Breathing new life into an iconic Caribbean hotel brand and destination.

With its rich history and spacious grounds, Mt Irvine Bay Resort’s rebrand brings a new perspective of Tobago’s beauty to the world, challenging international hotels to meet the standard of this local gem.

PROBLEM OUTLINE

Opened in 1972, Mount Irvine Bay Resort is one of the oldest hotels in Trinidad and Tobago. With a world-class golf course that was established in 1968, this iconic hotel is set amidst an old sugar and coconut plantation, and overlooks the Caribbean Sea.

In its heyday, Mt Irvine was the go-to Tobago destination for locals and foreigners alike but, in the past couple of decades, the public’s perception of the hotel had fallen.

After working on a couple of standalone projects for Mt Irvine, and hearing that the hotel was due to be renovated and upgraded, the Abovegroup team approached MIBR’s management with a proposition to help reposition the hotel as a premier, modern option by updating its branding to suit. They accepted our offer and, in late 2015, we began working on the project.

 

STRATEGIC INPUT

At first, we looked at one of the main things that helps to differentiate Mt Irvine from other hotels in Tobago – the value of the property itself, with its large, open spaces and the rolling hills of its natural golf course.

DESIGN OUTCOME

Once the evaluate phase was completed, we moved on to photography in order to visually set the tone for the more modern look and feel that was being envisioned for the hotel. Then came an alignment all of the touchpoints, with the property itself feeding this central concept.

We selected colours based on dominant hues in the photographs we took – darker green of forested areas and the brighter blues of the seaside – and selected type that would give the word mark a slight quirk, without it reading as typically “Caribbean”.

We deliberately avoided clichéd symbology; instead we looked around the property, exploring light and shadow and movement, eventually abstracting an iconic architectural feature of the hotel. The create stage saw us update the collateral of the hotel, from letterheads to rate cards to branded vehicles – all of which were conceived around a very solid, central strategy that helps Mt Irvine resonate as a brand much more clearly.

Developing signage and wayfinding for the resort meant continued consultation with the client, suppliers and fabricators in order to maintain the integrity of the brand as it unfolds into physical space and human interaction through experience of the hotel.

'We also developed their website, using strong imagery and warm and inviting copy that hinges around breathing deeply, as is the case with the sub-brands we developed for various spaces and a set of fresh, clean iconography.

Out of this observation came the core proposition: Room to Breathe, and also a call to Breathe Deeply, both of which speak to a sense of openness, expansiveness and depth.

 

Breathing new life into an iconic Caribbean hotel brand and destination