Sandals Resorts International (SRI), parent company of Sandals Resorts, Beaches Resorts, The Royal Plantation Collection and Grand Pineapple Beach Resorts, announced the purchase of the recently shuttered Four Seasons Resort Great Exuma at Emerald Bay for an undisclosed sum. According to Sandals Resorts Founder and Chairman, Gordon "Butch" Stewart, the 500-acre property, which features a championship Greg Norman golf course and world-class marina, is set to become a Sandals Resort and will be called Sandals Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas. Following certain enhancements customary to the Sandals Resorts brand, including an expansive new pool complex and additional dining establishments, the resort will open January 22, 2010.
"This is a remarkable moment in the history of Sandals Resorts," Stewart said. "We are acquiring one of the most spectacular pieces of real estate in the Caribbean, which was operated by one of the world's most highly regarded hotel companies. This is a reflection of all that Sandals Resorts has accomplished and a tremendous opportunity to further demonstrate our commitment to providing the very best vacation in the Caribbean. We look forward to bringing our Luxury Included experience to this special property, which has been kept to impeccable standards."
Unfolding like a grand estate, Sandals Emerald Bay is set along a one-mile stretch of white sand beach on Emerald Bay, Great Exuma, Bahamas. According to Stewart, the all-suite resort will offer a selection of 190 "magnificently-appointed" luxury accommodations with styles that range from beachfront villas to charming bay house settings - all oceanfront, all extremely spacious and all serviced by butlers trained by Sandals Resorts through the company's exclusive partnership with the Guild of Professional English Butlers.
Other amenities include a fully-equipped tennis center featuring six Har-tru courts lit for night play with professional stadium seating fit for competition; a full-service Red Lane Spa with 22 indoor treatment areas and six exotic outdoor sanctuaries; plus six gourmet restaurants, including four new concepts introduced by Sandals Resorts, a fine-dining seafood restaurant, an authentic Italian brick-oven pizzeria, a French-style cafe and a traditional British pub complete with a pool and snooker room.
To complement its sublime ocean views, the property will also debut three pools including a brand new freshwater pool. Encompassing over half an acre, this spectacular pool will entice guests with a Jacuzzi, swim-up pool bar and unique fire-pit seating area in the center. Flanking the pool will be misting columns and luxurious cabanas equipped with wireless Internet access. Whether poolside or on the beach, all guests will receive a full complement of butler services. In addition, the resort will cater to business and meetings customers, offering 13,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor meeting space. This includes three large ballrooms with separate event entrance that can be converted into smaller rooms, all with access to a dedicated conference facility kitchen and two meetings rooms, which are all supported by round-the-clock conference and technology services.
Unique to the Great Exuma property is a stunning 18-hole Greg Norman-designed championship golf course, reputed to be among the best in the Caribbean, as well as a 17-acre, stand-alone Emerald Bay Marina by Sandals, the first-ever marina for any Sandals Resort. This fully-protected, deepwater marina offers 133 slips and is equipped to accommodate and service yachts up to 300 feet in length. Open to the public, the marina also features a welcoming clubhouse with a full-service restaurant including al fresco dining on a spectacular wraparound terrace, pool, a world-class Red Lane Spa and facilities to accommodate families with children.
Sandals Emerald Bay is the fourteenth Sandals Resort in the Jamaican-based company's portfolio and the third investment the company has made in The Bahamas, already home to Sandals Royal Bahamian Spa Resort & Offshore Island in Nassau and Royal Plantation Island at Fowl Cay in the Exumas. "We have deep roots in The Bahamas. We know the people and these islands well and it is our distinct pleasure and honor to further our partnership in tourism here," Stewart said.
Stewart credits receivers, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and the government of The Bahamas on their efficiency in bringing this deal to a speedy conclusion. Stewart recognizes the impact the closing had on the local economy and is anxious to get people back to work. "We take enormous pride in our Caribbean legacy and specifically, our Jamaican heritage. Through job creation, real training and community involvement, spanning healthcare initiatives to education and the environment, we have worked hard to improve the countries where we operate and in turn, have become a better company and our employees, better citizens. Our commitment to the people of The Bahamas remains strong," added Stewart.
Logos, product and company names mentioned are the property of their respective owners.