Three new resort destinations for the vacation of your dreams in paradise are coming to life in Jamaica.
Groundbreaking has begun on a nearly half-billion dollar project that will put Ocho Rios on your ‘ultimate beach holiday’ list beginning late 2022 whether you’re looking for a getaway for grownups, or an island vacation for the family.
The famous, Jamaica-based, family-owned beach resort company Sandals is transforming two properties it acquired last year plus a prime parcel of beachfront land into three distinct resorts in Ocho Rios: two adults-only Sandals and one family Beaches resort, both renowned for offering some of most-inclusive beach holidays in the Caribbean.
The project is an emotional labor of love for the Stewart family.
Its first phase begins with the complete transformation of Sandals Dunn's River – a property which returns to the Sandals family of resorts under the same name as when it was originally added to the Sandals Resorts portfolio in 1990.
Sandals Resorts Executive Chairman Adam Stewart, son of Sandals’ high-profile founder, the late Butch Stewart, says the new Sandals Dunn's River was the last project he and his father collaborated on before his passing.
(Sandals Executive Chairman, Adam Stewart, and Jamaica’s Prime Minister, Andrew Holness, at the groundbreaking ceremony)
“We stand today nearby where my father grew up, a place that was close to his heart,” Adam Stewart said at the groundbreaking ceremony. “We are proud to bring to life his vision through this incredible property. There will simply be nothing like it.'
The return and transformation of Sandals Dunn’s River is a legacy project in a number of ways.
'When this resort became available, my father and I jumped at the chance to reclaim it and bring it back into the fold where it belongs,” said Sandals’ new CEO.
“Although he cannot be with us to see its ultimate transformation, he always will be a part of everything we do. His fingerprints are on this project and he fully embraced our plans to set a new standard of luxury in Jamaica. All that will come next on our incredible slices of Jamaica beachfronts, will be in tribute to him and because of him. I cannot fully express how sincerely thrilled we are to begin this work here at home,' said Adam Stewart.
The New Sandals Dunn's River & Sandals Royal Dunn's River
The new Sandals Dunn's River is slated to open in late 2022. Next up is the creation of adjacent sister-property Sandals Royal Dunn's River for 2023.
The Sandals Dunn’s River and Sandals Royal Dunn’s River design pay homage to the natural beauty of Jamaica, with water pulled and circulated from natural reserves, and the brand's signature suites being a prominent feature.
'Jamaica means land of wood and water and in Ocho Rios, the sound of moving water from Dunn's River and Roaring Waters River is part of the experience… This is the sound that will greet guests upon arrival,' Stewart said.
In addition to cascading waterfalls at the entrance, Sandals Dunn's River will offer a total of 260 rooms including 48 signature SkyPool Suites, a first for Jamaica, which will feature a private cantilevered, solar-heated plunge pool with infinity edge.
12 Swim-up ‘Rondoval’ Suites (pictured, top) with many featuring a 'Rooftop Terrace' will also grace the property – both signature Love Nest Butler Suites for the ultimate in privacy and service; 10 restaurants including a specialty rum bar inside Sandal’s newest Latin Fusion restaurant concept Azuka and 9 bars; 7 pools including 2 river pools and Red Lane Spa.
The New Beaches Runaway Bay
In addition to the adults-only Sandals Dunn's River and Sandals Royal Dunn's River, the resort company is also planning a spectacular renovation of its third new location in Ocho Rios.
Beaches Runaway Bay Resort will be the third family-friendly Beaches Resort in Jamaica. When it’s done, the hotel will feature 400 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.
Of course, maybe you don't want to wait til late 2022 for your next luxury, all-inclusive island vacation. Luckily, there are already plenty of highly-acclaimed Sandals and Beaches resorts throughout the Caribbean. You might want to re-visit one of your favorite islands - or discover a new one!
For adults, Sandals has 15 stunning beachfront settings in Jamaica, Antigua, Saint Lucia, The Bahamas, Barbados, Grenada, plus another new location opening in Curacao in Spring of 2022.
For family vacations, Beaches has three spectacular locations in Turks & Caicos and Jamaica, and a fourth location coming soon to St. Vincent & the Grenadines.
Photos and renderings courtesy of Sandals Resorts International