Go big or go home might well have been the headline for this story as Sandals Resorts International (SRI) signals its continued confidence in Jamaica, announcing that it will add three new hotels to its already extensive collection of resorts on the island.
SRI Executive Chairman Adam Stewart indicated that Sandals Resorts will transform two all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica acquired last year — the former Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort & Spa in Ocho Rios and Jewel Runaway Bay Beach Resort & Waterpark plus a prime parcel of beachfront land adjacent to the Ocho Rios resort — into three distinct experiences under the Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts brands.
The expansion plans will return one of Jamaica’s most storied resorts, the Dunn’s River property in Ocho Rios, back to the Sandals family as Sandals Dunn’s River, the same moniker as when it was originally added to the portfolio in 1990.
In unveiling the plan, Stewart said: “Sandals Dunn’s River holds special meaning to our family because its history is the story of Jamaica’s evolution as a travel powerhouse. My father grew up on the beach in Ocho Rios and this hotel, the first of its kind when it was built in the 1950s, captured the era’s glamour and sparked his imagination. When it became available, we jumped at the chance to bring the hotel back into the Sandals fold.”
He said the new Sandals Dunn’s River will receive a top-to-bottom renovation with the adjacent ocean-front land transformed into an additional brand-new resort: Sandals Royal Dunn’s River, a modern luxurious escape featuring approximately 250 lavish rooms and suites.
The sister hotels will operate very much like the concept SRI developed between Sandals Barbados and Sandals Royal Barbados, offering generous exchange privileges between the two all-inclusive resorts in Barbados, giving guests tremendous and convenient dining and amenity options.
The Runaway Bay resort, a renowned Jamaican property hotel located midway between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, will also undergo extensive redevelopment to become Beaches Runaway Bay Resort, the third family-friendly Beaches Resort in Jamaica.
Once completed, the hotel will feature an estimated 400 expansive one, two, three and four-bedroom suites, designed with extended families in mind. Guests of Beaches Runaway Bay also have access to Runaway Bay Golf Club and its par-72, 18-hole championship golf course.
Said Stewart: “Jamaica will always play a critical part in our plans to grow and innovate Caribbean hospitality. There is tremendous opportunity here and a ripe moment, as leisure travellers are choosing to return to the places and brands that they know and trust.”