Mon | Jan 21, 2019

Decameron eyeing hotel expansion after gaining access to Cornwall Beach

Published:Wednesday | June 24, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Decameron All-Inclusive Hotels and Resorts has advertised on its website that the lease acquisition of a new beach - Cornwall Beach - for the use of its guests in Montego Bay will also complement its plans to expand the hotel property.

The beach-leasing contract is the subject of controversy in Montego Bay, with local parish councillor and former mayor Charles Sinclair insisting that locals would be locked out of the popular facility.

Decameron meantime is touting the lease as a plus for its product.

"In the medium term, the construction of a hotel complex is planned so that its visitors may enjoy a new tourism infrastructure on the property behind this beach," said Decameron. "This acquisition represents one more benefit among many in which we work everyday so that our tourists may enjoy new options for their entertainment and relaxation."

Efforts to reach Decameron since last week for comment on its expansion plan were unsuccessful.

Cornwall Beach is located next to the existing Royal Decameron Montego Beach and access will be free of cost to its guests.

"This charming location, renowned as the only great

natural beach in the area, is characterised by its fine white sand and the turquoise blue of its sea, that charms each visitor," Decameron said.

The Royal Decameron in Montego Bay is a 145-room hotel. The hotel company's other Jamaican property located in Runaway Bay, St Ann, the Royal Decameron Club Caribbean, has 203 rooms.

Cornwall Beach and adjacent property at Gloucester Avenue is owned by the St James Parish Council.

Sinclair said Friday the direct lessee for Lot 1 and Lot 2 on Gloucester Avenue is an entity called Waterfront Investments. The lease for Lot 1, which comprises Cornwall Beach, is in the region of US$3,000 per month, Sinclair said.

Waterfront appears to have entered into a sublease with Decameron, according to Sinclair, who said no sublease was approved by the council.

However, Ministry Paper No 41 tabled in Parliament suggests that the new arrangement has been sanctioned by central government. That Ministry Paper, which dealt with Cabinet matters dated March 2014, says that amendments to the parish council lease to Waterfront Investments were approved. It did not specify which entity approved the amendments.

The lease, which ran originally from February 9, 2006 for 15 years, and was due to expire on February 9, 2021, was revised, "to make provision for the further development of the property and the extension of the lease to 30 years".

Decameron is expected to expand its property onto Lot 2. It is said to planning another 150 rooms.

The Companies Office of Jamaica records list the directors of Waterfront as Sanjay Daswani, Donna Lee and Gregory Lee, all business professionals from Montego Bay. The records name Daswani and Robert Joseph of Unity Hall as shareholders.

Resident manager at Royal Decameron in Montego Bay Alvaro Prado was said to be travelling abroad when his office was contacted for an update.