Kralendijk- Statia’s newest hotel, the Orange Bay Hotel (OBH) last week celebrated having reached the highest point of the construction in the bay of Oranjestad, St. Eustatius. The new hotel is being constructed by local company Ecostatia N.V. which was established in 2010 by initiators Claudia Wickert and her partners in the project. The project has started with personal funding from the initiators.
The building of the hotel has known some delays because of the archaeological situation where various artifacts from Statia’s rich history were found, as soon as the digging for the construction of the hotel began. Confronted with this somewhat unexpected development, Ecostatia decided to incorporate the restoration of the ruin in the hotel. “This now forms an essential component of the design and represents an important tourist monument of great historical significance to St.Eustatius”, said Wickert in conversation with the BES-reporter.
The extra investment needed for the incorporation of the monument into the hotel has been covered by a soft-loan from the National Restoration Fund (NFR) of the Dutch Government. Wickert says that thanks to a close cooperation with the Executive Council in Statia, the project has now reached its final stage. “The overall project will comprise 30 units and consist of a mix of hotel bedrooms and ‘beach villas’. The remaining units will be constructed in several phases according to the grow and need of Statia”, explained Wickert.
Wickert also explained to The BES-reorter that the hotel is being built as ‘semi-detached high-quality prefab structure’, designed and manufactured by „Shanghai Ionic architecture & Engineering”. This, according to Wickert, will allow for a short construction period with minimal debris and disturbance to hotel guests, while the construction will still be able to withstand the toughest environmental challenges.
Wickert said that the new hotel will be the first hotel on Sint Eustatius to operate a restaurant, ‘Harbour Club Statia’ that will be open year-round from 7 AM to 11 PM at nights. The opening of the restaurant is envisioned for the end of May;the opening of the hotel is planned for October of this year.
The lack of sufficient and high quality hotel accommodation has for a long time been seen as one of the factors hampering the further economic development of the island. The construction of a new hotel of the size of the Orange Bay Hotel is therefore very welcome news for the tourism sector on the island.