Sandals breaks ground for Barbados Phase II
Sandals Resorts International (SRI) has officially broken ground on a multimillion-dollar expansion of its Dover Beach property in Barbados, marking the commencement of the construction of an additional 222 rooms and suites.
Dubbed 'Sandals Barbados Phase II', this expansion, when complete in November 2017, will add to the existing 280-room count and firmly place the property as the largest Sandals resort in the Eastern Caribbean.
The official groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, June 8, was led by SRI's chairman, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, and chief executive officer Adam Stewart, along with Barbadian Minister of Tourism, Richard Sealy; Minister of Health and parliamentary representative,John Boyce; and several tourism and business officials associated with the massive undertaking.
With this expansion, Sandals is set to create an additional 520 new jobs, bringing the total direct employment to over 1,100. According to the hotel chain's chairman, Sandals Resorts is exceedingly grateful for the "Bajan support and hospitality" extended to the brand. He has given the assurance that when completed, the expansion will set the stage for what is the continued revolution in hospitality in the Caribbean.
Adam Stewart took the opportunity to reassure the Barbados community that Sandals was there for the long haul. He noted that the chain's commitment and success at any project rested on three key pillars.
"Our organisation is really three things. It is an organisation that has the ability to take a tourism product and market it globally and make it a household name. Our second aspect is the projects and development team that thinks bigger and better with every new project. So for us, our biggest competition is always our last project.
"Our third pillar is the people," he said. Recognising the assets of the Barbadians, Stewart said: "When you talk, you sing; when you smile you light up, and what our organisation is able to do, perhaps better than most, is allow the individual team members to become better. They are great already, and we push to make them even better with our Sandals Corporate University."
Sealy pledged support to the project and lauded Sandals for its invaluable investment in the Barbados tourism product.
"In 2015, we welcomed 591,000 visitors to Barbados, which was a new record, and at least 20,000 of those were Sandals guests, so indeed, we have seen the positive impact of Sandals," said Sealy.
He joined in turning the soil to officially mark the significant undertaking.
On completion, the resort will offer five new restaurants, a new spa and wellness sanctuary, three new swimming pools, and an entertainment pavilion complete with a bowling alley, the first for a Sandals Resort. Recognising the growing demand for meetings and conventions facilities in Barbados, the Sandals expansion will also feature an expansive state-of-the-art 10,500 square feet conference facility capable of seating 550 people.