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Luxury Management Company on Board with Botany Bay

Sept. 22, 2008 — Botany Bay, under development by Timbers Resorts, has signed on one of the world's heaviest hitters in term of luxury hotel management as a partner for its property at the westernmost end of St. Thomas.
Only 10 years old, the Jumeirah Group is already an international name in luxury hotels and is best known in the Middle East, European and Scandinavian tourism markets. It's flagship hotel is the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The company also manages luxury hotel properties in New York, London, Shanghai, Mallorca and Abu Dhabi, among other cities.
Selected from more than 30 Caribbean sites, the 397-acre Botany Bay property offered Jumeirah an opportunity to broaden the company's exposure to a broader U.S. market than just the East Coast, according to Gerald Lawless, Jumeirah's executive chairman.
At the same time, the Jumeirah Group represents financial stability for the property and for the territory's economy when potential investment partners are few and far between.
Indeed, these markets will also broaden the tourism market for the territory, according to Tourism Department Commissioner Beverley Nicholson-Doty. Jumeirah's presence also opens up opportunities with the German and United Kingdom markets, she said.
"This opens a new door for us," Nicholson-Doty said. "The strategy is to meet a new visitor. We recognize that the Virgin Islands has to diversify where its visitors come from."
The new hotel is on track for opening in late 2011, with Jumeirah managing the 84 five-star boutique hotel rooms, which will be spread out in nine buildings, according to David Burden, chief executive officer and founder of Timbers Resorts. The property will also feature three restaurants, a spa, 30 fractional residences, 30 whole-ownership villas and up to 20 grand estates of 4,500 square feet and larger.
Jumeirah Living will manage the residences, aiming to combine privacy with the luxury of a prestige hotel. Despite foul weather and some of the heaviest rains in several months, Lawless lauded the site.
"The beauty [of Botany Bay] cannot be overawed by the rain," Lawless said. He is based in Dubai and hails originally from Ireland, and said the rain and resultant green foliage made him feel at home.
Both Timbers and Jumeirah executives emphasized that the development will be built to fit in with the site's topography and minimize impact on the surrounding ecology, as well as historically and archaeologically sensitive sites.
"This was an Indian village site," said David Brewer, an archaeologist with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. "Being on the western end [of the island] is significant. We've found what could well be a pre-Columbian ball court."
The site also featured ruins of a sugar factory, Brewer said.
"The kind of visitors that we have are very concerned that we are doing the right thing," Lawless said. "We want visitors to stay in luxury without guilt."
Along with its reputation and new markets, Jumeirah brings its Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, which offers degree programs to those in the hospitality industry. The institute currently has 362 students, Lawless said. It has offered one scholarship for a V.I. student to attend.
In addition, before opening, 10 to 15 staffers of the Botany Bay property will spend time in the company's Dubai properties to better understand the corporate culture.
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Sept. 22, 2008 -- Botany Bay, under development by Timbers Resorts, has signed on one of the world's heaviest hitters in term of luxury hotel management as a partner for its property at the westernmost end of St. Thomas.
Only 10 years old, the Jumeirah Group is already an international name in luxury hotels and is best known in the Middle East, European and Scandinavian tourism markets. It's flagship hotel is the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The company also manages luxury hotel properties in New York, London, Shanghai, Mallorca and Abu Dhabi, among other cities.
Selected from more than 30 Caribbean sites, the 397-acre Botany Bay property offered Jumeirah an opportunity to broaden the company's exposure to a broader U.S. market than just the East Coast, according to Gerald Lawless, Jumeirah's executive chairman.
At the same time, the Jumeirah Group represents financial stability for the property and for the territory's economy when potential investment partners are few and far between.
Indeed, these markets will also broaden the tourism market for the territory, according to Tourism Department Commissioner Beverley Nicholson-Doty. Jumeirah's presence also opens up opportunities with the German and United Kingdom markets, she said.
"This opens a new door for us," Nicholson-Doty said. "The strategy is to meet a new visitor. We recognize that the Virgin Islands has to diversify where its visitors come from."
The new hotel is on track for opening in late 2011, with Jumeirah managing the 84 five-star boutique hotel rooms, which will be spread out in nine buildings, according to David Burden, chief executive officer and founder of Timbers Resorts. The property will also feature three restaurants, a spa, 30 fractional residences, 30 whole-ownership villas and up to 20 grand estates of 4,500 square feet and larger.
Jumeirah Living will manage the residences, aiming to combine privacy with the luxury of a prestige hotel. Despite foul weather and some of the heaviest rains in several months, Lawless lauded the site.
"The beauty [of Botany Bay] cannot be overawed by the rain," Lawless said. He is based in Dubai and hails originally from Ireland, and said the rain and resultant green foliage made him feel at home.
Both Timbers and Jumeirah executives emphasized that the development will be built to fit in with the site's topography and minimize impact on the surrounding ecology, as well as historically and archaeologically sensitive sites.
"This was an Indian village site," said David Brewer, an archaeologist with the Department of Planning and Natural Resources. "Being on the western end [of the island] is significant. We've found what could well be a pre-Columbian ball court."
The site also featured ruins of a sugar factory, Brewer said.
"The kind of visitors that we have are very concerned that we are doing the right thing," Lawless said. "We want visitors to stay in luxury without guilt."
Along with its reputation and new markets, Jumeirah brings its Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management, which offers degree programs to those in the hospitality industry. The institute currently has 362 students, Lawless said. It has offered one scholarship for a V.I. student to attend.
In addition, before opening, 10 to 15 staffers of the Botany Bay property will spend time in the company's Dubai properties to better understand the corporate culture.
Back Talk Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.