Dart and InterContinental Hotels & Resorts (IHG) announced Tuesday that they plan to build a 10-storey hotel by Seven Mile Beach.
Hotel Indigo – a 282-room building, with multiple restaurants, a pool deck and rooftop bar – is scheduled to open in 2024, if the planning application is given the green light.
The companies have submitted plans for the hotel to the Central Planning Authority, according to a Dart spokesperson.
The hotel site is located south of the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa, which is also an IHG-branded hotel.
Subject to approval from the Central Planning Authority, the hotel will be set back from the beach, between the Public Beach car park and the Esterley Tibbetts Highway. It will have a designated beachfront area on land owned by Dart, located between the Kimpton and the now-closed Calico Jack’s.
Tourism Minister Moses Kirkconnell was quoted in a press release issued by the companies as saying he welcomed the addition of the Hotel Indigo brand to the Cayman Islands.
“Having the globally recognised Hotel Indigo brand represented in the Cayman Islands will be a wonderful addition to our tourism product,” he said, “and will provide opportunities to attract visitors from new market sectors to experience the magnificence of a Caymankind vacation. The continued development of tourism properties despite the current slow-down in tourist visitation speaks volumes about the strength of our economy and is reflective of the Cayman Islands’ established reputation as a world-class tourism destination.
“Investment on this scale is also encouraging because it promises to deliver an extensive multiplier effect as its impact ripples through the community benefitting our economic, cultural and social sectors,” he said.
A number of applications for new 10-storey hotels on Seven Mile Beach have gone before the Central Planning Authority, including one at the existing Westin hotel site which the CPA rejected last month. The CPA also rejected an application by Libanon Corporation for a 10-storey hotel on the northern end of the beach, but later approved a revised application for a seven-storey hotel at the site instead.
Regarding the proposed Hotel Indigo, Dart CEO Mark VanDevelde stated in the release that the project would create hundreds of jobs, “and the three-year construction window means we will be ready for better days ahead”.
He said, “Since opening the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa four years ago, we recognised the market interest in an off-beach, boutique hotel. Although COVID-19 has disrupted global travel this year, we are confident that the Cayman Islands’ natural beauty, warm hospitality and convenient location will continue to make it a sought-after destination for discerning travellers in the future.”
He added that Dart is committed to progressing projects that “provide an economic stimulus during the coming years, while economies around the world adjust to the impact of COVID-19”.
Julienne Smith, IHG’s senior vice president of development, Americas, said, “We are excited to build on our successful relationship with Dart and bring the Hotel Indigo brand to the Caribbean. Travellers to the Cayman Islands are looking for more than a beach – they’re seeking an authentic experience with style that reflects the rich, local culture of the island itself. Hotel Indigo, trusted and well-loved by travellers worldwide, is a perfect fit for Grand Cayman and we look forward to opening the doors of this fantastic new hotel.”
According to the release, the project architects are Atlanta-based BLUR Workshop, which will work with interior designers Farouki Farouki, landscape architects Hoet, and Dart’s in-house designers.