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Posted by Caribbean World Magazine on 27 May 2015 | 0 Comments

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27 May 2015

Famed hotelier/developer John Jefferis, JP, is celebrating his 50th anniversaryin the hospitality industry.

Jefferis is the owner of Coco Reef-Bermuda, Coco Reef-Tobago and a number of other businesses in the Caribbean region, including Cuba. He started his career as a 15-year-old pot washer at a fish and chip restaurant in London.Today, heis the Chairman and sole shareholder of the Palm Reef Hotel Development Company Limited, Coco Reef Resorts Ltd and Island Resorts International Ltd. He is also the Chairman of Inflite Catering, which is an airline catering company with operations in both Bermuda and Tobago.

In 1992 Jefferis commenced the financing, design and construction of the $72 million Coco Reef–Tobago which became one of the Caribbean’s most successful properties. The opening of Coco Reef - Tobago, which Jefferis designed, caused British Airways to fly direct to Tobago which made Tobago a serious tourism destination.

In 2003, Jefferis acquired the lease for the financially challenged Stonington Beach Hotel in Paget. After spending $14.3 million in additions, reconstruction, renovation and refurbishment, it was reopened as Coco Reef-Bermuda in 2004. The reconstruction and renovation of the property included the construction of a forty foot high, award-winning atrium lobby, a new terrace restaurant, new swimming pool terraces, a French baroque styleprivate dining room, antique furniture, custom designed bedroom furniture,original paintings, extensive landscaping, including the planting of 17 mature coconut palms, a new portecochere and the construction of an additional new 200-metre elevated private beach.

Jefferis has won countless accolades and awards. Reflecting on the past 50 years, Jefferis said: “Hotels are my first love and passion. I have enjoyed almost every minute of being in the hotel and associated businesses for the past fifty years. I have been really fortunate to have worked with some amazingly talented people over the years. People who have shared my passion and affection for the hotel business. I fell in love with Bermuda when I first arrived on the islandand I am delighted to have used my knowledge and vision to make a smallcontribution to the tourism industry of this beautiful Island.”

Currently, Jefferis has a number of projects that he is working on including the construction of a Caribbean Fine Art Gallery Tapas and Wine bar in Paget, a46-unit condominiumand villa development at Coco Reef–Bermuda, the addition of nine luxury villas at Coco Reef -Tobago and the acquisition of another hotel in the Caribbean.