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Luxury brand secure Morgan’s Point resort

Luxury: A photograph of the Dorado Beach Hotel in Puerto Rico, which is a Ritz-Carlton Reserve resort

Morgan’s Point Limited appears to have secured ultra high-end hotel brand Ritz Carlton Reserve as the operator for its new development.

Ritz Carlton Reserve is at the top end of the luxury hotel and resort chain Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company and is known for its “signature, one-of-a-kind boutique resorts”.

Finance Minister Bob Richards briefly mentioned the deal in the House of Assembly yesterday morning in an answer to the Opposition about Government’s guarantee of $5 million to Arch Reinsurance, on behalf of MPL, for the redevelopment of the site.

Minister Richards was being quizzed on the total amount government would dedicate to phase one of the project as the figure had been increased by $40m to $165m.

After the session, Minister Richards told The Royal Gazette: “That’s the brand that they (Morgan’s Point Ltd) want to be connected with and that’s the reason they gave for needing an increase in our support.

“The project had to be of a higher quality than they previously expected.”

Asked whether Morgan’s Point had officially confirmed the deal with the luxury hotel brand, the Minister said: “That’s what we were told — that it’s confirmed. That’s what they told the Government.

“It’s [the group’s] highest quality brand — we have Ritz Carlton then at the top end, Ritz Carlton Reserve.”

Asked whether government lending on the project could increase, the Minister said: “I don’t think so.”

He said Government was only interested in supporting the first phase of the project including expenses relating to architecture, design, construction engineering and professional advice and services.

He told The Royal Gazette: “There is no Government commitment to phase two. We have committed to getting them off the ground and they are pretty much on their own from there.”

Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company states its Reserve brand is “for travellers seeking to discover a singular location and peerless resort that, through its design and services, has a distinctive personality that blends together the culture, history and heritage of its setting.

“The Reserve brand extension will be distinguished from other award-winning resorts by offering guests exotic, hand-selected ‘hideaway’ destinations globally; a relaxed, casually elegant atmosphere; and an even greater level of individualised service through a higher staff to guest ratio.”

The first Reserve hotel was built in Phulay Bay in Thailand in 2010 and the brand has other hotels in Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Morocco, Thailand and Bali.

Morgan’s Point owners are racing to get the hotel development completed in time for the 2017 America’s Cup in the Great Sound.

MPL CEO and President Craig Christensen plans to deliver an 84-room boutique hotel, 147 residences and marina at the site and said that plans will be ready for submission to the Department of Planning by early next year.

Arch Reinsurance’s initial investment of $5 million represents lead financing from a group of three other Bermuda international insurance and reinsurance companies who have expressed their interest in a similar agreement, The Royal Gazette understands.

Neither Morgan’s Point Limited nor Ritz-Carlton Reserve responded to enquiries about the announcement by the time we went to press.