Pioneering Caribbean hotelier Sir Royston O. Hopkin, owner and chairman of Grenada’s Spice Island Beach Resort in his native Grenada, died Saturday, said resort officials.
“It is with deep sadness and profound regret that the Spice Island Beach Resort confirms the passing of its iconic owner and chairman, Sir Royston O. Hopkin,” reads a February 22 statement on the resort’s Facebook page.
“The resort joins with Sir Royston’s family in asking for privacy while the members of his wider family and our resort staff are informed,” the post adds. “A more detailed statement will be released once this process is completed.”
Last year Hopkin received Grenada’s Minister’s Outstanding Achievement Award and a Lifetime Achievement award the organizers of the Caribbean Hotel and Resort Investment Summit (CHRIS) conference.
“It is a true honor to be recognized with the Minister’s Outstanding Achievement Award,” Hopkin said upon receiving the honor. “As I accept this prestigious recognition, I reflect on how far we’ve come and the continued growth we are realizing today.”
“I am elated Sir Royston, a well-known and respected leader in the Caribbean tourism industry, is being recognized” with the Grenada award, said Dr. Clarice Modeste-Curwen, Grenada’s minister for tourism and civil aviation.
Among other achievements, Hopkin was widely considered crucial in attracting increased airlift to Grenada in the last decade, both through the operation of his all-inclusive luxury resort and his advocacy for the destination among tourism stakeholders and suppliers.
“Sir Royston and Spice Island Beach Resort have raised the bar in the tourism industry to a level that has earned recognition locally, regionally and internationally,” said CHRIS conference officials in a statement.
Hopkin began his tourism career in 1965, working in his family’s business, the Ross Point Inn. He was appointed to the Grenada Board of Tourism at age 20, serving for 18 consecutive years. At 24 Hopkin became the first Grenada native to be elected president of the Grenada Hotel Association, a position he held 14 times.
Hopkin purchased a majority interest in Spice Island Inn in 1987 and later became owner and chairman of the property, which he renamed Spice Island Beach Resort. Under his leadership the property expanded from 28 to 66 suites by 2000, that year completing a $6 million transformation.
In addition, Hopkin served on CHTA’s board of directors and held numerous positions in the group beginning in 1970 including chairman, president, vice president and director. He was a recipient of CHTA’s “Hotelier of the Year” award and received Lifetime Achievement awards from CHTA and CTO.
In December 2004 Queen Elizabeth II conferred Hopkin with the title Knight Commander of The Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George for his contributions to tourism in Grenada and the Caribbean.
The knighthood is awarded to “men and women who hold high office or who render extraordinary or important non-military service in a foreign country,” to England. Grenada is an independent British sovereign state.
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