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Hard Rock resort to open on Antigua's new free trade island

Hard Rock will open its first eastern Caribbean resort and casino as part of Antigua and Barbuda's new Guiana Island development. The five-star hotel will feature 300 beachfront rooms, a signature Hard Rock Cafe and a salt and fresh water park, all planned to open in 2017.

Hard Rock resort to open on Antigua's new free trade island

Hard Rock Hotels has announced plans to build a new resort in the eastern Caribbean that will include a casino, an iconic Hard Rock Cafe and a water park. The five-star resort will be situated on Antigua and Barbuda's Guiana Island, which was recently purchased by Chinese firm Yida International to become Antigua's first special economic zone.

The new Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Antigua will be the first of its kind in the eastern Caribbean and is slated to open in 2017. It will have around 300 luxury rooms and suites facing onto a white sandy beach. The music-themed resort will feature its signature amenities such as a Hard Rock Cafe complete with iconic rock and pop memorabilia, a Hard Rock Live concert venue that will host live music and other events, and a Rock Shop showcasing the brand's sought-after merchandise.

As part of the new resort, there will be a first-of-its-kind salt and fresh water park geared towards families, as well as numerous swimming pools spread across the grounds. Other facilities include the Body Rock indoor and outdoor fitness facility for those who like to keep in shape when they travel. The Hard Rock brand prides itself on offering world-class entertainment, stylish design and top-quality service.

"We look forward to bringing Hard Rock's iconic music, food and beverage, retail, entertainment and spirit to the project for the enjoyment of the residents and visitors to this twin-island country..."

Said Yida International's chairman Yida Zhang.

Antigua's new special economic zone, which will be owned and run by Yida International, covers Guiana Island and a wider area of five islets that includes three peninsulas and an area of around 1,600 acres. The development includes more than 10 miles of white sandy beaches and oceanfront land that will be divided between hotels, private villas and businesses. There will also be a 27-hole golf course and a marina. It is designed to attract foreign investment through relaxed trade laws that fall outside of Antigua and Barbuda's national policy.

Yida's vice president, Kenneth Kwok, said that the project will be both a tourism mecca and a major manufacturing and financial centre. Within the economic zone, the developers will create 16-sub-zones where they will invite Chinese companies to set up manufacturing entities for export throughout the Caribbean, Central America and South America.

The multi-million pound project, which broke ground this month, follows the Baha Mar as the region's largest development to date.

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