Saint Lucia Prime Minister Philip J Pierre praised Sandals Resorts for its recent expansion plans for the island, saying it sends a strong message of confidence to the global market following the recent challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Sandals Executive Chairman Adam Stewart recently revealed that the resort company will add 25 stunning new rooms to Sandals Halcyon Beach, including 20 two-story beachfront villa rooms with large balconies and five Rondoval™ suites, the exclusive category of Sandals with high conical ceilings, spacious bathrooms and private water points.
An even more ambitious expansion will be underway at Sandals Regency La Toc which will see the introduction of a new Sandals Resorts innovation, a village comprised entirely of 20 Rondoval Suites, seven of which offer open-air rooftop terraces.
Later phases will include additional spa facilities, new suite categories and a reimagining of current golf course offerings.
Sandals Resorts Group Chief Executive Gebhard Rainer led a high-level government delegation which included Prime Minister Pierre, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Dr Ernest Hilaire, Chief Minister and Minister of Infrastructure Development Stephenson King and the President of the Saint Lucia Tourist Board. Authority Thaddeus Antoine, during a visit to the Sandals Halcyon expansion site.
The team met with other senior Sandals executives, including Executive Director Jordan Samuda, Eastern Caribbean General Manager Winston Anderson and Senior Project Manager Mark Harding.
The Prime Minister said he was very excited about the development plans he saw.
Sandals Resorts Group Chairman and CEO Gebhard Rainer and Prime Minister The Honorable Philip J Pierre
“I’m very impressed with what I saw, very impressed. The sandals that ship with these chambers now will help cushion the impact of COVID on the industry. We hope to get back to the 2019 numbers (arrivals) soon, and I’m very happy that at least we can tell the public around the world – because we are looking at a global market – that if you want to come to Saint Lucia, you can come because there is room to come, and with these high quality rooms from Sandals, I’m sure we can reach our 2019 level and surpass it in a very short time.”
Meanwhile, the Sandals Group CEO said the new projects will create more than 350 construction and craftsman jobs and when completed will create 120 permanent illustrious butler jobs.
According to Mr. Rainer, “You will see all of this materialize in the next 12 to 18 months. By Christmas next year, both projects will be complete. Following this we have Phase Two and Phase Three which will bring great new renovation programs and additions to existing properties including Sandals Grande.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism, Dr Ernest Hilaire, said the new designs will not only improve the overall quality of accommodation Saint Lucia will offer visitors, but will help make the island an even better destination. more attractive to the high-end market.
“It’s really exciting to see the freshness this new product will bring to Sandals’ offerings, and it really shows how Sandals continues to evolve; they continue to raise the bar in terms of the quality of the product they offer visitors coming to Saint Lucia. Saint Lucia has made a name for itself as a destination offering a variety of options to the visitor, and certainly in the luxury category, our customers who demand an exquisite experience and what we saw certainly meets this demand from our visitors. ”
Senior Minister and Minister for Infrastructure Development Stephenson King, who is also MP for Castries North, where work on the expansion is about to begin, spoke of the importance of the new investment to the economy and, in terms of jobs, bring it.
“This (investment) gives hope and promise to travelers and to Saint Lucians themselves, especially as the actual construction begins and the employment potential for tradespeople and artisans, who will not only get jobs , but will also be exposed to new construction and design concepts. I think it’s a tremendous infusion into the economy, it’s definitely a beacon of hope and I’m looking forward to it. I must certainly congratulate Sandals for this great initiative which is quite impressive and I’m sure people will be very proud of what it will do for the landscape.