Eager to extend a warm welcome home to the wholly reconceptualised and fully renovated Sandals Dunn's River, Sandals Resorts International (SRI) on Wednesday announced that reservations are now open for arrivals beginning May 24, 2023.
The resort company unveiled what's next for the treasured resort as it makes its long-wished-for return to the Sandals portfolio – from first-of-its-kind suite designs, to exclusive restaurant concepts and bars, to entirely new ways to experience Jamaica's natural wonders.
Beloved by couples since its initial addition to the all-inclusive resort company's portfolio in 1991, Sandals Dunn's River will return as a brand new resort, reclaiming its edge as the pinnacle of Sandals luxury.
The all-new 260-room Sandals Dunn's River is undergoing a thoughtful, top-to-bottom restoration – designed to embrace the essence of Jamaica, its curving rivers, lush forests, and majestic banyan trees – with amenities, accommodations and culinary concepts brought forward by the brand's uncompromising quest for innovation.
"Today is marked with very special intention, as we accept reservations for Sandals Dunn's River in honour of our founder and my late father, Gordon 'Butch' Stewart's birthday – just a small homage to him that we know will make him smile," said Adam Stewart, executive chairman of SRI.
"This was an extraordinary project and the last I worked on with him as his final masterpiece. He hand-picked this location more than three decades ago for its white-sand coastline, cool breeze, azure waters and its proximity to the destination's archetypical falls.
"It will not only serve to breathe new excitement into a corner of Jamaica loved and cherished by so many, but it will set a new standard of luxury for tourism right here in our backyard with a next-generation resort worthy of its nostalgic past."
A first look into the expanded suite concepts reveals the addition of brand new Tufa SkyPool Butler Suites, which will feature glass panels spanning the length of ocean front balconies, for a cascading infinity effect clear to the Caribbean Sea.
At the Coyaba Swim-Up Rondoval Butler Suites with Private Pools, Sandals' iconic, standalone villas are reimagined with vast open-air rooftops featuring private soaking tubs, sun-lounging areas and privileged views of the surrounding flora.
Luxurious Mammee Bay Beach front Butler Suites will be equipped with spacious balconies directly overlooking the ocean waters, with gold fixtures and green accents speckled throughout the resort's various unique accommodations for a nature-meets-luxury effect that immerses guests in the setting's unequivocal beauty.
Culinary offerings at Sandals Dunn's River will now include 12 Global Gourmet restaurants – with 10 concepts entirely new to Sandals. Infused with the classic cooking techniques found in the finest establishments in France, L'Amande will serve an exquisite mélange of French delicacy and Jamaican fare in a chic setting.
A Greek concept, Edessa, is where the Caribbean and Aegean seas will meet, elegantly named for the ancient city of abundant waters. From Thailand to Japan, the Asian-fusion menu at Banyu will offer a blend of cultures all in a single dish. Beloved staples, old and new, will satisfy cravings and please palates – from the Central and South American flavours at Zuka, debuted first at Sandals Royal Curaçao, to the rustic yet soulful Jerk Shack and its traditional sweet and peppery delights.
High spirits will long live at nine bars, each with a distinct identity – including the hip and sophisticated Dunn's Rum Club, where the island's signature libation will be shaken and stirred into authentic Jamaican craft cocktails expertly mixed with locally-sourced ingredients like coconut and sorrel-smoked rum.
A first-of-its-kind experience, guests will enjoy an expertly curated list of smooth rums while trying their hand at a game of Jamaican-rules dominoes, where the best out of six wins. The Laughing Waters beach bar will offer bed-style seating for a truly effervescent experience right on the sand, with a jovial name and sparkling champagne cocktails to match.
A 'Sandals First' in Jamaica, the rooftop bar, Ocarina, will pair spirits with the gentle sea breeze, while the chic Lapidus Lounge pays homage to renowned architect Morris Lapidus who designed the resort when it was first built as the Arawak Hotel in the 1950s.
Inspired by Jamaica's quintessential Blue Mountains, where the beans are harvested and roasted exclusively for the resort, guests can experience a fresh cup of pour-over coffee at BLŪM café, along with Japanese-style and nitro cold brew best enjoyed with island inspired treats.
Cascading waters collected from the depths of the Dunn's River Falls will greet guests upon arrival, with all water features sourced from the natural reserves of the rivers throughout the resort.
Jamaica's largest pool – designed to mimic the flow of the river – makes its way back into the Sandals Resorts fold. Featuring a glass panel edge, the pool will be brilliantly levelled to the sand for a water-meets-sand-meets-ocean effect, and is one of five refreshing pools from where to bask under the warm Jamaican sun.
The Red Lane Spa at Sandals Dunn's River will début as one of the most luxurious for the brand, speaking to the heart of Jamaica, the land of wood and water, with the sound of flowing water from Dunn's River and Roaring Waters River cascading into the spa's pools against an ethereal backdrop that is ever present.
Moments away, at one of Jamaica's natural wonders – the honoured Dunn's River Falls – guests will absorb the natural abundance of the earth and experience a place where love flows naturally, forming natural connections and bringing the Sandals Dunn's River experience full circle.
"Ocho Rios is the place where my father grew up, where he first learned to fish and felt the breeze blow along the west-facing beach and where he first saw the pure joy of the island on the faces of visitors," said Stewart.
"Here along Jamaica's north coast, he witnessed a blossoming tourism industry and became aware of how to please and serve a new Caribbean customer. Every touch point at the new Sandals Dunn's River is designed to do that and more."
Guests can get to know the other corners of Jamaica through the brand's "Stay at One, Play at All Sandals" exchange program and check out additional Sandals resorts in the area with complimentary transfers between resorts in Ocho Rios.
To enjoy even more time in paradise, travellers can land right in Ocho Rios with American Airlines' brand-new service from Miami on flight AA4007 with faster and more convenient processing times, shorter lines, and private transfers before and after their vacation.
Guests who book a stay at Sandals Dunn's River now through August 31, 2022, will receive a special grand opening offer with instant credit savings of up to $605 off on stays of seven paid nights or longer.
The offer is combinable with other Sandals' saving promotions, for travel May 24, 2023 through December 31, 2025. Extending a warm welcome back to past guests of the original Sandals Dunn's River, returning guests who are Sandals Select Reward Members will enjoy a complimentary Dunn's River Catamaran Cruise for two.