Dart plans second hotel on Seven Mile Beach

Kimpton-L

The Dart group has confirmed that it in the “early planning stages” for another hotel on Seven Mile Beach. 

Jackie Doak, chief operating officer for Dart, said the hotel would be a five-star brand with the “full spectrum of luxury operators” under consideration. 

The developer is currently making progress on building the four-star, 263-room Kimpton Hotel close to Public Beach, with an opening date of November 2016 scheduled. 

The announcement means there are now four large-scale hotel projects at various stages in the planning process. The revival of the old Hyatt hotel and a planned five-star development in the Bodden Town district are also in the works for Grand Cayman. 

The second Dart hotel would be just a few miles up the coast form the Kimpton site, between the Royal Palms bar and the West Indian Club. 

Outline plans for a hotel were included as part of a planned area development application, requesting zoning changes in the vicinity of Camana Bay.  

A “master-plan” for the full Camana Bay project suggests it will eventually encompass homes, roads and a “resort village” sprawling over 500 acres from the North Sound to Seven Mile Beach.  

Ms. Doak said the hotel would be part of a resort connecting the Camana Bay beach with the Town Center. 

She added, “Dart has not selected a brand and is considering the full spectrum of luxury operators best suited to grow Cayman’s tourism product and help achieve the long-term vision for Camana Bay as the most livable community in the Caribbean.” 

Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell said the steady increase in visitor arrivals and the projections of future growth were good indications that three separate hotel projects within a few miles of each other on Seven Mile Beach, as well as a fourth in the Bodden Town district, could succeed. He said the projects are a good mix of four- and five-star brands that would attract a different mix of visitors. 

The wider planned area development application for the entire Camana Bay “master-plan” was reviewed by the Central Planning Authority during its Oct. 1 meeting. 

According to minutes from that meeting, the authority has received eight letters of objection from residents in the area. The Department of Environment has also requested that the developer alter its plans to ensure the buildings are set back farther from the shoreline. An environmental impact assessment is also recommended for the project. 

The bulk of the residents’ letters express concern over a perceived lack of detail in the application, as well as fears that higher density development will diminish property values and ruin the peace and quiet of the neighborhood.  

The planning application seeks to change the overall zoning for the area to allow the large-scale tourism type development envisaged in the Camana Bay master plan. Separate planning applications would need to be submitted and approved for each part of the project. 

The planning authority agreed to adjourn discussion of the application to seek further information from the applicant. Meantime, Dart and the government continue to negotiate potential amendments to the National Roads Authority agreement that facilitated the closure of part of West Bay Road and the construction of the Kimpton hotel. 

Kimpton

Dart’s planned new hotel will be its second on Seven Mile Beach. The Kimpton hotel, above, is under construction and scheduled to be completed in 2016. – PHOTO: CHRIS COURT

1 COMMENT

  1. I do support the construction of this new hotel by the Dart Foundation. Those people has got the golden touch, because everything they build makes Cayman look more beautiful. If those of us can remember what the area looked like before Dart City was built. A wasted bush swamp. Another thing why I support Dart is that when ever he says he is going to do something, he does it, and it is always well done.
    Some may not approve of his ambitiousness but many who have had business here for over 30 to forty years have had the opportunity to do the same.
    Dart has made West Bay road come alive. Driving along that stretch gives one a sensation of wealth and serenity.
    I do not know who will be building the 5 star in Bodden Town, because the paper did not say, however I am really going to sit back and wait to see this one take place.

  2. Within a few years Grand Cayman will change name to Dart Cayman. The Dart Group has been given unprecedented privilege and access to develop a large part of the Island. Dart owns 25% of the realty in Cayman and it won’t be long before the company will own the Cayman Islands. Dart, a vulture fund investor, is known to gobble up his opponents to make huge profits for himself and pay no taxes. What better place to put that in practice than the Cayman Islands. And he has largely succeeded to the detriment of Caymanians.

  3. This is great news and I completely agree with Twyla on this. I have a saying the I use whenever I hear of them working on something new. ‘DART DOES’. A lot of people complain about Dart saying they’re destroying the island and they own to much as if they are out to hurt Cayman. ( Green Eyed Haters ) I on the other hand think that they have to consider what the best interests of Cayman are because they have way more invested into it and have way more to lose than anyone else if things fall apart. Their projects are always high quality and done to enhance the environment and as Twyla stated they stand behind their word, you can’t even say that about the CIG which is why I was hoping the Dart dealt with the dump. I especially appreciate his use of native plant species.

    Their long term plans do have the potential to make Camana Bay the most livable community in the Caribbean if it’s not already and Cayman can only benefit from that. Plenty of people are saying that the Caymanian People are not benefiting from it, but in my opinion the smart thrifty ones are and will as the Cayman Island Product gets stronger. Now if only the issues with Crime and Good Governance along with the islands economy can be ironed out and we can get the IronWood Project off the ground the Cayman Island Product would really be on top of it’s game.

    My own little investment in Cayman pales in comparison to projects like Camana Bay as well as Ironwood. But I have to say seeing that someone like Dart and Ironwood folks are willing to invest so much into the Cayman Island Product and have that kind of faith in its success does give me a since of comfort that I haven’t made a mistake sinking my money into it..

    Keep up the good work, I’ll say it again ( DART DOES )

  4. With all due respect to Ms Vargas and Mr Davis the development Dart embarks on is of a high standard, just that it is done to his taste which might not gel with everyone’s view of how they see Cayman. Not everyone likes the planned, co-ordinated look of large scale Dart projects which turn the place into high end mall, Miami style developments. I like Camana bay to visit but I wouldn’t choose to live there, and as long as I have a choice that’s fine. Does that make me a ‘green eyed hater’?

  5. I agree with both Joseph King and Twyla.

    It is true that this islands has lost of lot of its Caribbean charm since I moved here 32 years ago.

    Many of these hotels and restaurants would be more at home in Miami or New York.

    On the other hand if there was not a demand for these developments they would not exist.

    It is certainly nice to have a clean modern movie theater for example.

  6. @Joseph, Nope that doesn’t make you a Green Eyed Hater. You voiced your opinion and mentioned your preference of places to live. I happen to share your feelings on liking to visit Camana Bay, but I’d also say it probably wouldn’t be my personal choice of places to live simple because I like it more secluded. I also agree that not everyone would like it, to each his own. As far as being a hater, I didn’t see any of your comments refer to Dart as the devil coming to destroy Cayman or accuse them of stealing the country from the Caymanian people. Those are the types of thing haters say..

  7. Norman, I’d be very interested to see the business plan that has identified the demand for these developments.

    At a time when our existing 4/5 star hotels are struggling to fill their rooms building even more seems to be just a bit on the dumb side.

    One thing for sure Dart will not be cashing is the European market with top end facilities like these because that’s not where the market is. If you want to cash in there you need good quality budget accommodation with room rates under US150 a night.

    The harsh reality is that the history of the hotel business in the Cayman Islands is punctuated by ambitious plans than came to nothing. Whilst I would like to think that this time someone has got it right for a change I’m not optimistic.

  8. Mr Joseph I wish IO could afford to own a business at Dart City. I love the place to visit, but my preference like Mr. Davis says, is in the country, peaceful and secluded to sleep, waking up to birds and roosters and hearing the roar of the ocean. Sitting the Green eyed giant down for a while we can give credit where it is due. I try to visit Caymana Bay as often as I can taking a 25 mile drive. I am so fascinated with the gardens, and the way he has used our Cayman plants and foliage to compliment every where. Even the light fixtures are designed with the thatch palm. Our children of all nationalities can go there and enjoy the fountain showers while parents can shop, eat or sit around under the trees and watch. The atmosphere is so peaceful and relaxing. We could not, and cannot do that at any other resort without being embarrassed by security.
    Yes we have made many big changes, but those came with money, banks and businesses. I do not want to go back to the days of mosquitoes and swamps. Cayman yes have made many changes, but I deal with the changes the same way I do when I do not want to watch certain shows on my TV. I just change the channel but the show is still there. .
    .

  9. I find the governments dealings with Dart pretty curious. By all means, the company knows how to deal with land development, so I find it odd that the government seems to have no problem with Darts ownership of the most expensive real estate on the island but wouldn’t sell them the dump.

    It is evident that dart would do a good job creating a sustainable waste treatment center considering how much they push for recycling and holding its buildings to high ecological standards.

    With that said, I take issue with what I call the Disney-fication of Cayman. While Camana bay is a great area, I would hate to see 25% or more of the island become a uniform version of camana bay, losing all of its character. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe everyone (locals, expats and tourists alike) want to see the same uniform buildings throughout the island. I for one would feel like I’m in the Truman show.

  10. Mr Michael, have you ever made a promise to a large crowd of friends and associates and then found yourself in a position of having to break that promise.?
    Well that was what happened at the election campaign in Bodden Town. The representatives who are most all in Government positions would be in a HOT seat next election if they said anything different.
    I know that Mr Dart would have done the best job we could look for, they know it to. But a promise is a promise. So it is not about getting the best job done, it is about campaign promises.

  11. @Michael Smith, If you find it odd why the Government didn’t let Dart deal with dump you must have not followed the election. Everyone know’s that Dart would have done a great job cleaning up our mess the only ones that will try to make you believe otherwise are the Boddentownians and their personal politicians who would rather dump their garbage in Georgetown than have that mess cleaned up by Dart and have a state of the art waste management facility built in their own district, which by the was wouldn’t have cost the public purse a dime. As Twyla said the only reasoning behind this were political promises made by people who are comfortable making choices that please one district even if it’s to the detriment of the whole island as long as they get their votes. Now what we have done is spent Millions already to just keep pilling more trash on top of the heap and we’re also facing hundreds of millions of spending to fix what he would have done for free.

    Oh and at David, under 150 a Night in Cayman ? That’s not likely to happen and it probably would make Cayman less exclusive which is something we really don’t need.

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