Back Hotel Logistics: Renovating and restoring the Jaragua Hotel
Marriot - Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel & Casino
Hotel and Hospitality Logistics
Logistics solution for refurbishment of facilities and construction of new features.
- Restoration of a historic hotel in a remote location, built in the 1940s
- Refurbishment of existing facilities as well as constructing new features
- Establishment of a centre of operations to feed the constrcution site
- Responsibility for FF&aE and OS&E
As the Global Head of Kuehne+Nagel’s Hotel & Cruise logistics business, I have had the opportunity to work on many challenging projects in interesting parts of the world. Renovating the Renaissance Santo Domingo Jaragua Hotel and Casino in the Dominican Republic was a fantastic chance to use our expertise to help restore this historic hotel. Built in the 1940s, the Jaragua hotel is a cultural icon and valued landmark. Our customer, a global hotel firm, wanted not just a refurbishment of the existing facilities, but also the construction of new features such as a pool, tennis club, and casino. This is exactly the kind of project that fascinates me, because we can provide valuable support for our customers, so the team and I were very happy to be part of this great endeavour.
As excited as we were to restore such an exemplary building, we understood it would not be without challenges. We worked collaboratively with our customer to identify those issues as early as possible and develop strategies for dealing with them. The remote location of the hotel caused us some difficulty. While this is a unique advantage for hotel guests, for a logistics company handling a major renovation it poses a serious challenge. Our first task was to establish a consolidation hub, to have a centre of operations based near a major port that could feed the construction site as needed in Santo Domingo. By owning and operating this site ourselves, we maintained control and could unpack, perform quality assurance and then repack the incoming supplies. It also helped us reduce costs for our customer. In consultation with the hotel’s management, we decided that Miami would be the ideal location for this hub.
The project turned out to be even more difficult when the construction of the hotel experienced some major delays. What was intended to take 3-months soon became a 12-month project. Furthermore, the scope expanded from purchase order level, to item level. This means that originally we were responsible for the furniture, fixtures and equipment (FF&aE) but were soon also responsible for the operating supplies and equipment (OS&E). I was confident that we would still achieve our goal as smoothly as possible. What was important to me was that our customers were kept informed of every necessary change, and that together we could decide on which option to take. Being able to draw on Kuehne+Nagel’s experience from other projects was invaluable, and our customer was grateful for our support and advice.
What I am most proud of is that, despite the extra challenges we faced, we got the job done to the satisfaction of everyone involved. Our teams continually went the extra mile to support our customer in every way that we could. By taking control of the supply chain issues, we empowered our customer to focus on what they do best– managing hotels. Our hard work gave them the peace of mind to develop their business and serve their customers. If you’re ever in Santo Domingo, I recommend passing by the Jaragua hotel to have a look – I’m certain you’ll be impressed!