TORONTO — Some hoteliers steer clear of a destination after a hurricane hit. Others, like AMResorts, dive in with both feet.
AMResorts announced today it is going into St. Martin with the signing of a new resort brand management deal to bring its Secrets Resorts & Spas brand to the island.
With the addition of this new resort AMResorts’ parents company Apple Leisure Group says it maintains its position of having the largest pipeline of all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, with more than 6,000 rooms in development.
The official announcement was made by Alex Zozaya, CEO of ALG, and Tommaso Sandretto, CEO of Sole Resorts, at an event held by Daniel Gibbs, President of the Collectivity of St. Martin.
“We discovered St. Martin right after hurricane Irma damaged the island [in 2017],” said Sandretto. “Immediately, we recognized the untapped potential of the island for 5-star luxury resorts. With the support from President Gibbs and Apple Leisure Group, we are confident that our investment will benefit the growth of the island and the whole community creating new jobs and showing how to bounce back from natural disasters. Sole Resorts plans to keep expanding its portfolio in the Caribbean and other key markets.”
Zozaya added: “ALG is continuing to grow its brand footprint in the Caribbean by expanding into the highly marketable destination of St. Martin, which welcomes millions of international travellers each year. We are confident that the island has the potential to become one of the region’s premier high-end destinations, making it the perfect location for our luxury all-inclusive brand, Secrets Resorts & Spas.”
The resort is owned by Sole Resorts, a longstanding partner of ALG. This will be the fourth resort conversion the companies have collaborated on and the first Secrets property for Sole Resorts, which counts Zoëtry Wellness & Spa Resorts, Dreams and Sunscape Resorts & Spas in its current portfolio.
Formerly the Riu Palace St. Martin, the property will undergo a US$20 million renovation before re-opening in 2019 under the Secrets brand.
The 350-room, adults-only resort is situated in a prime location in Anse Marcel, on the north side of the island, 35 minutes from the Princess Juliana International Airport. The property is set on a private and protected enclave with direct views of Anguilla.
The resort boasts the largest pool in the Caribbean, and upon completion of the renovation, will offer guests a rooftop pool with ocean views, and swim out suites, among other enhancements.
“This partnership with Sole Resorts demonstrates ALG’s ability to successfully convert existing resorts into one of our award-winning brands and deliver an attractive return on investment for owners,” said Javier Coll, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer of ALG. “We continue to see high demand for the Caribbean and anticipate this will only increase, making it the ideal time for owners to ensure they have the right resort management partner to position their properties to maximize the demand.”
Following the renovation, the resort will offer Secrets’ signature vacation concept, Unlimited-Luxury, where everything is included.
This is just the latest new resort news from AMResorts, on a tear with big expansion plans. The resort company has said it is aiming for 100 resorts by 2020.