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Rosedon Hotel Bermuda to undergo major renovation

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Damien Davenport, the general manager of Rosedon Hotel Bermuda, will oversee a major renovation (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)

A Hamilton hotel is to undergo a multimillion-dollar renovation that will include rebranding as a more upmarket establishment, the introduction of an outdoor pizzeria and a poolside bar.

The overhaul at the Rosedon Hotel Bermuda, estimated to cost between $2 million and $3 million, will be overseen by Damien Davenport, the hotel’s general manager who joined from the Hotel Du Vin group in Britain last June.

While the 27-room Rosedon renovation is expected to be completed by the end of next year, guests can expect to see significant changes much sooner, not least the August launch of Clarabell’s, an outdoor pizzeria nestled in the foliage of the front terrace.

The pool bar is also expected to be completed this year. Serving drinks and food, it will be opened up to the public and will host weekly events.

The hotel and pool will become adult only while the rest of the facility will remain family-friendly.

The ever-popular Huckleberry Restaurant will remain but see some changes this year to make it more “approachable”.

The hotel will stay open to guests throughout the renovations, which are expected to generate upwards of 15 jobs when completed. There are presently about 50 employees at the hotel.

Mr Davenport told The Royal Gazette: “Our overall objective is to be the leading small luxury hotel of Bermuda.

“The full renovation will be done by the end of next year because all of our bedrooms are being totally renovated, new bathrooms, new flooring … everything. The hotel will have more of a mid-century-type feel.

“It will become a bit more contemporary and there will be more patterned fabrics and wallpapers to bring the building alive.”

Damien Davenport, the general manager for Rosedon Hotel Bermuda, will oversee a major renovation (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)
Other hotels are also investing heavily

Other hotels are also progressing with renovations and upgrades.

On Friday, MPs in the House of Assembly approved tax breaks for the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club covering the fourth phase of multimillion-dollar improvements that have transformed the hotel.

The latest work will see more than $21 million invested for renovations in areas including to the Harbour View Hall Room and the Princess Rooms.

With the fourth phase taken into account, the Green family, who own the hotel, will have put about $160 million into the property.

The Grotto Bay Beach Resort & Spa is also expanding its inventory by building more than 50 new rooms at its Castle Harbour property.

Since taking up his role, Mr Davenport introduced all-day dining at Huckleberry and opened it seven days a week rather than five.

He said: “We have a new menu coming in on June 4 and it will be more of a brasserie-style menu.

“Then in the autumn, the whole of Huckleberry Restaurant will be renovated. That is when people will really notice that change. There is no structural work but it will certainly look, feel and sound in the music a lot different from what it does today.

“We are extending our menu to make it more approachable. When I arrived here, there was a taster menu and a two or three-course menu where now it is more of an à la carte menu.

“With the music, Huckleberry will have more of an island, reggae vibe going.”

With the Rosedon becoming more upmarket, resembling the global hotel chain and group of private members’ clubs Soho House, the price point is following suit.

While last year, the Rosedon was averaging about $400 per room per day, it is now selling the same for an average of $800 and that price looks set to increase further after the renovations.

“The idea is that it is a higher-end, more exclusive hotel,” Mr Davenport said.

“As soon as we get the bedrooms started in the fall, the website will change. All the signage will change in the next ten weeks but the look, the feel, the sound and experience will change a lot over the next three months.”

The new logo soon to be adopted by the Rosedon Hotel Bermuda as part of its rebranding (Image supplied)

Part of the price increase for the rooms has been because the hotel’s IT systems were adjusted on Mr Davenport’s arrival, which has helped to increase occupancy at the hotel through enhanced visibility globally.

Prior to his arrival, the hotel rooms could be booked only via its website but it is now advertised across online travel agencies such as Booking.com and a global distribution system accessed by the likes of big insurance companies for their employees.

Mr Davenport said that as part of the rebranding, the Rosedon will regain its status as the establishment’s primary brand. He said that during Covid the hotel closed down and Huckleberry became the main focus.

There will also be an increased focus on the leisure market to complement the strong corporate market Rosedon enjoys presently.

The renovation coincides with the 70th anniversary of the Kitson Family buying the property on July 1.

The family already spent $7 million on the hotel grounds and kitchen over the past five years.

Owen Darrell, the tourism minister, left, with Damien Davenport, the general manager of the Rosedon Hotel Bermuda (Photograph supplied)

Mr Davenport said the hotel will be submitting an application for concessions under the Tourism Investment Act, having already met Owen Darrell, the Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport.

He added: “The other big part is our employees. When I got here, we did a lot of work on employee benefits to make us more attractive. The servers come in on the minimum wage as their basic wage, then they get their service fees on top of that.

“Legally, that changed in March this year but we did it in October last year so every penny goes to the restaurant staff, front and back of house.

“Overall, our staff is 54 per cent Bermudian and spouse of Bermudian staff but I am striving to get that higher.”

The Rosedon Hotel Bermuda (Photograph by Sarah Lagan)

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Published May 20, 2024 at 8:00 am (Updated May 20, 2024 at 7:43 am)

Rosedon Hotel Bermuda to undergo major renovation

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