Sandals Resorts International (SRI) has offered a glimpse of ambitious plans for Saint Lucia, which will mark the company’s 30th year of operation on the island and 40th anniversary of the company. While full details of its near and long-term investment strategy will be released in 2023, SRI Executive Chairman Adam Stewart says the plans indicate the company’s significant and sustained commitment to the island that will link the private and public sectors and help create jobs.
SRI currently operates Sandals Halcyon Beach, Sandals Regency La Toc, and Sandals Grande St. Lucian, as well as the Greg Norman-designed Sandals St. Lucia Golf & Country Club at Cap Estate.
“Since opening our first property, Sandals Regency La Toc, nearly three decades ago, our commitment to working alongside government to make real the promise of tourism in Saint Lucia has been unwavering,” says Stewart. “My father (the late Gordon “Butch” Stewart) loved Saint Lucia and, like so many, was originally captivated by its beauty. But he quickly came to understand that the real treasure of Saint Lucia are its people – friendly, hardworking, and industrious. People are the inspiration and the source that make investment possible, and the reason Sandals Resorts will continue to grow here.”
Among the initial announcements:
• Sandals Halcyon will add 25 new rooms in February 2023. The new development consists of 20 beachfront, two-story villa rooms featuring large balconies and five Rondoval suites, the signature Sandals category featuring soaring conical ceilings, expansive bathrooms, and private water features.
• An even more ambitious expansion will be underway at Sandals Regency La Toc where first-phase plans call for the introduction of a new Sandals Resorts innovation: a village, comprised entirely of 20 Rondoval suites with seven of them offering open air rooftop decks. Set to open in 2023, the village is a “resort within a resort” concept of the highest category Rondoval suites built adjacent to the golf course, each with their own golf cart for navigating the course as well as the larger property, and featuring luxury amenities including butler service, and dining and entertainment options designed for guests of the village. Later phases will include additional spa facilities, new suite categories and a reimagination of the current golf course offerings.
Sandals first planted its flag in Saint Lucia in 1993 with the introduction of Sandals Regency La Toc. Since then, SRI has introduced two more luxury-included resorts, Sandals Grande St. Lucian, located on its own peninsula, and Sandals Halcyon. Together, guests can take advantage of Sandals’ exclusive “Stay at One, Play at Three” program, which provides complimentary exchange privileges and transportation between all three resorts, giving guests a myriad of choices.
Sandals notes that the projects will add over 350 construction and tradesman jobs into the local workforce plus the creation of 120 butler positions in the Saint Lucia system, with training by the Guild of Professional English Butlers.
Stewart is emphatic about the impact room category has on local economies and the ability to raise the standard of living.
“As we expand, we will grow from the top down,” he says. “That means we lead with the development of suites, and here, Sandals is by far and away the most innovative resort company. Concepts such as our signature Skypool Suites, with their infinity plunge pools that seem to blend in with the horizon, Over the Water Bungalows with their incredible views and glass floors, and our Rondovals are suite categories that drive demand and generate the longest stays. That is good news for Saint Lucia and good news for team members who train and earn the butler role.”
First published at Travel Industry Today