Sandals Resorts St Vincent opens its doors to customers
Representatives of Sandals Resorts as well as local officials prepare to cut the ribbon to mark the official opening of the luxurious 301 Sandals Resorts St Vincent.
Front Page
March 28, 2024
Sandals Resorts St Vincent opens its doors to customers

by: Eldonté Samuel

Wednesday March 27, 2024, marked the grand opening of the luxurious 301 Sandals Resorts St Vincent. To mark this significant milestone, which promises to cause a surge in visitor arrivals to the country, a ribbon cutting ceremony was put on by Sandals executives at the resorts’ lobby where media, invited guests, and dignitaries were present.
On Wednesday, the resort also opened its doors to the first group of tourists to stay at the all-inclusive Caribbean resort.

The ceremony was chaired by the executive vice president of Sales and Industry Relations, Gary Sadler who also gave welcome remarks.

Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves (second from left) and his wife Eloise Gonsalves given a tour of Sandals SVG by Adam Stewart (right), Executive Chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Shevrell McMillian (left) is also with them.

In explaining what the ‘Sandals Effect’ is, the executive chairman of Sandals Resorts International, Adam Stewart, first reminisced on how the Sandals brand was started by his late father, Gordon ‘Butch’ Stewart, who Adam said he knows would have been proud to see the grand opening of the resort at Buccament Bay.

“I can’t explain nor express how I feel to you today. This is a multi-generational act in the making that began with my extraordinary dad and Prime Minister [Ralph] Gonsalves many many years ago” Stewart shared that when he was a young boy he and his dad took multiple trips to the Grenadines where Butch and Gonsalves “flirted heavily” about the idea of opening a Sandals Resort in St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Gary Sadler- Executive Vice President of Sales and Industry Relations

He added that his father, who was a high school drop out with dyslexia, went into the hospitality field and owned a hotel as a way to earn foreign exchange and fuel his business.

“Little did he know 43 years later the Sandals brand grew from a one 99 bedroom hotel in Montego Bay, Jamaica, to super brand.”

Stewart explained further that at other Sandals locations, he has observed a ‘Sandals Effect’ where there’s a huge up-tick in a country’s tourism sector, as the Resort is involved in marketing the destination which not just includes mainland St Vincent, but also the Grenadines as they play a crucial role in the tourism product.

The executive chairman said that because of Sandals’ marketing, SVG will be recognised on the international market almost 10 billion times more than in the past

“Our team will drive demand in the international market place and the partnerships that grow out of that look like this,” he said, as he mentioned the increased flights to the country which will see America Airlines coming to SVG six times a week from November, with plans of daily flights in the future.

Jet Blue and United Airlines are also set to service SVG, a first for the country. He noted too that Virgin Airlines has already increased their airlift, while Air Canada will hope to double “what they are doing”.

In May of this year, Sandals will hope to bring the largest cohort of international travel advisor to ever visit these shores, more than 300 from around the world,according to Stewart.

“We’re going to take them right down deep to the Grenadines and show them each and every one of them so that they go back and they start telling their customers that there is a gem in the Caribbean.”

Stewart added that the upsurge in marketing and tourist arrivals won’t only benefit Sandals, but also other businesses and villas in the country.

“All kinds will rise with the Sandals effect. It will give nationals the opportunity to fly more conveniently to anywhere they want in the world. It will allow visitors to access this magnificent untouched archipelago easier than they have ever done before… we will do it until we can double the size of your airport, that is the goal.”

Also giving remarks were the Prime Minister Gonsalves and Winston Anderson, the managing director of Sandals Grenada, Saint Lucia, and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Anderson echoed Stewart’s sentiments of the plan increase tourist arrivals and how the country will benefit from it.

There is some work still to be done at the resort. This includes the completion of over water suites and some landscaping. The resort recently hosted the 8th Summit of Heads of State and Governments of CELAC which involved in excess of 300 persons from the grouping’s members, as well as media representatives.