Last Wednesday saw ground broken on Dominica’s newest tourism resort project.
Anichi Resort and Spa is part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection of properties, and is funded by Dominica’s citizenship by investment programme.
The event, which occurred at the resort’s construction site in Picard, Portsmouth, emphasised the development’s intent to add sophisticated room stock to Dominica’s tourism industry, offer employment opportunities to Dominicans, and inject much needed revenue into Dominica’s recovering economy.
Anichi, which pays homage to the country’s indigenous Kalinago people as well as Dominica’s culture and history of resilience, is being developed by well-respected Dominican lawyer, Alick Lawrence.
Lawrence is recognised as the country’s longest serving citizenship agent.
The Portsmouth native, who heads Anichi Development, sees the resort as a symbol of hope for the island following the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria in September 2017.
“We see this project as part of the recovery effort through the employment it is creating for our people, but more importantly, through the message of optimism that it conveys,” Lawrence said.
“Dominicans are not daunted. We are not defeated. We will rise again.”
CBI boosts ‘every aspect of Dominican life’
Lawrence, who openly pledged his support to the country’s citizenship by investment programme, and to the government for maintaining the integrity of the programme, credits it for benefiting “every aspect of Dominican life – whether health, infrastructure, the National Employment Programme, medical assistance, student assistance, and housing, to name a few.”
Lawrences stressed that all Dominicans, whether directly or indirectly, benefit from the programme – particularly because of its apt for circulating money throughout the economy.
Anichi Resort & Spa, formerly known as Silver Beach Resort & Spa, joined forces with the world’s largest hotel brand, Marriott International, in 2017 – a rebranding exercise that led to an overhaul of the property’s architectural plans, resort name, and overall brand story.
On hand to witness the event, and to validate the confidence placed in the project by its parent brand Marriott International, was Marriott’s area director of operations for the Caribbean and Latin America, Brock Hochhalter.
Hochhalter, who revelled in the beauty of Dominica’s landscape and rivers, expressed his company’s excitement to see Anichi become a “great example and representation of what the Autograph brand is – exactly like nothing else.”
Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit, who referred to Lawrence’s actions to develop Anichi as “a genuine commitment, not only to the town of Portsmouth, but to the entire country,” volunteered his person to help market and push the project internationally, so that it can be realised as quickly as possible.
Although the official ground-breaking ceremony for Anichi Resort and Spa happened on 7 February, work on the site actually began in 2017, and workers are currently engaged in laying the foundation for some of the resorts junior suites.