Sandals Ocho Rios properties damaged by Hurricane Sandy

By Gay Nagle Myers
Sandals Resorts International has temporarily suspended new arrivals at Sandals Grande Riviera Beach and Villa Golf Resort in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, until Nov. 2 to clean up damage from Hurricane Sandy.

In addition, Beaches Ocho Rios will delay its reopening until Nov. 15 due to extensive landscaping and beach damage following the storm. The resort was scheduled to reopen on Nov. 1 following a planned closure to complete an $18 million enhancement program.

All Sandals guests scheduled to arrive at Sandals Grande Riviera Beach are offered the option of staying at Sandals resorts in Montego Bay or at Whitehouse on Jamaica's south coast, which were unaffected by the storm. Guests currently in-house at the Ocho Rios resort can continue to stay at the resort or be relocated to Montego Bay or Whitehouse.

All booked guests affected by the hurricane closure will be fully reimbursed with credit nights for the disrupted portion of their stay, said Chairman Butch Stewart.

"We have just invested $60 million and $18 million, respectively, at Sandals Grande Riviera and Beaches Ocho Rios," he said. "The damage caused by this storm, while completely out of our control, means we are unable to offer the same high standard of vacations that our guests expect.

"It is only correct that we take these steps to allow us time to put things right. Anything else would mean shortchanging our guests and travel partners, and that is not something we are ever prepared to consider," he said.

Representatives from Unique Vacations, worldwide sales and marketing company for Sandals and Beaches, are contacting affected guests regarding their bookings. Unique Vacations can be reached at (800) 327-1991.

For Caribbean and Mexico news, follow Gay Nagle Myers on Twitter @gnmtravelweekly.
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