Sandals Resorts International, the luxury all-inclusive resort company, will open a property on its eighth Caribbean island, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a new destination for the brand.
Sandals has acquired Buccament Bay Spa and Resort, a property that has been shuttered as a failed development since 2016.
This acquisition and Sandals commitment to further develop the site, were made official at a signing ceremony involving representatives of Sandals and the Government of SVG, at the Resort on Wednesday afternoon.
The resort will undergo extensive “reimagination and renovations,” in keeping with Sandals commitment to bring the full potential of its 40 years in hospitality to bear on the tourism/hospitality industry of SVG, not least being the creation of jobs across the local industry, Sandals’ representatives assured.
Part of the expansion anticipated is the construction of 350 rooms at a cost of USD100 million, on 40 acres of land to which Sandals will have access.
However, in an agreement between Sandals and the Government, no date for the opening of the ‘New Resort’ was revealed.
According to Sandals representative at last Wednesday’s signing, Vincentians can expect a complete transformation of the Resort as it becomes the latest addition to the Sandals Resorts portfolio, which already includes world renowned resorts in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and St. Lucia, and one just recently opened in The Bahamas.
Addressing last Wednesday’s ceremony, Minister of Finance Camillo Gonsalves traced the effort to entice Sandals to SVG as dating back to 2016.
There was a reserved interest in SVG at that time. Certain legal issues affecting the Resort may have proved discouraging.
However, according to Minister Gonsalves, the government once again reached out to Sandals in October of 2019, and this interaction led to the visit to SVG in January 2020 by founder, owner and chairman of Sandals – Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, and a follow-up visit by other members of the Sandals team in February.
Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves would, in early February of this year, convene a meeting with Mr. Stewart and his deputy – Adam Stewart.
Minister Gonsalves disclosed, “..we essentially came to terms in that early February meeting, but then COVID happened.”
Negotiations took place over the remainder of February and by the end of the month, Sandals and the Government of SVG were discussing concessions, leading to the climax last Wednesday.
Chairman ‘Butch’ Stewart has described the expansion of the Sandals brand into SVG, as a “tremendous opportunity for new and existing team members to experience a whole new way of life and professional growth path.”