Minister: Desarrollos To Develop $120M Resort

December 12, 2014

[Updated with audio + PLP's questions] Desarrollos has confirmed they will “construct a five star hotel managed by St. Regis, Starwood Hotels & Resorts top luxury brand,” Minister of Tourism  & Transport Shawn Crockwell said today [Dec 12] in the House of Assembly.

The Minister said the ”development budget is estimated at US$120 million and we are aiming to have construction commence in mid 2015 with construction time estimated to be 16 month from commencement.”

“This announcement is a significant vote of confidence and a confirmation that the Government’s and the focused efforts of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, to secure direct long term inward investment and permanent jobs is, working,” added Minister Crockwell.

“This luxury resort development will be a tremendous positive impact to our Island and we are moving quickly toward finalizing the customary agreements.

Club Med Bermuda July 19 2012 (1)

Back in May, the Government announced they had entered in an “exclusive negotiation period” with the Venezuela-based Desarrollos Hotelco Group to develop the old Club Med property, which is pictured above.

At that time, it was stated that the proposed development will include a 238 room hotel, renovation of the St. George’s golf course, a casino, 16 hotel residences, 24 golf villas, 16 estate residences consisting of 3 and 4 bedrooms residences, a spa and fitness center, meeting rooms, swimming pools, pool bar and more.

Update 11.49am: Audio excerpt of the Opposition questioning the Minister about this announcement

Update 12.10pm: As heard in the audio above, Opposition Leader Marc Bean said, “The honourable Minister mentioned that the development budget for the Club Med site is estimated to be $120 million. Can the honourable Minister inform this honourable chamber what size is the proposed hotel if the budget is only $120 million?”

In response, Minister Crockwell said, “Phase one would include 122 rooms and eight residences and phase two would include four large estate villas and 24 golf villas.”

Mr Bean then asked, “Is the Minister saying to us that the $120 million is based on phase one, and phase two is a separate requirement in terms of funding, or is $120 million inclusive of both phases?”

Minister Crockwell replied, “That’s a good question; I have a view, but I would like to clarify.”

MP Zane DeSilva then asked, “On that same note by the Minister, they’re aiming construction to start mid-2015 and take 16 months, if I just heard the Minister correctly – a 122 room hotel in 16 months. With the average home in Bermuda taking around 12 to 14 months to build from start to finish, does the Minister think that this number is way off?”

Minister Crockwell responded, “That is the projection provided to me by the developer, and that’s what I’ve shared with the country.”

Remaining transcription added at 2.02pm: Mr DeSilva said, “With this announcement that the Desarrollos hotel group are moving forward, there’s nothing about this firm on the internet that we can find of any real significance whatsoever for a company that’s going to take over such a significant development in Bermuda, so my question to the Minister is, is he planning on holding a press conference and inviting the family and the rest of the team to Bermuda to talk to the press about this development?”

Minister Crockwell replied, “There will be the appropriate press conferences when we do ground-breaking and the like, and they will be present.

Walter Roban asked, “Would the Minister agree that because the St. George’s development is on public land, that there is an additional duty of the government to be as open and transparent with the use of public assets as possible, particularly with this development….beyond any private development that may go on in the country?”

Minister Crockwell said, “I certainly agree with the honourable member. I’ve been providing this honourable House with continuous updates for this process. Let me add, in addition to the two phases, there would be a redevelopment of the golf course for the properties as well. But I totally agree with the honourable member.”

Marc Bean asked, “If that is the case, does the Minister commit to provide this honourable House and the people of this country the results of the tendering process, the RFP process, where Desarrollos was actually awarded the Club Med development site?”

Minister Crockwell said, “The honourable member may have forgotten that I provided a ministerial statement where I listed all of the five finalists that applied for this RFP. I provided that information for this honourable House.”

Derrick Burgess asked, “Will the golf course be included in the initial stage of the construction,” and Minister Crockwell replied yes.

Mr. DeSilva then said, “Minister, in your statement you confirmed that Desarrollos had completed its due diligence and that they would construct the hotel, managed by St. Regis and Starwood, great. My question, because the honourable Minister in May this year gave us a ministerial statement about Desarrollos and it gave an outline of what they planned, and in that plan was the construction of a casino. Now, I asked the Minister a question then and I’ll ask it now that they have progress with the negotiations. Does this now confirm that a casino will be built…included in this development?”

Minister Crockwell said, “All issues with with casino licenses will be dealt with by the commission. When I made my initial statement in May, I was presenting what the developer and the proposed brand at that time we wanted to have. I made it clear that was their aspiration, but all licenses will be issued by the commission, so it is premature to ask that question.”

David Burt said, “The Minister’s response, which he just gave, where he said that all licensing issues would be handled the authority – does the Minister intend, or is it part of the discussions of a casino to be located..? Is that part of the discussions that have been held with this developer group?”

Minister Crockwell responded, “They have stated that they would be interested and they would consider making an application for a casino license.”

The Minister’s full statement follows below:

Mr. Speaker, on the 22nd October of this year the Ministry of Tourism Development & Transport released a media statement updating the public on the progress with regards to the St. George’s Tourism Development Site.

The statement also advised on the Government’s decision to extend the exclusivity period with Desarrollos Hotelco Group [Desarrollos], the developer selected to build and operate a luxury resort on the 125 acre St. George’s property, for a further sixty [60] days, expiring on 13th December, 2014.

Mr. Speaker, the primary objectives during the extension period were the finalizing of pre-development, development and operation commencement critical path items and the formalizing of a brand agreement between Desarrollos and a selected hotel operator.

Mr. Speaker, I am please to inform this Honourable House that we have achieved our objectives by reaching an agreement on the critical path items with Desarrollos, and I am also very pleased to announce Desarrollos has completed its due diligence and confirmed the international luxury resort developer will construct a five star hotel managed by St. Regis, Starwood Hotels & Resorts top luxury brand.

Mr. Speaker, this announcement is a significant vote of confidence and a confirmation that the Government’s and the focused efforts of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, to secure direct long term inward investment and permanent jobs is, working.

This luxury resort development will be a tremendous positive impact to our Island and we are moving quickly toward finalizing the customary agreements.

Mr. Speaker, the development budget is estimated at US$120 million and we are aiming to have construction commence in mid 2015 with construction time estimated to be sixteen [16] month from commencement.

Mr. Speaker, I will continue to keep members fully apprised of the progress on this very important project.

Thank you


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Comments (74)

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  1. sebring says:


    • Young Person with Questions and a good salary says:

      What are the prices of the rooms? I travel every month for business and throughout my travels I can tell you that the majority of business travelers or vacationers are looking to spend nothing over $200. If these rooms are over priced this hotel will be an empty shell in the coming years after being built.
      Many people that live in Bermuda salaries are much more then our counterparts in the USA and we don’t even look for a $450 night hotel when booking reservations. Remember what happen to New Stead Hotel and Tucker’s Point Minister. It’s nice to say hey we are building but if it’s not affordable it will fail. The past does repeat it self.

      The Newstead Belmont Hills Resort and Spa was in deep 2009 on two hospitality loans which totaled $94.3 million.

      Tucker’s Point, with a debt of more than US$130 million was placed into receivership.

      The Caribbean hotels are flooded with tourist and not because their islands are better then Bermuda, but due to price. I really hope this hotel is built and doesn’t become another white elephant in the room.

      3 nights @ the hotel $1350
      2 plane tickets $1200

      Total $2550

      I didn’t even include transportation, food and entertainment yet.

      • serengeti says:

        Where exactly do you ‘travel on business’? I haven’t seen a hotel room under $200 for years. In New York and London it’s hard getting something under $500, unless you want to stay in a cheap, down-market hostel. Which is not what the St Regis is.
        I just looked online for the St Regis hotel, New York, one night. One adult. Standard rate $795.

        • Young Person with Questions and a good salary says:

          Elbow Beach
          Tucker’s Point

          It’s safe to assume that the managers at these hotels did everything they could to drum up business. The simple fact is they out priced themselves. $450 and up is too much and history as already proven this.

          Why pay $450 for a room in Bermuda when one can travel to the Caribbean and pay $300 for an all inclusive adding to that they are locked in a hotel and told not to go out at night because it’s not safe.

          • Young Person with Questions and a good salary says:

            “a $450 room which includes no breakfast no lunch and no dinner”

            • serengeti says:

              So when you travel on business, where do you stay for less than $200? When you’re in New York, or London, for example?
              Certainly not at the St Regis, which is what they’re building. But where do you stay, paying nothing over $200?

          • Young Person Who Actually Travels On Business says:

            You answered your own question, ‘they are locked in a hotel and told not to go out at night because it’s not safe.’ I would rather pay an extra few hundred dollars to stay in a safe place.

            • Kangoocar says:

              Don’t even bother responding to that nonsense from ” good salary ” that without a doubt is Alaska hall (plp) and one of their trolls!!! Absolute rubbish what was written there!!! That rookie of a troll has a better chance of being struck by lightning twice in two days before he/she would ever fool me!!! The plp will stop at nothing in their quest to regain power??? This type of mischievous behaviour needs to stop!!!
              No successful business person when they travel is looking to stay in some dive of a hotel that you actually have to wipe your shoes when you leave the flea bag of a hotel, no major city that people travel on business too, offers descent hotel room for under $450 a night!!! Nice try plp, but bigger fail, SHAME ON YOU!!!! You will not be happy until the entire Island is destroyed, as long as you regain power!!!! It is nice to know that this new development is eating away at the plp, another nail in the plp coffin, is what I beleive!!!!!!

              • JAWS says:

                Kangoocar my friend your hate for the plp continues to hunt you. Set your hate and mind free and read between the poster’s lines. Stop assuming that everyone who doesn’t agree is ante oba. Young Person made some compelling arguments about the cost of hotels and the history of the top 3. Why didn’t these high quality establishments do well in Bda! This is a valid point. Has anyone suggested or explained why?
                I myself make well over 6 figures annual. When me and the Mrs. journey on vacation we do not tend to reside in a hotel that’s over $400 a nite, as we are there to sleep only. I have some friends that are going to Disney World for Christmas they have rented a 6 bedroom home with pool, games room and movie theater for $300 a night.

                Bernews can you please conduct a survey and ask your readers what price does the average resident pay for accommodations when vacationing abroad in the USA. Lets say the summer vacation and Christmas vacation periods.

              • Strike fund says:

                You’re the OBA’s Betty Trump.

                You are doing your party no favours whatsoever.

        • That doesn’t mean we have to go overboard is his point. True the Carribean is hot all year round and Bermuda is greedy when it comes to hotel and travel and whatever, But if you are going to keep high prices like 400.00 and up. Yup I agree, we will be in trouble

      • sebring says:

        I agree ! but again if the hotel and what is being offered is value for money !it will be full regardless! till resently Bermuda only had hotels that charged alot but did not offer value for money ! know of a particular south shore road hotels who serves bagged doritos for nachos and store bought guacamole dip from grocer dairy section and sold it for 20 dollars !For someone that travels alot ever tried getting a cheap 250 dollar a night room in mexico’s south pacific coast. good luck even off season unless you bought it well in advance in package deal because once you are at the location all will charge the same ! value for Money is what is said to be in the works but a regulatory body should be trained to avoid the casinos from robbing people as fixed machines etc. before promising a casino !

      • .am says:

        It’s a silly comparison. If you’re staying at RTP, there’s very little chance you’re on a budget conscious vacation. You’re either affluent or celebrating a milestone.

        If someone can only afford $200/n, then they’re not in the right area.

        They’re also looking at $30 each way into and out of Hamilton.

      • Young Person Who Actually Travels On Business says:

        I don’t know where you travel to that you are paying less than $200 a night. Ohio?

        Most business travellers to Bermuda stay at HP which costs a lot more than that.

        • Young Person with Questions and a good salary says:

          Actually that is incorrect they stay at Oxford Guest House who’s rooms are $240.

          The Bermuda Tourism Board failed and the BTA is the same product with a different name. The air arrivals are still down the only time this will change is in June 2017 for the America’s Cup for 30 days. This is not because the BTB and BTA haven’t done their very best. We have the best minds working for us but even the best minds can’t make it work if the price is not right.

          I’m not saying to do nothing, I’m saying try to bring affordable hotels here, have we learned nothing from the past mistakes? You can say value for money as many times as you want. All the hotels I spoke about above are beautiful properties. They have not lived up to par simply because the price is not right.

          Price is everything this is 101 economics.

          • Creamy says:

            You’re talking bollocks. You’ve never been on a business trip in your frikkin life. You’re a liar.

      • Nikp says:

        I totally agree! I visited Bermuda last year and found hotel rooms were way too expensive for what the hotels had to offer. I live in Canada, and can consider myself wealthy, i am in my early 30s. But even the richer people are tired to spend hundreds of dollars just to sleep on a bed for a few nights. Bermuda is a beautiful island, and unique. But when you compare prices with other islands, that will offer the same quality of resorts, you go somewhere else. Bermuda has to ajust to the reality, economic times are difficult. You can’t just offer high-end hotels at ridiculous prices. Look at other markets if you want to bring new tourists to your island.

  2. sebring says:

    Can we have a national day of mourning for the Green party? Not!!!

  3. Unbelievable says:

    Does this actually mean that a hotel is going to be built?

    • Naive Observer says:

      Wander out there around May next year and have a look for yourself. I am betting yes with AC35 coming. Note the timing, they want to be open in time for the event!

  4. Stunned... says:

    Nice! #fanofStarwoodproperties

  5. GOD1ST says:

    Wow wow !!!! This is great for Bermuda . I can imagine what the response is going to be like from a certain % of the population on know…the financially illiterate insecure one’s.

    • Raymond Ray says:

      “Persistent people begin their success where others end in failure”.

      Edward Eggleston

      Keep up the good work, One Bermuda Alliance!

  6. mike says:

    I will not believe it until it’s built.

    • Creamy says:

      Why leave it there? Why not say you won’t believe it until it’s built, occupied, and been running for five years? That will prove how smart you are.

  7. San George says:

    You are kidding again – Right!

    Which bank or group is providing the financing – please?

  8. Youth of Bermuda says:

    Do we really need another resort? we cant even fill the ones we have during peak tourist season. and do you really believe that at any time in the foreseeable future we would be able to fill all of the ones we already have as well as this one. All this means is another hotel opens, hires a bunch of staff, no customers to support the staff and within the decade the hotel closes, leaving more people without jobs. Sure the development is going to stimulate the economy in the short-run, but there are no long-term decisions being made. All of these decisions are not being made for the best interest of the island. not to mention, what could be land for reservation which we barely have these days.

    • Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

      We have a three year plan, give or take. The opportunity to host the America’s cup has given business people faith in the country. What we now do with that faith is up to us. We need to recreate the Bermuda product and use the attention of the Cup to leverage us back into the tourist market the way we need to be.

      One step at a time, and right now the first step is not to squander this opportunity before us.

      • Raymond Ray says:

        “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step” This is absolutely great news; not only for the eastern end of the island but for Bermuda on a whole.
        This is good news either way anyone looks at it :-)
        We do hear the Opposition complaining about “promises not being kept” well, what more do they (P.L.P.) want? The Union workers will be working and after completion of said project there will be x amount of jobs held-down by Bermudians. Personally, I can’t see any wrong there.

      • Danny says:

        You are kidding , right?

  9. Cow Polly says:

    :-) :-) :-) Great news for St Georges :-) :-) :-)

  10. Observer says:

    Another vote of confidence in this Government. Looking forward to the start next year.

  11. Rhonnie aka BlueFamiliar says:

    It is not that I don’t believe the Minister, but given the history concerning this site, I’m afraid I’m going to continue to have my doubts until I see work started on the site.

    But I really, really want this to happen. It’s such a great site, and a property there would do wonders for St. George’s.

  12. mixitup says:

    Great News! Bermuda needs all top quality resorts! St.Regis is a great fit! Thank you Green Family!

    • Unbelievable says:

      Wrong hotel. The Greens have nothing to do with this.

      • Triangle Drifter says:

        Proving yet again how little some people know even when the imformation is there for them to read.

        • Mixitup says:

          No need to get smart! My initial view of the pic, I thought it was the Sonesta site. Some of us don’t spend all day trolling Bernews (Paid Troll) looking for spelling errors, mis speeks and grammer errors and anyone disagreeing with the OBA, some just take peeps throughout the day.

          • SMART PAID TROLL says:

            misspeak and grammar

          • serengeti says:

            So you look at the pictures but don’t read the articles.

            • Kangoocar says:

              Can anyone take a wild guess at which political party “mixitup” supports???

              • mixitup says:

                Where in my original comment is there anything political? So as a Bermudian who wishes best for HIS country I speak positive about it and you turn it political?! What the hell is wrong with you paid trolls? Do you not get tired? I bet you pleasure yourself for every ‘like’ you receive…. poor site

      • Politricks says:

        Do you think the poster will correct their post and congratulate the OBA instead for attracting St. Regis to our shores?

        $10 they don’t…

        But either way I will only believe when I see it…too many promises on this property have not come to fruition over the years…

  13. aceboy says:

    Too many promises have been made in the past for me to put any stock in this announcement.

    I have somewhat more confidence in the OBA announcing it, but will remain skeptical until shovels hit the dirt.

  14. Coffee says:

    Good news .. No news … Bad news ! Good news .. No news … Bad news ! Good news .. I will update .

  15. Joonya says:

    Saint GeorGES!! brmp brmp

  16. Triangle Drifter says:

    Nobody has been successful at this location. However, times have changed. It seems that self contained hotels, maybe out of guest security necessity, are becoming more & more the trend.

    Hopefully St Georges will get business from the hotel guests perhaps by sponsoring a free shuttle into town. Don’t expect the hotel to pay for it.

    Anyway, all of this good news is too much. Time to call a snap election & reset the clock for another great 5 years.

  17. watching says:

    can we see plans or pictures of what they are planning to build?

    • serengeti says:

      Well in the meantime you can look back at those plans and pictures of the Hyatt that Ewart announced. That should give you some idea.

  18. bluebird says:

    OBA you really have to stop making these anoununcements as you keep agrivating the PLP .
    The plp are livide at all the money that they are loosing as you are rebuilding Bermuda and there will be nothing left that they can have

  19. somuchless says:

    Like others have said, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  20. Bermy says:

    As happy as I am to see this type of news, especially for St. George’s, I will hold back my excitement and jubilation until I see a whole in the ground and Bermudians pouring cement and laying rebar. Fingers toes and anything else I can cross are crossed!

  21. Oh,I see now says:

    Heh heh we need nothing short of an alien invasion for people to stop the political nit picking.I truely believe if we were invaded right now the PLP supporters would say not while we were in power.the OBA supporters would say well at least we can attract foreign investors to our shores.

    “Concentrate on the finger and you will miss all that heavenly glory”. B.L.

  22. Oh,I see now says:

    It would be nice to se some shovels hit the dirt two minutes after the announcement is made though.

  23. Terry says:

    Great news.

    Maybe they should invite Ewart Brown to pose with the first shovels when ground breaking occurs.

    ‘I blew it up and now I am part of a resurection’………………………..

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Wait for it. It will happen. They will try to take credit for it. “We weeded out all of the people who were not suitable.” or something like that.

  24. Islandguy says:

    The almighty Zane questioning if it will be done in time!Imagine that…

    • serengeti says:

      I don’t remember him asking that same question when Ewart announced ground would be broken in November 2011.

  25. Encyclopedia says:

    It strikes me as odd that Crockwell is unable to answer very basic questions that anyone would have.

    • Unbelievable says:

      What are you talking about? Stop trying to stir things up. The Minister has answered them just fine. He’s even had to remind the Opposition on a couple of things.

      In fact, I think the exchange sounded civil. For once.

      • .am says:

        Agreed. Pleasantly surprised – although tone is always tricky on the internet.

  26. animallover says:

    This is great news. I do believe it will happen and we all know why, AMERICA’S CUP, and we need the hotel beds. Great going OBA.

    • Danny says:

      AC/35…the answer to all of our problems.. funny

      • inna says:

        So what do you propose as solutions to “all our problems” ?

        • Creamy says:

          Online gaming maybe? That should employ about six people, part time.

  27. Cleancut says:

    OBA all the way!…….. All the way OBA!

  28. Pundit says:

    The OBA is surprising me with all this good news.Keep it up,you will have my vote!

  29. Ruthless says:

    I think they should hold the next election as early as they possibly can. PLP wouldn’t stand a chance right now! They must be panicking. Hahaha.