sun-lit restaurant at Kariwak, where guests are daily served
with home-made breads and bakes
December 1999, Kariwak Village Holistic Haven and Hotel copped
the Prime Ministers Award for Tourism. Owners/managers
Allan Clovis, right, and his wife Cynthia receive their award
from then Prime Minister Basdeo Panday, left, at the Trinidad
If Kariwak Village Holistic Haven and Hotel changes hands
anytime soon, it wont be the size of the cheque that
will sway its owners to sell.
been in business for 25 years, said Allan Clovis, in
an interview on Monday.
has a season. I think we need to look ahead over the next
five years for what will take place. We realise we cant
go on forever.
Clovis, whos co-owner/manager of the place with his
Canada-born wife Cynthia, was uncomfortable with the expression
that Kariwak is for sale.
for sale, he said.
He preferred to talk about the business of service, of aesthetics,
of Kariwaks 70 per cent repeat customers, of its herb
garden, of his wife training the staff and working with them
to bake breads and pastries and make sauces and jams from
feel Kariwak is more than a hotel, said Clovis, who
will turn 62 on December 18.
become a kind of institution for the industry. Its not
just another hotel. Thats why I hesitate to say its
The realistic side of Clovis said while the running of Kariwak
24/7 is a labour of love, he knows hes not getting any
needs to look ahead. We ought not to sit around and wait for
things to happen, said Clovis, whos also on the
board of Tobago Express.
testing the waters, that should there be any interest out
there that resonates with what Kariwak is about, we wont
be averse to entertaining any serious inquiries. We have here
more than a real estate stock. We have a human capital stock,
and these days that has some value.
The issue of Kariwaks sale was discussed at its board
level last Saturday, the same day he spoke with his 45-member
staff, of whom he said hes always been protective. Sixty
per cent of the Clovises staff has been with Kariwak
for at least ten years, he said.
staff is not for sale, he said.
There was a unanimous feeling among board members that a change
in Kariwaks management needs to be treated with dignity.
people have an interest, we could sit down and talk. Were
not in a rush. Kariwaks not something we have to get
rid of, we have no creditors on our heels, we are very comfortable,
said Clovis, who was raised in Arima.
just have to be realistic, one has to plan. If you want to
be out of here in three to five years, we have to start sending
a signal now. Maybe we could get a joint venture going so
there is a phasing of ownership. This is why price is not
not a question of the highest bidder, but a quality bidder
who wants to give me some assurances.
Even as he said that no creditors are knocking on Kariwaks
doors, Clovis spoke of some forces within the community
which are chipping away at your energies.
He spoke, too, of the shortage of labour because its
difficult for the hospitality industry to compete with the
Government paying labourers $140 to work for an hour or two.
Talk of the Clovises searching the market for the right people
to take over its management comes at the same time that the
Ministry of Tourism presented it with a service award at Angostura
House yesterday morning.
was a serious survey, Clovis said.
was the first time the (tourism) industry saw to getting a
reading on visitor experience in a fairly scientific way.
I wasnt even aware they were doing this. For a hotel
between 18 and 74 rooms, we came out as number one.
In the past, Kariwak has got awards for the best landscaped
facility and best hotel in T&T for three consecutive years.
The sale of Kariwak is being handled exclusively by Dawn Glaishers
Sea Jade Investments, which is listed with Association of
Real Estate Agents (Area).
will network through the Internet. Sea Jade Investments is
managing the approach, Clovis said.
will more than likely share the information with other agents
who may have an interest like this. She selects the clients.