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October 03, 2021 , Beaches Resorts, 40th Anniversary

Forty Forward - Innovation Never Rests: Sandals Resorts International Looks to the Future

The creators of the iconic swim-up pool bar. The first to bring the over-the-water suite concept to the Caribbean. The only resort company to win ‘World’s Leading All-Inclusive Company’ for 25 years in a row at the World Travel Awards.  At its 40th anniversary, Sandals® Resorts, the award-winning Luxury Included® Vacation experience, has no shortage of industry firsts or accolades to celebrate. And so, the natural question becomes: what next?

“As we mark this milestone anniversary, we’re reminded of how we got here: an unwavering commitment to innovation and a promise to exceed expectations,” says Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, parent company of Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts. “It is this drive that allows us to dream big, not only of what’s possible, but what has always been deemed impossible for others.  This is the spirit we’re bringing to the next forty years and particularly the next decade, when we intend to double our resort portfolio. We truly believe the sky is the limit.”

Celebrating forty years of redefining luxury tourism across the Caribbean for its flagship brand, Sandals Resorts International is embarking upon on a multi-year expansion and innovation plan that will help boost a strong tourism comeback for the region. With an investment of more than $196 million and the creation of more than 3,000 new jobs, this announcement reaffirms the resort company’s continued role as a leader and driver of tourism and economic growth across the Caribbean amid a tumultuous year for the tourism industry and region.

Leaning into the Brand’s Jamaican Roots with Three New Resorts in Ocho Rios

Founded in Jamaica in 1981, nearly half (44%) of the brands’ 18 existing resorts are located on the island, with three additional resorts planned for the coming years. These investments will add 2,100 jobs and $90 million to the Jamaican economy, bringing Sandals’ total economic footprint in Jamaica to $374 million.  

"As a sixth-generation Jamaican, the island will always play a critical part in our plans to grow and innovate Caribbean hospitality.  There is tremendous opportunity here and a ripe moment, as leisure travelers are choosing to return to the places and brands that they know and trust,” said Stewart.

Sandals Dunn’s River & Sandals Royal Dunn’s River 

Phase I development plans begin with the total transformation of Sandals Dunn’s River - which returns to the Sandals family in Ocho Rios, Jamaica under the same moniker as when it was originally added to the Sandals Resorts portfolio in 1990, with an anticipated opening date of fourth quarter 2022.  Phase II is the creation of sister-property Sandals Royal Dunn’s River, which will be adjacent and offer generous exchange privileges with a slated completion in 2023.

Stewart says the new Sandals Dunn’s River was the last project he and his late father collaborated on and is an homage to the natural beauty of their beloved Jamaica, with water pulled and circulated from natural reserves and the brand’s signature suites being a prominent feature.       

In addition to cascading waterfalls at the entrance, Sandals Dunn’s River will offer a total of 260 rooms including 48 signature SkyPool Suites, a first for Jamaica, which will feature a private cantilevered, solar-heated plunge pool with infinity edge. 12 Swim-up Rondoval™ Suites with many featuring a “Rooftop Terrace” will also grace the property – both signature Love Nest Butler Suites® for the ultimate in privacy and service; 10 restaurants including a specialty rum bar inside the brand’s newest Latin Fusion restaurant concept Azuka and 9 bars; 7 pools including 2 river pools and Red Lane® Spa.

Beaches Runaway Bay

In addition to the $230 million development of Sandals Dunn’s River and Sandals Royal Dunn’s River, the resort company is also planning an over $250 million renovation of its third new location in Ocho Rios, Beaches Runaway Bay Resort, the third family-friendly Beaches Resort in Jamaica.  At its completion, the hotel will feature an estimated 400 expansive one, two, three and four-bedroom suites, designed with extended families in mind.  Guests of Beaches Runaway Bay also have access to Runaway Bay Golf Club and its par-72, 18-hole championship golf course.

Celebrating 25 Years in the Bahamas

Sandals Royal Bahamian

Debuting January 27, 2022, Sandals Royal Bahamian, the brand’s award-winning hotel, spa and private island located in Nassau, Bahamas, will reopen following a multi-million-dollar renovation that completely reimagines the resort.

In addition to the development of new iconic river suites and the refurbishment of over 200 rooms and suites, Sandals Royal Bahamian will unveil an innovative new concept, Coconut Grove, an expansive lounge area that extends the beach vibes to the center of the resort. Shaded by coconut palms, the new setting will feature an immediate connection to the resort’s Caribbean setting with gourmet food trucks, chic, relaxing seating, and unparalleled views of the sea.   A reimagination of its famed private island, Sandals Cay, with updated lounge settings and a new gastronomic experience, will complement the resort’s latest innovations. 

Expanding to Two New Islands, Fostering a Positive Impact Across the Caribbean

“Our expansion into Curaçao and St. Vincent comes with tremendous possibility at a time when the creation of new jobs and skillsets across the tourism industry is more important than ever,” said Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts. “We’re investing in the captivating people of these two incredible destinations, by bringing our Sandals Corporate University to the islands and harnessing the power of the Sandals Foundation to make real impact across their communities."

Sandals Royal Curaçao

Situated on 44 acres within the Santa Barbara private estate, an exclusive 3,000-acre protected preserve, Sandals Royal Curaçao will authentically intertwine natural world wonders - desert, ocean, mountains, and shoreline - with the resort experience.  The resort, which debuts April 14, 2022, is the brand’s first venture into Curaçao and will offer couples the unique opportunity to discover the beauty and geographic diversity of the island, known for its adventurous terrain, pristine beaches, limestone caves and vibrant capital city Willemstad, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, while still indulging in the Luxury Included® Vacation experience Sandals Resorts is renowned for.

With 351-luxurious rooms and suites in 24 room categories, Sandals Royal Curaçao will be home to the brand’s first Dos Awa infinity pool with views overlooking the sea and the rugged mountain landscape, and The Duchess, Sandals’ first-ever floating restaurant and bar, constructed from a 92-foot authentic Dutch ship. With nine on-site 5-Star Global Gourmet™ restaurants (eight of which are new and exclusive to Sandals Royal Curaçao), guests will indulge in international flavors from a melting pot of global cuisine, including an authentic wine and Dutch cheese bar. Couples can also dine on-the-go at three new beachside gourmet food trucks offering traditional Curaçao fare, Spanish tapas, and Asian fusion, or grab a drink at any of the resort’s 10 unique bars. The hotly anticipated 16th Sandals Resorts will also carry on the brand’s reputation as an authority in romance with three oceanfront wedding venues.  The resort will also feature a luxurious Red Lane® Spa with six outdoor spa cabanas and treatment rooms; expansive pools; access to the neighboring 18-hole Pete Dye championship golf course; 38,000-square-feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space, the largest on the island; two on-site marinas and 70 dive sites, ideally suited for guests looking to join the more than 100,000 divers who have earned PADI®-certification through the resort company already.

Furthering the brand’s commitment to developing local economies, the new resort is expected to create 1,200 new jobs, $19M in annual salaries and more than $40M direct economic impact in Curaçao. “Our expansion plan is designed with the island’s economy, resources and growth at the forefront to ensure our entry into Curaçao is as impactful to the visited as it is to the visitor,” said Stewart.

Beaches St. Vincent

Sandals Resorts International announced its expansion to the ‘Jewels of the Caribbean,’ St. Vincent and the Grenadines – a new destination for the brand in the Caribbean – following the acquisition of Buccament Bay Spa and Resort. Nestled within a lush mountain range and neighboring rainforest, and only a short drive from the newly constructed Argyle International Airport, the resort will be completely reimagined and transformed to become the fourth Beaches Resort within the portfolio, joining the award-winning resorts for everyone in Ocho Rios, Jamaica; Negril, Jamaica; and Providenciales, Turks & Caicos. Beaches St. Vincent is projected to add $106 million to the island’s economy over three years, as well as 900 jobs.

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