A new five-star hotel is coming to Seven Mile Beach.
Dart Realty told Cayman 27 the new luxury property, still in its conceptual phases, will be built next to the Kimpton Seafire hotel, just to the north of Tiki Beach.
Wednesday, the development company submitted a trial coastal works application it said will improve the future hotel’s guest experience by removing beach rocks from the coastline.
By 20-20, the new Kimpton hotel will have some company on Seven Mile Beach. Dart Realty Chief Operating Officer Jackie Doak told Cayman 27 the two properties will be a game changer for Cayman’s tourism product.
“You’ll have coastal trails up and down Seven Mile Beach where you can go from public beach to Calico Jack’s all the way down Seven Mile Beach, and then those trails will interconnect under the Esterley Tibbetts Highway to the Cayman Islands Yacht Club,” said Ms. Doak.
Ms. Doak told Cayman 27 that connectivity will create what she calls a pedestrianised resort district. She said it’s the ultimate location for the five-star property, but there’s just one problem: beach rock.
“It’s not the beautiful Seven Mile Beach sand that we enjoy just a few hundred yards down the beach,” she explained. “[Beachgoers] cannot cross over the beach rock. It’s slippery and pointy and just not a great experience for our guests.”
Ms. Doak said the company submitted a trial coastal works application Wednesday (2 March) to remove a piece of beach rock from the area and test it to see whether all of the beach rock in the area can be removed from the site.
“What we’re doing with the trial testing is that we’re making sure that what we do will be a benefit, an additive to Seven Mile Beach,” said Ms. Doak.
She told Cayman 27 the company has undertaken extensive scientific research to make sure removing the beach rocks won’t have a negative impact on the environment.
“After we do the trial testing and we get the reports back, we will turn submit the coastal works license application. We want to ensure that anything we do, does not negatively impact Seven Mile Beach because it impacts us all, it impacts out properties, and impacts the destination,” she said.
Speculation is rife that the five-star operator in question is the Four Seasons, however Ms. Doak would not confirm that. She told Cayman 27 the new hotel should open its doors by November of 2020.
Ms. Doak said an advertisement will soon be published in the newspaper, starting a 21-day period where the public can review and comment on the application.
That feedback, and recommendations from the Department of Environment will be sent along with the application to cabinet for approval.
Ms. Doak said she hopes the trial application will be approved in the next six weeks, so the testing can take place before turtle nesting season.