Dover Beach, Barbados (February 24, 2017) – Sandals Resorts International is world renowned for the unparalleled luxury with which it pampers its guests. Not only is Sandals consistently voted the World’s Best by industry stakeholders, the exclusive resort chain recently copped three of the top spots in the USA Today 10Best list of hotels, and Sandals LaSource in Grenada received the Gold Badge from the USA News and World Report 2017, a nationally recognised publisher of consumer advice and information.
By the end of 2017 however, the resort chain plans to take luxury to a whole new level, and the point of focus is the holiday paradise of Barbados, where Sandals is constructing a spanking new facility which Chairman and Founder Gordon Stewart promises to be the envy of the industry, boasting luxury features never seen before.
And considering the innovations that have already been introduced by Sandals over the years, that promise has the global hospitality industry bristling with anticipation.
It’s fitting that Sandals’ newest and no doubt sexiest resort will be built in Barbados. In 2016, Sandals Barbados played a key role in the island achieving its highest arrival figures yet according to Mr. Hugh Foster, Senior Tourism Consultant in the Ministry of Tourism and International Transport. Mr. Foster revealed that Barbados hosted an estimated 630,000 long stay visitors in 2016, improving on the record numbers of 2015!
The launch of Sandals Barbados’ second resort in December 2017; the Sandals Royal Barbados, is expected to be a major weapon in the island’s offensive toward achieving a record one million visitors in the near future, providing an additional 222 high-end units to the island’s room stock. This will bring the overall room count for Sandals Barbados to 502 guest rooms.
Minister of Tourism and International Transport Mr. Richard Sealy said Sandals is a major factor in helping to bolster Barbados’ tourism economy which contributes more than 36% of the island’s GDP.
“The presence of Sandals in Barbados has been of significant importance to our tourism sector. With its major expansion and morphing into Sandals Royal Barbados later this year, the resort’s telling contribution to our current record arrivals is set to be enhanced. The famous Sandals brand is very much welcomed in Barbados and we pledge to sustain the mutually beneficial partnership that exists. We wish Sandals Royal Barbados every success.”
Even though it has not yet been completed, Barbados is already reaping the rewards of the economic spinoff that has been generated by the construction of the second resort. Tipped to cost a staggering US$160 million upon completion, the resort will be Sandals’ largest ever investment in a single property, and promises to feature mind-blowing inclusions for guests and over-the-top innovations that have never been seen before in the all-inclusive industry.
Being built from scratch on 14 acres of land in the St. Lawrence Gap, the new hotel sits just next door to the current Sandals Barbados Resort. Construction work started some nine months ago, is on schedule for completion in November 2017, with the official opening planned for mid-December. At present, the construction phase is providing employment for about 700 persons per day. This figure is expected to increase to between 1,000 and 1,200 workers by the end of March. Remaining true to its commitment to invest in the communities where it operates, 95% of the workforce is made up of locals, in addition to which the resort is being built solely by Barbadian contractors.
By engaging such a significant workforce, Sandals Barbados has made a major dent in unemployment rate on island. With more persons now earning wages, the purchasing power of families on the island has increased, creating a spin-off effect that is being felt by all sectors. The training provided during this phase will also increase and improve employable skills to the local workforce, which opens up further employment opportunities.
Sandals Barbados General Manager Fernand Zievinger boasts that upon completion, the new resort will create an additional 600 sustainable job opportunities, increasing the number of persons to be employed by Sandals to nearly 1,200 in Barbados alone.
As construction proceeds apace, the linkages being developed has led to immediate benefits for local suppliers as well. In fact, while some high-end material will be sourced from overseas, Sandals is ensuring that it works with Barbadian companies to provide all construction materials and machinery, which include concrete and aluminum products, rebar, lumber, metal stud, dry wall, paint, and pavers to name a few.
These linkages will only grow upon completion. For instance, Sandals recently celebrated its second anniversary in Barbados, and in those two short years the worlds’ best all-inclusive resort has already left a significant economic footprint which accounts for over US$40 million in taxes, salaries, local purchases and other linkages. Sandals Royal Barbados will not only more than double the resort’s contribution to the local economy, it will position Barbados as a unique destination for visitors from North America and Europe.
Sandals Chairman and Founder Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, spoke about just a few of the offerings that are coming.
“It’s no exaggeration when I say this resort will be the envy of the industry. Sandals has always been the industry leader in creativity and innovation. The luxury-inclusions we develop always add immense value to the destinations where we operate.”
“At the Royal Barbados, guests will experience beachfront infinity edge plunge pools or “sky pool” suites directly facing the Caribbean Sea. Basically, they will be in the water while floating in the sky! We have infinity edge pools and jacuzzies which are the largest and highest on island. Private circular villa suites within the resort (Rondoval) are a new feature in the offerings in Barbados. Each villa suite has a spacious living room, private patio and pool sanctuary directly accessible from the bedroom. We will have the largest swim up bar on island not to mention the extensive entertainment within the resort, opulent designs in the public spaces, and world-class menu offerings with a global taste.”
Sandals Barbados is leading an ambitious expansion thrust by the company throughout the region, which has seen the Chairman outline plans for new resorts in Jamaica and St. Lucia, including luxury over the water bungalows, a first for the Caribbean.