By Gareth Finighan
Source: The Royal Gazette
Details of a major facelift for Bermuda’s oldest hotel have been unveiled by the new owners of the Fairmont Hamilton Princess.
And the Green family has also announced that it will be pumping more funds into the revamp than first planned, increasing its renovation budget from $50 million to $70 million in order to transform the resort into “the premier hotel in Bermuda”.
The upgrade consists of three separate projects — a new pool area and landscaping, the refurbishment of 69 rooms and suites in the Poinciana and Bermudiana wings, and a state-of-the-art marina.
Alexander Green, who owns the hotel with his brother and father, said: “Since our family has taken ownership of The Fairmont Hamilton Princess, we have been focused on how to breathe new life into the historic property.
“We have been inspired to such an extent by the potential that the hotel has to become a leading asset in Bermuda’s tourism arsenal that we have increased our budget for renovations from $50 million to $70 million. Our larger financial commitment is testimony to the faith that we have in Bermuda as an attractive place to invest.”
The pool area, which will be almost three times the size of the current pool, will feature infinity, family and lap pools with luxury loungers, shaded seating and hammocks, all with uninterrupted views of Hinson’s Island and Hamilton Harbour.
Pergolas will be incorporated into new landscaping and there will also be a new hot tub.
The floor-to-ceiling room renovations will include new furniture, fixtures and equipment, as well as an extension to balconies and terraces overlooking Hamilton Harbour.
The wireless internet and audio visual features will be upgraded and contemporary new tile and stone will be used in the luxury bathrooms.
Modern artwork by Bermudian artists, which has been handpicked by the family, will also be added.
In addition, two ultra-luxury two bedroom suites will be created with extended balconies that will have 180 degree views over the harbour.
The two-bedroom suites will have a private dining and living room area, as well as two separate bedrooms and bathrooms and a powder room.
And a new marina will offer 66 berths and additional docking space for up to 30 vessels, ranging in size to accommodate pleasure craft, tournament fishing boats as well as mega yachts.
Next to the marina, a Gazebo-style bar and grill will be created for spectacular dining right at the water’s edge with uninterrupted views of Two Rock Passage.
A new kitchen will be built within the bar and grill and will service both hotel guests and locals.
Andrew Green, on behalf of the Green family, comments: “Our vision for The Fairmont Hamilton Princess will reposition the property as the premier hotel in Bermuda.
“We are excited about the renovation plans and look forward to unveiling the upgrades next year. As our plans take shape, we will ensure a smooth evolution of the hotel to prepare it for the next chapter in its historical development.”
The Green family purchased the hotel last September and almost immediately announced plans to redevelop the hotel.
Renovations will begin at the start of November and most projects are expected to be complete by the spring, although work on the marina will continue into the summer.
Longer term development plans include a new spa, gym and signature restaurant in the Gazebo Lounge.
Architect Jason Mackertich of Botelho Wood Architects, which is overseeing the project, said that planners are aggressively pursuing an extremely tight timetable in order to complete most of the work during the off-season window.
And he praised the owners for hitting the ground running.
“This is a major project involving two or three contractors and things are really moving fast,” he said.
Financing for the renovations has been provided by Butterfield Bank.
And according to a spokesman, Government will be supporting this project through the Hotel Concessions Act as well as through the Economic Development Committee which has streamlined the process of obtaining the relevant Government permissions.
Last night Premier Craig Cannonier heralded the development as “another milestone for Bermuda’s tourism industry and the community”.
“An investment of this size in the oldest hotel on the Island sends a resounding message that Bermuda is indeed open for business as we expand, grow and upgrade our very special properties,” the Premier said.
“We thank the Green family for their confidence in Bermuda and wish them every success as their renovation plans move forward.”
Tourism Minister Shawn Crockwell added: “The Green family’s investment will further strengthen the hotel’s position as one of the Island’s foremost assets for attracting international business and leisure visitors.
“The introduction of a first-rate marina will provide a new product offering for the international luxury yacht charter industry and the significant upgrades to the hotel is sure to provide a boost to tourism.”
The Bermuda Progressive Labour Party today welcomed the news of the multi-million investment.
Said Shadow Tourism Minister Wayne Furbert: “The Green family through this move have displayed a belief in Bermuda and a commitment to enhancing our product. For years, Bermuda has needed an injection of life and a freshening of our product and this investment is sure to benefit our people immeasurably.
“We commend the Green family for their continued support of Bermuda and wish them much success in this venture.”