$14m to make Manta Lodge a 2-star hotel

Renovation works under way at Manta Lodge in Speyside. - DAVID REID
Renovation works under way at Manta Lodge in Speyside. - DAVID REID

Refurbishment of the THA-owned Manta Lodge in Speyside is expected to be completed by July 31.

The dive resort, which cost the THA $5 million to purchase in 2015, has been non-operational since and left in a significant state of disrepair.

In 2015, the assembly spent $32 million on Sanctuary Villas at Black Rock and Manta Lodge at Speyside. Both properties were left unattended, sparking questions about THA spending going down the drain.

Chief Secretary Dennis previously revealed that renovation for both properties would cost $70 million – $10 million for Manta Lodge and $60 million for Sanctuary Villas.

The former was made priority as it was the smaller of the projects and easier to fund. Work on Sanctuary Villas is expected in the next fiscal year.

Dennis said Udecott was engaged as project manager for the Manta Lodge project and there were some “promising options” to manage the hotel, which will not be managed by the Tobago House of Assembly.

The hotel features 24 rooms.

Dennis gave Newsday an update on the renovation project on Friday, breaking down the work that has been completed so far.

The contractor for the project is Construction Services and Supplies Ltd.

“Minor demolition 95 per cent, painting works five per cent, electrical installation building A 30 per cent, electrical installation building B 15 per cent, plumbing installation building A 30 per cent and plumbing installation building A 25 per cent.”

He said the renovation was originally contracted for $8,984,414, but the scope of work did not include upgraded mechanical, electrical, plumbing and structural retrofitting.

“Udecott suggests that this be included to bring the hotel to a two-star minimum rating with at an additional cost of $5,127,878.41.”

Workmen from Construction Services and Supplies Limited on a scaffolding doing renovations at Manta Lodge in Speyside. - DAVID REID

Dennis said the upgrades, which include provisions for the disabled, will made the hotel more appealing.

“The rooms are outfitted to have a more modern decor and the facility will meet all code requirements.

“Also, the elevator, furniture and trellis are not included but can be carried out in another phase. This cost is $2,708,832.38.”

Questioned about the management plan upon completion, he said there would be some discussions.

“We will enter into discussion (with) e TecK (Evolving Tecknologies and Enterprise Development Company Ltd) and Udecott for management arrangements.”

Looking at the positives with this development, he said: “Any added room stock, whether it be public or private asset, is a welcomed development for the island.”

Progressive Democratic Patriots leader Watson Duke previously said the PNM must accept the blame for allowing the hotels to become dilapidated.

PNM Tobago political leader Tracy Davidson-Celestine responded saying there was no wastage of money, only a delay in the delivery of the projects.


"$14m to make Manta Lodge a 2-star hotel"

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