Sandals continues expansion with purchase of hotel in TCI
COCKBURN TOWN, Turks and Caicos Islands, Thursday December 6, 2012 - Jamaican hotel magnate Gordon "Butch" Stewart has become the largest single owner of beachfront property in Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI) with his recent purchase of The Veranda Resort & Residences, a five-star fully-inclusive property located on Grace Bay beach.
According to the TCI Sun newspaper, the multi-million dollar sale to Sandals Resorts International by Faez Limited will become official on December 17. The Veranda was reportedly sold for around US$100million.
This acquisition follows Sandals Resorts’ November purchase of the 100-room LaSource Resort, a Grenada family-owned business that ceased operations on October 15. The purchase price for the resort has not been disclosed.
Grace Bay Resorts, the developer and owner of the world-renowned Grace Bay Club, has managed The Veranda for the past three years since its opening in 2010, and will cease direct management and supervision of all operations, effective with the close of the sale.
Mark Durliat, Chief Executive Officer, Grace Bay Resorts, is reported to have said: "While the sale of this magnificent property was not anticipated so early in its establishment, we feel proud to have been the operators who established it as among the top five-star fully-inclusives in the Caribbean. Our team will work hand-in-hand with Sandals Resorts International to provide a wonderful experience for all during the transition, and we remain grateful and indebted to our staff, without whom the success of The Veranda and its rapid growth over the past three years would not have been possible."
The Veranda will be transitioned to Sandals Resorts International as an expansion of the award-winning Beaches Turks & Caicos Resort Villages & Spa. With the integration of The Veranda into Beaches, Butch Stewart resort will have a total of 875 keys and over 1,100 bedrooms, mainly suites, making him the largest TCI hotel owner.
The Sandals deal is just one of several major hotel developments taking place in the Grace Bay area of the TCI. Just prior to the November elections, TCI Governor Ric Todd announced the coming of three luxury resort style hotels built at a cost of US$500m in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands.
A Memorandum of Understanding between the TCI government and developer Desarrollos Hotelco Group will see nearly 400 five star guestrooms added to the Grace Bay area though the first hotel to be built on an 10.5 acre site adjacent to the landmark Seven Stars Resort.
The MOU also covers Hotelco's plans to build a further two luxury resorts with a further 500 guest rooms, also in the Grace Bay area; they will confirm the premier brands at a later stage. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)