Nisbet Plantation is a 36-room luxury resort on Nevis. A tiny resort on a very small island with no direct air service from the US, UK or Canada. The resort has faced numerous challenges – it’s small size, limited budget, remote location, air access and the great recession.

Nonetheless, Nisbet has weathered the economic downturn exceptionally well and was just named the Best Caribbean Hotel by Travel + Leisure Magazine. (It was also named the 6th Best Hotel in the World!)

What’s Nisbet’s Secret?

In spite of the recession, Nisbet stayed true to its luxury brand. “Nisbet has built a reputation for delivering an exceptional vacation experience.” said Jamie Holmes, general manager. “In late 2008 we knew we were in for a difficult stretch so management and staff got together and brainstormed ways to actually enhance the guest experience. ”

Late last year Nisbet published a Case Study outlining all the steps it took to weather the great recession. Focusing on the guest experience instead of cutting staff and services has helped Nisbet become the Best Caribbean Hotel.

The Case Study is summarized below. In essence, Nisbet aligned the four P’s of marketing to ensure the best possible guest experience.


On the product side management worked with staff, keeping them informed of the economic reality and involving them in future staffing decisions. Expenses were cut, but only in areas that did not effect the guest experience. Amenities were also added to enhance the experience.


Nisbet decided early on not to compete on rate with hotels offering deep discounts.  Instead the property offered modest rate reductions while simultaneously creating unique value-added packages to entice and delight guests.


Nisbet reviewed all available distribution channels – travel agents, wholesalers, OTAs and direct to see where they could best be strengthened to produce the greatest amount of revenue with the least amount of expense. Relationships with the best producers were enhanced through personal sales calls and follow-up direct marketing efforts.


For nearly a decade Nisbet has embraced the principles of customer relationship marketing and has built an extensive database along with a deeply loyal and vocal customer base. All promotional tools (advertising, public relations, web, email, social media, etc.) are integrated into the promotional efforts.

The real secret to effectively marketing Nisbet Plantation – focusing on the guest experience and making sure all the marketing basics were properly aligned.

When you do you can prosper in difficult times. You could even be named the best hotel in the Caribbean – or in whatever region you are located.

Safe Travels – Madigan Pratt

If you would like a copy of the full Nisbet Case Study click here.

AUTHOR: Madigan Pratt

Madigan Pratt is President of MP&A Digital & Advertising, an award-winning agency helping luxury hotels attract and retain profitable customers. Principals with over 60 years of collective experience at some of the world's largest advertising and direct marketing companies lead the agency's team of marketing, creative, public relations, Internet and social media professionals.

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