St Martin’s Karma Hotel Launches New Look

John Spence

John Spence

The Chairman and Chief Executive of the Karma Group has unveiled the first phase of their St Martin’s resort upgrade.

John Spence says he’s proud of the remodelling of the public spaces of the former St Martin’s Hotel.

He says the look is stylish, clean and simple and it meets his vision for the island, which he calls “an amazing place” that has “something special.”

The unique touches included a vinyl music area with 2,000 albums from the 70s and 80s and a library of books including many on Scilly’s history and wildlife, curated by Phillip Blackwell of the Oxford-based book chain.

John accepts that the off-island location has provided challenges for the building and in staffing, but now the first phase is complete, more work will be carried out this winter.

From Radio Scilly

Radio Scilly talks to John Spence.

He says he was told when he bought the property that it would take longer than he thought but he’s pleased with the latest upgrades and is looking forward to the start of phase 2, which will include work on the upstairs restaurant and spa area.

Karma Group’s Bali-based designer has overseen the makeover with furniture crafted in and imported direct from Indonesia.

And although it’s had a long journey, the hardest part was getting it over from Penzance, says John.

karma Aug 2015_1The company has discussed the potential for year-round opening, and they’ll look into that for the future. But John says it could take a couple of years before they’re ready for that.

Karma has a massive list of followers to whom they can market their St Martin’s resort, but they’ve not done that fully yet because the company wanted existing Scilly lovers to sample their offering before opening it up to their worldwide customers.

And John says they’ve been “blown away” by the popularity of the hotel so far.

He says he intends meeting with island tourism leaders and stakeholders to try to push for a more coordinated tourism policy for Scilly.

He accepts that one of Scilly’s attractions is that the islands can feel “a long way away” but there could be improvements to boat and air connections, frequency of service and levels of comfort.