Renovations delay Sandals Royal Bahamian reopening

Sandals Royal Bahamian resort’s reopening will be further delayed as Sandals Resorts International carries out renovations on the property that the company cannot undertake while it is occupied by guests, Sandals’ Executive Chairman Adam Stewart said yesterday.

Stewart, who revealed the delay while addressing the Bahamas Hotel and Tourism Association’s (BHTA) board of directors meeting, said he would give more information on the delay soon.

Royal Bahamian was slated to reopen on May 1st.

Stewart said he is in town finalizing the plans for those renovations.  

“I will give the island an announcement shortly, but we’re going to be doing some renovations to the hotel,” said Stewart.

“We will undertake what we call a Sandalization process and we’re going to be doing a bit of transformation to parts of the hotel that I have not been able to do due to occupancy over the years, so the details of that will come shortly, but the hotel will be delayed slightly as we undertake those.”

Sandals Royal Bahamian has been closed since March of 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic reached The Bahamas’ shores and caused the complete shutdown of the tourism industry.

Sandals Emerald Bay was able to reopen last July, but shut down after only a few days as COVID-19 numbers in The Bahamas began to resurge.

Stewart, offering an update on the Emerald Bay property on Exuma, said the company is seeing stable occupancy numbers. He said the pace of bookings for Sandals vacations have shown that “pent-up demand is not a fictitious thing”.

“In Exuma we’re seeing really nice demand,” Stewart said.

He added that Sandals is working with the airlines and hotel associations and has powered up its marketing machinery to increase demand for vacations in the region.

According to Stewart, while Europe is still the number one long-haul destination, the Caribbean is number two in terms of demand.