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Marriott starts work on new Antigua beach resort

International hotel brand Marriott will open its first resort on the Caribbean island of Antigua. The new five-star Coconut Beach resort – part of the brand's Autograph Collection – broke ground at the beginning of December and is slated to open in early 2019.

Marriott starts work on new Antigua beach resort

The £30 million project will develop the site of the old Coconut Beach Club, situated on a white sand beach around two miles west of the island capital St John’s. The original hotel closed in 2015 and will be levelled to make way for the new resort.

Coconut Beach Resort by Marriott will contain 70 high-end hotel rooms as well as 40 holiday apartments with modern water features, eco-friendly amenities and sustainable facilities.

Antigua and Barbuda’s prime minister Gaston Browne and tourism minister Asot Michael attended the ground-breaking ceremony for the new hotel.

Antigua and Barbuda’s tourism minister Asot Michael explained:

“Being able to participate in the ground-breaking of new properties and developments, which will lead to increasing the room availability, and broadening our twin-island nation’s portfolio of distinguished properties, is of the utmost distinction and importance.”

Mr Michael also commented:

"We are confident that having the Marriott name and respect of brand as part of our portfolio will lead to increased airlift, in particular from the US market as this is a draw for US carriers.”

Antigua and Barbuda has been driving a strong tourism agenda for the last few years and has set the goal of increasing the hotel room capacity on the islands to 10,000 within the next seven years.

The Marriott development is a venture of Leisure World Hotels, which is jointly owned by Sand Dollar Limited and Propertyvest, whose investors include some of Antigua's most notable real estate developers.

Marriott's Director of Development for the Caribbean and Latin America, Bojan Kumer, said:

“We believe Marriott's Autograph Collection will be a strong addition to the current tourism landscape in the region and this project will endorse Antigua and Barbuda's position as the international gateway to the eastern Caribbean. We are excited to bring the brand to the island and be part of its continued growth as a tourism destination.”

The Coconut Beach Resort by Marriott is expected to generate hundreds of local jobs during its construction phase and more once the property is open.

Antigua and Barbuda is located in the heart of the Caribbean Sea and famously has 365 beaches – one for every day of the year. The largest of the Leeward Islands, Antigua was a former British colony and its historic naval dockyard – Nelson’s Dockyardreceived UNESCO world heritage status this year. Barbuda lies 27 miles north-east of Antigua and is known for its untouched 17 mile stretch of pink sand beach and as the home of the largest frigate bird sanctuary in the western hemisphere.

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