Bermuda 1609

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A sneak peek into hotel’s future

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Sneak Peak - The Royal Gazette

Apr 23, 2014 at 8:00 am

The Hamilton Princess yesterday gave a sneak preview of the new look for the grand old lady of Bermuda hotels.

And the first phase of the $90 million updating of the hotel — which dates back to the 19th century — is on schedule for opening to the public this summer.

“Ultimately, this is a game changer for Bermuda because now this is the benchmark, so it’s good for all of us,” Scott Evans, the hotel’s director of sales and marketing, said.

He was speaking as hotel management showed off the hotel’s new features, which includes a new marina, a completely revamped Poinciana wing, a new bar and restaurant and infinity pool.

The bulk of the work on the first phase is expected to be completed by the summer — with the new, larger pool set to debut on May 23.

“We’ve been very fortunate because of the way the hotel is set up. We’ve been able to take half of it and do that half,” said Mr Evans.

“For the most part, our guests in the other half haven’t been affected — and guests who have noticed the work have been overwhelming positive that we’re doing this.”

Mr Evans said that three full containers are scheduled to arrive every day for 35 days to provide the fittings and fixtures for the remodelled Poinciana wing.

And the open-air 1609 restaurant, named after the date of the first permanent settlement of Bermuda, shows the attention to detail of a fine hotel.

Mr Evans explained that the setting, overlooking the new marina, Hamilton Harbour and the infinity pool, needed some special touches to deal with breezes off the water.

“The open air aspect is part of the charm of Bermuda — but we also needed to plan because of that,” he said. “You can’t just have paper menus or a typical paper coaster under your glass.

“So we will have wooden menus, and heavy coasters, so they won’t blow away. The menu is amazing — we’ve lasered the new logo into the wood, so it’s a great look.”

And top chef Marcus Samuelson, due to open a signature restaurant at the hotel next year, will provide a taste of things to come with a “pop-up” restaurant next to the old pool between June and August.

The new suites in the Poinciana wing feature freshly-built balconies, luxury bathrooms and showers and modern dark furniture set against light blue walls.

The changes reflect the new style of ownership of the Green family, who bought the hotel in 2012 and pledged to return it to its former glory.

“In the life of any hotel, it takes investment and if you haven’t had a good investment for a while, it takes time,” said Mr Evans.

He added that phase two of the redevelopment, which will see the main part of the hotel undergo a total revamp, is set to start after the summer.

“They have almost got the plans done, but there will be new guest rooms and a new restaurant. It’s going to be really nice,” he said.

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