia Camille asking if we were willing to stay one night at St.James Club and then be relocated to Verandah Resort and Spa.
We declined the offer and said we would like to remain at the Verandah Resort and Spa for our entire stay.  Today we received a disturbing phone call from Cheri Selfridge, Senior Director of Sales and Charitable Contributions that our group cannot be accommodated and we will be moved back to the St. James Club.  Ms. Selfridge assured us that the beaches are getting better and the condition is being corrected daily.
After reading numerous reports from the Antigua observer, Antigua Newsroom, Trip advisor post, youtube post and various social media outlets, stating that The St James Club is being forced to close from July 01, 2018 until October 01, 2018.  Our group is booked from July 05, 2018 through July 12, 2018.  We spoke to a friend who recently was laid off by St James Club, due to the temporary closing of the resort.
Ms  Selfridge said that our stay is confirmed and we will not be accommodated for the  sargassum seaweed problem. When sargassum seaweed is wet, it reduces hydrogen sulfide, and produces bacteria that can result in mild skin rash or irritation,  It can also cause the eyes to be irritated.  A significant amount of people including children from our party, already suffers from respiratory issues.  Elite Island Resorts is being extremely negligent in efforts to sustain profits from our group.
I trust that Elite Island Resort is a company with integrity and will honor our accommodations at Verandah Resort and Spa that was booked on Wednesday, June 13, 2018.

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  1. I feel for this tourist and their group party. I hope that the Elite Island Resort can sort this out and honor their accommodations to stay at the Verandah Resort & Spa instead. Tourism is Antiguans & Barbudans life line.

  2. I understand her plight . However if the closure is due to the cost associated with cleaning the beach daily. Then a few extra days won’t hurt the cleaning team. If St James said they are going to accommodate them I think they should get the tourism head number on speed dial, get to Antigua and see what St James is doing. In the end they were booked for St James, Also it’s a good thing. They will have the place all to themselves. Less people less air pollution.
    Visit the island, if I know the tourism brand in Antigua. They will be taken care of both by Elite island and or the ministry of tourism.

  3. They handled it poorly. I have family members who were not even contacted to be told that the hotel was closing and certainly not given any assistance with rebooking at Veranda (full) or Pineapple.

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