St. Maarten’s favourite Rendez Vous Lounge at Rhine Road in Porto Cupecoy has a new manager. Kenton Suckoo, who joined Rendez Vous about a year ago, brings to the table more than 15 years of experience in the hospitality industry and is ready to do what is necessary to ensure that the lounge remains the number one choice for diners on the island.

Suckoo describes himself as devoted, dedicated and hardworking with a fun personality. “I like to charm people with my charisma which makes me a people’s person,” he told Out ‘N About. “I have leadership qualities with years of experience and the ability to work under pressure to deliver excellent service. I’m very passionate about my job and everything I do.”

Originally from Jamaica, Suckoo has been living in St. Maarten for almost two decades and considers the island his home. “It all started when my mom, who lived here for many years, invited me for vacation. I then fell in love with the island and its people. From 2001 until now, I have called Sint Maarten my home.”

Over the years, Suckoo has participated in numerous trainings and certification programmes such as Highfield Awarding Body for Compliance (HABC) Food Safety in Catering, Food Handlers Permit, Hospitality 360 and Specialty in Restaurant. He knows the restaurant industry in and out and from the ground up, having started off as busboy and working his way up to manager over the years.

Asked what he likes most about this field, he said, “I love to see people’s development and smiling faces. This is what kept me in this business for so long.” Like hundreds of other persons on the island when Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc on the island over a year ago after, Suckoo was left to fend for himself and his family: “I came upon Rendez Vous, which at that time was seeking the position I was the right fit for.”

Asked what he brings to the table as the new Rendez Vous manager, he responded, “I have brought new ideas and experience… I’ve proven to be skilful, diverse, talented and professional with friendly customer service and attention to detail. I have a proven track record with hands-on approach to deliver operational excellence. Some of my main accomplishments are working with world class Michelin chefs and promoting training on practical skills of fine dining. That is why I’ve taken interest and written a booklet about standard operational procedures to guide staff to create excellence in service and better their abilities.”

“From Busboy at Great Bay Resort to head waiter at Spiga Restaurant, La Samanna and Divi Little Bay, I have grown to enhance my experience. I continued my career path to a higher level where I was bar manager at Pelican Resorts before moving to Sonesta Maho as a restaurant supervisor. I then landed my position at Rendez Vous as restaurant manager.”

Suckoo’s management style is a simple and effective one. “I take direction as much as I give it. I believe in coaching employees and delegating tasks. I push for hospitality more than I do service.”

Suckoo works hard to control the operations and services of Rendez Vous, to ensure that the restaurant is functioning properly and customers are happy with the service and products. He encourages everyone to come out and experience dining and relaxing at Rendez Vous, noting that it has a great location with friendly staff, amazing food and excellent service. “We cater to individuals, couples, families and events. We have a wide variety in food and beverage, weekly entertainment and a relaxing lounge. Our reviews are great and this is why we have excellence in service from TripAdvisor,” he says.

Aside from work, Suckoo’s hobbies are fishing and cooking. He also enjoys watching programmes such as Chef Ramsay cooking show, Caribbean Professionals and American Hotel and Lodging.

Rendez Vous offers French and Italian cuisine in a casual, elegant, open-terrace café style dining. It is a full-featured restaurant, where you can indulge and relax. According to the restaurant, there is no pressure to vacate your table once you have finished your meal. You can relax and enjoy the live music, try their fantastic cappuccino – said to be amongst the best on the island – or order from the fully stocked bar.

The Lounge has become the location of choice for breakfast, lunch or dinner since opening in July 2010. For a special treat, stop by for a Gelato or French pastries. Try their caramel Frappuccino, fresh juices, smoothies, strawberry waffles, crab cake egg benedict and breakfast pan. Lunch favourites include thin crust pizza, tuna tartar and RDVous Cranberry salad, while dinner favourites include fresh homemade pasta and Gnocchi, beef filet with parmesan truffle French fries and grilled Mahi Mahi with zesty lemon butter sauce. The options are endless.

Rendez Vous is open for breakfast (8:00am-12 noon), lunch (12 noon-5:00pm) and dinner (5-10:00pm) with Happy Hour from 5:00 to 7:00pm. There is live music every Tuesday and Friday

Go soon and meet the friendly and professional new manager and enjoy the great food and service.