Love City has welcomed back native son, James “Jimmy” Dalmida, as the new Director of Operations at Westin Resort and Villas.
A long-time Rosewood Hotels and Resorts employee, Dalmida recently joined the Starwood team and Westin representatives couldn’t be happier.
Dalmida, formerly with Caneel Bay, left St. John in June 2005 to become Director of Operations at the Eldorado Hotel in New Mexico. After a few years, however, the island man missed home.
“I was getting a yearning for the Virgin Islands again,” said Dalmida. “Also while the experience was good, the hotel was changing in directions that I didn’t want to be connected with. So I decided that I should start looking for something else.”
As happens in Love City, Dalmida found out about an opening at the Westin St. John by word of mouth.
A Little Birdie
“I put something out on the internet and tested the waters,” Dalmida said. “Then a little birdie whispered in my ear that St. John had something good for me.”
It also didn’t hurt that Dalmida had kept in touch over the years with Starwood’s vice president of operations for South Florida and the Caribbean, Graeme Davis.
“Jimmy and I stayed in touch over the years and when I heard he wanted to be in St. John I was interested in getting him aboard,” Davis said. “It was also important for Jimmy to stay with a first class operation. He left Rosewood, which is obviously a top-notch company, and it made sense for him to come to Starwood.”
“It’s the perfect marriage of Jimmy’s experience and love for St. John and our luxury brand,” Davis continued. “It just made perfect sense. We’re thrilled to have him as part of our team.”
With luxury properties popping up throughout the Caribbean and the world, it’s more important than ever for V.I. tourism to be up to par, explained Davis.
“There are a lot of new luxury properties coming on line in places like the Dominican Republic and Anguilla,” he said. “There are a lot of choices for people right here in the Caribbean and more and more Americans are getting passports. We have to maintain our competitiveness in the Caribbean and the world.”
“So it’s critical that we provide the best possible service,” Davis continued. “All of us on St. John must create a great destination that is safe, beautiful and friendly so we can stay competitive. If we lose any of those areas our guests will go elsewhere.”
The Westin is doing its part to keep its competitive edge, Davis added.
“Our new villas are coming along and we’re really excited,” he said. “We’re scheduled to open our first building in December and the remaining buildings will open next year by February. In total we’ll have 52 two- and three-bedroom villas which will be rented out to overnight guests and be available for weekly ownership.”
“We’ll have owners coming back year after year and the units will be rented out to overnight guests as well,” said Davis.
Dalmida, who has been on island for about two weeks, is excited to keep the Westin St. John a sought-after destination.
“This is the direction I want to go and I’m very excited to be here,” he said. “I love being back home too. It’s like I never left.”
Go to: stjohntradewinds.com/forum to discuss this story on our forum.