The Legends of Ariel Sands Inspire Innovators in Residence

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17th Jul 2017




The Hub Culture Innovation Campus and Beach Club at Ariel Sands in Bermuda is the newest chapter in a story that goes back hundreds of years.

The property was originally a cedar forest known as Roseneath, and was purchased by Thomas Melville Dill in the 1840s. It produced wood for tall sailing ships and was sustainably maintained until the 1940s, when a blight and hurricane destroyed much of Bermuda’s famously strong cedar.  Thomas and his wife Ruth began a legacy of hospitality and entertainment with their dear friend and guest, author Mark Twain.

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Over time the Dill Family built a set of cottages on the property and christened it Ariel Sands in honour of Ariel, the sprite in Shakespeare’s The Tempest.  The isle described in the play is thought to be inspired by Bermuda, an English colony since 1609 when one of the two ships headed to Jamestown, Virginia ended up on the island's protective reefs.

During the mid to late 20th century, Ariel Sands was a haven for thinkers, intellectuals and bon vivants visiting Bermuda.  The beautiful decks of the Club’s main restaurant, Aqua, hosted many a celebrity and political figure, just as the island hosted guests like Jacques Cousteau, John F. Kennedy, John Wayne and Princess Diana. 

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The actress Diana Dill (who grew up in a cottage that today remains at Ariel Sands) played a significant role in the success of Ariel Sands and the island, hosting friends and family over the years with her son Michael Douglas and his wife Catherine Zeta Jones, who still today bring friends to Bermuda for rest, relaxation and the occasional brainstorm.

When Aqua closed, the restaurant’s Italian general manager Claudio Vigilante soon made a name for himself 5,000 km away as the much loved General Manager at Annabel’s, the exclusive socialite club in London. 

This summer, Hub Culture is helping to revive the legends of Ariel Sands. The Rosé and Dill is the beachside bar referencing Rosneath and the Dill Family, with a generous supply of Hub Culture Social Rosé to lubricate the conversation. 2048 and Zeke offer exponential conveniences with their own references to a tech future.  Television reality stars and Instagram personalities cross paths with quants and digital currency investors while viscounts do laps in the ocean lidos. At night, bonfires on the beach illuminate conversations of all types.

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During this moment, some visiting guests are set to become the first Innovators in Residence, with the opportunity to convene, write, discuss, lecture and produce online content to be featured at HubCulture.com.  Innovators in Residence honours 8 Patron Spirits who had ties to Bermuda or Hub Culture: Walt Whitman for stories, Zsa Zsa Gabor for glamour, Albert Einstein for discovery, Zaha Hadid for vision, David Bowie for creativity, Maya Angelou for heart, Mark Twain for adventure, and Josephine Baker for motion.  Which spirit appeals to you?  

Visit this summer to build the energy, convene the ideas, meet the people and feel history in the making. Hub Culture at Ariel Sands is open daily 11am - 9pm through the end of August, 2017.