Luxury hotel chain Hyatt is returning to Grand Cayman after announcing a deal to operate the new five-star resort on Seven Mile Beach, expected to open late 2020.

Hyatt Hotels Group revealed Thursday that a Hyatt affiliate has entered into a franchise agreement with developer Pageant Beach Hotel Ltd. for the 351-room Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman Hotel and Residences.

The Howard Hospitality Group, the company behind the development, was granted full planning permission last month for the 10-story resort at the southern end of West Bay Road.

David Tarr, senior vice president of development for Hyatt, said the resort would be a welcome return to the Cayman Islands for the brand.

“We are delighted that the Grand Hyatt brand is expanding in the Caribbean, and especially in Grand Cayman where the hospitality and tourism sector is primarily aimed at the luxury market,” he said.

The shell of the old Hyatt hotel, once an icon of Cayman’s tourism industry, still towers over the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. It sustained significant damage during Hurricane Ivan and has not been redeveloped since then. It was bought by the Dart group last year and is in the process of being demolished.

Mr. Tarr said, “The opening of this hotel [at Pageant Beach] will be a great addition to this popular destination, and marks the welcome return of the Hyatt brand to the Cayman Islands.”

Howard Sitzer, chairman of Pageant Beach Hotel Ltd. and owner of HHG, heralded the agreement in a joint press statement.

“Pageant Beach Hotel Ltd. is excited to be developing what we know will be a sought-after vacation and meeting destination, with the Grand Hyatt brand’s signature grandeur and authentic dining experiences,” he said.

According to the release, the resort and residences will have 351 guest rooms, studio suites, and multi-room units.

It will include six cafes and restaurants, a spa and fitness center, three swimming pools, shops and a private screening room. It will also have 25,000 square feet of indoor meeting and event space, making it the largest function space in the Cayman Islands, according to the press release.

The hotel will be managed by an affiliate of Aimbridge Hospitality, an international hotel investment and management company. “Aimbridge Hospitality is honored to collaborate with Hyatt on this incredible Grand Hyatt Grand Cayman resort to enhance the guest experience and boost revenue,” said the company’s president Dave Johnson.

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