Michael Douglas (left) with Tourism Minister Dr. Ewart Brown (right) annouce that Ariel Sands is becoming part of Hilton Grand Vacations.
Michael Douglas (left) with Tourism Minister Dr. Ewart Brown (right) annouce that Ariel Sands is becoming part of Hilton Grand Vacations.
Ariel Sands, the Devonshire cottage colony owned by film star Michael Douglas’s family is going to be razed and rebuilt in a massive $100m makeover.

The actor attended a press conference today, Wednesday, with Tourism Minister Ewart Brown and new partners Hilton Grand Vacations Club to announce the plans, which will see the existing 47-room property transformed into a 214 room oasis.

Mr. Douglas said: “Ariel Sands has been in our family, the Dill family, for more than 50 years. As many of you also know, the cottage colony tourism business has been pretty rough the last 20 years. I’m very proud to announce, on behalf of Ariel Sands, a partnership with the Hilton Vacation Clubs.”

Mr. Douglas said he’s been talking about the plans with Government for the past few days and presented the idea to Cabinet. He said the development would be great for tourism, but also for Bermudians. Local staff will have the opportunity to train abroad and live on site with 16 staff rooms.

Hilton Grand Vacation Clubs is basically a high-end timeshare operation with more than 3,700 exchange opportunities.

Representative Bruce Sonneborn Jnr said the project would unfurl in phases. Once completed, it will be the ultimate in luxury living.

Referring to a report in Destinations Magazine he said: “The fractional interest property product is the hottest term in the high end housing market today.” He said the new Aerial Sands would be “two steps above” operations like the Ritz Carlton and Four Seasons.

Mr. Douglas said his family would continue to have a “minority interest” in the property.

Dr. Brown paid tribute to the celebrity saying: ”This man has done more than a few things to help Bermuda. Obviously he is a mega star in his own line of work and wherever he goes he says good things about Bermuda — sometimes I wish we could expose him to other people in Bermuda so that they would feel the same way.”

The new property will be called The Hilton Club at Ariel Sands. The existing six condominiums will stay, but everything else is going to be replaced with a number of three-story buildings.

Dr. Brown continued: “In an effort to keep up with the changing times we are about to turn a new page in Bermuda’s tourism industry, and Government salutes Michael Douglas for being creative in actively courting this international brand.”