MONTEGO BAY — For the first time ever, Sandals Grande Antigua will be shutting its doors in order to complete several maintenance projects.
A letter of intention to temporarily close was shared with government officials late last week. Scheduled to begin Sept. 20, the work is anticipated to take five months, but according to Sandals Resorts International (SRI), which is in the process of completing a full and detailed assessment, the timing may actually be shorter.
This is the first time Sandals Grande Antigua, the only Sandals property in this destination, has closed since opening in 1992.
“There is no convenient time to inconvenience people and we recognize that. We’re in the midst of an extensive review now and after that, if we find it’s possible to reopen Sandals Grande Antigua sooner, we will do it,” said SRI chairman Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart. “Meanwhile, our team is committed to handling this period in the most professional and practical way possible.”
Stewart added that SRI Chief Operations Officer Shawn DaCosta is engaging with affected staff, union representatives and government officials in Antigua. In addition, Tammy Gonzalez, CEO of Unique Vacations, Inc. (UVI), an affiliate of Unique Travel Corporation (worldwide representatives of Sandals Resorts), is working with clients affected by the closure of the resort.
These clients may choose to return at no additional cost or they may revise to a different Sandals resort or Beaches resort. Travel in either case must be completed by Dec. 15, 2018. Additionally, Unique Vacations will be offering credit nights (depending on length of stay) as a gesture of goodwill to clients who are affected by the closure.
“Unlike other hotel companies, we’ve never closed for the summer season or for any reason, and so we understand that this news arrives as an unwelcome surprise, but our first responsibility must be to delivering the quality Sandals experience our guests expect and deserve,” added Stewart.