New owners planning three-year upgrade to Cambridge Beaches
The new owners of the historic Cambridge Beaches resort have revealed they are planning a three-year upgrade of the facility.
Dovetail + Co, which describes itself as ’an owner, developer and operator of genuine and imaginative hospitality’, also said it had the financial backing to put the plan in progress without disruption to the resort’s operations.
Phil Hospod, Dovetail’s CEO, said the company was “fully capitalised” by on-island financiers to carry out the upgrades.
He added: “We are fortunate to have Butterfield Bank as our lender on the project.
“Butterfield knows the property well, understands our business plan, and is committed to Bermuda and its tourism industry.”
Last night the Premier, David Burt, hailed the take-over news, saying: “This is an exciting development and further sets the stage for the recovery we need to see in tourism for Bermuda. It is incredibly encouraging news that this iconic property will benefit from upgraded rooms and enhanced amenities. A new and refreshed hotel product is a vital part of the equation for success in presenting a Bermuda vacation to our visitor market.”
Mr Hospod said upgrades will likely begin towards the end of this year, ready for the start of next year’s peak season.
More renovations will be carried out over the next three years.
“We do not anticipate needing to close during the work as the property is well spread out which will allow us to stage our renovations,” said Mr Hospod.
He added that Bermudian craftsmen would play a key role in bringing the resort to life, while its traditional elements were maintained.
“We hope to work with local vendors, contractors, craftspeople, and artists to continue to celebrate the authentically Bermudian experience that Cambridge Beaches is famous for.”
Clarence Hofheins, the general manager of Cambridge Beaches, added that the new ownership was a win-win for the resort and Bermuda.
He added: “Dovetail are embracing the history of Cambridge Beaches and their philosophy matches all our core values.
“They bring a wealth of experience in the resort business and their vision aligns perfectly on what we have been striving to achieve.”
Mr Hofheins said: “The plans and the capital that our new owners are discussing, regarding the refurbishing of the resort, will be fantastic.
“This past year has been so tough on all the staff, dealing with this world pandemic and having to worry about if they were going to have a job from week-to-week.
“They now know that they will be able to survive these next few months as Bermuda and the world start to return to normal and when the travellers return, they will be able to return to full time employment.”
The firm became the new owners of the iconic Sandys resort after they signed a deal last week after months of negotiations.
They are already marketing it on their website where the company says: “As the new stewards of Cambridge Beaches, Dovetail + Co aims to preserve the past, invest in the future, and carry on the tradition of creating meaningful experiences for our honored guests.”
The Premier added: “With its plans for development, Dovetail’s vote of confidence in Bermuda is especially important after the impact of Covid-19 on the worldwide tourism industry. The Government is committed to working with them to deliver a product consistent with the excellent reputation that Cambridge Beaches has long enjoyed.”
With St. Regis set to open later this month and the success story that is Azura on South Shore, Mr Burt said: “From Somerset to St. George’s, exciting things are happening in tourism for Bermuda. There is incredible pent-up demand for leisure travel, and we are working with our hotel partners to meet that demand.
“In conjunction with the Bermuda Tourism Authority leadership, Government representatives will meet weekly to jointly plan and strategise on how we navigate this period.”
Mr Burt added: “Bermudiana Beach is hopefully next. We are working diligently to satisfy the requirements for the $10m financing for the addition of those amenities at the proposed Hilton Vacations branded site to have it open for guests.
“This is all part of the economic recovery we are determined to create in the wake of this pandemic: construction and related jobs to build and renovate these properties and a hotel product that will require Bermudian workers to deliver the tourism experience that guests demand.”
The resort’s oldest building dates back to the 1600s and has been a magnet for tourists for almost 100 years – making it one of Bermuda’s oldest hotels.