7MB faces new pressure as Indigo readies to open

| 20/02/2024 | 121 Comments
Hotel Indigo

(CNS): The latest hotel in Dart’s growing list of properties is set to open in April, with guests due to start checking in sometime in June. Hotel Indigo sits on the Esterley Tibbetts Highway across from Seven Mile Public Beach and has 282 rooms and suites, 7,500sqft of meeting space and a rooftop bar. Although it has beach access at the former Calico Jack site, there are concerns about the additional pressure the property will have on the public beach.

During the original planning application in 2020, Dart said the hotel’s grounds would be landscaped in such a way that guests would be led down a path to the former Calico Jack beach, avoiding additional pressure on the public beach.

But the hotel is sandwiched between the new Watermark condo development and Dart’s Seafire Hotel, with The Grove across the street, its new phase under construction and existing condo complexes in the area. This means that when it opens, there will be hundreds more tourists in the area, adding significant strain on the busiest beach on Grand Cayman. 

The hotel had originally been scheduled to open last year, but construction was impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The hotel was promoted to appeal to the business community for conferences and events, as well as adding beds to boost Cayman’s post-pandemic recovery. It was also intended to be the anchor tenant for Dart’s proposed PAD in that area.

At this stage, Dart, who had been reluctant to carry out an environmental impact assessment for the entire development, has not begun any work on any other element of this controversial project. More recently, the organisation announced it had no plans to begin any further development until the government rolls out the long-awaited and much overdue revised national development plan.


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Category: Business, Tourism

Comments (121)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    As a long term yearly visitor to Cayman from the UK, I have to admit that I’m looking forward to the reaction of US guests at the Indigo when they realise they’ve paid $800 per night and don’t even have a beach 😂. The Indigo website is very cagey about this …

  2. Anonymous says:

    Anyone else growing increasingly worried about the strangle hold DART has on Cayman hotel stock and our government as a whole?

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  3. Anonymous says:

    And they will use up the shrunken public parking lot.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    what an ugly piece of architecture…

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  5. Anonymous says:

    New pressure is also going to be on the public beach illegal hagglers, to provide jerk chicken and beach chairs to the Indigo crowd. It’s what they paid all that money for.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Would like to see the camping banned at Easter and times. So much trash left by locals camping and destroys the beaches

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    • Anonymous says:

      I would love to see every hotel and new age house on the beach bulldozed into the sea.

      We cant all have what we want.

      Don’t like hoe the we, the people that actually live here, use OUR breach? Leave.

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  7. Anon says:

    Nice that calicos has Ben revamped and will be open to all again. Good development by the looks of it

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    • Anonymous says:

      Of course everything the Dart organization does is always above first class, yet people still want to complain.

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      • Anonymous says:

        First class would have meant moving Calico’s back from the waters edge to prevent errosion. Dart was too cheap to do that…

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        • Anonymous says:

          Again, it’s not DART himself, but the leadership and management are far below first-class.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Have you noticed the mass employee exodus from DART? Speaks volumes of their management and leadership. They’ve become the typical “Caymanian” company full of too many chiefs, egos and crabs in a bucket. It’s even extending to their project management, which is akin to the NRA or some government run entity. Caman Bay is now a nightmare due to the lack of first-class planning, and exuberant greed.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Take it you didn’t get the job then bobo!?

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          • Anonymous says:

            my company work extensively with Dart and I can confirm 1:19pm statement. which also means the poster work extensively with/for Dart as well to notice it.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, it is all well built. What people are complaining about is that it’s built in the first place. Just because it’s well built doesn’t mean that it’s welcome. No building there at all would be preferable.

    • Anonymous says:

      Wonder how high the prices will be now…

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    • Anonymous says:

      Who is going to be able to afford Dart’s Calico?

  8. Anonymous says:

    Looks like one of those old hotels on south beach. Welcome to Little Havana!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just like Camana Bay. You could be in a back suburb of Vancouver or Sydney in one of their new urban gentrified developments.
      Not that there is anything wrong with that, but this is the Caribbean.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Have you seen what Rum Point looks like now? Just another Dart rip-off beach restaurant. Might as well be Kimpton or any of the other ones on 7MB

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      • Anonymous says:

        You clearly haven’t been to any of the Eastern Caribbean islands. This place hasn’t been like ‘the Caribbean’ for 50 years and that isn’t always a bad thing.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    You bunch of cry babies need to shut the hell up. Mr Dart is developing these wonderful projects and giving us so many jobs. He fixed the beach up anyway so let them have it all as they do so much for Cayman. Go swim in Hog Sty Bay.

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    • watcher says:

      I think you are trolling and not really supportive of Dart. Therefore, a thumbs down.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanian would have nothing of want they want without selling to the rich man

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      • Anonymous says:

        The delusional Caymanian thinks the hundreds of billions of dollars flowing internationally to Cayman is equivalent to fruit growing on local trees and they are entitled to a high paying job though many not wanting to work and further delusion that all these international companies are not from abroad but are naturally existing in Cayman again like fruit on a local tree.
        Then the hypocrisy is also massively prevalent on their opinion on the USA but applying that to Cayman it’s oh no not in my backyard bobo.
        Reality check would hit harshly if a mass exodus of international capital with the financial sector closed and tourist sector largely closed to waken the reality of who built and made Cayman one of the most prosperous countries on the planet instead of Cayman being little Jamaica or little Cuba.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Nobody cares what you would like to see. Go home if you don’t like it here. “Locals” love and respect our home and don’t leave trash strewn about – immigrants that will be gone in a couple seasons do.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Puh-leaze. That hollow threat has been the same since the 70s. Take your money and go. As one of you leaves, 5 more arrive on our shores. Like a somehow worse hydra, but made of leeches.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Were you here for COVID? I think Cayman survived better than most comparable jurisdictions.

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        • Forte Banks says:

          MONEY TALKS. Nothing delusional about THAT.

          I think YOU are forgetting that Cayman became prosperous LONG before Dart came here.
          It was the Financial industry that Made Cayman successful, then came the Tourism.
          Dart didn’t and isn’t, responsible for either of these.

          Because Cayman is trusted and proven, we will continue to prosper in the Financial sector.
          As long as we don’t sell our souls and natural beauty, we will always be a Top destination for Tourism also.

          You mention Jamaica and Cuba, two of the most turbulent and unstable countries in the whole Caribbean. Cayman Was Never and Will NEVER be them.

          The tourists and the international banking billions of $ you speak of will continue to come. This is far more likely than your hypothetical of BOTH Tourism And our OFC status collapsing at the same time.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Dart didn’t buy these Soto Land parcels, they were part of NRA land swaps where the people of the Cayman Islands are the resounding losers. Dart pledged chicken feed for this stuff. Less than $15mln, only partially funded in cash for hundreds of acres in gifts, and years of duty and tax waivers. The underwriters of this treasonous generosity are still either in office, or behind the curtain influencing things. They should be in Northward.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t understand 5:29, you praise your overlord for ‘giving us so many jobs’, sounds like he hasn’t given you one decent one to make ends meet 🤷🏻‍♀️ – idiot

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      • Anonymous says:

        You are the idiot because our company is doing very well by working on these projects. You must be very jealous.

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        • Anonymous says:

          They roll them out every minute don’t they 6:13, – sure I’m jealous of a post indicating wealth and posterity after a post that I made, I just knew you were going to put this up. Do you know what else I foresee, people like you being permanently on the teat always chasing the money because you’re ignorant of principles, community decency and what real happiness is about. Carry on, and don’t be afraid to keep chanting your ‘look at me call’. 💸💸💸🤡

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          • Anonymous says:

            So what, in Cayman you must have money to be anything so getting Dart’s money is a start.

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    • Anonymous says:

      the jobs go to work permit holders only so will bring more not qualified workers to work in hospitality and we know they do not support and respect Cayman just coming to make some money and that is all.

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      • Anonymous says:

        and where will all of these extra workers be housed, already there is a shortage of housing here

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  10. Anonymous says:

    It behooves me to say that I indeed will consider partaking of the indulgence if you will of the bubbly at this rooftop you speak but only if there is an erect statue of the honorable Big Mack McKeeva arms out stretched like Rio de Janeiro gazing above us all. #goosebumps

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm no more development? – I thought they just put in an application for a new 10 storey and a new sports field!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Dart was speaking about the land cleared off the highway towards the Yacht Club. There needs to be clarity before embarking on a large residential development with significant infrastructure costs.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It is presently zoned hotel tourism… so can’t be hard to design something that meets that zoning. If the tree huggers want that swamp area to remain they should have objected to the original development plan back in 1997. If government change what was originally zoned with more restrictions I can see a lawsuit coming and compensation due.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    What remains for the “public’? I know it’s a silly question, but I have enjoyed our sand and surf for 50 years and I fear there will be nowhere available to us silly natives. WE are to blame by not holding our elected officials accountable. But I will continue my early morning traditions of swimming with my children and 4-legged fur children until such time as I get accosted by the ‘new owners’ of this island, they will then instruct some imported constable to arrest me (they will, because they know not the law), I go to court and claim deep emotional distress, get awarded 50 billion dollars in damages, buy the hotel, tear it all down…… One can dream.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    So ugly

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Cayman gone to the dogs

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  15. 345KYDude says:

    Yeah once again, locals complaining when it no longer matters – after the fact. We need to do better.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If you think locals haven’t been complaining about this whole situation since it first popped up, you need to take that 345KY out your tag cuz you’re obviously not from here.

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      • 345KYDude says:

        Sorry you’re absolutely right, I completely forgot that locals demonstrated until their concerns were heard. However, they didn’t. Finally, no one is from here, we all got imported at some point, I’d recommend brushing up on your history.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Many of us did complain, we are just too poor to matter. I was part of a campaign that objected to the projects, we couldn’t even get a 5 minute meeting with the powers that be.

      Its was one of the most eye opening and disheartening experience’s of my life.

      It made it clear to me that unless you have enough money to out bribe these people you have no power.

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      • 345KYDude says:

        Trust me, I feel it for us and the generations to come. However, the issue here is we didn’t make a collective effort. Unfortunately, a smaller group compared to the wider population would reap different results.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    It’s kind of like reverse Jenga, f****** it all up by adding blocks instead. I’d love to see if there’s gleeful smiles from the Dart offspring if boasting to their friends ‘my Dad/Uncle owns half the Island ‘ must be a rewarding claim to witness, – ‘keep your eye on the eight ball’ Ken 🎱🤡

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Ban styrofoam.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    there is no reason for the Governor to live on SMB in a shack on $300M property. the people should demand the Gov residence be relocated (Bodden Town or Pedros to mark history would be fine)

    the gov beach house area should be flattened, landscaped and merged with the tiny beach next to it and given back to the people for 999 years at least.

    put security on it 24/7 if you’re worried about traders

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    • Anonymous says:

      You can feck right off. Thou can go there today- the entire beach is free for your pleasure. The only people who want this done are the beach vendors and the bus tours. Right now that little gem is protected. Don’t trust the government or idiots like you.

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    • Anonymous says:

      That’s right. Sell it so Kenny and Julie have more money to piss away. Shouldn’t take them long.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent idea, can also add vendor shacks!

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    • Anonymous says:

      It will just be more room for vendors. Sooner or later Caymanians will get enough and it will get ugly.

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Good luck trying to camp on Dart’s private beach.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Here’s an idea. Let’s make this Easter holiday the biggest camping event in decades to show that public beaches are truly public.

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    • watcher says:

      I am actually looking forward to that. We all have video equipment. We will clean up our mess, as proper Caymanians do. We won’t play loud music. We will cook our food on contained fires, and camp as traditional Caymanians do. I pity the fool that tries to move us off.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Not even open, and it already looks like a mid-century Vegas strip hotel awaiting demolition.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    love it…can’t wait till it opens…more world class sustainable development from dart….thank you ken.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And more tourists to be put off returning to Cayman because of higglers on what used to be our beach.

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  22. V says:

    I wonder what the hotel guests will think when they walk from the hotel to the beach? On their journey they will encounter the following; excessively loud aftermarket exhaust systems, full and overturned garbage cans, drug pushers, hangling and pushing street vendors. Please feel free to add to list.

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  23. DeeDee says:

    Another one of Dart’s blots on the landscape

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  24. Anonymous says:

    Shame Dart did not take the opportunity to move beach bar facilities away from the ocean during the current rebuild. Now they will have no excuse when the beach dissappears during future storms, as it has in the past. The lack of setback will give them an in-ocean bar then the Indigo guests can join the Seafire guests on their beach.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The reason Dart hasn’t moved that structure one inch is because it is grandfathered in – they can replace every single piece of it as long as they don’t alter the footprint and then you have the best located beach bar in Cayman (yes, until a decent storm takes it out but it can be replaced). they would never get planning permission to build anywhere near that close if starting fresh

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      • Anonymous says:

        FYI it was not that close when it was built. The beach erosion has made it so. Beings set back more would not detract from it being the best beach bar. Just more sustainable as their corporate heads like to talk about.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Actually, when you say “built”, Calicos was very much a tiny beach front hut before and just after Ivan, whereafter it underwent a series of clandestine capacity expansions. The deck mysteriously grew a little bit here, and a little bit over there. The seating multiplied. Nobody said anything, but I think if you ask around, the footprint doubled or tripled at least.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    Hahahhahaha….and CIG has bowed (once again) to beach vendors and created a mess.

    If Joey Hew had just had the bravado to tell them no! Then drag them off the beach or to jail we would have this mess.

    It’s a Public Beach and no vendors should be allowed to operate on it.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    More recently, the organisation announced it had no plans to begin any further development until the government rolls out the long-awaited and much overdue revised national development plan.

    You know your government is terrible when you find yourself agreeing with Dart.

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  27. Anonymous says:

    Mini-Miami Beach.

    Gee, NONE of us could ever have seen this coming. 🙁

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  28. WBW Czar. says:

    This should be a boon for our room stock levels.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    A very welcome addition to the economy of the Cayman Islands.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    Awesome. We need more high rises on the beach, there isn’t enough and we keep wasting land, 10 stories isn’t enough. We should push for 50.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    More reason to ban cruises ships and cater only to stayover tourists.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    For revenues this Government will do anything! SMB Public Beach could soon be up for sale!

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    • Anonymous says:

      It was sold years ago. Wait until they block WBR at Governors and make everything past that towards public beach a private road.

      Already been agreed in principle.

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      • Anonymous says:

        More rubbish conspiracy. Imperato diverted WBR traffic to LTB with RCIPS traffic signage, for over a year, to build his own eyesore hotel, and overpass connection, with nary a peep of objection. That had nothing to do with Dart. That section is a Gazetted public road, serving multiple private properties, it’s not a parcel that can be offered for sale. There is more than enough legitimate stuff to complain about without having to make up fake issues.

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  33. Paradise Lost says:

    Public Beach access for residents soon gone forever. A tragic ending to a once serene and peaceful public lands.

    Add this to all of the developments and homeowners which have impeded or totally obstructed public beach access points due to no enforcement from PLC.

    Sad times for Grand Cayman.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    Let’s focus on CIG’s multi decade failure to implement a long term development plan. At the end of the day, DART or any other developer submits applications for projects and it is the CIG that controls the CPA so let the blame fall where is it rightly deserved which is on the many elected governments that have failed to protect Cayman’s greatest asset, Seven Mile Beach.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    The Easter Camp ground is finally ready!

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