Azura hotel will welcome guests in 2019

Hotel guests are expected to check in to the Azura Boutique Hotel and Residences in early 2019.

While construction at the former Surf Side Beach Club is still ongoing, the first residences on the Warwick property are expected to be ready by this spring.

John Bush, president of Clearwater Development, said that the property would probably not open its doors to hotel guests until construction work was further along.

“We will have rooms ready before that, but there will be so much construction activity going on, and we know hotel guests are not really that comfortable with that,” he said.

“The owner might be able to live with the noise because they know it is their place for years and years. Right now, I am confident that we will have the first hotel guests in the first quarter of 2019.”

The first phase of the project, which will include 21 hotel residences containing up to 46 hotel beds, is about half complete.

As well as the residences, the first phase includes a poolside bar and bistro, a small spa.

Mr Bush said the work to protect the cliff face had been a priority for the project.

“We have done a total rebuild of the cliff area, which was falling down into the sea,” he said. “It was unsafe. We put a substantial amount of money into buttressing that up.

“That was a very important part of the first phase. Putting the land, not just the buildings, in a sound state to say they are safe and functional.”

While the activity is focused on the residences, workers will soon begin to work on the path from the hotel to the beach.

Mr Bush said: “People loved the natural path down, and we are going to maintain that natural feel, but we are also creating something we can take a golf cart down so those who are not as mobile can still come down to the main beach.”

A second phase of development would create an additional 23 hotel beds, making the Azura a 69-key hotel property.

However, unlike most hotels, the model being adopted means that the rooms would come in and out of the hotel’s inventory based on the demands of the residence’s owners.

“The purchaser has a residential unit they can use largely when they want to, but they can also put it back into the hotel pool whenever they are not using it,” Mr Bush said.

“Whether it is a single bedroom, a single bedroom loft, a three bedroom, it all can go back into the hotel programme and the owner, when they are not here, gets revenue which is shared with the hotel.

“If they put it in enough, they can even make money. We don’t pitch it as an investment, but the numbers say it can happen.”

Mr Bush explained that the business model is intended to make sure the hotel will be sustainable, saying traditional hotel properties sometimes struggle due to the economic burdens in Bermuda.

“What we are doing here is trying to build a sustainable hotel property in Bermuda, and the economics have made that challenging for the last couple of decades,” he said.

“Construction costs, operating costs, seasonality, these things complicate everything.”

However, Mr Bush said that the focus of the entire project was on hotel usage.

“That is our commitment to Government,” he said. “That is our desire and intent. Our physical model matches our business model and our commitment to hospitality.”

- Royal Gazette

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