The announcement was made during the annual Caribbean Marketplace, held at the Montego Bay Convention Centre, Jamaica and organized by the Caribbean Hotel & Tourism Association.
Dodwell, who is also the owner of the Reefs Hotel & Club in Bermuda, was recognized for his outstanding contribution and excellence in hotel management and operations. Dodwell becomes the 33rd holder of the award, which is designed to highlight the remarkable achievements of regional hoteliers, also in areas of human resource development, community outreach, and innovative environmental projects in the tourism sector.
Mr. Dodwell is a former president of the Bermuda Hotel Association and also served in the Cabinet of a previous Bermuda government, as Minister of Tourism. He is also a winner of the Hotelier of the year title for Bermuda.
Dodwell has been at the helm of The Reefs in Bermuda, which includes 19 luxury two- and three-bedroom beachfront suites, for nearly 40 years and at Nisbet Plantation for more than 20 years.
In 1999, Nisbet Plantation established a local elementary school “adoption” program, stocking library shelves with children’s books and computers, while also encouraging school supply donations from resort guests. As a result, children are now reading at a level two grades higher than before the program began. Nisbet Plantation’s Chef also mentored Nevis high school students as part of the 2010 St. Kitts & Nevis Hotel and Tourism Association’s Future Chef Program.
Under his leadership, the 36-room Nisbet Plantation Beach Club has grown to be one of the Caribbean’s foremost resorts, renowned internationally for its exceptional service and guest satisfaction. Dodwell’s innovative training and team-building initiatives have resulted in exceptional loyalty among staff and remarkable guest return rates.
In 2010, Nisbet Plantation Beach Club was ranked the #1 Hotel in the Caribbean, Bermuda and the Bahamas by Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards, named among Conde Nast Traveler’s Gold List of the World’s Best Places to Stay and The Reefs was named the #1 Hotel in the Atlantic in the Conde Nast Traveler Readers’ Choice Awards.
Dodwell’s proactive role in the Nevis community also extends to environmental stewardship. Numerous eco-initiatives helped Nisbet Plantation achieve the rigorous requirements for Green Globe 21 certification by Green Globe International. In October 2007, Nisbet Plantation constructed an artificial reef to provide a habitat for sea life, create a calmer swimming area for guests, and save numerous palm trees by preventing beach erosion. As a result, more than 15 feet of beach has reappeared. Other initiatives include the planting of a coconut palm for every wedding held at the resort, an organized Hands-on Earth Day beach cleanup, and both water and energy recycling conservation efforts. Sustainable cuisine spotlighting local fish, produce and even local St. Kitts and Nevis rum are staples in the Plantation’s dining venues.
(Parts of this article were written from extracts taken from a Hotel & Tourism Association press release)