April 09, 2015
Management of the One&Only Ocean Club has announced the details of an anticipated renovation to that "ultra-luxury" property. The work was forecast by Prime Minister Perry Christie to cost $50 million.
Although the resort has not said when the work will begin or end, Guardian Business understands the renovations will not begin this year despite Christie's assertion that it would start this summer.
Christie raised the issue of the Ocean Club renovation during the mid-year budget debate, and laid out for the House of Assembly the planned stages of the expansion. He said the first phase would include a $12 million renovation of the Hartford Wing and that it would begin in summer 2015.
He said this phase of the work would generate 35 construction jobs and yield $1.2 million in taxes through value-added tax (VAT) and business licence collections.
The prime minister also said the property would maintain its current level of employment of 435 staff following the renovations.
However, both that timeline and the assurances about staff complement were called into question when the resort was the subject of speculation a week ago after Labour Minister Shane Gibson hinted that layoffs were looming at a major Paradise Island resort.
Management denied that Gibson was talking about the Ocean Club, but did acknowledge in a statement sent to Guardian Business that there might indeed be consequences for the staff as a result of the renovations.
"Any effect will be minimal," the statement read, in which is imagined to be a cryptic reference to staff adjustment. In a meeting with the staff and union representatives, though, Ocean Club management assured the staff that no layoffs were pending, and that no renovations would begin in 2015.
In fact, hotel union executive Darrin Woods told Guardian Business that when pressed on the issue, management was not able to say when exactly the renovations would begin.
Announcement Still, this week, management detailed the sweeping changes to come: completely renovated and expanded guest rooms and suites in the Hartford Wing and expansion of the popular Dune restaurant.
Design consultants HKS Architects (HKS) and Jeffrey Beers International (JBI) are collaborating on the extensive renovation.
HKS also participated in the preparation of the University of The Bahamas 10-year Master Plan. Access Industries purchased the resort last year, and retained Kerzner International to manage the property.
Jonah Sonnenborn, Head of Real Estate at Access Industries, said, "The planned enhancements are consistent with the secluded private-estate feel of the resort, but will elevate its sophistication and offerings and enrich the guest experience."
"The new Hartford wing and dining options will amplify the already extraordinary experience of this spectacular property, with its unmatched beachfront and historic Versailles gardens."
And President/Chief Operating Officer of One&Only Resorts Mark DeCocinis - who called the property "iconic" - said he expected Ocean Club General Manager John Conway and his team to "continue to focus on providing guests the best service in The Bahamas."
The Details The entire Hartford Wing of One&Only Ocean Club will be renovated. Each room will increase in size by 110 square feet, and will have a complete makeover including new furnishings, fabrics and color schemes.
The new bathrooms will feature white and blue de savoie marble throughout, plus modernized separate bath and rain shower, along with double vanities.
Renovations to the dining offering will include expansion of both the restaurant and the Dune Deck. Every guest is served by a butler whose role is to cater to each guest's comfort, with intuitive anticipation of guest needs and desires.
Kerzner International VP of Corporate Communications for One&Only Resorts Ashley McBain said,"A commitment to detail and quality in order to deliver the ultimate guest experience through great design has been the driving force for creating the new look and feel of the resort."
"As the iconic luxury retreat in the Caribbean, One&Only Ocean Club offers a bespoke experience with the seclusion of what feels like a private residence, overlooking the best beach in The Bahamas.
With new enhancements, the resort will be better than ever and remain unrivalled in its suite of offerings including expanded and more immersive culinary experiences; unparalleled family offerings and KidsOnly programming; an indulgent Spa and cutting-edge Fitness Centre; active excursions and unrivalled service," McBain said.
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