Revamped Aunt Nea’s Inn reopens
A historic guesthouse in Bermuda has a new lease of life.
Aunt Nea's Inn at Hillcrest has been given a major makeover under new owners Neil Moncrieff and Faith Bridges.
The inn, which went on the market last year with a price tag of $1.6 million, has been undergoing extensive upgrades since January.
Mr Moncrieff said: “We did a full renovation — all the electrics, the plumbing, we just revamped everything.
“Every single bathroom was replaced, we've got new floors and new furniture in the bedrooms.”
The property now boasts five rooms with en suite facilities, as well as a self-contained apartment to the rear of the 18th century building and a small room on the outside.
Mr Moncrieff, a podiatrist who runs Hamilton's Bermuda Podiatry Centre, moved to St George's about four years ago — and spotted the potential for high-quality guest accommodation at a reasonable price.
The first house he bought, on Fort George Hill, is now tourist accommodation and he also renovated the old Belco building in the town into a four-bedroom vacation rental.
In addition, he has renovated two other properties and also runs watersports and adventure firm Just Add Water.
Mr Moncrieff said: “We just thought about bed and breakfast and looked at all these old houses not doing anything.
“We upgraded them all and made them a lot nicer.”
Just Add Water is set to move from its current home at the St George's Dinghy Club to a more central location in Water Street.
Mr Moncrieff said: “St George's has a bad name for itself because it's a quiet town — but sometimes that's what people want.
“Our vacationers love it because they don't have to rent a bike. They can walk to dinner and walk to the grocery store.”
And he added: “I'm a firm believer that cruise ship passengers, their next stop is vacation rental. It's not that expensive.
“I still believe St George's is on the up. There is already a buzz and it's a younger crowd we're trying to move things towards. I think it will become more of a destination.”
Aunt Nea's, once the home of the US Consul General and still has its original Bermuda cedar features.
Mr Moncrieff said the inn had been granted its licence to operate two weeks ago and was now open for business.
He said: “That means we can actually have guests, which is fantastic. We're going to do a ribbon cutting on Friday.
“I want Bermudians to see it and realise St George's is cool.”
Aunt Nea's had been in the Wright Robinson family since 1916. It was opened as Hillcrest Guest House in 1961 until it was last year put on the market by the trust that owned it.