'You will never know until you try it'
Sandals signature guest Peter Coville makes 83rd visit
'SOON Come Back' is the slogan often used by Sandals Resorts guests who anxiously anticipate their return to Sandals Montego Bay which, for many, is like their second home.
Such is the case of Dr Peter and Nancy Coville who visited the resort 82 times as a couple. And with Nancy's recent passing and a personal gesture from Sandals Resorts International's Chairman Gordon 'Butch' Stewart, Peter returned to his 'home away from home' for his 83rd visit.
For the Covilles, visiting the resort that many times was not only a feat but simply their desire to rekindle the memory of their first visit. Both loyal guests to Sandals resorts, the couple never regretted their decision to first travel to Jamaica in February 1991, a decided change from their customary annual vacation cruise.
Little did they know that when their travel agent of Twins Bourge Travel in Ohio, USA advised them they had missed the deadline to book the annual cruise and instead recommended Sandals Montego Bay in Jamaica, that an island resort love affair would begin.
While Nancy accepted the opportunity to indulge in an island-style experience, Peter raised his brow at the thought.
"I was doubtful as I never had the desire to travel to the island. However, Nancy convinced me as the winter season had peaked and the weather in New England, Massachusetts was unbearable," he recalled.
A few weeks later, the couple landed on Jamaican soil for the very first time with all expectations that it would be a test run.
Fast-forward to June 2014 and Coville's recent return to Sandals Montego Bay on his 83rd visit. This time, he was there in the usual butler suite but with the spirit of Nancy in his heart. His beloved Nancy had passed away earlier this year from a massive stroke which was a total shock to the Sandals family as she died only five days after leaving the resort in March.
The entire Sandals team was so accustomed to the couple's simple daily routine of enjoying the tranquil view from their patio and a quick chat with them was a cherished moment. Nancy's sarcastic but joyful comments had team members amused at all times.
"I know for sure that the people of Sandals are my extended family. When Nancy died, I received a letter from Butch Stewart and past General Manager Josef Zellner, who both extended their condolences on behalf of Sandals Resorts. I never expected that but it meant everything to me as Nancy and I have shared so many memories at Sandals. I was deeply overwhelmed by the thought and remembrance," Coville said.
Coville's 83rd visit was anticipated by the Sandals team and on arrival the diamond level guest was welcomed with big hugs and honoured at the weekly Sandals Select Dinner.
"We cannot thank our guests enough who remain loyal to the Sandals brand. We are deeply honoured to have our guest Peter here with us. His personal choice to return to the resort is symbolic and, like Peter who remains faithful to us, the Sandals family in turn remains grateful to him and our valued guests," said Carl Beviere during a champagne toast to Coville.
The physical upgrades at the resort are evident but the cherished consistently warm and hospitable customer service levels ensure the allure of the Sandals flagship
In an effort to satisfy their curiosity, the couple's children Joanna and Christopher wanted to know what it was about Sandals that they both visited the resort so frequently for the past 23 years.
" I told them both, 'you will never know until you try it'," Coville said.