happy 60th birthday Lise

happy 60th birthday Lise

On Saturday June 29th our proprietor Lise reached her big-six-o and of course that was a good reason to celebrate and to do some other things than just the usual weekend workdays.

We actually started already on Friday by giving ourselves time to get a guided tour of the new Hotel Kempinski which is still under construction. The opening is scheduled for October and it looks like they still have a lot to do but General Manager Michael Schoonewagen feels confident they will be ready in time.

What an impressive 5-star Grand Luxe resort this is going to be. A majestic entry and lobby, sea views all around, 3 restaurants, a conference center, more swimming pools than you can imagine, a fitness and spa complex like you’ve never seen and even the smallest room is bigger and more luxurious than the superior rooms in Hotel The Champs.
Our tour also included all the kitchens, offices, and the spaces “in the back” for the staff. Picture this: a buffet restaurant for the 175 staff that can easily compete with any public restaurant on island :-).

This resort is absolutely going to be a big addition to our island and for those guests who cannot afford the 5-start room rates (they are scary…) The Champs can offer a great alternative:
Book a Superior XL room at The Champs and have some money left to go dine in one of the 3 restaurants of Kempinski or treat yourself to a day in their spa. Our beds and our personalized service will make you feel like a 5-star VIP guest and the perks at Kempinski will complete your vacation of a lifetime. We will be happy to shuttle you up and down.

So back to Lise’s birthday. Friday night we enjoyed dinner prepared by Chef Francis and Tarnita in our own restaurant at Hotel The Champs. Friday night is pizza night but we took one of the alternative dishes, the mussels & shrimps in white wine sauce with a side salad. I just love that sauce. I used one of the shells of the mussels to scoop up the sauce to the very last bit. Delicious.
For the Saturday we had in mind to go “shop” for a new car for Lise and her staff team. The current vehicle has survived hurricane Maria but we never really brought it back in good shape and the engine is giving us challenges so we’re ready for the next one.
Bad luck for us, or is it that we just don’t pay enough attention? We drove to Canefield to find out that Auto Trade is not open for sales in Saturday morning since the hurricane. Well, I tried to check that on Friday using my WhatsApp but I should have made a phone call. So now Lise just had a nice island ride in the sun on the Saturday but no signed deal for a new car. Sorry Lise!

Saturday evening dinner was the “pièce de résistance” of Lise’s birthday. We were going to have dinner in the Zing Zing Restaurant of Secret Bay. What a delicious and relaxing experience.
We were treated by executive chef Grant Lynott and his team to culinary trip around the world with start and finish in Dominican ingredients and flavors that we did not discover in the 12 years we are here on island. Paired with the welcome cocktail, via the excellent wines, to the after dinner drink the taste combinations of food and drinks were heavenly.

So beloved guests staying at Hotel The Champs here is some good news for you: the Zing Zing Restaurant is now open to the public, but be aware, you cannot just walk in. If you’re staying at The Champs and you have something special to celebrate and would like to have dinner or lunch at the Zing Zing, then we can try to make a reservation for you. If they have an opening then you will receive two forms to fill in: one for your credit card and one to inform the kitchen about your food preferences, allergies, dietary requirements etc. Chef Grant wants to be well prepared because this is what he wants to give you: “Indulge in nutrient-rich, colorful and succulent island fare with a personalised dinner program designed by our executive chef himself and delivered fresh in the comfortable surroundings of the beautiful Zing Zing Restaurant.“
Dinner or lunch at Secret Bay is not just eating; it’s a culinary feast for your all your senses and especially for your taste buds.

And the party for Lise’s birthday wasn’t over yet. For Sunday afternoon Lise had invited her island friends to come over for a pot luck pool party. While Lise provided a good start for the drinks and snacks the other guests came with their own favorites to share with all. We cooled in the pool, were lazy at the sun beds, sat in the shade of the big umbrella, and chatted with each other. A great relax until after sunset and time the switch the colorful pool lights on. Our Dominican StayCation guests joined the fun and had a good time like all the others.
Now that our extended pool deck is (almost) ready with small service area, a changing room and toilet and room to move all around at the pool a new facility opens up at The Champs. Dominicans can now come and enjoy our special StayCation offers and see with Lise how to combine that with time at the pool with their friends and family. Hotel guests of course have free access to the pool and get complimentary use of pool towels. Friends can be invited using our new Pool & Restaurant Combo and you can all have a great afternoon at the pool and enjoy the colorful cocktails and savory snacks of The Champs. Life in Dominica keeps getting better and better with Hotel The Champs.

Are you already seeing yourself enjoying a dinner at Secret Bay, a spa treatment at Kempinski, or an afternoon at the pool of Hotel The Champs Check out the links, book a StayCation and allow yourself to live life to the fullest right here in Dominica.