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Kempinski Dominica Cabrits Resort = Great New Hotel but Opening Prices Too High

Kempinski Dominica Cabrits Resort = Great New Hotel but Opening Prices Too High

Old Dec 18, 19, 8:23 am
  #1  
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Kempinski Dominica Cabrits Resort = Great New Hotel but Opening Prices Too High

Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica

Map| 1 Review | 100% Recommended

Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica

Bell Hall Road Cabrits, DM

Kempinski Dominica Cabrits Resort = Great New Hotel but Opening Prices Too High (22 Photos)

Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica

Disclaimer: we did not stay overnight at Kempinski Cabrits Resort Dominica so it's not a complete hotel review, but we stopped by for lunch because we were curious to see this new hotel which opened in October.  Without having seen the rooms, the hardware of the resort looks fantastic by worldwide standards based on the look of the common areas, and even more so by local standards since Dominica did not have a luxury hotel before Kempinski.  My concern is more about the price point and whether the hotel will be successful commanding the price premium they want in this destination.

Location

Kempinski is in Portsmouth which is not close to either the airport or the capital Roseau but the location of the property feels secluded and private.  The drive to Roseau is probably one hour away making their target audience mostly vacationers.  In terms of resort where people go there and stay there to relax, yes it looks great but you can have a similar experience in other islands more easily reachable than Dominica with direct flights to the U.S. so Kempinski probably has to compete more with surrounding islands rather than having to compete with other hotels in Dominica.  Dominica is more of a nature/adventure type of destination to go out and about during the day, but if you stay at Kempinski it seems designed for guests to stay on the resort.  In my opinion the hotel will need to find their niche over time to attract adventurous guests who would not find what they are looking for in other Caribbean islands, but who also want to split their stay with several days of relaxation on the hotel premises.

Common Areas

The common areas of the hotel look great and everything is luxurious.  It’s been a few years since I stayed in a Kempinski hotel anywhere but the feeling I got of the place was the level of a Park Hyatt, Waldorf Astoria, or Luxury Collection / St.Regis if we can compare to other hotel chains.  The pool is very large and has several sections to it, there are many restaurants including interesting areas such as the roof of the pool side restaurant, etc.  The bar looks nice as well and has views of the Caribbean sea.  Dominica is not the best destination for people looking for a beach, but at least Kempinski is on a small beach so you have easy access to the sea.

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Dining

The lunch menu is interesting but the price level is for a captive audience.  The problem is that guests are within walking distance to the village of Portsmouth so they are not entirely captive and this price level is not aligned with local standards, but then again there are no hotels in Dominica of the caliber of Kempinski.  Time will tell if they will be able to sustain this price point.  The food was good but not overly stunning.  For one main course (no appetizer) and a glass of wine each for a couple with a final bill over 100 USD – this can raise eyebrows.

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Room

Speaking of price, depending on dates the room rates at the hotel right now are north of 400 USD for the entry level room without water views and without a private pool which is possibly not realistic before they build their reputation.  The room is spacious 56 square meters but not a suite.  For suites including water views and a private pool, the price point is higher than St.Regis Maldives which is unlikely to work in the long run in my humble opinion.  

 

Overall

The most surprising aspect of our visit was how empty the resort was.  At lunch time the weather was good but there was nobody at all at the pool.  In the restaurant it was only us plus another party of 3.  I never expect a new resort to operate at full capacity only 2.5 months after opening but this was very empty so I guess it’s a good time right now to visit if someone wants peace and not an overrun hotel.  In the medium term they probably need to ramp up the marketing and/or reduce prices otherwise they might struggle to fill the hotel, regardless how great the property looks because they need to build a clientele first.  

Bottom line if someone is looking for a great property to spend time on the resort mixed up with some adventure tours in the mountains, and does not mind that Dominica is not the easiest place to reach with limited flights, then it will be a good fit because the resort is very quiet at the moment so the timing cannot be better to book at this hotel in the next few months.  But longer term I suspect they will have to reduce rates to fill their property.

Kempinski Dominica Cabrits Resort = Great New Hotel but Opening Prices Too High

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escape4 is offline  
Old Feb 8, 20, 12:41 pm
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Thanks for this review! Great to hear that this property is on par with other luxury brands. Plus, a very unique location for a Kempinski.
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