MONTEGO BAY — With a DJ spinning tracks and young dancers grooving along the stage under the starry sky of Montego Bay, Sandals Montego Bay was the setting for Sandals Resorts to celebrate with guests, VIP and media their latest news: a partnership of two Jamaican families – the Stewarts and the Marleys.
Formally announcing their new marketing campaign, the #NoWorryMovement last week, Sandals Chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart introduced the new television advertising campaign that celebrates the pairing of the two well-known Jamaican families. The marketing campaign will feature Bob Marley’s iconic song ‘Three Little Birds’, sung by his 19-year old grandson, Skip Marley.
At Sandals Montego Bay, the gathered guests were treated to a performance by Skip Marley performing Three Little Birds and singing another well-known favourite song written by his grandfather, Redemption Song.
For the Stewart family, their pride in making a vacation as idyllic as possible has been the key to guide them since 1981, when they opened their first hotel, Sandals Montego Bay, then a 99-room resort. The property now features 251 rooms and suites on the largest white sand beach on Jamaica’s north coast.
Sandals CEO Adam Stewart spoke passionately about his family’s company to the assembled North American media, overseeing a team of 14,000 employees, one of the largest employers in the Caribbean. Stewart said his resorts have rooms that inspire “…emotion as much as reproduction.”
CEO Stewart spoke about recent updates at the resorts, including rooms with more décor details such as spacious marble and stone walk-in showers and beds with higher thread count linens. Sandals also focused on offering a wide range of watersports for guests: with a fleet of 270 boats, the largest in the Caribbean, Sandals Resorts provides a wide range of activities, from glass bottom and sailboats to kayaking and scuba diving, all part of the all-inclusive experience.
As a result of the Innovation Team at Sandals Resorts, a Sandals Resorts app will be launched in in the next months, offering guests the ability to communicate with Sandals prior to arrival, as well as throughout their stay to make requests, comments and compliments.
“We’re going to see the end of the front desk era,” explained CEO Stewart, who said that he wants to make arrival at Sandals Resorts as efficient and easy as possible, “and to use technology, like texting, to bypass any kind of inconvenience for our guests.” Front desks will become a showcase for when guests arrive, before being whisked to their rooms and to start enjoying their vacation.
As the Chairman noted, “we’re the most expensive all-inclusive product…” but, he added, “… we have a very high repeat guest rate. At this (Sandals Montego Bay) resort, we currently have a repeat guest rate of 45%.”
Both Stewarts were coy about revealing new island locations that may be included in the Sandals Resorts family in the future. “As soon as we announce something, our competition is quickly trying to copy us,” said the Chairman. The Stewarts mentioned they were investigating the possibility of adding resorts in French, Dutch and/or Spanish-speaking Caribbean islands.
Father and son are proud of their current Sandals and Beaches portfolio, where there are ongoing additions and renovations including phase two of Sandals Barbados, the addition of a new Beaches resort in Barbados, adding more restaurants at Beaches Turks & Caicos and Sandals Grande St. Lucian in St. Lucia and the construction of the highly-anticipated over-the-water suites at Sandals Royal Caribbean’s private off-shore island, each suite costing US$1.6 million.
At Sandals Montego Bay, the new Beachfront Villa Suites come with butler service, feature spacious rooms with stylish wood furniture, expansive bathrooms, plenty of storage and outdoor tranquility tubs.
At Sandals Negril, the Caribbean Beachfront Villas now include two-storey suites with butler service, also featuring updated spacious design, and luxe materials like stone and marble in the bathroom and plush textiles and wood furniture in the bedroom area. At Beaches Negril, there are new dining options on property, including Café de Paris, offering French pastries and ice cream and Mariachi, a Mexican restaurant.
As both Stewarts explained, evolution is the key to Sandals Resorts success. And as the CEO stated: “We’re not a typical corporation. We have a love affair with hospitality.” See sandals.com.