LET LIFE FLOW: Sandals Dunn’s River – A New Jamaican Resort Worthy of Its Storied Past
The countdown is on until the wholly-reconceptualized and fully-renovated Sandals Dunn’s River opens for arrivals beginning May 24, 2023 and the treasured resort makes its long-wished for return to the Sandals portfolio.
Beloved by couples since its initial addition to the all-inclusive resort company’s portfolio in 1991, Sandals Dunn’s River will return as a brand new resort, reclaiming its edge as the pinnacle of Sandals luxury – with first-of-its-kind suite designs, to exclusive restaurant concepts and bars, to entirely new ways to experience Jamaica’s natural wonders.
The all-new 260-room Sandals Dunn’s River is undergoing a thoughtful, top-to-bottom restoration – designed to embrace the essence of Jamaica, its curving rivers, lush forests, and majestic banyan trees – with amenities, accommodations and culinary concepts brought forward by the brand’s uncompromising quest for innovation.
The resort started to accept reservations last summer on July 6, 2022 – on the birthday of Sandals’ legendary founder, the late Gordon “Butch” Stewart – as just a small homage to him.
“This was an extraordinary project and the last I worked on with him as his final masterpiece. My father handpicked this location more than three decades ago for its white-sand coastline, cool breeze, azure waters and its close proximity to the destination’s archetypical falls,” said Adam Stewart, Executive Chairman, Sandals Resorts International. “It will not only serve to breathe new excitement into a corner of Jamaica loved and cherished by so many, but it will set a new standard of luxury for tourism right here in our backyard with a next-generation resort worthy of its nostalgic past.”
Accommodation Highlights: Taking Luxury to New Heights
Expanded suite concepts include the addition of brand-new Tufa SkyPool Butler Suites, which will feature glass panels spanning the length of oceanfront balconies, for a cascading infinity effect clear to the Caribbean Sea. At the Coyaba Swim-Up Rondoval Butler Suites with Private Pools, Sandals’ iconic, standalone villas are reimagined with vast open-air rooftops featuring private soaking tubs, sun-lounging areas and privileged views of the surrounding flora. Luxurious Mammee Bay Beachfront Butler Suites will be equipped with spacious balconies directly overlooking the ocean waters, with gold fixtures and green accents speckled throughout the resort’s various unique accommodations for a nature-meets-luxury effect that immerses guests in the setting’s unequivocal beauty.
More on the Menu
Culinary offerings at Sandals Dunn’s River will now include 12 Global Gourmet restaurants – with ten concepts entirely new to Sandals. Infused with the classic cooking techniques found in the finest establishments in France, L’Amande will serve an exquisite mélange of French delicacy and Jamaican fare in a chic setting. A Greek concept, Edessa, is where the Caribbean and Aegean seas will meet, elegantly named for the ancient city of abundant waters. From Thailand to Japan, the Asian-fusion menu at Banyu will offer a blend of cultures all in a single dish. Beloved staples, old and new, will satisfy cravings and please palates – from the Central and South American flavors at Zuka, debuted first at Sandals Royal Curaçao, to the rustic yet soulful Jerk Shack and its traditional sweet and peppery delights.
High spirits will long live at nine bars, each with a distinct identity – including the hip and sophisticated Dunn’s Rum Club, where the island’s signature libation will be shaken and stirred into authentic Jamaican craft cocktails expertly mixed with locally-sourced ingredients like coconut and sorrel-smoked rum. A first-of-its-kind experience, guests will enjoy an expertly curated list of smooth rums while trying their hand at a game of Jamaican-rules dominoes, where the best out of six wins. The Laughing Waters beach bar will offer bed-style seating for a truly effervescent experience right on the sand, with a jovial name and sparkling champagne cocktails to match. A ‘Sandals First’ in Jamaica, the rooftop bar, Ocarina, will pair spirits with the gentle sea breeze, while the chic Lapidus Lounge pays homage to renowned architect Morris Lapidus who designed the resort when it was first built as the Arawak Hotel in the 1950s.
Where the Fresh Water Flows
Cascading waters collected from the depths of the Dunn’s River Falls will greet guests upon arrival, with all water features sourced from the natural reserves of the rivers throughout the resort. Jamaica’s largest pool – designed to mimic the flow of the river – makes its way back into the Sandals Resorts fold. Featuring a glass panel edge, the pool will be brilliantly leveled to the sand for a water-meets-sand-meets-ocean effect, and is one of five refreshing pools from where to bask under the warm Jamaican sun.
The Red Lane Spa at Sandals Dunn’s River will debut as one of the most luxurious for the brand, speaking to the heart of Jamaica, the land of wood and water, with the sound of flowing water from Dunn’s River and Roaring Waters River cascading into the spa’s pools against an ethereal backdrop that is ever present.
Moments away, at one of Jamaica’s natural wonders – the honoured Dunn’s River Falls – guests will absorb the natural abundance of the Earth and experience a place where love flows naturally, forming natural connections and bringing the Sandals Dunn’s River experience full circle.
“Ocho Rios is the place where my father grew up, where he first learned to fish and felt the breeze blow along the West-facing beach and where he first saw the pure joy of the island on the faces of visitors,” said Stewart. “Here along Jamaica’s North Coast, he witnessed a blossoming tourism industry and became aware of how to please and serve a new Caribbean customer. Every touchpoint at the new Sandals Dunn’s River is designed to do that and more.”
Hear more about the new Sandals Dunn’s River directly from Sandals Resorts’ Executive Chairman, Adam Stewart, on the Sandals Palmcast.
First published at Travel Industry Today