Caneel Bay and Rosewood Parting Ways


When it reopens in November, Caneel Bay Resort will still boast beautiful beaches, above, and welcome a new coffee shop Cannella, below, but will no longer be managed by Rosewood Hotels and Resorts.

Caneel Bay managing director Nikolay Hotze, above, will remain in his position as the resort begins to report directly to CBI Acquisitions.

After managing Caneel Bay Resort for the past 20 years, Rosewood Hotels and Resorts will not be renewing its management agreement with the property’s owner CBI Acquisitions LLC when the luxury retreat reopens in November following its seasonal closure which began Monday, August 26.

“The management agreement with Rosewood Hotels and Resorts is set to expire on October 30,” said Caneel’s managing director Nikolay Hotze. “They will not be renewing that agreement and we will be an independently operated resort.”

The 170-acre property will reopen from its shut down for its seasonal closure on November 1.

When it welcomes guests back in November, the resort will be Caneel Bay Resort St. John, and will no longer be affiliated with Rosewood properties.

“We close on Monday and we reopen November 1,” said Hotze. “When we reopen, the property will be Caneel Bay Resort St. John.”

Hotze, however, and his team will return and will report directly to the property’s owners, Connecticut-based CBI Acquisitions, which bought Caneel in 2004.

“I’m staying here as managing director and my team is staying as well,” Hotze said. “We’ll report directly to the ownership, CBI Acquisitions LLC.”

Caneel Bay Resort was originally established in 1956 by Laurance Rockefeller and the Jackson Hole Preserve, a non-profit organization supported by the Rockefeller family.

In 1983, Jackson Hole Preserve donated the 170 acres of Caneel Bay Resort to the federal government for inclusion in V.I. National Park, according to the 111th U.S. Congress’ Calendar Number 296.

When it donated the land, however, Jackson Hole preserve retained a use estate and reserved the right to continue to operate the resort. Jackson Hole Preserve sold that retained use estate to CBI Acquisitions LLC in 2004.

CBI secured a management agreement with Rosewood, which had been running Caneel Bay Resort since 1993. That agreement will expire in October and, for the first time in 20 years, the property will not be included in Rosewood’s extensive portfolio.

Caneel’s managing director, however, sees only sunny skies ahead for the luxury resort, he added.

“Caneel is its own brand and we have a big reach over the entire nation and Europe,” said Hotze. “We’re looking for other partners for marketing strategies and we’re trying to get our new reservation system up and running. We’re already looking at a very busy November when we reopen.”

Also new at Caneel when the resort reopens in November will be the hotly anticipated opening of  ZoZo’s Ristorante, which is taking over the former Sugar Mill Restaurant area.

“We’re excited to welcome ZoZo’s which will be opening November 1 as well,” said Hotze. “We’re developing a parking operation for ZoZo’s and we’ll be offering complimentary valet parking from 5 to 11 p.m.”

Caneel officials also anticipate approval of its lease renewal by the 112th U.S. Congress early next year, which will put the resort in a better position to plan for the future, Hotze explained.

“The lease is not yet renewed but we hope by the beginning of next year to enter into a new 40 year lease,” he said. “If we sign the lease in the beginning of the year, we’ll be moving forward with the capital investment plan.”

During its seasonal closure, lighting will be installed on two tennis courts and Caneel officials are excited to offer night tennis, Hotze added.

Also opening in November will be Love City’s newest coffee shop and gelateria Cannella — Italian for cinnamon — which will open adjacent to Caneel Bay’s gift shop.

The resort will continue charging $20 for day time parking, which is validated after spending $20 at the property, Hotze added.