Three`s a Charm: Sandals Resorts Acquires Third Luxurious Resort in St.Lucia

CASTRIES, ST. LUCIA (2002) — Sandals Resorts International, the largest operator of all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, has acquired the Hyatt Regency St. Lucia.  The resort, which is now closed for reorientation, is scheduled to reopen September 15, 2002, following a US$10 million renovation.  It will be called Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort, and will be the third Sandals Resort located on the island.
According to Sandals Resorts International Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart, Sandals had been searching for another property on St. Lucia and was attracted to the two-year-old, 284-room property for its spectacular Rodney Bay location.  Offering over 350,000 square-feet of white sand beach, ocean views from two sides of the resort and modern facilities, including a full-service spa, the resort is located only 12 miles from Castries Airport.
Well-appointed with traditional Plantation-style furnishings, each room and suite features its own large private veranda and luxurious bathrooms with granite vanities.  A highlight of the resort includes six luxurious categories of rooms, including 24 spectacular Lagoon Rooms, with poolside patios literally opening right to the edge of the water.
Sandals Grande St. Lucian Spa & Beach Resort will offer much needed capacity on an island whose popularity continues to grow. 
“With its friendly people and lush beauty, St. Lucia has seduced many vacationers and we’ve struggled to accommodate all who wish to enjoy her special charms in Sandals-style,” said Stewart. “By acquiring this hotel, we have added the most beautiful beach in St. Lucia to our portfolio.  With its magnificent views of Martinique, sweeping vistas of the bay and Pigeon Island Point, we are offering our St. Lucia guests another wonderful, warm place to play when they stay.  The resort has been excellently maintained by Hyatt. Our goal is to enlarge the spa, creating the region’s first full-service destination spa and establishing the area as a future spa center,” added Stewart.
St. Lucian officials are enthusiastic about Sandals’ expanding role in their tourism product.  Honorable Phillip J. Pierre, Minister of Commerce Tourism Investment and Consumer Affairs, said about the news, “The Government of St. Lucia is very pleased that the beautiful resort has found a buyer that is of the stature of Sandals Resorts. We look forward to the speedy reopening of the property.”
Built in the style of a British fortress and situated on 15 acres of land on an isthmus between Rodney Bay and Pigeon Island, the resort’s design features European flare with tropical décor and currently has 8,500-square-feet of meeting space, with golf available off-property.  When it reopens, the resort will have added more dining options, including 24-hour in-room service, more entertainment options and substantially expanded the spa.
Among the five restaurants available will be a charming English pub serving traditional pub fare.  Caribbean cuisine will be featured at the resort’s Bayside Restaurant, which carries the Caribbean theme into its design with
delicate “gingerbread house” fret-work.  Dining on delicious Italian dishes will be available in the elegant Tuscanos Restaurant, La Creperie will feature none other than French crepes, and for a mid-day snack, barefoot dining beneath Tikki huts at the beachside grill is a must.

Other additions and expansions to the resort include a new, classic, European-style pool and for diving enthusiasts, a dedicated dive pool.  At the spa, new garden gazebos for outdoor treatments are being added, and a new piano bar will provide after hours entertainment for guests.
Additionally, guests can “stay at one, play at three” allowing them to enjoy full exchange privileges at Sandals’ two other luxury resorts on the island - Sandals St. Lucia Golf Resort & Spa and Sandals Halcyon St. Lucia.  Guests can whet their appetites sampling a total of 14 specialty restaurants on the island.
Sandals Resorts International is the largest operator of luxury, ultra-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.  Sandals has a total of 11 couples-only properties, including six in Jamaica, three in St. Lucia, one in Antigua and one in Nassau, Bahamas.  Beaches Resorts, a member of the Sandals family, welcomes singles, couples, families and friends.  Beaches offers six locations: two in Negril, one in Providenciales, Turks & Caicos, and three in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, including the new Beaches Boscobel Resort & Golf Club, which is opening in July 2002 and caters to families, and the other two which are part of the new “adults-only” Beaches.