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Tennis courts at Fairmont Southampton to go as part of revamp

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The owners of the Fairmont Southampton plan to replace tennis courts with cabanas as part of its bid to revitalise the resort.

A planning application said the hotel wanted to demolish tennis courts and offices at the South Shore property in favour of cabanas, an event venue and a swimming pool.

The project would also feature a new beach front restaurant and changing rooms.

The application said: “For the beach goer, on the south side of the property, along Bermuda's South Road coast, are the resort's beach facilities.

“After nearly half a century of regular use, these seaside amenities are tired, aged, and in need of attention.

“To attract the savvy traveller, provide ongoing service to local residents and to continue to draw large group events and conferences, the owners of the Fairmont Southampton Princess are looking to embark on some upgrades at the existing beach facilities.”

The application proposed the replacement of “redundant amenities” with “new, more user friendly experiences and facilities”.

The plans showed the creation of a large swimming pool, a series of cabanas with plunge pools and a function lawn, along with a new restaurant at the western side of the beach.

The application said the project would have “small scale, architecturally sensitive, single storey buildings” and would be decorated with native plants, trees and shrubs to “respect the Bermuda image”.

The application added: “The reorganised site improves the overall appearance of the setting by accentuating the natural environment.

“Unobstructed views to the ocean are possible because of the small scale, Bermuda style structures which are situated along the perimeter of the beach facilities area.

“Additionally, the landscape is complimentary to the development because Bermuda seaside-recommended trees, plants, and shrubs are incorporated into the design.”

The planning documents also highlighted that a separate application would include proposals for a new waste water treatment plant.

The application said: “These improvements will benefit the beach facilities because the waste water treatment plant and potable water from the main hotel are connected to the beach facilities.”

The Fairmont Southampton, built in 1972, was bought by Gencom, a Miami-based hotel investment firm, in 2019.

Karim Alibhai, Gencom’s founder, said at the time that the hotel would get a $180 million revamp to return the hotel to “its former glory as Bermuda’s premier resort for both locals and visitors”.

But last March the hotel was forced to lay off staff as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

It was announced last September that the hotel would close for renovations on October 23 with work expected to take 18 months.

A total of 714 staff at the hotel were made redundant, including 430 Bermudians.

The Government paid out $11 million to cover redundancy for the workers, but Gencom later repaid the cash, plus legal expenses.

Tennis courts at the Fairmont Southampton (Photograph supplied)

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Published April 24, 2021 at 7:54 am (Updated April 24, 2021 at 5:11 am)

Tennis courts at Fairmont Southampton to go as part of revamp

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