Ground broken on Fairmont Southampton renovations
Long-awaited work to renovate the Fairmont Southampton property has begun, it was announced last night.
Westend Properties said that ground was broken at the property’s beach club site last week and preliminary preparations are under way for refurbishments at the hotel itself.
The company said it is hoped that the beach club will be ready to open next summer, while the hotel’s public areas and half of its rooms are expected to be in a position to welcome guests by the end of 2025.
Karim Alibhai, the founder of Miami-based investment group Gencom, of which Westend is an affiliate, said in a statement: “The steps we’ve taken at the Fairmont Southampton property this week have been groundbreaking, literally, and are significant, tangible signs of our commitment to this redevelopment and to the people of Bermuda.
“We are so excited to be moving ahead with this much anticipated project.”
He thanked the Government, the Bermuda Industrial Union and the public for their support, adding: “We look forward to the beginning of the overhaul of the hotel in the weeks ahead.”
The statement from Westend Properties said that work was beginning in a number of areas at the resort with the intention of maximising efficiency and “reopening as much as possible, as soon as possible”.
“For instance, at the Waterlot Inn, Bermuda-based Atlantic Mooring will be removing the old dock and installing new dock decking beginning in early March,” the statement said.
“Local contractor BCM Construction will be responsible for the interior renovations at the restaurant. We are aiming to once again welcome locals and visitors to Waterlot, as well as boats to the dock, as early as this summer.”
At the beach club area, the company said workers and equipment were on site this week to begin the demolition needed to make room for the new beach facilities, scheduled to open in the summer of 2025.
Alessandro Colantonio, Gencom’s chief investment officer, said: “We’re so pleased to report that Ennismore — a leading global lifestyle and leisure hospitality company and a joint venture with Accor, the owner of Fairmont Hotels and Resorts — will operate the revitalised beach club when it reopens.
“The revamped club is going to be spectacular.
“As we previously announced, it will feature a number of updated amenities, including a resort-style pool, a new restaurant with a fabulous menu, private cabanas, change huts, beachfront loungers, a spacious events lawn and a watersports centre.
“It’s sure to quickly become a favourite destination for locals and visitors alike.”
The company added that model rooms for the hotel were complete, and purchasing plans for the furniture, fixtures and equipment were “in progress”.
Construction work at the hotel is expected to take about 20 months, with a phased reopening scheduled to allow public spaces and half of guest rooms to be open and in use before the end of next year.
The company added that Insulcon Construction started work on upgrades to staff housing, and BCM Construction will start the necessary survey work and utility trench layout in the coming weeks.
It said: “A significant number of the companies involved in this project are Bermuda-based companies.
“In addition to Atlantic Mooring, BCM Construction and Insulcon Construction, local firms On-Site Engineering, Performance Construction and architectural consultant HDH Ltd are on board.
“It’s estimated that approximately 200 jobs will be created for local talent through the renovation of the hotel and beach club.
“The balance of the redevelopment team consists of contractors and designers who have worked with Gencom in the past.”
Hopes for boosting airlift to the island have been pinned on the reopening of the resort, which is crucial for large-scale business events as well as regular tourism.
It has been closed since 2020, after the Covid-19 pandemic shut down Bermuda tourism.