Actor Michael Douglas Talks With Bisnow About The Launch Of His New Resort
Two-time Academy Award-winning actor and producer Michael Douglas and his Academy Awarding-winning wife, Catherine Zeta-Jones, are iconic film actors with very public careers. Less well known, however, is their success in real estate. (Michael even spent his first paycheck on land.) We chatted with Michael about his ventures in real estate, and his new Bermuda resort, Ariel Sands Hotel Cottage Colony.
“I’ve always loved real estate, but I don’t plan on making a career out of it,” he says. Michael tells us the first money he ever made was working on one of his father’s films in 1966, and he used his paycheck to buy 70 acres of raw land in Vermont. “I still have it,” he says.
Back in the 1990s he developed Wildcat Ranch, a stone’s throw from Aspen, a raw 7,500-acre expanse of premium mountain land with over 40 miles of private trails for hiking, running and horseback. However, Michael didn’t want it to be a just another fancy resort. He invested over $10M in infrastructure and divided it up into 500-acre homesteads. After holding onto it for two decades, he sold it for $44M.
Bermuda is a magical place, Michael tells us, and his latest project, Ariel Sands, is a labor of love. (Shown here, breaking ground on the new development). He spent his first birthday and many summers as a kid on the island, and he and his wife, Catherine, raised their two kids there for 10 years.
The Ariel Sands property has been in Michael’s mother’s family since the 1840s and he wanted to build on that legacy, he tells us. The new super-premium luxury resort will honor the spirit of the original Ariel Sands Hotel on the site while creating a thoroughly modern and private retreat.
The new resort will consist of 84 hotel rooms in 26 two- and three-bedroom cottages, all with dramatic ocean views and easy access to the beach, and 28 luxury suites.
The new arrival building and clubhouse will feature a welcome lounge, a fine dining restaurant, a spa, a salon and a gym. The restored beach will be one of the best on Bermuda with enormous saltwater tidal pools. The beach club will house an informal oceanfront restaurant/bar as well as a freshwater pool overlooking the beach.