Luxury resort company Sandals Resorts International (SRI) will add three new hotels to its Jamaica portfolio, taking the number of properties on the island to nine.
Sandals Resorts will transform two all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica acquired last year – the former Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort and Spa in Ocho Rios and Jewel Runaway Bay Beach Resort and Waterpark in addition to a prime parcel of beachfront land adjacent to the Ocho Rios resort, into three distinct experiences under the Sandals Resorts and Beaches Resorts brands.
The Jewel properties were previously owned by Playa Hotels and Resorts.
Playa Hotels and Resorts, in May 2020, announced that it entered into a binding agreement with a third party to sell the Jewel Dunn’s River Beach Resort and Spa and the Jewel Runaway Bay Beach Resort and Waterpark for a total consideration of US$60 million in cash. The sale came less than two years after the international report group acquired the properties in St Ann from Sagicor Group Jamaica.
File photo of the former Jewel Runaway Bay resort that was acquired by Sandals in 2020
The expansion plans return one of Jamaica’s most storied resorts, the Dunn’s River property in Ocho Rios, back to the Sandals family as Sandals Dunn’s River, the same moniker as when it was originally added to the portfolio in 1990, Sandals said in a statement.
“Sandals Dunn’s River holds special meaning to our family because its history is the story of Jamaica’s evolution as a travel powerhouse. My father grew up on the beach in Ocho Rios and this hotel, the first of its kind when it was built in the 1950s, captured the era’s glamour and sparked his imagination. When it became available, we jumped at the chance to bring the hotel back into the Sandals fold,” said Sandals’ executive chairman adam Stewart.
According to Stewart, the new Sandals Dunn’s River will “receive a top-to-bottom renovation with the adjacent ocean-front land transformed into an additional brand-new resort: Sandals Royal Dunn’s River, a modern luxurious escape featuring approximately 250 lavish rooms and suites.”
The sister hotels will offer generous exchange privileges between each resort, giving guests tremendous and convenient dining and amenity options.
Runaway Bay resort, located midway between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, will also undergo extensive redevelopment to become Beaches Runaway Bay Resort, the third family-friendly Beaches Resort in Jamaica.
At its completion, the hotel will feature an estimated 400 expansive one, two, three and four-bedroom suites, designed with extended families in mind. Guests of Beaches Runaway Bay also have access to Runaway Bay Golf Club and its par-72, 18-hole championship golf course, Sandals said.
“Jamaica will always play a critical part in our plans to grow and innovate Caribbean hospitality. There is tremendous opportunity here and a ripe moment, as leisure travellers are choosing to return to the places and brands that they know and trust,” said Stewart.