Members of the Blue Ribbon Committee of the 17th Cacique Awards have announced that this year’s Clement T. Maynard Lifetime Achievement Award recipient is Enrico Garzaroli of Graycliff of Nassau.
Mr. Garzaroli is no stranger to The Bahamas’ tourism industry.
When he migrated to The Bahamas from Italy in 1973, he bought a mansion once owned by the notorious pirate Captain Graysmith.
He turned the property not only into a luxury hotel, but also into a cigar company and a wine cellar that houses over 250,000 bottles, with 3,000 different wines from over 400 vintners and 15 countries.
The property has also expanded to accommodate a chocolate factory and a heritage village.
Today, Mr. Garzaroli has been in the tourism industry for 50 years.
He spoke about why he is in love with the industry.
“It is very interesting. You can meet a lot of people. You can travel; you can express your creativity; you can express your dreams or whatever. So you can mold your personality around the industry,” Mr. Garzaroli said.
The founder of Graycliff said when he first opened Graycliff in 1973; he was looking to create something different.
“When I first opened, we had the Café Martinique and Buena Vista so I had to come up with something different. So I created a way to seat people in the lounge and found a way to relax them and then we worked on a programme for the kitchen,” Mr. Garzaroli explained.
“I started to do wine, liquor and cigars to enhance the experience of the clients.”
His idea worked.
Graycliff Luxury Hotel and Restaurant has become a household name around the world; winning accolades from many recognizing bodies.
In fact, Graycliff was the first hotel and restaurant in the Caribbean to receive a five star rating.
It has won awards from Conde Nast Traveler, the Reader’s Choice Award; Trip Advisor; Fine Wine; The Wine Spectator Grand Award and Gold List just to name a few.
But Mr. Garzaroli said the awards mean nothing without hard work.
“The awards really mean nothing because they only suggest that you have to stay focused on your product and don’t sit on the glories because when the people come they don’t care if you are five or three stars,” Mr. Garzaroli said.
“When they come, they want the best possible experience. The secret to my success is work-hard work. Never relax. Never believe that you have reached something because there is always somebody, somewhere, somehow that comes out with new ideas so you have to be going to the shows. It’s really a pleasant challenge.”
On winning the Clement T. Maynard Lifetime Achievement Award, Mr. Garzaroli said, “I was really surprised. I really wasn’t expecting it.”
The 17th Cacique Awards will be held at the Baha Mar Convention Centre on April 8th.