Mantis have been awarded the contract to develop and manage a new four star hotel on the island of St Helena, a British overseas territory located in the South Atlantic Ocean.
This is off the back of the news which also broke this week that Comair have been awarded the first ever scheduled air services between Johannesburg and St Helena Airport.
St Helena Island has an abundance of natural beauty, friendly people and fun-filled activities including Napoleonic sites and walks on land once occupied by prisoners of war during the Boer Wars.
Jonathan, arguably the oldest tortoise in the world, enjoys life in the picturesque gardens of Plantation House, which is the governor’s official residence.
A visit to St Helena also means exploring the scenic coastal and inland walks.
A leisurely escorted tour in the island’s only Charabanc is a highlight, as is the stop at the top of Jacob’s Ladder which looks across to Jamestown.
As one of the most remote places in the world, more than 2,000 kilometres from the nearest major landmass, and with its rich flora and fauna, the island comfortably fits into Mantis portfolio, which promises to ‘unearth the exceptional’.
A Mantis team including founder and chairman, Adrian Gardiner, visited the island in 2013 and identified Lower Jamestown as the location for the hotel, which will have 32 bedrooms, restaurant and bar facilities.
Construction is due to start in July 2015, and the hotel is expected to open during the first half of 2016.
The island, a new tourism destination which is currently accessed by the last commercially operating Royal Mail Ship, will be opening its first airport in 2016, marking another important step in the evolution of St Helena Island, with the involvement of companies like Comair and Mantis; demonstrating that St Helena can attract the best international partners.
A major priority for the project will be the restoration of the building, ensuring it is sensitive to its history, the environment and the local community; something which Mantis has experience in from the 2011 refurbishment of 16th century country house hotel, Ellenborough Park, Cheltenham.
In addition to their development expertise, Mantis will also be bringing their hospitality, education and conservation experience to the island with initiatives to develop skills in the community as well as support the natural environment.
The 47 square mile island has a population of 4,257.
“We’re so proud to be associated with this new and exciting venture on the island of St. Helena. Mantis is all about unearthing the exceptional, and we’ve undoubtable achieved this here – not many people have visited this remote part of the globe and now we’ve been given the opportunity to open up the doors to this new destination.
“Aside from just developing a new hotel and operating the islands first ever five star boutique hotel, we’re going to assist with the training of the locals in the hospitality space and also bring in our strong conservation ethic,” commented Adrian Gardiner, founder and chairman of Mantis.