Thursday, May 1, 2008

Fairmont Royal Pavilion Sold

The Fairmont Royal Pavilion Resort in Mt. Standfast, St. James has been sold to the Westmont Hospitality Group. This sale comes as a big surprise since as recently as August of last year its former owner Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal was in Barbados for tourism investment talks with government officials and lauded the Royal Pavilion as “The Jewel in the Crown of Barbados." It is now clear that it was a jewel he was looking to unload. The Prince owned the Royal Pavilion though his company, Kingdom Hotels which owned Fairmont Hotels in a joint venture with a US based company - Colony Capital. Through his company he also owns the Four Seasons hotel brand which will manage to resort being constructed at the Black Rock, St. Michael site of the former Paradise Beach Club site.

Westmont Hospitality Group has secured a US$70 million loan to buy, renovate and expand the 75-room Royal Pavilion. It is not known whether resort will still fly the Fairmont flag on completion in a management arrangement with Fairmont. The resort which began life as the Miramar Beach Hotel is one of the oldest on the west coast and was previously also owned by Michael Pemberton, the force behind the Four Seasons project. It was during his watch the name of the resort was changed from Miramar to Royal Pavilion. He also oversaw significant renovations and expansion of the resort as well as at the property next door, Glitter Bay, which he also owned at the time.

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