Prime Minister Gaston Browne recently witnessed an historic moment in the tourism industry, when the soon to be revitalized Half Moon property received a boost with the signing on of a major hotel brand.
An agreement between the Principals of Replay Resorts and internationally known hotel brand –Rosewood Hotels, was signed in the presence of Prime Minister Gaston Browne and other key stakeholders in the Ministry of Finance.
The official signing took place after PM Browne announced the government’s successful sourcing of a company to take over what as a derelict structure on one of Antigua’s most sort after beaches.
During the high-level meet, Prime Minister Browne noted that “Both Replay and Rosewood have been around for a very long time. I am pleased that my government was instrumental in assisting with the acquisition of the Half Moon Bay property. It is easily one of the best beaches you can find anywhere in the world.”
The Rosewood Hotels brand has operated in Antigua and Barbuda for several years. They were the operators of the Jumby Bay Hotel – One of the most exclusive high-end resorts in the region.
PM Browne commented that he is very pleased to have Rosewood back on island.
“I am quite sure this new resort will be one of the best resorts anywhere in the Caribbean, an ultra-modern, 5 star resort. One that will bring a service to this country that may perhaps even exceed that of Jumby Bay and other high end properties.”
The Prime Minister, while explaining the benefits the new property will bring to the island, explained how dynamic such a resort will be to the local economy. PM Browne stated such a property will, “help to increase the product mix. We are trying to move away from the all-inclusive resorts. We believe that having high end resorts will help considerably. First of all, it will bring more money in terms of the head tax to the treasury and it will provide more opportunities for the people of Antigua and Barbuda and various stakeholders.”
During the ceremony, the Prime Minister took the opportunity to assure stakeholders present, that the government will continue to support the development. “You can be assured that you will have the full support of the government to ensure that this hotel comes to fruition within the estimated time.”
Demolition of the derelict property has commenced, and according to PM Brown rehabilitative work will continue over the next few months, with physical construction work scheduled to commence during the fourth quarter of the year.
“We are looking forward with eager anticipation, I understand that there will be around 500 construction jobs, and similar amount of full time employment when the resort opens in the next 2 and half to three years. So we want to take this opportunity to extend every success to replay and Rosewood as you operate this very important property,” PM Browne said, congratulating the stakeholders involved.
Replay Resorts and Rosewoods Hotels are known for their luxury high-end branded resorts. The hotel that will be constructed at Half-moon Bay is expected to bring a luxury beachfront hotel property with oceanfront villas and lots, along with cottages.
Thanking the government for its support, the CEO of Half-moon Bay/ Replay Resorts, Mr. William Anderson said “ I want to thank you, Mr. Prime Minister in particular, as well as Minister Fernandez and Attorney General Benjamin who have been so critically important in helping us to move this project forward.”
The CEO went on to say, when thinking about the type of project to undertake and what would make the most sense “it was clear that given the extraordinary physical attributes of the site, that it needed an ultra-luxury property of this magnitude and we think what we came up, we truly believe, we will set the bar for ultra-luxury not just for Antigua but the Caribbean and be among the top 50 or 100 properties in the world,” Mr. Anderson asserted.
President of Development for the Rosewood Hotels, Mr. Radha Arora, also thanked the government and Replay for the opportunity. “It really is a hidden gem and we are truly delighted that we can craft this place, this hotel, to put it on a world scale,” Mr. Arora commented.
Speaking on the marketability of the property, Mr. Arora said, “given our followers, our customer database today and clients who have been with us over the years they will be looking to come back to Antigua, to this new destination at half-moon Bay.”
Mr. Arora also said, working with the local artisans, friends and families and communities will allow the hotel to be embedded in the society and community.