Resort Group Could Bring Major Investment To St Martin’s

St Martin's Hotel

St Martin’s Hotel

A major boost to Scilly’s tourism is expected before the end of the season.

A luxury holiday resort operator is finalising plans to purchase and re-open the St Martin’s Hotel and has made an offer for the Seven Stones Inn. If the plan goes ahead the two businesses, which haven’t traded this year, would be transformed with a multi-million pound investment into a high quality holiday destination.

Radio Scilly has learned that John Spence, founder of global brand Karma Resorts, is working with partners on this project, his first in the UK.

His representative has met with tourism leaders, some island businesspeople and Council officials in the past week.

Radio Scilly understands that the business will operate year-round and employ at least 30 people. with up to 50 staff at times.

John Spence has created an international portfolio of luxury resorts in some of the world’s most sought after destinations including Bali, St Tropez and the Bahamas.

Council staff, with whom we have spoken feel that John’s celebrity connections and high profile could help increase awareness of Scilly.

In a recent interview, Mr Spence described his resorts’ ethos as ‘hippy luxury’, offering a relaxed environment that delivers the best of everything but with a high degree of privacy.

This is Mr Spence’s first UK resort venture. We understand that the partners have been keen to identify a suitable location for their first British project for some time.

Scilly’s scuba diving potential is said to feature prominently in plans for the resort.



11 Responses to Resort Group Could Bring Major Investment To St Martin’s

  1. Hayley June 18, 2013 at 4:58 pm

    I say this is wonderful news all round! It will bring money to all islands, and the wealthier the visitors the more they will spend with local business’s, holiday lets, post office, etc. people are stuck In their ways and don’t always like change. I can’t wait to visit as a family, it may even turn out a beautiful wedding destination. For the pack a mac’s & flasks the camp site is up the road!

  2. Tony Mann June 18, 2013 at 10:26 am

    To stay at the old St Martins Hotel was out of most peoples’ price range but it was a wonderful place for we ordinary people to go for lunch or an evening meal on the boat from Brryher or even just a drink and they made you feel very welcome. I would hope (and expect) that the planning people would make sure that any new establishment worked in a similar way.

  3. Alison June 18, 2013 at 8:10 am

    I stayed at the hotel for a couple of nights a few years ago and I remember a lot of the staff were foreign and very lovely they were too! I have also eaten lunch at the old Tresco hotel too and the staff were very friendly and helpful there. ( And yes some were non- British as you put it). What a terrible thing to say Colin Bean. Go and sit on the beach on your own with your flask and let us ordinary types look forward to visiting the pub and hotel again.

  4. Terry Gormley June 17, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    I have been coming to St Martins for 43 years,can a bum like me still get a pint and a cup of coffee from this new Project? I hope so it sounds brilliant for the Isles of Scilly,and St Martins.

    • Alison June 18, 2013 at 8:31 am

      Well Terry, according to Mr Bean there will be a sign on the doors saying ‘No bums allowed’ so I’ll meet you on a bench outside with a flask. I’ll be the one in the pack-a-mac!! Good news for St Martins…lunch in the pub and tea outside the hotel! Great news!

      • terry gormley June 18, 2013 at 9:16 pm

        Alison, I will be there this Saturday for two weeks.I know the hotel wont be open but i will be sitting outside under the palm umbrella with a pint of lager bought from the post office, and one for you if you are over.Sorry Mr Bean,Positive Bums only at my table.

        • Alison June 19, 2013 at 8:24 am

          Sorry Terry, we were over in May and we sat on the beach with a pasty and a can!! Classy or what? Perhaps we will meet next year where we can have a drink in comfort! Bottoms up (or should that be Bums!)

          • Terry Gormley June 19, 2013 at 6:07 pm

            Cheers Alison,just ask anyone on St Martins if Terry from B’ham is over, and if I am we will all celebrate together.( Brumie the Bum )

  5. Nichola June 17, 2013 at 9:17 pm

    Oh get over yourself Mr Bean. St Martins and the islands need this to happen badly, for those of us who live here permanently, it is a god send. Let us just embrace it and be positive. These islands have been suffering of late due to fewer visitors. If there are people rich enough to come here and enjoy it, then let them come…and you are just assuming that the gates will be closed to you. And as for foreign workers…in my oppinion they work just as hard if not harder than some english people I have worked with all over the country. As for St Marys being a “stopping off point”, surely you would prefer it that way…since there is always much moaning and complaining about the town being clogged up in the summer. Now you can have your cake and eat it.

  6. Colin Bean June 17, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Oh great! More rich people probably employing non-British low earning staff, and by “Private” I read “No entry” to us ordinary types with our pack-a macs and flasks.
    We’ve already got our share of those of self-styled “celebrity” status who come and go like a breeze, and who regard St Marys as a mere stopping off point, which has to be endured en route to their 5 star haven.
    ALL their money will stay within the confines of their “Nirvana”.

    • Sean June 20, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      Oh dear, someone needs to listen a bit more during ‘Economics 101’ lectures.. For the lesson that you missed Mr Bean, here’s a fundamental law of economics: no money circulating in local economies = poverty. The Scilly Isles depend 100% on money flowing in from the mainland and from visitors who come to spend their money, no matter who they are or how wealthy they may be. It is a fact that local suppliers of food and services, including local ferrymen, will have suffered as a consequence of the St Martin’s hotel and the Seven Stones pub closing this year. Indeed, I am a local supplier and it is hurting. I suggest that you pull the rock back over your head and leave the issues of the real world to the rest of us to try to resolve for the greater good.