AFTER more than a decade-long search to expand into Grenada, Sandals Resorts International has acquired a property, which it plans to expand and operate under its flagship brand.
LaSource Resort will take the name of Sandals "following certain enhancements customary to the Sandals Resorts brand", said a statement issued by the luxury resort chain yesterday.
"Once complete, the resort will have added nearly 100 rooms to offer a selection of 200 guestrooms, private cottages and bungalows, many of which will be concierge- and butler-level suites, including the brand's signature Rondoval suites," it said.
According to Sandals Resorts Chairman Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, each of the resort's "magnificently appointed" luxury accommodations will be "extremely spacious" and all will feature room service.
"We are confident that guests will continue to be impressed by our tradition of exceeding expectations through innovation and unwavering service, which has become our standard across the Sandals Resorts brand," he said.
Sandals Resorts International's flagship brand already operates 13 hotels in the Caribbean, including seven in Jamaica, three in St Lucia, two in The Bahamas, and one in Antigua.
Its other brands — Beaches Resorts and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts — operate in Turks and Caicos (Beaches) and Antigua (Grand Pineapple), along with three properties between them in Jamaica.
The agreement to acquire the resort was successfully reached after ongoing discussions with the Government of Grenada and represents the brand's first property in this Eastern Caribbean country.
"This has been nearly a 12-year search to grow our roots in the Spice Island," said Stewart. "It is our distinct pleasure and honour to foster the expansion of tourism to this jewel in the Caribbean."
Grenada has been seeing improved stopover arrivals in recent times.
Last year, the country saw the total number of stay-over tourists increase year-over-year by 5.4 per cent to 116,000 persons.
Stay-over visitors from the US and the UK are the main source markets for Grenada's performance, representing 31 per cent and 26 per cent of total arrivals.
Visitors from the Caribbean represented 24 per cent of stopovers.
The newly announced property will be the 14th Sandals Resort in the Jamaican-based company's portfolio. Stewart credits the Government of Grenada not only for their investment in the Sandals brand, but also for their effectiveness in bringing this partnership to fruition.