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Six Senses Resort and Spa returns for another try at Salt Cay, Cabinet considers the concept

Artist rendering of Six Senses villas on Salt Cay

#Salt Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands – Wednesday June 27, 2018 – For nearly a decade, Six Senses Resort has been angling itself for a unique presence in the Caribbean and had determined that tiny Salt Cay in the Beautiful by Nature Turks and Caicos Islands was ideal for the luxury escape.

Then major controversy struck and soured the prospect of the development which was touted to be ‘green’ and bring ‘green’ to the people of the island, often considered ‘forgotten’.

The names Mario Hoffmann and Stephan Kral –  Salt Cay Devco, investors behind the Six Senses concept – were severely tarnished in the scandalous Commission of Inquiry of 2009.

Despite, the duo tried vigorously to salvage their reputation, to no avail.

In 2018, the Developers of Six Senses are back and have already made a presentation to the Turks and Caicos Islands Cabinet, piquing interests it seems as the investors have been asked to return with a more detailed plan.

A Cabinet report from the Governor’s Office on May 30, 2018 said this about the agenda item: “Considered a Proposal for the Development of a Six Senses Resort on the Island of Salt Cay and requested further information.”

Ever since, there has been a steady stream of inquiries to Magnetic Media to find out more about the development and what it proposes on the tranquil island, renowned for its laid back beauty, intriguing history, captivating coastal vistas and its animal life including endearing donkeys on land and awe-striking whales in the ocean.

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Articles from 2010, including a feature in Turks and Caicos magazine ‘Times of the Islands’ had featured the concept of a resort promoting zen-like villas, sultry spa, tennis court, restaurant and eco-friendly golf course as an opportunity for a resurgence of the island where the economy now is just as dry as its Salinas.  Ironically, the 2.5 square miles used to be a financial life line to the people of the cay and the country, during the salt-raking era.

The Turks and Caicos Weekly News (newspaper) in an article on June 11 2018, reminded of the court battle and loss of Salt Cay Devco; where Mario Hoffmann  had to return over 1,500 acres of land to Government, cover a percentage of the legal fees and surrender his Turks and Caicos Belonger status which was obtained under the Michael Misick government regime.

You get the feeling that getting this application and proposal approved will not be easy; but just maybe the timing is right.

A media release in 2010 announced that Six Senses Resorts and Spas was pegged to open its Turks and Caicos edition in 2013; five years later we are only told by the Investment Minister – Premier Sharlene Robinson – that there is no comment at this stage of the pitch.  

Hon Sharlene Robinson said to Magnetic Media:  “It is a Proposal discussed and I am not able to share anything further as it is a matter before Cabinet. What I will say is that the residents of Salt Cay do not have opportunities to speak to the Government in the upcoming round of Town Halls and to benefit from.”

The 2010 article, published online at HotelierMiddleEast.com, among other websites said in part:

‘Designed to introduce the group’s ‘Slow Life’ philosophy, the project will comprise a total of 40 one- and two-bedroom villa suites and three-bedroom retreats, plus 13 four-bedroom residential villas.

In addition to various dining option, including an organic garden restaurant, there will be a jazz bar, an observatory, and Cinema Paradiso — an open-air area showing classic movies.

Leisure activities will focus on water activities, but will also include tennis and an eco-friendly golf course.’

The news story explained that the phase one investment on the Six Senses Resort and Spa would be $200 million.

Salt Cay residents are admittedly curious.

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