Above: the former Couples Resort in St Lawrence
By Alexander Britell
A Sandals resort and a Beaches resort will be opening to Barbados, Sandals Resort International announced Friday.
Sandals and the government of Barbados reported their agreement following “months of negotiations.”
The agreement will see the former Couples Resort in St Lawrence (which had just officially opened) reopen as a Sandals resort, while the former Almond Beach Resort in St Peter will become a Beaches Resort.
“We are delighted to announce the opening of, not one, but two of our first ever resorts in this wonderful country of Barbados,” Sandals Resorts Chairman Gordon “Butch” Stewart said in a statement. “Barbados and its people are so rich in culture, charm and personality and has been one of the leaders in Caribbean tourism for decades. We have been in discussions to bring our award-winning brands to this country for some time and are thrilled that negotiations have now been successfully concluded.”
The company will soon launch a programme of enhancements to “Sandalize” the property, which has 280 units.
According to Couples, the lease agreement it signed for the former Casuarina Beach Resort included an option for the lessors to sell the property by October 2013, which led to the Sandals purchase.
Stewart said the new Sandals property would honour all existing commitments with guests who had booked up until Nov. 6.
The brand-new Beaches Resort will be constructed at the former Almond Beach Resort, a deal that had been rumoured for several months.
“We are a Caribbean company that has been in business here for almost 33 years and no one knows this region like we do. It is an exciting time for Barbados and its people not to mention those looking for the best vacation experience imaginable. We believe the best days of Barbadian tourism lie ahead,” Stewart said.
Sandals has resorts in Antigua, the Bahamas, Jamaica, St Lucia and, soon, Grenada.