Watch: Plans for new Comino Hotel & Villas unveiled

The total investment is projected to reach €110 million to €120 million.

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

The new Comino Hotel & Villas will introduce a higher tier of hospitality than is currently on offer across the Maltese islands, according to HV Hospitality, a subsidiary of Hili Ventures.

The hotel will feature a central foyer and restaurant, with an underlying basement for an electro-mechanical plant, a spa and 70 hotel rooms with swimming pools at ground floor level and terraces on the upper floors, all laid out on a building gross floor area of circa 6,488m2 and an external area of circa 8,064m2.

Photo credit: HV Hospitality

The new villas will consist of a cluster of 21 residences, on a building gross floor area of circa 5,211m2. Work on demolition and construction will commence after planning permission is obtained. From this point, the project will take approximately two years to complete. The total investment in the Comino Hotel & Villas is projected to reach €110 million to €120 million.

This project is entirely privately held by HV Hospitality, a subsidiary of Hili Ventures.

Photo credit: HV Hospitality

How will the new project be larger or smaller than the current properties?

The new Comino Hotel & Villas will occupy the same square meterage as the current properties and disturbed land will be reduced by at least 5,000 square metres. There will be no land reclamation and the original concession will be respected.

Has the carbon footprint of the new development been calculated?

HV Hospitality has engaged ARUP, one of the world’s leading engineering practices, with a brief to capture sustainable design strategies. The scheme aims to be “Zero Net Carbon”. This is a crucial statement and commitment requiring recognised scientific knowledge and sense of responsibility. The strategy combines two major actions: develop a passive building and use the local forces to produce energy. The energy consumption is reduced thanks to the natural cross ventilation, thermal mass and installation of low consumption devices. The objective is to drastically reduce the need to turn on cooling systems. A photovoltaic array will produce a large amount of power while the total need for hot water for sanitary uses will be satisfied by the solar thermal units installed on the roof.

Does the project respect the rationale of Natura 2000 and the 2006 Gozo and Comino Local Plan?

HV Hospitality has set out to respect all aspects of the Natura 2000 Management Plan and any other plans that are relevant to Comino. A holistic design strategy, in response to every issue raised by the Management Plan, starts from a careful dismantling process of the existing structures. It continues with the least impacting prefabricated timber construction and ends with the regeneration of important portions of disturbed land restored to its original condition. This will be framed by a LEED Platinum certification.

Will the skyline be altered in any way?

The skyline will improve in some areas. The new villas will be one storey high whereas the current properties are two storeys high. The hotel will rise to a similar height as the existing property.

Photo credit: HV Hospitality

Comino is a Dark Sky Heritage Area. Does the development proposal take this into account?

As part of the design process, HV Hospitality is carefully looking at the external lighting design. The dark sky will be preserved thanks to a minimal external lighting strategy. In the meantime, an ensemble of overhanging terraces/canopies will prevent interior light from spilling out and from polluting the night sky.

How will marine life be protected during demolition and construction?

An Environmental Impact Assessment will be carried out which will highlight any specific areas to protect. In any event, HV Hospitality will ensure that it engages eco and marine consultants throughout the entire process to ensure protection. An appropriate dismantling/demolition process followed by a prefabricated timber construction technique will minimize the impact of construction on, and not only, the marine life.

How will construction waste be disposed of?

Photo credit: HV Hospitality

HV Hospitality’s aim is to reuse construction waste from the existing hotel as much as is practically possible. Furthermore, in line with the project objectives of minimising waste disposal, prefabricated construction methods will be adopted. The restoration of areas such as the tennis courts to their original natural state will be implemented with recycled material. Any other construction waste will be disposed of in line with all Maltese environmental legislation.

To which areas of Comino will the project limit public access during demolition and construction?

During demolition and construction, the property will only be accessible to site personnel. Public access to the hotel, its perimeter and its shoreline will be prohibited in the interest of health and safety. Public areas on Comino will remain entirely public and subject to regulation by national authorities.

This content was supplied by HV Hospitality, a subsidiary of Hili Ventures. Photos and video credit: HV Hospitality