NASSAU, Bahamas — Christmas has come early for Sandals Resorts, with plenty of good news and new offerings for the Winter 2016-2017 season. Heading into its 35th year of business, the Jamaican-based, all-inclusive resort company is definitely ending the year on a high note.
A week ago, Sandals Royal Caribbean Resort and Private Island quietly unveiled the newest addition to its portfolio: five over-the-water villas, adjacent to the resort’s private island. The first of its kind in the Caribbean, the 2,000 square-foot suites are currently booked for the next 18 months; word of mouth about the villas is propelling many to join an exclusive membership that allows for stays in these one-of-kind villas.
The five villas, each one designed using the theme of one of the five elements (earth, fire, water, metal, wood), are the product of eight years of planning. And thanks to the buzz on the first five, 12 over-the-water bungalows will be ready for guests in Spring 2017. Even more, three additional Sandals Resorts in Jamaica will be adding over-the-water villas in the future.
The villas feature 24-hour butler service, kitchen, expansive bedroom and bathroom, walk-in closet, glass floor and a multi-level back deck with outdoor shower, multiple seating areas, plunge pool, hammock and steps leading into the ocean.
On Nov. 18, Sandals Resorts celebrated the grand re-opening of Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort and Private Island in Nassau, Bahamas. Chairman/Founder Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart and his son, CEO Adam Stewart, kicked off the celebrations with Caribbean dignitaries and VIPS, including Prime Minister Perry Christie of The Bahamas, Prime Minister Andrew Holness of Jamaica and the Honourable Obediah Wilchcombe, Minister of Tourism for The Bahamas.
The elder Stewart proclaimed the resort “has never been more beautiful”, while the Royal Bahamas Police Force Marching Band and a colourful Junkanoo crew performed for VIP guests and industry partners like Air Canada Vacations, Sunwing and WestJet Vacations.
Sandals Royal Bahamian, which had been closed from mid-August until Oct. 25, has completed a US$4 million renovation that included an update of back of house systems, swimming pools, four restaurants and guestrooms. Since the soft opening in October, Sandals Royal Bahamian has been at 95% capacity. Sandals Royal Bahamian originally opened in 1995 and is one of two Sandals Resorts in The Bahamas.
And as Sandals Resorts celebrates these two significant updates to their portfolio, the company is forging ahead with several initiatives, including updates to its first property, Sandals Montego Bay, expansions to Sandals Barbados, adding 150 more rooms to Sandals Royal Caribbean, and the possibility of building new Sandals and Beaches resorts on the island of Tobago.