Dart plans 10-storey buildings

The Dart Group’s Kimpton hotel won’t just be the Cayman Islands’ first 10-storey building, it will be the country’s first pair of 10-storey buildings. 

That’s according to a planning application filed by local architect John Doak on behalf of Blossom Estates, the Dart company in charge of the Seven Mile Beach resort project. 

The plans call for a 10-storey hotel building and a 10-storey condo building, each about 130 feet tall, plus three one-storey bungalows, between the Esterley Tibbetts Highway and the now-closed strip of West Bay Road. According to the plans, the existing Surfside Beach Restaurant & Bar will remain on the beachside. Also preserved is an existing public right-of-way to Public Beach. 

The section of West Bay Road was closed in exchange for Dart extending the Esterley Tibbetts to West Bay, under an agreement between Dart and the former United Democratic Party government. A group of residents has challenged that closure in court and a hearing on the case is due to be held in December. 

According to the planning application, Dart’s hotel is expected to cost $139 million to build, with 60 per cent of costs for materials and 40 per cent for labour. Planning fees totalled more than $239,000. 

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The footprint of the proposed project is 111,898 square feet, with a gross floor area of 589,170 square feet. 


Square footage  

The footprint of the hotel building is 75,248 square feet, with a total gross floor area of 414,426 square feet. There is some 34,638 square feet of commercial space in the hotel building, for a spa, shops, two restaurants, a bar and meeting rooms. The footprint of the condo building is 36,650 square feet, with a total gross area of 170,244 square feet. Each of the three bungalows is 1,500 square feet. 

The buildings are clustered around a pool, with the complex opening up to Seven Mile Beach. 

In addition to the 10 storeys of living space, each building has two storeys for underground parking. In total, the hotel building has 203 rooms and 37 apartments, ranging in size from 582 square feet for a single king-sized room to 2,563 for a four-bedroom apartment. The condo building has 62 units, ranging from 650 square feet for a studio, to 3,066 square feet for a four-bedroom apartment. There are six bungalow units in all, each being 750 square feet. 



The first floor of the hotel building contains the lobby, a 5,000-square foot grand ballroom with a terrace, a 2,200-square-foot junior ballroom and a 750-square-foot bedroom. The lobby also contains a 2,120-square-foot space for “Dart retail”, lounge bar and a three-meal restaurant, on the beachside of the building, with seating for about 70 people. 

The 10th floor of the hotel building contains a “sky bar and feature restaurant”, with indoor and outdoor seating for about 60 people.  

The first floors of the hotel and condo buildings are 24 and 25 feet above mean sea level, and their roofs rise to about 142 feet above sea level, with the entire physical structures sitting under the maximum 158-foot height set by Cayman’s aviation authority. 

To gain access to the property, the plans show a curving divided driveway extending northwest from the Esterley Tibbetts to the resort buildings. In addition to underground parking, there is a surface parking lot with 158 spaces next to the Esterley Tibbetts. 


The US architect is SB Architects of Florida, along with local firm John Doak Architecture. The landscape architect is ESDA of Maryland. The structural engineer is APEC Consulting Engineers of Cayman. The MEP engineer is TLC Engineering for Architecture of Florida. 

Earlier in July, Dart formally announced that San Francisco-based Kimpton will manage the new hotel. Dart acquired the site from developer Stan Thomas in 2011. The property is the location of the former Courtyard Marriott, which was demolished to make way for the new hotel.  

The opening date for the Kimpton in Cayman is 2016. The plans for the hotel are available for public viewing at the Cayman Islands Planning Department, and 
still have to be approved by officials. 

Related Video Report: Dart woos trendy hotelier

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  1. Why the penchant for monolithic structures – I used to think the wisest law in Cayman was that no building was to be taller than the tallest Palm Tree.

    Remember it is the Government and the People who are being ASKED for permission to build a pair of 10 storey buildings, not the developer TELLING cayman what it is going to build. It would be quite proper for the planning authorities to ask them to come back with a different (shorter, wider and less intrusive) design more in keeping with the surroundings.

    Is the infrastructure in place? Does the fire sevice have appliances capable of rescuing from that height… Do current building codes scale to this size?

    New York went through a lot of growing pains in the 1920’s and eventually passed laws to ensure that Daylight still filtered down to the street level – Has anyone considered how far the shadow will fall across public beach – simple schoolboy maths will tell you that the shadow will be greater than 130 foot for over 6 hours of the day (Probably not that great for hotel patrons wanting to sunbathe either).