Dart Real Estate acquired the Seven Mile Beach's Ritz-Carlton from alternative investment firm Five Mile Capital Partners. Under a long-term management contract, the hotel will continue to operate under the Ritz-Carlton brand.
The purchase does not include The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman. Provenance Properties will continue to market and sell the property on Five Mile Capital Partners' behalf.
This hotel acquisition follows the opening of its Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa late last year. Dart also bought the Beach Suites resort, the Hyatt hotel, the Britannia golf course and the Royal Palms property in the Seven Mile Beach area within the past two years. The developer also snatched up nearly 3,000 acres of Dragon Bay on the North Sound, which was previously held on a long-term lease from the government.
These are not the only expansion plans Dart Real Estate has in store for the Cayman Islands. Not only is the developer set to construct another five-star hotel, which is rumored to be a Four Seasons next to the Kimpton, but also it plans to redevelop its new Dragon Bay property and possibly connect it in some ways with The Ritz-Carlton. However, Dart stalled plans for the five-star hotel as it considers a response to an environmental impact assessment request on its application to remove beach rock from the shallow coastal waters surrounding the development site.
According to Jackie Doak, president at Dart Real Estate, the developer is committed to building another luxury hotel on the Cayman Islands, as there is significant potential for growth in the luxury travel sector. "Tourism and financial services are the pillars of success and everything we do is focused on the continuing growth and advancement of the Cayman Islands in those areas,” she told Cayman Compass.
Even further growth in the luxury travel sector has been predicted for the Cayman Islands following the start of improvements to the airport. “The airport is going to be a key element, ensuring there are flights coming in and proper flight distribution. Demand for the destination is amazing. We are booking now for 2019, for 2020. We are not concerned about competition. Every island has something different. We have room to be the luxury destination for the Caribbean,” Marc Langevin, GM of The Ritz-Carlton, told Cayman Compass.