AT a time when good news is in very short supply, the announcement yesterday that the Hotel Formentor has been sold to a group linked to Bill Gates should be celebrated.

The hotel group, Four Seasons, operates some of the finest hotels in the world and they have big plans for the Hotel Formentor including a 20 million euro investment plan. The fact that a major international group is investing heavily in the island at the moment should give the local tourist industry some added confidence for the future.

It is quite fitting really that a hotel which has welcomed guests such as Sir Winston Church or Sir Peter Ustinov should now be partly owned by one of world’s richest men and a celebrity in his own right (Bill Gates). I remember interviewing the late, great Sir Peter at the Hotel Formentor many years ago. He always underlined the beauty of the hotel and its surroundings. The top British actor would stay at the hotel and spend the day on his boat which was moored in the Bay. I must admit, I agree with Sir Peter.

There is something very special about the Hotel Formentor. As a child I remember hearing my parents remark that it was one of the few places on the island (in those days) which served a proper English-style afternoon tea. So the future appears bright for this iconic hotel and the investment package which has been agreed should ensure that it continues to be one of the leading hotels on the island. I am sure that Churchill and Ustinov would be pleased.

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