Speaking on Saturday following the onslaught of Hurricane Ivan, Gordon “Butch” Stewart of Saandals fame said, “today marks a real victory for Jamaica and the Sandals Organisation, only yesterday, we were preparing for the worst. All I can say is, ‘Hallelujah!’ We will now prepare to welcome guests back as early as next week.”
Leading up to the impending storm, full hurricane preparations were put into place by the resorts to ensure the complete comfort and safety of all of its guests.
Earlier in the week, a swift evacuation was implemented to relocate guests to other Sandals Resorts in Antigua and St. Lucia. The chain also worked closely with airlines and arranged chartered flights to transport guests home.
During the storm, resort management personnel updated guests with the most current tracking information and assisted with international phone service. All General Managers were equipped with Satellite phones to ensure constant communication and the latest information. Phone service remains fully operational. Guests that chose to remain on island are safe and sound and look forward to celebrating this near miss at Sandals and Beaches Resorts.
Sandals and Beaches Resorts guests have something else to celebrate, a completely complimentary return vacation, with airfare, as part of the Sandals and Beaches Resorts’ “Blue Chip Hurricane Guarantee.” To date, the company’s pay out in replacement vacations will total close to $5.5 million dollars.
“What has really pleased me through all of this is the fantastic feedback we have received from our travel agent partners and resort guests. It keeps pouring in,” stated Gordon “Butch” Stewart. Leslie Hill, a travel agent who was in Jamaica, had this to say: “The thing I appreciated most is seeing your company act during an emergency. Calm, professional and completely in control of the situation are the qualities that I witnessed from every Sandals member we came into contact with.”
“Nothing could make me more proud of our company and the country,” Stewart concluded.
While Hurricane Ivan may have affected other neighbouring Caribbean islands, it seems to have only inflicted superficial damage to Sandals and Beaches Resorts in Jamaica. No major structural damage has been reported.