The Howard Hospitality Group has submitted plans for its third major Cayman Islands project – a US$285 million five-star hotel and condo development on the southern tip of Seven Mile Beach.

Michael Wilkings, CEO of the group, said the development on the old Pageant Beach site would include around 250 hotel rooms and 100 two and three bedroom condominiums.

An architect’s video of the proposed development shows adjoining multi-story buildings overlooking the beach and pools. A boardwalk traverses the ironshore coastline of the 7.1 acre site.

Mr. Wilkings said the development would include seven food and beverage outlets, including an “internationally branded restaurant.” He said the hotel itself would be a five-star brand operated by the Howard Group under a licensing agreement.

The resort will also feature four pools, a cinema screening room, a rooftop spa and 35,000 square feet of conference space.

The plans are expected to be considered by the Central Planning Authority in the coming months. Mr. Wilkings said the developer was hoping to begin construction in the first quarter of next year, with opening tentatively scheduled for 2020.

The Howard Group took over Treasure Island in 2015, transforming it into the Margaritaville resort, and is also renovating a three-story property on West Bay Road as a new 42-room business hotel, Locale.

Mr. Wilkings said the company was investing heavily in Grand Cayman.

“We have huge confidence in the future growth of business and tourism in Grand Cayman. We think there is substantial potential for long-time growth not withstanding other new hotels coming into the market.”

He said the resort at Pageant Beach would have more conference and meeting room space than any other development on island, and would attract new business to the Cayman Islands.

“It means we will be able to attract larger group bookings and corporate events, which is something I know the Department of Tourism is excited about,” Mr. Wilkings said. “One of the limitations the island has had in attracting group bookings is the limited space.”

The National Conservation Council has already indicated that the development will not be required to go through an Environmental Impact Assessment.

Mr. Wilkings said architects had consulted the Department of Environment in the planning process and tailored the development to avoid any negative impacts.

“They worked closely with us to help us understand the shoreline and beach conditions and any touch points of concern on the sire so we were really able to understand what we needed to do from an environmental sustainability perspective.”


  1. What a joke, these guys can’t even pay their current debts and are way behind schedule with the TI project. How will they be able to pay for this much less finish by 2020?

  2. Absolutely unnecessary. Growth means more destruction in this case. No need to bring more crowds to the island. Infrastructure doesn’t support any growth. Focus should be on quality vs. quantity, uniqueness, environmental sustainability, not “mass” tourism.
    There should a height restriction along SMB law . No need for 4 more pools with all its chemicals that eventually overburden already suffocating infrastructure. This island already surrounded by water, why build more and more pools? There should be a pool restriction law as well. The pools building madness must stop.
    People come to the Caribbean islands to ESCAPE crowds, pollution including electromagnetic and NOISE. This island is turning into a major source of it.
    Anybody is able to understand this?

  3. Another point is where all debris from the Treasure Islands remodeling have ended up?
    You got it. The Dump. How much did they pay to dispose it? What did local people end up with? More pollution from the ever growing Dump. What are the long term consequences from such practices? “Hospital plans for patient overload”.
    There should be another Law that requires all major contractors to dispose their “debris” off island. Yes, you hear it right. Not burned later on and further poisoned local people, but OFF THIS ISLAND.
    I am still wondering how did they manage to just reconstruct The Treasure Islands, keeping the original building frame. Someone had approved it. I hope this someone is a highly qualified engineer.

    • Your final comment raises an interesting question. Back in 2007/8 I rented rooms in TI and trust me it would have taken more than a cosmetic make over to get them ready for use as a resort again. The damp and mould had to be seen to be believed.

      According to current TripAdvisor reports TI is still junder renovation and experiencing a few problems. Sounds like it may have been re-opened before it was ready for guests?

  4. While I am in favor of development of these islands in order to see a better quality of life for all of us living on Grand Cayman, developments such as this will not lead to anything other than a reduction to what we have now.

    Perhaps The National Conservation Council has “indicated” an environmental impact study is not necessary, but has it considered the road situation in the area of this monster hotel? Is the National Roads Authority prepared (and financially able) to make necessary road widening and improvements in the area to service this facility? A five star 250 room hotel would have a minimum of 250 employees for the hotel operation alone, then many more for the various restaurants, spa etc., If the hotel were to sell 60% of the rooms each day with 1.5 persons per room add in the employee trips, non guest restaurant trips and miscellaneous deliveries per day, there would be over 1,000 vehicles entering and exiting the property each day. Just how will that work with the existing roadway? How would traffic be managed to allow for a safe flow in, out and past the hotel? How will this increase in traffic effect nearby businesses?

    In addition, there would be an additional 100 apartments. Thinking about how this would effect our water and sewerage systems for example, such a facility would mean approximately 1500 sinks and toilets would be using our limited water resources for consumption, cooking, washing, showering and of course flushing human and food waste into the system multiple times per day, not including public showers, restrooms and employee facilities etc. How will the existing systems be able to handle all of this?

    Again, I am a strong proponent of development, but I agree with those above who caution government to carefully consider this project based on a long term look at the Cayman we all want to have today, tomorrow and long into the future.

    • Compass is long overdue for an article on the state of the Grand Cayman infrastructure. I think the last one was in 2010, and it only covered sewage system.
      I have never seen a study on the carrying capacity of the existing infrastructure or tourism carrying capacity (which must be included in the planning for tourism).
      Any expansion on this island must be in agreement with its “carrying capacity”.

  5. Four questions –

    1. How many staff will it need to build this place?

    2. Where will they come from?

    3. How many staff will it take to run this place?

    4. Where will they come from?

    This is yet another project that looks good on paper but not so good in reality.

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