RESORTS launched a
multimillion-dollar rebranding initiative designed to redefine the
firm's all-inclusive position "in a crowded marketplace," according
to chairman Gordon "Butch" Stewart. With many resort companies
operating under the all-inclusive banner, Stewart said, the label
has left consumers with price as the sole basis of comparison.
"Sandals will never aim to be the cheapest resort chain on the
block," he said. The rebranding campaign "focuses on the quality of
experiences for couples at our resorts. At its heart, the new
campaign is about value. We know our customers will not compromise
on the quality of their precious vacation time." Campaign
components include: new ads, billboards and collateral materials
that include a 192-page brochure; newly branded Red Lane Spas that
offer special couples' treatments; and the launch of the Butler
Service next month in the top-suite category at Sandals and Beaches
" Viva Wyndham
Resorts' eighth property in its portfolio and its fifth in the
Dominican Republic opened this month as the Viva Wyndham Samana on
the northeastern coast of the Dominican Republic following a
remodeling and expansion project. The 218-room, all-inclusive
resort includes a Kids' Club, three restaurants, a disco and a
fitness center. For details, visit www.vivawyndhamresorts.com.
" The Ritz Carlton San
Juan Hotel, Spa & Casino is up for sale again. Credit Suisse
First Boston, its current owners, purchased the 416-room property
in 2003 when the previous owner declared bankruptcy. Sources said a
deal was "very close." Ritz-Carlton will retain its long-term
management contract as before.
" The 58-year-old
Buccaneer Resort on St. Croix completed a $10 million renovation
that included a redo of its 138 guest rooms, restaurants, the
Hideaway Spa, historic buildings and public areas. For rates and
packages call (800) 255-3881.
" United's winter
schedule to Aruba includes daily service from Chicago O'Hare and
Saturday service from Washington Dulles; to Montego Bay, weekend
flights from Chicago; to San Juan, eight weekly flights from
Chicago, daily from Dulles; to Punta Cana, four weekly flights from
Chicago; to St. Maarten, Saturday service from Chicago; to St.
Thomas, weekend service from Chicago and Dulles.
" Air Jamaica will
suspend its daily nonstop service to Antigua from New York JFK on
Jan. 10. The move, which also affects flights between Montego Bay
and Antigua, is in line with the carrier's strategic plan to reduce
annual operating costs by $50 million in the face of record-high
" US Airways launched
nonstop Saturday service from Charlotte, N.C. to George Town,
Exuma. The carrier also serves Grand Bahama Island, Marsh Harbour,
North Eleuthera and Nassau in the Bahamas.
PENCIL IT IN
" Caribbean Hotel
Association's Marketplace, Jan. 9 to 11, Half Moon, Montego Bay. For
the schedule of events, visit www.caribbeanhotels.org.
" Air Jamaica Jazz
& Blues Festival, Jan. 27 to
29, Montego Bay. Headliners include Norah Jones,
Roberta Flack, Jimmy Cliff, Julio Iglesias, Dionne Warwick and Boyz
II Men. Air Jamaica Vacations' all-inclusive three-night packages
from JFK, Newark or Philadelphia at the Sunset Beach Resort &
Spa start at $899 per person, double, including concert tickets.
Call (800) 622-3009 to book.