Kerzner International Limited today broke ground on the first phase of a $600 million expansion on Paradise Island in The Bahamas. The Paradise Island development was set in motion with today`s groundbreaking on three new luxury villas at One&Only Ocean Club, which is expected to debut late in the second half of 2004. Sol Kerzner, chairman and chief executive officer of Kerzner International, was joined on-site by the honorable Perry G. Christie, Prime Minister of The Bahamas, and distinguished guests to mark the occasion.
The expansion of One&Only Ocean Club dovetails with Kerzner`s recent worldwide rollout of the new One&Only luxury resort brand, a branding initiative created to unify and raise the profile of Kerzner`s luxury resort portfolio. As a One&Only resort, Ocean Club joins the ranks of some of the most distinctive and luxurious hotels and resorts in the world, including One&Only Palmilla in Los Cabos, Mexico, scheduled to debut in February 2004 following an $80 million rebuild and expansion. Other One&Only properties include One&Only Le Saint-Geran and One&Only Le Touessrok in Mauritius, One&Only Kanahura in the Maldives and One&Only Royal Mirage in Dubai.
“Kerzner International is tremendously excited about the future of Ocean Club as part of the dynamic new One&Only brand,” said Butch Kerzner, president and CEO of One&Only. “Our previous investment toward the resort`s re-opening in 2000 brought unparalleled facilities and signature amenities to a legendary property, and now a powerful new branding initiative bolsters its next phase of development.”
The expansion, designed by HKS Architects and Hill Glazier Design, will bring accommodations at One&Only Ocean Club to 109 new or newly renovated accommodations, including beachfront suites and rooms and garden cottages in a gracious colonial Bahamian style, with round-the-clock butler service and little luxurious touches like champagne and strawberries in the afternoon and icy sorbet served on the beach. The resort also features Dune, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten signature restaurant with interior design by Christian Liagre, the award-winning Courtyard Terrace restaurant, the Ocean Club spa with 8 private villas for two, the Versailles-inspired terraced gardens and a Tom Weiskopf golf course.
Government endorsement of the $600 million Phase III project was announced in May and clearing the way to build new accommodations at One&Only Ocean Club and also at Atlantis, where Kerzner plans to develop new meeting and function facilities, restaurants and retail space, water-themed attractions and a new golf course on nearby Athol Island. Following the completion of Phase III in late 2006, this will bring Kerzner`s total investment on the island to $1.7 billion since it opened Atlantis in 1994.
“Kerzner International is very excited about this next stage of development and growth on Paradise Island,” said Sol Kerzner. “This ambitious project reflects our commitment to supporting luxury tourism facilities for The Bahamas and keeping our product at the leading edge of the resort industry, delivering world-class service and continuing to promote Atlantis and One&Only Ocean Club with an aggressive and innovative marketing plan.”
Planned aspects of the Phase III expansion are expected to include:
1,200 new rooms to be situated at Pirate`s Cove, adjacent to Atlantis and one of the best available beach sites in the Caribbean-region;
A significant expansion to Atlantis` existing water-themed attractions including, subject to environmental approvals, a new dolphin encounter
attraction that is ideally suited for the world`s largest marine habitat, second only to Mother Nature;
The Marina Village which is comprised of approximately 20,000 square feet of new restaurant and retail space around the Atlantis Marina;
Approximately 120 new two-bedroom suites added to Harborside at Atlantis, a vacation ownership project adjacent to the resort;
50,000 square feet of new convention and meeting space;
An 18-hole golf course on Athol Island, which lies just east of Paradise Island
This first wave of development is marked by the start of the Ocean Club expansion and also includes the Marina Village project, which is expected to break ground later this year, followed in 2004 by construction starts for Harborside. The Atlantis hotel expansion and other elements of this expansion are expected to commence by the end of 2004.