Following the US$25 million renovation of Dunn’s River in Jamaica, Sandals’ are embarking upon two multi-million dollar expansion projects. Beaches Turks & Caicos is under going a US$68 million expansion meanwhile US$65 million has been invested into the development of a Mediterranean Village at Sandals Antigua Caribbean Village & Spa, which is set to be completed in November 2006. BTN caught up with Bobby Stewart, Managing Director, Sandals, for an update.
BTN: Has Sandals had a good 12 months? Which areas have been particularly strong for Sandals?
Bobby: Sandals has had a very good 12 months and what is even more encouraging is the forward bookings that we have received well into June / July this year. We are also pleased with how well the travel agents are selling our product as most of them are taking bookings in our highest suite categories with dedicated butler service, and selling rooms from the top down.
BTN: How is the Turks and Caicos expansion coming along?
Bobby: Beaches Turks & Caicos is under going a US$68 million expansion that will include 168 suites offering everything a family could ask for. Youngsters will enjoy separate rooms with bunk beds and Xbox® consoles while parents can relax in their own sitting room and Jacuzzi tub. The new Italian Village at Turks & Caicos will have its own 12,000-square-foot pool with expanded water park, a Kids Kamp facility for 6-12 year olds, a nightclub, additional retail space and three gourmet restaurants.
BTN: Where are you up to with the Mediterranean Village development in Antigua?
Bobby: We are now undergoing a US$65 million expansion on a new Mediterranean Village at Sandals Antigua Caribbean Village & Spa, which is set to be completed in November 2006. The new village will feature its own check-in facilities, 180 luxurious suites comprised of junior suites, executive suites and penthouse suites. The village will also be home to a 15,000-square-foot pool that will be the largest in the Eastern Caribbean, along with poolside cabañas, new dining options that include the Barefoot on the Beach Italian restaurant and traditional British pub fare and new retail shops. Sandals Antigua also recently embellished all ten of its garden rondovals to include private plunge pools.
BTN: Do you have any other plans in the pipeline?
Bobby: We just re-opened Sandals Dunn’s River in Jamaica, one of our most popular resorts, in December last year following a US$25 million renovation programme. We also changed the name to Sandals Dunn’s River Villaggio Golf Resort & Spa to reflect the resort’s theme of blending Italian passion with Caribbean charm.
Works have started at Sandals Grande St Lucian, including the construction of 18 new rondovals, all of which will have their own jacuzzis and private plunge pools. They really are going to be quite amazing, with some of them having little private gardens with hammocks, etc. A complete refurbishment of the rooms is also taking place, with new furnishings and fabrics to be complete by the summer.
We are constantly upgrading our existing properties to keep them in line and indeed exceed guests expectations when holidaying with us at Sandals. As for new properties, our innovative approach means we are always looking for new destinations so watch this space!