CHARLESTOWN, Nevis — The Nevis Island Administration (NIA) has emerged victorious from a court battle to secure the certificate of title for the historic Bath Hotel and Bath Stream, putting ownership officially in the hands of the government and people of Nevis.
Hon. Mark Brantley, Premier of Nevis, describes the acquisition of the title for the iconic property as a significant win for the people of Nevis.
“Thanks to our Legal Advisor, Mrs. Helene Lewis, and her dedicated team of lawyers,
the judge ruled that a title should be issued to the Government for the Bath Hotel and Bath Stream,” said Hon. Brantley.
“This regularizes the position. I am grateful that my Government has been able to secure and put beyond doubt that the historic Bath Hotel and Bath Stream belong to the Government and people of Nevis.
“This is a major victory for all Nevisians at home and abroad,” said Brantley. “We have secured title to this historic site for the benefit of generations of Nevisians yet unborn.”
Mrs. Lewis explained that when it came to the attention of the government that an individual was claiming ownership of the Bath Hotel property, the government began the legal process of acquiring the title in December 2020.
“Several months ago the Cabinet became aware that a private individual was claiming to own the Bath Hotel,” explained Mrs. Lewis. “This seemed very peculiar to us, since the government had occupied the Bath Hotel since at least 1987.
“The assertion that this private individual owned the Hotel was of great concern, so the Cabinet charged me with resolving the issue,” said Mrs. Lewis. “That involved making inquiries at the Land Registry to discover where the title for the Hotel was registered, and then getting to the bottom of who owned the hotel at an earlier stage.”
Mrs. Lewis said after discovering a company registered in Nevis had held the property, she contacted the majority shareholder in France. Once the individual confirmed that the Hotel and the surrounding lands were in fact the property of the Nevis Island Administration, the government set about getting legal documentation in support of that claim.
“In order to clarify the title, we had to make an application to the court,” said Mrs. Lewis. “At the first hearing date, to our surprise someone purporting to object to the application appeared through a lawyer. When we challenged in what capacity is that person here, the judge ordered an adjournment for us to make a further submission.”
“It was adjourned to March 1 and on that date, no further objection was or could have been lodged,” said Mrs. Lewis. “After reviewing the affidavits, the judge, made an order that the property should be registered in the name of the Nevis Housing and Land development Corporation, which is the legal entity that holds land on behalf of the NIA.”
Built in 1778, Nevis’ Bath Hotel was the first tourist hotel in the Caribbean. The main building sits on a seven-acre property, which includes the thermal Bath Stream. Historically the people of Nevis and international travels have visited the Bath hot springs to enjoy its therapeutic properties.