Hot on the heels of the temporary closure of Elbow Beach Resort, which shuttered 60 percent of its 235 rooms last November and has since rebranded as an intimate luxury hotel, the west end retreat 9 Beaches has announced it too will close for the 2010 season. Of course it’s not all bad news. As reported by the Royal Gazette (and Bernews and the Bermuda Sun, for that matter) the hotel plans to invest $80 million into the property, upgrading its overwater bungalows and beachside restaurant, in addition to building 64 mixed-used units, meaning 9 Beaches seems to be going in the direction of hotels like The Reefs Hotel & Club and Newstead Belmont Hills Resort & Spa, which added partial-ownership options last year. No doubt this is a good thing for the hotel—reports suggest 9 Beaches took quite a beating during Bermuda's stormier-than-normal winter—but it’s a shame that such trailblazing property has to close its doors at all. Where else besides the South Pacific can you stay in an overwater bungalow and watch the turquoise waves roll in beneath your plexiglass-layered floor? The hotel says it will reopen in May 2011 as a first-class Bermudian-themed property (whatever that means). Let’s just hope it keeps its rates down and the vibe as relaxed as always.
is a Bermuda-based travel writer and television correspondent. To read his work visit DavidLaHuta.com or to follow him on Twitter visit Twitter.com/DavidLaHuta. Visiting Bermuda? Read his story, 36 Hours in Bermuda, which appeared in the New York Times travel section in September 2009 (http://bit.ly/36HoursBermuda) and Jetsetter's The Many Faces of Bermuda, which ran in January 2011 (http://bit.ly/FacesOfBDA).