Photos, Video: St George’s Hotel Plans & Meeting

June 9, 2016

[Updated with video] A public meeting was held at Penno’s Wharf in St George’s this evening [June 9], allowing people to meet members of the development team and look at renderings of the planned hotel development in St George’s.

In March of this year, the Government announced they finalized the hotel ground lease with Desarrollos Hotel Group, saying it “paves the way for the ground breaking of the $150 million St. Regis Luxury Development,” with the “development plans for the 124 acre site include a 122 room St. Regis Hotel, a spa, a renovated St. George’s golf course, residential condominium buildings and a casino.”

This evening’s meeting was held in an open format, with posters spaced around the room with renderings depicting the planned development, with those involved in the project wearing name tags to identify them, with attendees invited to mingle, look at the posters, and ask any questions throughout the evening.


Those in attendance included Minister of Transport, Tourism & Municipalities Michael Fahy; Bermuda Tourism Authority Chairman David Dodwell; St George’s Mayor Quinell Francis; Senator Renee Ming; Junior Minister of Tourism Kenneth Bascome, former St George’s MP Kim Swan, Colin Campbell from OBMI and more.

One of the development team announced that he, along with his family, would be moving to Bermuda to oversee the project and will set up an office in St George’s, joking that he will be the one to blame if anything goes wrong during the process.

Update: 14-minute video of speeches from Government, Desarrollos and OBMI representatives:

He said the company that will do the development is called Hotelco Bermuda Holding, which is part of the Desarrollos Hotelco Group, which he said is a “building and hospitality company with origins in Venezuela.”

Another member of the development team spoke on beach access, saying “the beach is a public beach, always has been, and always will be.”

Roberto Stipa from the Desarrollos Group also spoke, saying they are “really looking forward to starting and finishing the project,” and said the “first phase that we will start building is the hotel and golf course.”

Photos of the renderings of the planned development that were available to view at the meeting:

St Regis St George's Hotel Development Town Hall Bermuda, June 9 2016-18

St Regis St George's Hotel Development Town Hall Bermuda, June 9 2016-17

St Regis St George's Hotel Development Town Hall Bermuda, June 9 2016-16

St Regis St George's Hotel Development Town Hall Bermuda, June 9 2016-15

St Regis St George's Hotel Development Town Hall Bermuda, June 9 2016-14

St Regis St George's Hotel Development Town Hall Bermuda, June 9 2016-13

St Regis St George's Hotel Development Town Hall Bermuda, June 9 2016-12

St Regis St George's Hotel Development Town Hall Bermuda, June 9 2016-11

St Regis St George's Hotel Development Town Hall Bermuda, June 9 2016-10

St Regis St George's Hotel Development Town Hall Bermuda, June 9 2016-9

St Regis St George's Hotel Development Town Hall Bermuda, June 9 2016-8

St Regis St George's Hotel Development Town Hall Bermuda, June 9 2016-7

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Comments (61)

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  1. Rada Gast says:

    Well, there goes the relatively quiet and secluded beach at Fort St Catherine’s.

    • AD says:

      Yup – and here come hundreds of jobs and more tourists and more money, so we can buy stuff, like desperately needed infrastructure, a better education for our kids, take care of our seniors. For crying out loud, just drive down to Coopers Island if you are desperate for a secluded beach. Only in Bermuda.

      • Spit Bouy says:

        @ AD,

        Exactly, reading some of the naysayers comments makes you realize just how clueless many people are here.

        Build it like ‘we’ want it or we wont be happy. Is it any wonder why tourism in Bermuda is in the toilet?

        • Pondering says:

          It was pretty obvious at last night’s meeting that some people had made up their minds going in that they weren’t going to be happy before even listening to the plans!

      • Bud says:

        Concrete jungle. Don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.
        Bermuda will still be completely up a creek whether this hotel gets built or not. Save the open space. We’re all f***ed anyway…

  2. Real says:

    They must be out of their damn minds if you think you can build the hotel right there. Guess they’ve never seen it when the winds pick up and the half the sands in the road way . And why do they have to build right next to the beach. So they can complain about noise later on.

    • AD says:

      “Why do the have to build next to the beach” – BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT TOURISTS WANT. Remind me…are we actually in the tourism business?

      • Pride says:

        I thought tourists wanted to see Bermudians enjoying themselves.

        • Family Man says:

          That must be why you run such a successful business yourself and have so much free time. You have such amazing insight into what you think your customers want.

    • Spit Bouy says:

      @ Real,

      Do you really feel that sand, which can be swept up and noise that will mainly come from their guests is reason enough that they shouldn’t build near the beach? Lol

      They’ll have to hire people to sweep it up and put it back on the beach, more jobs for Bermudians right? Their security can deal with the noisy people.

      Why not tell them to build it on top of Fort George Hill. At least there wont be any sand to worry about and minimal noise. SMDH

  3. April-Jean Richardson says:

    Put the hotel back on the hill from whence it came. !

    • Longtail says:

      ….and have another unsuccessful hotel in St George’s. Tourists want beachfront, not just a view of the sea.

      • Spit Bouy says:

        @ Longtail,

        Exactly. Mercy some people are either totally clueless or would rather be downright difficult. Just why tourism in Bermuda is where it is.

  4. Lois Frederick says:

    This great for the whole of Bermuda and in particular the East End. Thank you to the developers for having the confidence to invest millions of dollars in Bermuda. Can’t wait to see shovels in the ground by the end of the year!

  5. Percy says:

    They shouldn’t be allowed to build so close to the beach. The east end is where the turtles are most likely to lay eggs and the artificial light and activity from the hotel will cause long term problems with the natural environment. Build the hotel up the hill and protect the natural beauty of the beach.

    • East End Resident says:

      When is the last time anyone found a turtle egg on Ft St Catherine’s beach?? Good grief!

      • Percy says:

        Turtle eggs hatched from Builders Bay last year and the beach had to be closed to the public, as they are a protected species.
        There were thousands of turtle eggs translocated to East End beaches in the 1960′s – 70′s and they would only expect to see results from this massive conservation project in the next 10-15 years. If you go and see one of the talks given by Mark Outerbridge from the Government Conservation Services Department you would probably begin to understand why building a hotel right on the beach is such a bad idea.

        • What?? says:

          Turtle eggs hatched on Alexander Battery beach last year. Not Builders Bay. The road and houses around Alexander Battery are closer to the beach than this hotel will be.

  6. Cindy Swan says:

    I attending the meeting and the forum was wrong. I found it challenging for many seniors who attended, as we had to stand and they made a presentation and no questions were allowed publicly. There was a room set up with chairs but they insisted all stand and only listen to their introductions and would not take any questions, which was insisted to by David Dodwell. My question is that how David Dodwell, entangled with the hotel project out west is the main negotiator of this project, was he paid a finders fee, is he part of the Bermuda holdings of this new project and is he or any other OBA MP have any financial interest in this project. We need a hotel in St. George but at what cost people? Why can’t the hotel be build on the hill. Think. Southampton has prime beach now. Does the general public have access?

    • A few queries says:

      Dodwell is the chairperson of the BTA,

      BTA = Tourism

      Hotel = Tourism

      Connect the dots.

      Bet you if the PLP was in charge you and yours would have nothing to say.

      Actually go back and look at the drawings of the Bazarian hotel under the PLP. It also went straight done and bordered the beach.

    • Unbelievable says:

      Cindy Swan, you’ve actually not asked any relevant questions. You’ve only just moaned for the sake of it.

    • Pondering says:

      The group was moving amongst the crowd and completely open to questions after the presentation.

  7. Cindy Swan says:

    Southampton Princess has a prime beach but the general public does not have access.

    • Spit Bouy says:

      @ Cindy Swan,

      We can’t eat sand. If having to give up a beach in St George’s (again) and still not have access to one in Southampton gives us jobs to feed our families etc… then so be it.

      Or maybe we should make silly demands until these investors say see you later as well. I guess at least we can then sit on a beach. SMDH

      • Lois Frederick says:

        The beach will remain Public. It is clearly marked on the drawings.

        • Paying Attention says:

          Pay attention! The majority of the beach and the public access falls within the boundary for the hotel. So it makes me wonder if the hotel will control when WE can use the beach. We need to pay very careful attention to this development. The OBA track record for protecting Bermudians sucks and they remain minus 2000 jobs in the hole. #OBAcantbetrusted

      • Lois Frederick says:

        @Spit Bouy – Her preference is understandably sour grapes.

      • Pondering says:

        they made it clear, the beach is completely open to the public so this is not really a valid issue.

    • Dianne A says:

      Fort St. Catherine beach sits empty most days. The people of St. George have several other beaches to visit: Clear Water Beach and park, Turtle Bay Beach, Gunner’s Bay Beach and Park, Drew’s Bay Beach, Building’s Bay, Tobacco Bay Beach, and Ferry Reach Beach. If they are all full, we can drive to John’s Smith Bay or Shelley Bay Beach and park.

      • kindley says:

        True. But none are as beautiful as Fort St. Catherine on the east end. It is expensive for visitors to get to Clearwater, etc. however the food at Gombey’s was delicious. They need to update beach chair availability to make it worth the taxi fee.

  8. mixitup says:

    Well OBAer’s there’s your hotel! Let Listen veerrryyy carefully for the protest (Like Southlands).

  9. mixitup says:

    This is the perfect way to tell a Born Bermudian from a non Born Bermudian…. These Plans turn the stomach of a Born Bermudian, the others LOVE it!! Pay Attention people, gain the world and lose your soul..

    • A few queries says:

      The only reason it turns your stomaching because it isn’t happening under your Party despite the promises of a Platinum Period.

      Go back and look at the drawings of the Bazarian hotel that was to be constructed under the PLP. It also bordered the beach and yet you stayed silent. Does that mean you’re a non-Born Bermudian (nice little Trumpism there)?

      Why do you hate progress and jobs so much? Actually why do you put the love of your Party above the love of your country?

    • serengeti says:

      It ‘turns your stomach’ because it will create jobs for Bermudians.
      It turns your stomach because it will increase tourism.
      It turns your stomach because it isn’t your idea.
      It turns your stomach because they appear to be succeeding where Ewart failed miserably.

      • mixitup says:

        Thank you for bringing this to my attention, I didn’t realize this was the real reason…

        For your information I could care less who builds it, I’m not that tied up in Party Politics, but I am mortified to see another Stunning Vista that 10′s of thousands would normally enjoy on my small Island Obliterated in this fashion.. I would love to see a hotel there, but on the hill with a elevated Bridged walkway to the Beach (Over the existing road). I would have hoped that the OBA would not just cave into these developers demands and allow the mutilation of the Landscape just to say ‘see what we did.’ And as people spoke up on the Southlands development and the PLP’s St. Georges Hotel Project, and the Southshore Cliff Condo debacle, I would expect the same here… But I won’t hold my breath.

    • Pondering says:

      I’m a born Bermudian……….I think the plans are great!

  10. Otto Trott says:

    I started going to the area to paint when I heard that the hotel might be built below the hill. I had no idea that it would be right on the beach. There seems to be plans for something unnecessary on the spot where I painted in this video.

  11. William F.G Bird says:

    124 room will never make money, no more than the 88 room fiasco HSBC has no idea how to write down. This is a condo deal. And the Casino, surviving on 124 rooms in a remote corner of the island, utter nonsense. I trust Government stipulates the hotel and not the condos get built first.

    • A few queries says:

      Tucker’s point was recently sold by HSBC.

      If you read the article it states the hotel and golf course will be built first.

    • Spit Bouy says:

      @ William F. …

      Sadly this project not being profitable and eventually becoming another crumbling derelict site like the previous development is one of the real concerns but I believe building the hotel first is a sure way to realize your point. Lots of money outlaid and possibly a very slow to no return on investment.

      I bet the condos will come first as that will mean money paid up front and then maybe we will see a Hotel. I’m skeptical like most until I see it being or built, Whichever way it goes I’m hoping it’s successful.

  12. Ed Case says:

    Entitled Bermudians like to complain.

  13. Joe says:

    Cmon now folks let’s leave the beach to us locals who never go because we don’t like getting sand in the house and when it’s 75 degrees it’s COLD lol

    • Pondering says:

      Exactly! Some picnics over cup match and other public holidays but usually if you walk past on a regular weekend, the beach has very few locals on it!!

      • Paying Attention says:

        Excuse me! My family and I use use Fort St Catherine Beach several times a week from May to November. The beach belongs to the people!! Move the hotel back up on the hill! It’s the stupidest design concept; besides being obtrusive it doesn’t belong here! I bet half the anonymous people on this stream don’t care about St George’s, it’s people or its beaches. This government doesn’t care about anyone probably why they haven’t held their own public meeting for feedback or comments. Roll on 2017!!!

  14. St. Geo4Lyfe says:

    Smdh… whenever there is a hurricane the current road that runs to the fort is buried by sand… I suppose this hotel will have to be evacuated at the first sign of a storm. I agree with a hotel for St. Geo but this location is terrible… who comes up with this stuff?

    • jt says:

      Meanwhile….the other 99.99% of the time…
      I guess they could always re-purpose the gunpowder tavern. No worries there.

  15. Ed Case says:

    They keep saying the beach will stay public. Entitled folks need to find something else to moan about. Let it go already.

  16. swing voter says:

    let it go…….

  17. Jonathan Land Evans says:

    Judging from the pictures above, it is disappointing to see that the proposed hotel is so visually intrusive and so unattractively designed, in such a prominent and historical spot.

  18. mj says:

    anyone been to Venezuela lately? um saying with all the cancelled flights and all!!!seen pics like this before during former administration of front street, lots and lots of architech designs and no plan was ever fulfilled, right down town across from BFM yeah what happened to those extensive plans.. hello, hello is anyone paying attention, a Bermuda affiliate group based in “starving” Venezuela, Mr. David Dodwell, (sandys ltd) associated with failed Daniels head and Fahy recently transferred from immigration ministry… righhhhhhhhhhhhhrighhhhhhhhhhtt…smh…

  19. Kim Smith says:

    I would have thought that a well-designed hotel tucked into the hillside would be preferable… affording beautiful expansive views and sea breezes. A beautiful path leading down to the beach could add to the Bermuda experience and the openness of the quite small beach could be retained.

  20. Piss n’moan…
    Embrace this and enjoy and make the best offit.
    Can you not just be happy for once?

  21. I fatchin command you to be happy!

  22. SAD says:

    First hurricane watch wat happens!!!dey must not kmow wat happens when a storm rolls threw there

    • wahoo says:

      I agree I hope they have thought about the hurricanes, I haven’t been there for a while but I don’t think it is far above sea level.

  23. Tripp West says:

    As a member and Chairman of the Historical Buildings Advisory Committee, my colleagues and I reviewed the schematic design back in December. The proposed Development was also presented to the St. George’s Preservation Society and the World Heritage Organization. All three heritage bodies had similar concerns that the development was too close to the historical 17th century fort but more importantly, the community access to the beach was not sufficient enough. Presenting architectural arguments to the architects and developers turned out to be very positive because the community aspect of this project had a significant win. They went back to the drawing board to redesign the siting of the hotel and created a substantial space between the new development and the base of the hill leading up to the fort which, resulted in a much better access for the public and preserved the historical significance of Fort St. Catherine. HBAC (Historical Buildings Advisory Committee), along with the Department of Planning and with the assistance of the two St. George’s MP’s worked very hard to convey to the developers that although this project will be economically favourable for St. George’s and Bermuda, they couldn’t alienate the community from the beach or put the significance of our historical monuments in jeopardy. They were very responsive to everyone’s concerns because this development group wants to do what’s right for Bermuda. If Bermuda succeeds, they succeed. So far, they have been a pleasure to work with because they are sensitive and understand how change can affect a community. Bermuda will be proud of this project.

  24. M.C. Beauchamp says:

    They apparently have the first gaming license. How did that happen?

  25. Golfer says:

    I wonder if there will be much Golf Play and what is the plans for water for hotel and course. I also remember much concerns by residents with balls going over their homes and againts their homes. I hope Folks dont get angry again like they did before and welcome the course.

  26. steve says:

    Investors please ignore some of us… We suffer from hole in the bucket syndrome…its just always been that way.

  27. Tom Cooke says:

    The question is… do we want a hotel yes or no… the whiners will always complain. . Even if they live in somerset… you want jobs… pay down on debt…
    What a joke..
    But I guess when the PLP win the next election … this will be something that they will put on there side of the ledger… just looks bad now…
    I need a drink…

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