Kempinski names leadership to launch world-class luxury resort in Dominica

Michael J. Schoonewagen (left) and Tracey Fentem

PORTSMOUTH, DOMINICA – Two luxury hospitality veterans have been appointed by Europe’s oldest luxury property group, Kempinski Hotels, to lead Dominica’s first beachfront five-star resort, Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica.

Michael J. Schoonewagen, general manager, and Tracey Fentem, director of sales and marketing, will head the highly-anticipated 2019 opening of Kempinski’s second Caribbean venture situated within the Lesser Antilles.

“Kempinski has uncovered the Caribbean’s best-kept secret, the pristine and preserved island of Dominica,” says Xavier Destribats, COO for Kempinski in the Americas. “Now, having secured the deeply rooted luxury expertise of Michael and Tracey, we’ll soon be welcoming global travelers to experience the unspoiled natural beauty of this hidden, but soon to be discovered gem.”

Together, Fentem and Schoonewagen will establish Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica at Discovery Bay next to Cabrits National Park, with the island’s 365 rivers, magnificent waterfalls, natural-flowing hot springs and mountainous rainforests, as the most coveted luxury travel destination.

Michael J. Schoonewagen, General Manager, Cabrits Resort Kempinski Dominica

Schoonewagen has dedicated more than three decades years toward creating exceptional guest experiences across Europe, the South Pacific, Indian Ocean, and Caribbean with renowned luxury brands, such as Belmond La Samanna and as St. Regis Bora Bora Resort. As general manager, with a strong background in food & beverage, spa, weddings, executive retreats and luxury travel, he will oversee the opening and operations management of Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica.

Tracey Fentem, Director of Sales and Marketing, Cabrits Resort Kempinski Dominica

Fentem has more than 36 years of sales and marketing experience in the luxury hospitality industry, representing leading hotel brands such as St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, Gansevoort Turks and Caicos and The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Having successfully launched and established luxury properties throughout the Caribbean, she is now responsible for further building and distinguishing the Kempinski brand and Dominica within the U.S. and international travel markets through highly strategic marketing and sales initiatives.

Original story HERE

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  1. anony
    September 23, 2018

    Sure would have been nice but are there any dominicans who have experience running something like this abroad, let alone in a new market? It’s not that easy just to pick locals for jobs. Maybe if we were the USA and had millions of residents maybe it would be easier because of a diverse applicant pool. We have over 70K residents, the pickings are slim and just putting a dominican in post just for looks is the quickest way to lose trust with Range Developments. This company has their leadership selected to ensure their 5 star resort caters to international standards unlike those seen on island. It’s a big shift and to assume that a Dominican should be in charge at an international company “just because” isn’t feasible.

  2. Child of Itassi
    September 23, 2018

    You don’t need a work visa to work in a “Shi* Hol*” country. Just be prepared for a life-changing experience as you’ve never imagined.

  3. Jheri Curl
    September 22, 2018

    It would have been nice if they hired a Dominican national and brought that person back home
    to run this hotel
    Once again the beke will rule us

    • Truth
      September 23, 2018

      For such a Chain, a foreigner will always be brought in for Top Management!!

  4. Xixi
    September 22, 2018

    Are you All aware that there is a branch to be opened in St Lucia and one that’s already opened in Ghana and Budapest ? please research before comment
    Kempinski Hotels S.A. is a hotel group. The group now has its head office in Geneva but was founded in Berlin in 1897 as the “Hotelbetriebs-Aktiengesellschaft”. Kempinski Hotels currently operates 75 five-star hotels and residences in 30 countries. Starting in Germany, over the years Kempinski has extended its hotel portfolio to other parts of Europe and to the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Latin America. Branches are located in places such as Abu Dhabi, Cairo, Berlin, Riyadh, Istanbul, the Dead Sea, Beijing, Moscow, St. Moritz, Jakarta, Bangkok, Yerevan, and Havana.

  5. Badbaje
    September 22, 2018

    Together, Fentem and Schoonewagen will establish Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica at Discovery Bay next to Cabrits National Park, with the island’s 365 rivers, magnificent waterfalls, natural-flowing hot springs and mountainous rainforests, as the most coveted luxury travel destination.

    Someone said “So they have ‘uncovered’ us have they ? They also talk about Dominica being ‘unspoilt’ yet they have built their resort on an important wetland habitat in a national park. I give them a year.”


    September 22, 2018

    Just read the kind of negative comments THEY write. Do those people have any LOVE for country? or are They encouraging foreigners to come to do anything good in the country? Everything in their eyes and mind seem to be negative. Looks like the only postive thing THEY know is the LIES and RUBBISH THEY spew on Q95 and write on DNO which CONCIOUS positive people don’t take for granted.

  7. Bring back the kidnapped parrots
    September 22, 2018

    The guests will be arriving on Air Skerrit just in time for the election.

  8. RandyX
    September 22, 2018

    Once again I ask Skerrit to tell the citizens of Dominica: a) who is/are the owners of this place, b) who is/are the owners of the freehold of this place. Further silence in this matter by the PM should be interpreted that the ownership is not above board and would need an investigation by an independent inquiry. We can not allow this in the face corruption to continue.

  9. Dalit
    September 21, 2018

    Why does DNO allow these nasty comments which have no basis in truth ?

    Why ?

    This is the opening of an international five star resort and you want to have these people talk junk for the outside world tonsee what.

  10. Liz M
    September 21, 2018

    Puffy dude, those are strong words. They will always be welcome in Dominica, investors and professionals will ALWAYS be welcome here. Doe even try that.

  11. Fruitcake
    September 21, 2018

    So they have ‘uncovered’ us have they ? They also talk about Dominica being ‘unspoilt’ yet they have built their resort on an important wetland habitat in a national park. I give them a year.

  12. jamie
    September 21, 2018

    Who cares really,this hotel will never open.Wast of time and money.

  13. LifeandDeath
    September 21, 2018

    It’s really sad when Citizens cannot trust their gov’t to tell them the truth.

    And if this is true, the impact will not match Ross and if it is more mind play, then we can say if this is what Our PM spends his time doing then there is no question what has caused the demise of DA.

    Whether or not Hotels coming, it is clear that Dominica needs change of Gov’t..the negatives far outweighs the positives

    • waypapa
      September 21, 2018

      Do you expect anything to match Ross instantly? Did you know how many students Ross came with? Ross in the beginning did not even match the Ross that left so stop talking rubbish to make a point. Stop worshipping Ross and think independently.

  14. Da
    September 21, 2018

    Another election gimmick.
    Fear no more , these actors passing for DLP leaders are in their last days.
    They are desperate now but this will not stop us from kicking them out of office

  15. Massacre
    September 21, 2018

    Oh my goodness, another political and campaign lie. I do not
    Believe one ounce of this promises that Skerrit and his minions are making up in efforts to comfort the people of Portsmouth.
    He is just toying with your minds and after elections it’s back to the forgetful and tired Skerrit ways.

    • John Henderson
      September 29, 2018

      Why you good for nothing people who have nothing else, to do with the you have say something good. People like you have nothing to offer. What any one of you have done to help the country, nothing but taking lots of garbage. This is how some of you Dominican behaves, you have family members, that helps you people, and when they can’t help no longer. You have nothing good to say about them,

      Do the right thing and short up. If have nothing else to do with your life. Please keep that gubbins S

  16. Alebaba and His 40 Thieves
    September 21, 2018

    Dominica is a piece of …. now and we badly need cleansing. Erika and Maria did not and could not cleanse us and no amount of protests will. Dominica was far better during the events that led to May 29,1979, than it is today. On that day I was a front runner but I thought what I did and participated in was because we wanted a better Dominica. But today, as I look around to see the mess, the ….that is taking place here, let me as a Freedomite that was fooled by Charles Savarin, who somehow was rewarded by the labor party with the presidency, I want to profoundly and sincerely repent and appologise to the then PM, Patrick Roland John, for our mischief to him and the DLP. Today Dominica is far worse under Skerrit. Everything in Dominica today finds it’s origin in darkness and corruption. Dominica literally stinks not just of poopoo but the deep rooted corruption. Boy I think of May 29 1979. If it was necessary then it has to be required today. DA is like Alebaba & his 40 thieves

    September 21, 2018

    This whole Kempinski thing is tinted with corruption and I don’t care a damn about who is manager or director. Skerrit gave all you our passports to sell I guess to whoever all you feel, even to the devil himself, while our country are reeling from the judgment of Erika, Maria and the US, as we saw last week. Dominicans need to take their country back. We have lost our country and the worse is yet to come

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